Alright guys, here's the next chapter. Got pretty behind in my writing, don't know what else to say. Time really flies when you're busy playing new video games, inbetween working your but off. Hopefully this nice long chapter will make up for the absence. Lots of training and growth in this chapter, setup for what's coming up next. It's almost time for us to return to the Bending Nations to meet with Avatar Korra, so you can expect that in a coming chapter. I wonder what Riley is gonna find on her return trip. Also, just as a heads up for you guys, the next ark is a legend of Korra arc, and afterwards, will be a bit of a time jump leading into a Fate/Stay Night Arc. I'm really looking forward to that one, most definitely.
Broken Angel: Rising Demon
Chapter 39: An Alien Demon
-Artoria's office, London, Albion. February 18th 2001-
Riley's family sat and listened as she explained the events surrounding her disappearance. A Yellow Power Ring, similar in function to the green ring had chosen her as a candidate to join a group of alien soldiers. The ring had taken her to their base of operations in another universe, and there, they planned on forcing Riley to join them. Riley responded, as everyone expected her too, and retaliated. She spent a few hours laying siege to the entire planet, unleashing her demonic power in ways she never had before. After venting her frustrations, Riley returned home, claiming the weapon of these Yellow Lanterns, as her own. She also left the Yellow Lanterns with a warning to never make an attempt on Earth, or she'd return to their world and destroy it outright.
Everyone reacted, as one might expect. They were confused, uncertain, and a bit lost on what to make of this.
The reunion with her mates, and family was relatively short-lived. After recovering from the shock of what happened, and with Riley being glomped by her mother, Fleur, Katie, Kaede, and Luna, Riley had given her explanation of the events that had occurred.
After giving them an explanation, they began to speculate of what this could mean, and began asking questions.
"What was this group after? You said they wanted you to join their organization?" Tobirama inquired.
"Their rings are set to automatically search out people capable of instilling great fear in others. After my attack on the United States, I think I caused enough fear to alert this ring as it was passing by our little world, and it came to collect me." Riley answered, glancing down at the Yellow Power Ring on her fingers.
"So this group is looking for people who can cause great fear. What is it that they want? What is their purpose?" Artoria questioned.
"They're a law-enforcement group. They want to bring order, and put a stop to chaos, and they use fear to do it. These power rings, are built to harness the power of a given emotion. The green ones use willpower, red ones use rage, blue ones use hope, and the yellow ones, use fear. This group, the Sinestro Corp, they use the power of fear to bring order to the universe. That's their goal, that's their want. It wasn't actually their intention to kidnap me specifically. These Yellow Power Rings are made and then sent out into the cosmos and every time they detect a massive build-up of fear, they seek out the source and recruit it. I just happened to be chosen. It was all just the luck of the draw, nothing more." Riley answered, intentionally leaving out any mention of Parallax, and how he had actually directed the Yellow Lantern Ring towards Earth, in the hopes of finding Riley.
Her friends and family, all began discussing what this meant, and how this affected things. Riley stood silently and listened for a few moments, before closing her eyes and letting out a sigh.
"Is there something else?" Hashirama inquired, noticing Riley's reaction. She seemed bored, like what had happened to her, wasn't one of the strangest things that had ever occurred in her life.
"Nope. Not much else to say. They were punished for this fuck-up, and then I came home. I learned some valuable information, but beyond losing out on three days of my life, nothing else major occurred. Question though, did Luna not see me coming back? And also, why didn't Schrödinger come and find me?" Riley answered back.
"No, I didn't see you. It was like you were gone. I… didn't know what to make of it." Luna admitted, her gaze downcast, and filled with worry.
Riley felt her heart lurch as she took in Luna's worry. Despite suspecting Luna's involvement in the elder Elizabeth's plot, she didn't, for a second, believe that Luna or any of her other family members were helping Elizabeth out of a sense of malice. If they were helping her, than at best, they had no idea what Elizabeth's ultimate goal was, and were simply helping her because they thought it was right, and at worst she had deceived them into believing what Riley had originally believed, that there was no way out of this timeline. If death and doom came for it, they had to fight, because there was no way out.
Because of that, Riley felt no ill will towards any of her loved ones, even if she couldn't currently trust that they weren't involved in the older Elizabeth's plans. She still loved them, and she always would, but she was annoyed because of this revelation, and because she didn't know who all was involved, it left her on edge.
She wanted answers, she wanted to identify all parties involved, she wanted the truth. She knew if she was ever going to get those answers, she'd have to be clever. The Older Elizabeth had groomed an entire timeline, a plan that stretched across billions of years. She had an unmatched intellect, and an unspeakable level of patience. Riley had no doubts that she'd set contingencies in place, just in case Riley started finding her way towards the truth, and without knowing what those contingencies were, Riley had no way of knowing if they were a threat to her loved ones. She wasn't going to spring them, until she was ready, so for now, she'd keep her knowledge of the truth, a secret, and instead, she'd work to try and lure out Elizabeth's agents.
Specifically, she'd start going against the grain, acting in ways that she usually didn't. She fought hard, with the support of her family, to keep the demon in check, now though, she'd work to undo those bindings, and let her demonic side out. Only then, would she start to spot those that were working towards an ulterior goal, and once she could separate these individuals from the rest, she could begin piecing together their motivations, and from them, she'd locate Elizabeth's tools.
"As for Schrödinger…" Luna continued after a moment, glancing over at the cat-boy.
"Vell, I was unsure of vat had happened to you. So I vas a little hesitant to vill myself to you. If you vere dead, I vould have died too. None of us could sense you, and ve did not know vat state you were in." Schrödinger answered.
