Chapter 281 Greater Demon 3
Barbos spoke again. "That child of yours is something too, is it not? It smells of Elduin's magic and also of that other realm of yours. A hybrid between realms? Is that not so very interesting? Truly, children are wonderful, no?"
"Bad guy talks too much," complained Chrysa. "But he praised me, so it's okay."
"Don't let him get to you if he does start saying anything bad," said Aldrich. "He's just rambling."
"Oh, do not insult me like that. My heart is very frail, you know," responded Barbos.
Aldrich leaped over several roofs, landing on a particularly large one. Here, there were three Grinners blocking his way. Their [Mora] still just sealed his [Death Bolt], and they could not stack the effect to seal multiple of his spells.
Notably, though, the Grinners could not seal anything from Chrysa. Maybe because her powers were one part Elden World magic and another part Flux category Alter power.
But even then, three Grinners was something Aldrich did not want to waste time or effort dealing with.
The way Barbos worked was that he controlled most of the Grinners here like puppets, but in doing so, he could not defend his main body. Once Aldrich got close to Barbos, the greater demon would have to stop controlling the mobs and engage in a straight fight with Aldrich.
Or as straight a fight as it got. Barbos was tricky to deal with. Regardless, spending time here was counterproductive.
Chrysa sensed Aldrich's thoughts and put her fingers to the sides of her heads, charging up her mana. A white light burst forth from her, swallowing up the two of them.
In the next instant, Aldrich found himself far ahead of the Grinner infested rooftop. Chrysa had teleported him.
"Easy now, we need to save your mana," said Aldrich. He pointed up to the distance, to the top of the Arsellis tree. "We need to get all the way up there."
"I've got enough for that," reassured Chrysa.
"Good." Aldrich leaped down into the elven streets. He was now at in what looked like a town square with the temple sitting straight in the middle.
Barbos's towering figure stood in front of it. A shadowy veil cast over the temple, blocking entry into it. The veil was supported by Barbos and would fade away if he died or lost mana.
"Like I said, I cannot let you enter," said Barbos.
"So what?" said Aldrich. "You were hard to deal with because at this point, I wouldn't have had holy magic to put you down with.
I had to use my legion and butcher you over and over again. And since you're a Greater Demon, you regenerate fast. Fast even for your greater kind, too.
Like a cockroach, you got back up and up."
Aldrich put his glowing golden halberd out. "But things are different here. You only have one life here, Barbos."
In the game, Aldrich had needed to kill Barbos ten times before his regeneration slowed to the point the barrier behind him lifted. Now, though, just one stab to the heart, and it was over.
"Things are different, I do agree. And did I not say before? I am much freer than your other quest critters. I can think for myself, and do you think I did not see you waving that holy stick around?" Barbos clapped his dark purple arachnid legs together.
Aldrich heard rumbling come in from all directions. Not the agile steps of hounds and imps or the thuds of Grinners, but a stampede of possessed elves. They poured in from every direction, filling up the square, completely surrounding Aldrich and Chrysa.
Aldrich circled around, his halberd in front of him, but the elves did not step into his range. They just stared at him with dead eyes and motionless bodies.
"Some thing are part of my 'programming', but some things are not. I am free to fight as I please now." Barbos's sizable body disappeared in a shower of purple sparks that faded quickly into nothingness.
When he spoke again, his voice echoed in such a way that it was impossible to hear where exactly it came from. "Lesser demons cannot enjoy a host body unless it is perfect for them. But me? I can cram myself into an unfinished vessel fine enough, though I do prefer something a little more comfortable."
"So that's it?" said Aldrich. He narrowed his eyes at what must have been over a hundred elves all around him. "You're going to hide inside one of these elves? You have stay in the range of this square, I know that."
Interesting, to say the least. Barbos, in some ways, had to obey his programming like with not letting Aldrich pass. But in other ways, he could transcend it. He was programmed to fight Aldrich with his own body, but now, he had made use of possessed elves that did not seem to need as much mental control to operate as demons did, considering the fact that Barbos's barrier still stood strong.
"Why would I not? You are far, far too scary for a weak hearted one like myself to deal with.
The way you move with those fancy swings and jumps and flips - you are a much better fighter than I. Much better than in all your prior lives too. On par with a proper warrior, I'd say.
Too scary to think about fighting by myself.
So hiding it is.
The more time I spend here, the deeper the Flame Arc embeds itself.
A false Flame Arc, granted, conjured up in this silly little dream of a quest like everything else here. If it were real, I could even go home, but at the very least, I think there are some demons and infernal energy stored in there that will make your goals a tad bit harder to achieve, no?"
Aldrich stared at the elves. Men. Women. Teens. Children.
"And, maybe your heart is just as fragile as mine. Maybe you do not have it in you to mow down so many mortals. After all, I can sense, you were a mortal just so very recently too, no?"
"Chrysa, father wants you to know something," said Aldrich.
"What is it?" Chrysa clung to Aldrich's skeletal extra arm tight, tense at the sudden development.
"Some things, I do because I have to." Aldrich stomped his foot into the ground and cast [Call of the Impaler].