World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 44: Connections Are Only A Part Of Who We Are
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April 13, 6:22 pm, Canberra, Australia
Gadiel's face twisted in concentration. Burning energy flowed through his body. It was different to his ice power, which seemed to come from deep inside. This power seemed to come from somewhere more shallow, less powerful, less...him.
Not that it mattered. He gritted his teeth as he concentrated, trying to keep the flames burning as the spider-woman's beam forced him back a little more. Gadiel didn't know how this was happening, nor how he was keeping it up.
What he did know was that he had to keep going. Otherwise, he was done for.
But he couldn't. Beads of sweat trickled down his face as he struggled to keep the fire going. He could see the spider-woman's face also straining, which was what allowed him to keep this up for so long.
But he was at his limit. He couldn't hold on anymore.
"You got this," whispered Tarik, placing a hand on his back, right over his tattoo.
Suddenly, Gadiel felt a rush of energy flow into him from Tarik. The heat was incredible, like he had a miniature sun pumping burning energy into his veins. His eyes grew wide as he glanced at Tarik.
He grinned back, which made Gadiel feel more at ease.
It was okay. Tarik was here.
Gadiel roared, and forced more energy into the fire blast.
"You filthy huuumaaaaaannsssssss!!!" the spider-woman screeched, the beam closing in on her. Panicking, it tried to force more power into its beam, but Gadiel's fire was too strong.
In the end, the monster stopped firing her beam and twisted it's body to dodge. Unsuccessfully. The fire went through, hitting the wall behind her, creating a large hole.
Gadiel was sure the monster was dead.
As soon as the blast went through, the fire stopped. He had no energy left. His knees buckled, and fell to the floor, unable to move.
April 13, 9:20 am, London, England
The calm atmosphere burst open as I saw what was happening on the projection. I literally spat out my whiskey, eyes going wide. I sat up in my seat, unable to look away. I looked like a cartoon character I was so surprised.
I did not care.
What was this? How did Gadiel use the fire power?
Didn't I put that one in Tarik's pendant?
Wait, wait wait wait. Calm down, Rupert. Think through this logically.
I stood up from my desk, eyes still on the projection. I walked around my desk, to the center of my office, in front of the elevator, and sat down in a meditation pose.
I activated my seals, the glowing red marks on my body shining through my suit. I haphazardly cobbled together a diagnostic spell, and cast it to test what was going on with the pendants.
The result I got was...well…
It seemed that the 'danger sense' ability he had put into the pendants had become...stronger somehow. Strong enough to yield some unexpected results. But how?
No...it wasn't just that...
Flabbergasted, I called for Ms. Kang. She needed to see this. Right now.
I kept my eyes on the screen as I waited for her to come along. The blast of fire and the beam of light clashed, much like a classic Drag*n Ball Z fight scene.
It was something I never expected to see.
April 13, 6:24 pm, Canberra, Australia
Tarik leaned down to help Gadiel up. Gadiel smiled weakly as Tarik tried to lift his heavy body.
"Aren't you also hurt?" he asked.
"At least I can move," Tarik scoffed. "You need to get up, you useless hunk of muscle."
"Awwww, thanks," said Gadiel. "You think I have muscles."
"Me and everyone who has eyes," Tarik grumbled, but he relented. At the very least, he managed to flip Gadiel onto his back. He sat down, sighing and nursing his shoulder. He looked over to were the monster woman had been, narrowing his eyes.
Gadiel was feeling a little woozy. The fire inside him still burned in his stomach, but it was slowly dissipating, leaving him feeling cool. He was glad; while the fire was nice, he felt instinctively that it wasn't part of him. It was just something he was borrowing, or something like that.
"Hey, Tarik," said Gadiel. "I just wanna say-"
"DIE!" shrieked a familiar monstrous voice.
It jumped out of nowhere, somehow avoiding death.
Barely. Gadiel saw that it had one arm blown off, and half its legs were curled and crumpled up. Its hair was half burnt off, and its face twisted in a mask of rage. It's yellow eyes glared a thousand armies worth of swords at Gadiel, making his body break out into a cold sweat.
It leaped out to Gadiel, claws reaching right in front of Gadiel's face.
"No," said Tarik quietly, suddenly appearing beside the monster. His hand was already on the monster's face.
The monster dropped dead, for real this time. Gadiel could tell, because suddenly, he was aware that the surrounding bookshelves and everything were charred and frozen. That meant that the monster's illusions were finally undone.
He'd forgotten about that.