"You thought I was dead?" Riley asked with surprise.
"Well no, but you could've been. Our connection to you was really weak, which has never happened before, not even when you go into Kamui, another dimension. You being dead, or at least your body being destroyed, was an option for why we were still connected to you, but couldn't contact you, or find you." Daphne explained, causing Riley to make a face at that, but offer a nod of understanding after giving it a few moments of thought.
"I see. Well, better that you didn't try and manifest at my location. I'd rather you be safe, than risk yourself." Riley offered to Schrödinger, earning a bashful nod from the boy.
"So your space-time ninjutsu allowed you to return from this other universe? Without any issues?" Madara inquired.
"I used my ocular abilities specifically, and they worked just fine. I was able to find my way back, easily enough by focusing on my bond to my mates. As weak as it became, it never broke, even if I was in another universe. My guess is that Sasuke could have eventually located my magic, if given enough time, and used his Rinne-Sharingan to open a portal to me. Katie could have as well, had I taught her how to track chakra signatures from across great distances using the Rinnegan, and also if she had the proper power source. I'm not sure how you ladies were affected in my absence." Riley answered.
"We still had access to your powers, but they were draining, and they put a great strain on us. We couldn't pull energy from you, like we normally can, I'm guessing because of the distance between us." Daphne stated, earning a nod from Riley.
"Hmm… interesting. Something to keep in mind for the future." Riley noted.
"You're sure you're all right?" Katie inquired, giving her a look.
"Yep, I'm fine. I don't see what the big deal is, it's not like I haven't endured equally as strange things before." Riley noted with a shrug.
"Yeah but getting kidnapped by aliens is kinda a whole different ball game." Katie pointed out.
"Maybe. Then again, the only thing I really gleaned from this, was that we aren't alone in the universe, and we aren't the only jackasses in it. A bit surreal considering everyone's theories on extraterrestrials, but also kinda refreshing. Regardless, it all boiled down to me being kidnapped by a group of haughty assholes, who thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread. Aliens or not, I've dealt with people like that before, so this, ultimately doesn't bother me. I'm fine. I feel fine. Definitely annoyed at losing out on three days of my life, while we're busy fighting a war, speaking of which, did the Americans ever respond to my ultimatum?" Riley explained, finishing with a question directed at Artoria.
"Yes, actually. Shortly after you left, they contacted us, and agreed to the ceasefire. Even now, they're pulling their surviving military forces out of Europe, and moving them east, most likely hoping to stall until negotiations are had. Still though, they've at least partially complied with your demands, and with your sudden disappearance, I decided it best not to press the issue until we figured out what happened to you. I've agreed to speak with their negotiators, and we'll have some idea of the situation here in two days time." Artoria responded, her answer earning a nod from Riley.
"Well, I must have made quite the impression." Riley noted with a smirk.
"An impression is one word for it." Tobirama stated.
"Millions are dead, due to your assault, Riley. While you targeted military installations, the nature of your methods led to a lot of civilian casualties. The Americans are in disbelief, as is the rest of the world. The day after your attack, I don't think a single battle took place across the planet. Everyone, everywhere, has heard of what you've done." Hashirama added.
"Well that's good to hear." Riley stated with a dark chuckle.
"The negotiations with the Americans will happen here in two days. You're the one who called for these talks Riley, is there anything you were hoping to get from them?" Artoria inquired.
"Just an end to their attacks on us. I'll leave the negotiations to you, my love. Whatever you feel is best." Riley answered, earning a few surprised looks from her fellows.
"You wont be joining us?" Artoria asked, noting the way Riley phrased her response.
"Nope. I'll leave it up to you. I'll only add one thing, just a warning to deliver to them, when you meet with them. I don't care what you talk about, or what concessions you get from them. I've gotten my revenge. I've paid them back for their attack. So I'll allow the wheels of politics to turn. But when you meet with them, give them a warning for me. Something to carry back home to their leaders, and their people. If they ever attack us again, if any American agent comes to this country and attempts to bring harm to someone I care about, then I'll punish them again. I'll even give them the courtesy of knowing what the next punishment will be. So that they know the consequences ahead of time, when they inevitably plan to strike out at us again. If they piss me off again, then the next time I will wipe out one fourth of their entire population." Riley declared, causing silence to fall over the room, as everyone took in her threat.
"Riley…" Artoria began, but a menacing grin spread across Riley's face, halting her words.
Something about Riley's grin was off. They'd all seen such evil looks on her face before, but this was different. It was difficult to describe. Something about her teeth, that everyone noticed. They couldn't quite place what exactly it was, only that something was off about it. Her grin was just a bit wider than normal, she showed a bit more teeth than normal. It was chilling, it unsettled everyone, despite most of them having experienced Riley's viciousness before.
"Men, women, children. Soldiers and civilians. Politicians, workers, builders, clerks, layabouts, and urchins… if they come after my family again… one-fourth of their population will be slaughtered. I know you're not actually going to tell them that, but I also know that it's something you all want to avoid. So there it is. That's what I'll do next, if they come after my family again. One fourth of their population. If you want to avoid that, than it's up to you to express it to them, and all other outsiders to come. My family is off limits. We've had this conversation before, and I know it hasn't been so long for any of you to have forgotten it. That's where I stand." Riley expressed with a shrug, as if she was talking about the weather.
Riley's mates, and members of her family shared concerned glances with one another. Everyone knew that Riley was vicious, and that she wouldn't hesitate to slaughter untold numbers of people if she was enraged, but to just come out and say it like that. It was a level of coldness they rarely experienced from her, especially in the absence of an enemy. Usually Riley only got this dark when she was threatening a foe. When it was just her and her loved ones, she usually tried to reign it in.
"Riley, did something else happen while you were gone? Something you're not telling us?" Daphne finally spoke up, piercing Riley with a look.
"Well of course something happened my love." Riley responded with a chuckle, and a shake of her head.
Many looks were shared at hearing her reply, and after a few moments of silence, Daphne chose to press on.
"Well… I may or may not have flexed a bit. Gave them an actual taste of what they were messing with. Ya know, fire and brimstone style, Armageddon, end of days sort of shit. I set dozens of cities on fire, and as a parting gift, I left them with a few dozen meteors to deal with, and honestly, I kind a wished that I had stayed to see the result. Honestly… I think that was the first time I've ever been able to flex out in the real world without sparing a single thought to the safety of those around me. It felt… good. Liberating…" Riley responded, almost whimsically, like she wasn't talking about unleashing doomsday onto the population of this planet.
Silence permeated the room, causing Riley to let out a chuckle, as she picked up on it.
"I'm in a particular mood of sorts. I'm pissed off that I was kidnapped for three days, but I'm also elated because dammit did I have a good time!" Riley stated, offering a halfhearted shrug, so they could write off her reaction.
"Being on an entirely different planet… must have been quite the experience." Madara surmised.
"Truly it was. I'll tell you all about it later. I saw so many strange aliens… it was pretty interesting out there. Not the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me, but certainly up there. I'd say top five on my list." Riley expressed with a grin, earning a raised eyebrow from Madara.
"Well… at least you're alright. Maybe it's best to take a day or two to unwind Riley. Despite not being the weirdest experience of your life, you were still kidnapped and attacked on a distant world. Just let me handle the Americans for now. I'll make sure they understand the gravity of the situation, and the danger of continued conflict with us." Artoria offered to her.
"Alright, I'll take a day or two to relax. I've still got a wedding to have… wait… that was supposed to be today right, or was it tomorrow? Did we postpone it?" Riley suddenly realized, turning a glance towards Luna.
"Well I didn't know when you'd be back, and with this sudden conflict breaking out, I figured it was wiser to wait for a bit, so I had them push everything back two weeks." Luna said to her, causing Riley to visibly deflate.
"I'm sorry Luna." Riley began.
"It's fine Riley, I didn't want everything to go to waste, and besides, you had no control over this. Don't blame yourself." Luna waved off her apology.
"I don't blame myself, doesn't mean I'm not sorry. I hate when this shit messes up my weddings." Riley growled with a shake of her head.
"It's alright. Two weeks isn't that long." Luna said to her with a dreamy smile.
Riley returned her smile, and then rose to her feet.
"I'm gonna go see my children, like I intended to do before this fiasco. Do let me know, my loves if negotiations don't go well. I'll give the Americans a couple more incentives to play ball if they're still unwilling." Riley offered, giving Artoria and Daphne a smirk, earning a sigh from both.
Riley then quickly departed, heading back to her home, leaving the troop to discuss what they had learned.
All of them had noticed Riley's change in demeanor. She was more aggressive today than she usually was. And though that was understandable, given what she just went through, it still set everyone on edge. Riley usually vented when she was frustrated, or angry. She usually ranted and raved, or plotted and planned her revenge. You could tell when she was furious and she rarely hid her annoyance. Her family could tell that she was bottling something up. Something had happened during this sudden excursion, something that had affected Riley greatly. Whatever it was, she was keeping it to herself. Perhaps she was telling the truth, and being able to unleash her powers in such a way, without having to worry about her allies or the planet in general had been a foreign experience for Riley, a chance to be a true demon.
That did strike a cord for most of her family. The chance for her to be a true demon… Archdemons were the devourers of worlds. They drank moons, and devoured stars. Their power was like a hurricane that could blow away entire star systems. This was Riley's first opportunity to fight an enemy, without having to worry about anything other than the fight itself. No thoughts of her friends, or allies, or even the stability of the world. She could just do whatever she wanted with no real consequences. It was a moment of freedom.
Something like that, could have been a major moment for Riley, like an awakening of sorts, to finally act like a true demon, but many of them were uncertain, especially because she had chosen to spare the planet. Had she destroyed this Qward world, outright, than those like Hashirama and Madara could then believe that it was the freedom that had awakened this ruthlessness in Riley, but because she had spared the planet, now neither of them was so sure.
And their uncertainty, bled into the others. Now everyone was wondering what it was that had happened to Riley on this distant world. For the moment, she seemed content to ignore it, but her mates were adamant about finding out what it was.
Riley did exactly as she said she would, allowing her mates to watch through their shared vision as she returned home, and immediately scooped Lucille in her arms. Riley spent the better part of an hour playing with her daughter, before Elric awoke from his nap, his cries, drawing Riley to him.
Riley spent most of the day with the two children, occasionally having chats with Dobby, or her mother, or some of her other children, if they happened to wander by. Most of them had quickly been informed upon her return, so they could stop worrying about her disappearance, many of them swung by to at least speak with her for a few moments.
Riley even took the opportunity to speak with Gaia over the bond, during some quiet moments. Bringing her up to speed on everything that she had shared with the others.
That night, when Riley's mates and family returned home from their discussions, things were a bit odd.
They found Riley laying in bed staring up at the ceiling after having put Lucille and Elric to bed. As was the norm when it came to Riley's moods, Kaede was the first one to dismiss it, and prepare for bed.