Gadiel looked up at Tarik, still unable to move. Tarik suddenly looked a lot more tired, but he was doing better than Gadiel at least. He was looking down at his hand, flexing his fingers, as if trying to get them warm again.
"How do you deal with that cold?" he asked, blowing into his hands. "I feel like my fingers are gonna fall off."
"I could ask the same about your heat," said Gadiel. "But I already know the answer. It's cause you're hot af."
Tarik looked down at Gadiel, amused.
"You're tired," he said. "Let's get you up and to a bed."
"You need a doctor first though," said Gadiel. "You're hurt."
Tarik looked back at his shoulder wound. It wasn't too bad, just a graze. Then again, the flesh was burnt...maybe it would be best not to get it infected.
"Alright, I'll see a doctor," he relented. "Once you get up."
Neither of them moved. They simply stayed there, enjoying each others' company in silence.
April 13, 9:31 am, London, England
Ms. Kang entered the office just as the action ended. I glanced over at her; she was dressed professionally as usual today, but with a small, pink carnation in her hair. I raised an eyebrow at it, but she ignored the implied question.
"Yes?" she asked.
I directed her attention to the projection, and replayed the scene. I leaned back in my chair as I watched Ms. Kang's reaction. She stayed standing up the entire time, the only change in her expression being a slight widening of her eyes when Gadiel summoned fire for the first time.
At the end of the recording, she turned to me and raised an eyebrow.
"I did mention there may be some kinks in the connection," I said. "It looks like this is how it manifested."
"By having them...swap powers?" asked Ms. Kang.
I shook my head.
"From what I can tell, I believe it to be more like...they borrowed each others' power for a little bit," I said slowly. Of course, I was dumbing it down by quite a lot, but that was the gist of it.
"The idea of this fight was to awaken the 'danger sense' we had planned for them," I explained further. "It seems like due to their relationship dynamics, the connection evolved into this...thing."
At this point, Ms. Kang had already taken a seat in front of me, and was taking notes.
"Is their connections based on their feelings for each other?" she asked suddenly.
"Romantic feelings, mostly," I replied. "Or at least, romantic feelings are the feelings are supposed to bring out the most of the connection."
"They aren't even dating yet, are they?" she wondered aloud. "So why is their connection so strong?"
"Well they have known each other for about a year," I guessed. "That could help."
Ms. Kang nodded, but I could tell she was unsatisfied with that answer. To be honest, I was too. There had to be something more than that.
"It's possible that they haven't officially started dating due to some sort of trauma or history," I mused, stroking my chin. "Gadiel is still in the closet to his family, after all."
"I'll look into their backstories a little more," she said. "Maybe there is something there that can explain how this happened."
I nodded. As always, Ms. Kang knew what I wanted without me ever stating it outright. How had I coped back in my old world, without such a capable assistant?
"Look into past relationships," I said. "Positive and negative."
Ms. Kang blinked once – her version of being surprised – and wrote that down. I didn't explain further; I trusted her to figure out what was needed.
"Will we need to adjust the plot?" she asked as she wrote everything down.
I turned my chair around. The sun was already high in the air, making the river Thames shine brightly below. I watched as a boat passed under the Tower Bridge slowly.
"There should not be any problems with the overall plot," I said. "How is Dr. Larsson doing?"
"Enjoying Japan," said Ms. Kang. "I think he'll be glad to know his experiment was a success."
"Pity about the body," I sighed, turning back to face her. She had already stood up, and was straightening her skirt.
"I'll send over Ai today," I told her, activating a couple seals. My arm lit up with red markings.
"Ai?" Ms. Kang asked.
"A...friend," I said. "She was always quickest of all of us."
I grinned internally as I watched Ms. Kang's reaction. From the way I was speaking, she would probably infer that one of my so-called 'friends' from the other world had arrived to this one. Of course, no such thing had happened. The plan was to create AI's to inhabit the bodies Dr. Larsson had made.
But Ms. Kang didn't know that.
"But...we still haven't perfected-"
"It's good enough for Ai," I said, dismissing her concerns. "She isn't one of my close friends, after all."
Ms. Kang didn't seem to know what to say. She didn't even write anything down.
"Tell the good doctor that I expect results within two weeks," I said. "If not, well..."
I let the implicit threat hang in the air. As Ms. Kang bowed to leave, I could tell she was a little stiff in her movements. I grinned; the message had gotten through. She would do her job.
I snapped my fingers, and a blue ball of energy popped into existence above my hand. I looked at it for a while.
"Your name is Ai," I told the ball. "And you're going to make a lot of entertainment for me."
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