Riley could only smile at that, knowing that Kaede's attitude in regards to her, was born of acceptance. She accepted everything about Riley, just as Riley had accepted everything about her. If Riley was in a mood of sorts, than she'd tell Kaede about it, if she needed help. If she didn't say anything, than Kaede would assume that Riley had it handled.
It was Katie who decided to address their concerns first. Being the Gryffindor, and the one to charge in first, she crossed the room and sat in bed beside Riley, she was followed by the others who gathered around, and waited to have the discussion.
"Hey." Katie offered to her, starting the conversation.
"Hey." Riley responded, blinking up at the ceiling, her eyes momentarily flickering to Katie, before returning to their original position.
"Look, we all know that something else happened while you were gone, so what's up? You're aggravated, angry. You usually calm down after letting off some steam, but you're still riled up, so what happened?" Katie questioned, staring down at her.
Riley let out a chuckle, musing on how easy it was for her mates to read her, and how difficult it was going to be to fool them.
"Well, I did leave out a few things." Riley stated.
"We picked up on that. What happened?" Artoria questioned her, standing on the opposite side of the bed from where Katie sat.
Riley was silent for a few moments, as if she was thinking, though already, a lie had formed in her mind. Something she kept buried deep within, guarded by the watchful eyes of the Gravemind, keeping even her mates from sensing it over the bond.
"Yellow equals fear…" Riley stated after a moment.
Her words hung in the air for a moment, causing her mates to blink several times in confusion and share glances with one another. Around this time, Kaede rejoined them, having changed into her pajamas. She slipped past the group of women standing around the bed, and crawled in next to Riley, cuddling up next to her, resting her head on Riley's shoulder, and draping an arm across her stomach.
"What does that mean?" Daphne inquired after a few seconds.
"Well… while I was there, I learned some really interesting information. Like for instance, did you know, that Yellow is the color of fear?" Riley inquired, still staring up at the ceiling.
"That… doesn't make a lot of sense. How is yellow the color of fear? I like yellow, I've never felt afraid of it or anything." Katie questioned with confusion.
Riley let out a chuckle, and then clenched her fist. The Yellow Power Ring on her hand, sprung to life, and from it, emerged a wash of yellow energy that rose over the bed, hovering over Riley.
In an instant, Riley felt it, in all of her mates, felt their fear. The energy had no shape, no form, it was just globs of energy floating in the air, yet at the sight of it, Riley felt fear well up in them. It wasn't as if they were startled by the appearance of the energy, it was genuine fear.
Even Gaia, who was a world away, watching through the shared vision of her fellow mates, felt her body tense up. Even Shukaku and Matatabi felt their fears begin to rise up.
"Yellow is the color of fear." Riley restated, staring up at the energy with an ominous gaze.
"Yellow is the color of fear…" Katie blinked several times, repeating Riley's words, as she stared into the mass of energy.
After several moments, the energy receded, and the group felt their tension fade. It was like the yellow energy caused their hackles to rise, like their danger senses peaked, as if sensing a nearby threat. It wasn't horror, or dread, but it was noticeable fear.
"That energy, it came from the Yellow Power Ring, the one that took you to the alternate universe? This is what you meant when you said that these Sinestro guys, use fear as a weapon. You meant literally." Daphne stated as she crawled onto the bed, and sat beside Katie, taking Riley's hand in her own and gazing down at the yellow ring on her finger.
"Yeah. Our friend, the Green Lantern, John… his ring uses willpower. That's what green represents. If he allowed his energy to flow out, like I just did, you'd find your strength of will affected by the presence of the green energy. It's not a lot, but as you felt, it can cause affects in people, just by it's mere presence." Riley explained, allowing Daphne to examine the ring, knowing full well that with her running her gaze over it, that meant that all of them were able to examine it through their shared vision.
"So why don't these colors naturally give off these auras? I mean I've worn yellow dresses before, and I'm not fearful while doing it. Hell I'm pretty sure Fleur's childhood bedroom was painted yellow, if I remember correctly. What, does it have to be a specific shade of yellow? Like if it's Banana Yellow, it doesn't work?" Katie questioned, sharing a glance with Fleur, whom nodded to show that she was right.
"Power needs to flow through it. If you put magic, into the color yellow, the aura it generates, will be that of fear. It wont be strong, or overly powerful, but it will be there. I know this for a fact. The One-Tails chakra is yellow and so is Gaia's now. Yellow Youki causes a fear inducing effect. Yet in the same breath, the Two-Tails, and Yugito, along with the Nine-Tails, and even Kaede, all have red Youki. Red is the color of rage and anger." Riley explained to them.
"Wow, wait so what does that mean for all the colors of Luna's magic? Her magic is always changing and shifting, going from one color to the next. Does that mean that not only is the type of magic changing, but what it represents?" Katie inquired.
"I guess. It's tied to something called the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum. With the color of magic, determining the aura of the power, for example, green magic, would also be filled with willpower. Which would mean that grandfather Hashirama's chakra being green, would mean it was also colored by willpower. Keep in mind, that there are other factors at play, besides the Emotional Spectrum, but colors, empowered by magic, give off these emotions. Which would also explain why Hashirama is able to inspire people so easily. When he's using his magic, an aura of willpower is also being given off, strengthening a person's resolve, though that would also make it a double edged sword, because his enemies would also find their willpower getting a boost. Of course, these are raw feelings, that are tied into the color, so the effects aren't major, unless the person responsible possess an abundance of magical energy, like myself, or grandfather Hashirama. The energy produced by these rings, isn't just magic. It's a combination of energies, with magic being one part of those energies, and it all is fueled by, and thus colored as, the emotion in question, in my case, yellow being fear." Riley continued on explaining, before turning more towards Katie's question about Luna.
"So with all that said, I don't know how much the Emotional Spectrum is influencing Luna's magic. Yes I'm sure there's some minor effects, but ultimately, I think something else is at play in her case." Riley finished.
Thoughtful looks were shared amongst Riley's mates as they pondered that, while Riley sat back in bed, allowing Kaede to cuddle back up to her.
"Sorry if I seem a little off, that revelation has just got me thinking about a lot of stuff." Riley offered to them.
Her mates accepted that, as it was a relatively huge discovery when it came to magic. They all knew Riley well enough to know how fascinated she was to learn new things about magic, and something like this, altered one's very perception of magic in the world. The color of magic, didn't entirely dictate what it was about, but it helped to produce an effect that wasn't intended. For example, if you empowered a red type of magic, it would give off an aura of rage, and anger. Having seen and experienced red chakra before, they now understood why it invoked specific reactions upon seeing it.
Another example was most magic in the world, which was colored blue. Blue was the color of hope. Did that mean that the presence of magic inspired hope? Well, that depends on whether it was being produced by you, an ally, or an enemy. If you or an ally was unleashing torrents of magic, you'd probably be inspired, and feel more hopeful for your chances, while if an enemy was, you'd probably feel despair.
As Riley had said, the power of a magic's color was only a part of it, and a small part at that. Just because most magic in the world was blue, didn't mean that magic itself was capable of instilling hope wherever it went. But being blue, meant that people who used it and could see it, probably felt more hopeful in it's presence, even if only a little bit.
From the sounds of it, the energy produced by these power rings, was pure and undiluted. When Riley had unleashed the yellow light, it had caused her mates to tense up. Fear passed into them, yet when they saw Gaia's magic, which was also yellow, the same effect didn't occur.
"So, what can you do with that thing?" Katie asked, after a long moment of silence for them all to ponder what Riley had said.
"A lot. These rings are considered some of the greatest weapons in the universe, due to their versatility. Essentially, anything I can imagine, I can create with this ring, out of yellow light, and I can give it any properties I can imagine. I am limited only by my imagination, my ability to perceive an idea or concept, and the power necessary to pull it off. Each Ring is limited by a charge of energy, and has to be recharged when it runs out. More complex constructs take more energy, but are also more resilient and capable of more complex effects. For example…" Riley, still laying on the bed, staring up at the ceiling, activated her ring once more.
From it, light shot up above her, and began forming into a rabbit. Her mates watched as a glob of yellow energy molded itself rapidly into the form of a bunny. The creature hovered there in the air for a moment, before drifting over to Katie. It looked just like a rabbit, but it was composed of light. It appeared slightly translucent and gave off an aura of fear.
Hesitantly, Katie reached out and touched the rabbit, her fingers drifting across a hard exterior, that felt smooth, and made her spine tingle as she touched it.
"Not overly complex, it's just a shape, an object that looks like a rabbit. However, if I were to put more thought into it." Riley continued, causing the rabbit to vanish, and once more she began constructing something over her.
They all watched as the yellow light formed a set of organs, then a bone structure, and a circulatory system, then finally muscle, skin, and fur.
It took longer for it to form, but only by a couple of seconds. Once more, a rabbit floated before them, and it again drifted over to Katie.
As it did, they could all see the rabbit breathing, and they noticed the texture of it's body. The previous construct looked almost like it was made of plastic, but this one, it's fur seemed to move, as if each hair had been formed by Riley's will.
Katie reached out again and touched the construct. She still felt the chill run up her spine, but this time, she also felt the rabbit's hair. It was soft, as soft as an actual rabbit. The rabbit's face moved, it's mouth twitching, it seemed almost real.
"By increasing the complexity of this design, I've made something greater. The yellow energy takes whatever form I wish, and can mimic any properties I wish. Becoming soft hairs, elastic skin, hard-like bone, hell there's fluid-like energy flowing through this construct's veins, pumped by it's heart, all born of my will. If you took that energy out, and examined it's properties, you'd find that it was capable of carrying oxygen, like red blood cells. It only does that because I will it to. This design is incredibly complex, even for something as small as this. It's taking considerable focus, on my part, to create this entity, and keep it the way I want it. That's the power of these rings. Anything I can think of, I can create, and so long as the ring has the energy to maintain it, it will. These rings basically function as a faster version of the Demonic Creation Technique that allows me to create objects or items with my demonic powers. And much like with the ring, those items are only kept around so long as I maintain them with my power, if I stop or run out of power, they disappear. The only limit to what these rings can make, is my imagination, and the power to create it. I can make something as complex as a living organism, or as simple as basic shapes. I can create fire, or water, I can mimic magical qualities, if I know how to generate them, how to shape them in my mind. Using the ring, I was able to create Wood Style that could absorb the same energy produced by the ring, mimicking the properties of Hashirama's Wood Style. So long as I know what I'm doing, the ring can mimic it with the yellow light. That's why these rings are considered by many to be some of the strongest weapons in the universe." Riley explained to them, showing off the scope of the Ring's power.
"Wow… that's incredible. Each one of these Yellow Lanterns has one?" Daphne inquired.
"Yeah, and there are more drifting around the cosmos. As I said, they send them out to float across the universe, seeking out sources of intense fear. Once they find those sources, they take them to their base of operations for conversion. From what I've gathered, there are safeguards within the rings to prevent them from finding people like me. Beings of true magic, gods and demons, people who could threaten their organization if they were forcibly dragged to an unknown world, for an unknown purpose." Riley answered.
"Then why did this one choose you?" Daphne asked with a curious look.
"No idea. My guess, it's probably the Fidelus. Keeps the ring from accurately determining what I am. Riley responded with a shrug, knowing full well that the true answer lay in Parallax having sent the ring to find her specifically.
Sensing that her mates were nearly satisfied with Riley's explanation of what happened and her reasoning for appearing so distracted, Riley decided to give them one final idea to fill their thoughts. While she intended for it to appease them, it truly was something that Riley had on her mind.
"Learning about this, going to that place, it made me realize that there's so much more out there. So much more to magic, and power. Ideas that someone living here could hardly fathom, are just common thought out there. I always wondered why demons, with the ability to adapt infinitely, so long as they know what they're doing, haven't yet consumed all life in the universe. It's things like this. These rings, give even a muggle, the power to stand against a greater demon and emerge victorious. I hold access to many earthly magics, and have the capacity to learn all magics born of our world, thanks to the Ten-Tails, but there's so much more out there, so much more I could learn, so much more to comprehend. Just trying to take it all in, is like letting the scope of infinity into your mind. It's… truly daunting." Riley offered up, earning thoughtful looks from her mates, as they considered her words.
Riley sensed it, as it happened, her mates turned their attention to the idea she had just presented them, considering how such an understanding might open ones mind to the impossible.
The Demoness settled in, allowing quiet to wash over the room as her mates began contemplating what Riley had said, running the idea through their minds, and coming to a similar conclusion. It truly was daunting to try and imagine all that could be out there, in just magic alone.
Her mates seemed to accept the source of her distraction as most of them either chose to dismiss her distant attitude, or were similarly lost in thought. Eventually they all settled into bed, and quickly found themselves in the land of dreams.
-Riley's Home, London, Albion. February 19th 2001-
"Any plans for the day Riley?" Katie inquired as she busied herself preparing for the day. Riley sat on the edge of her bed, Elric cradled in her arms, with Lucille toddling about by her feet, she was staring down at the baby, who's eyes were shut as he continued to sleep.
"I'll probably go into Kamui for a bit to focus on mastering the powers of my new toy. I also have a few things I wanna try out." Riley answered without looking up.
"How long you plan on staying in there?" Katie inquired curiously.
"No more than a week or two. Nothing overly major." Riley responded, glancing up at Katie, whom nodded in acceptance of her response.
Riley's mates accepted the bold-faced lie, without a second thought. Had any of them been paying closer attention, or had they actually thought on Riley's actions at the current moment, they would have known that she was lying. Riley hated leaving her children for long periods of time, so she often spent a lot of time with them before she went to train. Given the way she was spending time with Lucille and Elric at the moment, it might have tipped them off that Riley was planning on going away for much longer than a few weeks. One or two weeks was nothing for Riley, like the blink of an eye. Her mates were fine with her training trips, so long as they didn't go past the agreed upon three months that had been established during the Fourth Great Ninja War. Riley knew though, if she had said three months, they would have become suspicious, so she went with something that they would hardly bat an eyelash at.
Riley had things she had to do. She had to learn about, and master this new tool she had in her arsenal. She had to fully bond her powers with Parallax's and learn how to use his abilities. She also had to study Superman's blood, which was still contained on a Black Chakra Receiver she kept stored away. Once she finished studying the alien's blood, she'd need to see about adapting his racial abilities, to improve upon herself. Her main goal being to learn how to develop Superman's tactile Telekinesis, giving him the ability to focus his strength in such a way that he could defy the standard laws of physics, and learning how to utilize his Heat Vision. Whatever other benefits Riley could come up with would be helpful as well. Riley didn't know how long she was going to spend away, but it could be a few years. Regardless of the time frame, Riley didn't intend to return until she had finished accomplishing her goals, or at least, making considerable headway on them.
So with her plans set, she finished saying goodbye to her children, and offered a silent goodbye to her mates as well. She left her children in the care of their grandmother, and aunty Kaede, kissed all of her mates goodbye, and then took a quick trip out to Suna to speak with Gaia for a bit about some things. This was just a pretext to give her the opportunity to say goodbye to her as well.
Once that was done, Riley allowed Alma's consciousness to hop into the minds of her sons, so that she wouldn't be subjected to the possible years it would take for Riley to finish her work. Once that was all done, Riley hopped into Kamui.
Riley appeared in her pocket dimension and cut off her sight line to her mates. She then began dilating time to a near standstill. When she had first started using Kamui she had to monitor and adjust how much she dilated the time difference between her dimension and the real one. The more out of whack things became, the more magic it took to keep it that way. The effect compounded each time she cut the passage of time in half. So while she could easily got down to months in a few hours, when she started going to years, in a few hours she'd notice a strong enough draw on her magic, that she was beginning to use more power than she was regenerating. Then she found, and bonded with the Darkness, and once he became a sort of battery to assist in recharging her energy, the amount she could dilate time became even more dramatic. Considering she could go from nearly nothing to full strength in only a few moments, with the Darkness, it meant that she could drop the passage of time down to centuries in only a few hours in the real world. Riley had never tried pushing it to that extreme, nor had she spent that long in Kamui in one go, but she was always curious to know her limits.
The most extreme she was able to push the dilation of time was around a Five-hundred-thousand to one ratio. Meaning she could dilate time to around five point seven days, for every one second that passed on earth. Or three-hundred-and-forty-seven days, for every minute. Pushed up to an hour, that was fifty-seven years, in one hour on earth.
That was the kind of time dilation Riley could reach, with the aid of the Darkness. With Parallax, Riley was sure she could go even further, most likely being able to push the time dilation to something absurd like five hundred years, for every hour on earth, or something like that.
Regardless, Riley, dropped the time dilation down to an incredibly slow measure, starting with twenty years for every hour that passed on Earth. She intended to get as far along with her goals as she could, as quickly as possible.
Her intention was to break the mold, and find the truth, so she'd need to begin moving in directions that others wouldn't anticipate, that meant doing things they wouldn't expect, and acquiring powers that they didn't realize were possible.
Within her mind, she connected with Kurama and Parallax, and she began her lessons.
She began by learning from Parallax, how to fuel the power of the Ring without the need for the Yellow Power Battery. Riley intended to use her own powers through the ring, and use the ring as a focus, rather than the power of the ring itself. The ring was meant to act like a wand, or a staff, or handsigns. It would help to focus these powers, but eventually Riley intended to grow beyond the need for it. One day she'd cast the ring aside, and be able to use all of these abilities of her own power, with even greater control.
Parallax was more than eager to teach his mother. Having her as a vessel meant that he could unleash unfathomable amounts of power. Things that normally couldn't be accomplished by his previous hosts because their bodies were too frail to withstand his power, he could now achieve with Riley.
So he taught her, taught her how to manipulate the power of fear. How to focus and separate it from the rest of her magic, and use fear, exclusively. Within weeks, she no longer needed to use Parallax's power to fuel the ring, and was instead using her own strength.
As she learned from Parallax, she also set to work on dealing with those she had captured on Qward. Mostly they were Weaponers, but there were a few Thunderers as well. Riley took the time to consider how to use them. She had many options including mind control, magical contracts, and things of the like, but eventually she settled on something that was fool-proof.
Taking all those she captured, she first pulled out their souls and fed on them, feeding their memories into the Gravemind, allowing it to learn all that they knew. She then passed their souls onto death, allowing them to leave the mortal plain. Once they were fully dead and gone, Riley utilized Rinne Rebirth to bring the troop back to life. A few dozen Qwardians rose from the grave, their souls having touched Riley's as she resurrected them. The end result was a small horde of demons now standing before her, demons that she quickly set about dominating and enslaving to her will, binding their thoughts and minds to the Gravemind, making them eternal slaves to it's will.
Once that was accomplished, Riley set the weaponers to task, their orders were to take all of their knowledge, and all of the knowledge of the Gravemind, and begin designing weapons for Riley's human allies to use.
Riley had all the resources they would need, provided for them. If they needed materials, she created it for them using the Creation of all Things Technique. If they needed machines, she would provide them the parts to make them.
Within a few short days, a massive workshop had sprung up in Prime Kamui, that soon filled with the sounds of work, as Riley's newest demonic slaves, began to toil away at prototypes for new weapons, based off of Human and Qwardian tech.
With that accomplished, Riley turned her free time towards a new pursuit, studying Superman's cells.
From his memories, she had learned that he belonged to an alien race, the Kryptonians. He knew quite a bit about them, thanks to an AI of his father, his biological father, that was stored in Superman's hideout. A place in the far Northern reaches of the Arctic, he called it his Fortress of Solitude. It was a massive, crystalline structure, that Superman used as a place of study, and training. The fortress seemed to hold many valuable resources, including bits and pieces of alien tech. If it were possible, Riley hoped to one day study the fortress, and all of it's holdings, as while Superman was incredibly intelligent, he wasn't an engineer, and he most certainly didn't sit around studying the inner workings of his people's technology.
The AI in the fortress would provide all that Riley would need, if she could ever one day steal it. For now though, she was focused on Superman's biology.
She had only managed to see some of his most important memories, so there were massive gaps in her knowledge about the man, which included more nuanced things like information on his body, his biology, how everything worked and functioned. The only two bits of info she did glean from what she had seen was that he was powered by sunlight, his cells somehow drinking it in, and he was greatly harmed by the presence of a green rock, he called kryptonite. It was apparently radioactive, and weakened him when he was near it.
What kind of radiation it gave off, she didn't know, but she'd have to study that too, in order to prevent herself was developing the same weakness, when she began adapting to his biology.
So Riley began her studies on Superman's blood. Using medical Ninjutsu and diagnostic spells, she picked apart his genes, studying them, and running her own tests. She subjected the cells to different conditions and monitored the affects, learning and monitoring everything that happened. She performed these studies whenever she wasn't training with Parallax.
Weeks turned into months, months into a year, and finally, Riley had learned as much as she was able to from Superman's blood. She had unlocked many of the secrets that it held, but of course, many more still remained a mystery to her. She had hit a brick wall when it came to her progress, leading the only remaining avenue being, to absorb the cells, and adapt her own cells to mimic their properties.
With great curiosity, and anticipation, Riley finally absorbed Superman's blood, taking in the red and white blood cells, and allowing her body to adapt to his DNA.
Riley felt her body change, as her cells, reshaped, and developed new parts, and functions. She felt her cells begin to drink in the sunlight, barely being produced in Kamui. Like solar radiation panels, her cells began to absorb the sunlight.
Riley chose to speed up the process, removing some of the cloud cover in Kamui and allowing rays of sunlight to strike her directly.
Riley could feel it more definitively. Her cells were taking in the sunlight, metabolizing it into energy, and storing that energy. Riley felt her body adapt to some Kryptonian genetic traits. She felt her brain mutate, developing the parts necessary to control Kryptonian powers, she felt certain new organs begin growing within her, her magic generating them as beneficial traits to her body. Being that these were all physical abilities of a Kryptonian, if Riley wanted to use them, she'd need to mimic a Kryptonian's body, at least for now. Once she learned to mimic these powers, and functions with magic, she could do whatever she wanted with her physiology.
By the time her adaptation was finished, she had become a sort of human-kryptonian hybrid. At least in body.
With her evolution complete, Riley set about studying her body. She began running more tests, running scans, seeing what new organs developed and why.
For days, Riley tested her body's adaptations. Running through all of the evolutions, all the while feeding sunlight into it. She cleared away the cloud cover in Kamui completely and allowed the rays of the sun to bare down on her.
After a few hours, her body began producing a sort of electro-magnetic field, like a force-field around herself. Just like the one produced by Superman's body. This field covered her from head to toe, covering all of her body, only a millimeter or so above the flesh.
This force-field would render her nearly invincible to any attack that couldn't disrupt this field. From what she gathered from her fight again Superman, magic, and attacks of incredible physical force, could disrupt this protective field. The field itself was weak against magic, but on the physical side, the energy needed to break through the barrier and deliver a blow was incredible, at least on the level of someone like Guy. Yet even then, Kryptonians possessed heightened regenerative powers, and heightened endurance, meaning physical attacks were largely ineffective unless you were capable of delivering blows as powerful as Tsunade Senju. Jonin of significant levels of strength may be able to break through this barrier, but it was doubtful they could hit hard enough to deliver fatal injuries to the Kryptonian in question.
While having it was a useful benefit, being a demon meant that purely physical attacks couldn't kill her, meaning physical strength were largely useless against her. This force-field being weak to magic, also meant that it did little cover her against things that she was vulnerable to, like magic.
All in all, largely useless in it's current state, but Riley was certain she could adapt this field, and alter it's properties.
Her cells were now constantly absorbing and metabolizing sunlight, and turning it into energy. That energy was then stored in her cells, in a sort of bio-cellular matrix. It was a new, and unique type of energy, that certain parts of her body called upon in order to function. For example, as a demon, most of her body still just used magic, but the Kryptonian parts, used this secondary energy source, drawn from her cells.
She'd need to find a way to adapt those parts of her Kryptonian physiology so that they used magic, instead of solar radiation.
A few days later, and another new power manifested. Her cells were unused to drawing in sunlight and storing energy from it, so it took time for them to fully adapt. With each passing day they grew more efficient at the task. She assumed that for someone like Superman, he could regain lost energy very quickly, for her it would take time, at least for now.
The new power she adapted was the ability to see through solid matter. Similarly to the Byakugan, she could begin to see through things using a type of X-Ray Vision. From Superman's memories, she expected this power, and was largely uninterested in it. Since she could already see through solid objects with the Byakugan, the only benefit that X-Ray Vision, granted her was the ability to see through things that were shielded by magic. So things that used magic to obfuscate what was happening within them. Such protections were rare, and most of the time, purely accidental, and came as a byproduct of an intense overflow of magic, rather than an intentional protection. It had it's benefits, but they were incredibly minor.
She soon gained another new power, this one, did actually have a greater value, and left Riley and Kurama absolutely dumbfounded for days.
Riley's eyes gained a new level of perception, developing the ability to see things at a microscopic level. To her amazement, she could actually see the cells that made up a blade of grass. She could look at her hand, and see the cells of her skin. Focusing her gaze, caused her to see more clearly. Using the Telescopic qualities of the Rinne-Sharingan, she was almost able to zoom in on her hand, and start to see the parts of the cells, and then the pieces that made up those parts.
Like she was experiencing an LSD trip, Riley sat in an open field for hours on end, just staring at things.
At one point she went an hour without blinking.
It was absolutely mind-blowing, how powerful, her ocular perception had become.
"There's no way in hell, your mates don't notice this when you go back. Hell, I can hardly believe the things you're seeing. I'm pretty sure at one point you pushed your sight deep enough into that blade of grass to the see the plant's DNA." Kurama noted, while Riley was in the middle of her mind-trip.
This evolution took Riley completely off guard. Luna had once spoken to her about how Riley never seemed to miss anything with her eyes, how she could catch almost every detail around her. Well that was most definitely true now.
The final mind-blowing extent of her ocular trip, was when she had it start raining in Kamui and she focused her gaze on the water-droplets falling from the sky. Her gaze focused in on them, and she could actually see the water molecules, making up each droplet.
Riley had to take, a break after that. She just sat in the field, in the middle of a rain shower, with her eyes closed, just taking in, what had happened to her.
This mind trip, was like a mental flashbang, for Riley. She'd never imagined what seeing things on this level could be like. It caused her to take a few hours to mentally unwind. She was unsure how long she'd spent gawking in Kamui, taking in the raw beauty of everything around her. It had probably been days, maybe even a week or two.
It was simply unbelievable.
Suddenly, an idea struck her and she shot to her feet. Rain still fell from the sky, as she shut her eyes, brought her hands together and breathed out a fireball. She waited for the fireball to race a few dozen meters before exploding, to finally open her eyes.
When she did, she got to watch the explosion erupt in slow motion, using the perceptive qualities her eyes had always possessed, now with the ability to take in a level of detail, Riley, and her party of demonic companions got to watch the explosion in the most exquisite detail.
"Oooh…" All three of them uttered in delight, as they watched every single facet of the explosion carry out. From the way the pressure of the blast, pushed the raindrops, causing them to break apart, and rushed outward. They got to see all of the colors of the blast, and every grain of dirt, or blade of grass that was torn up from the ground.
It was truly mesmerizing.
After taking in the sight for as long as it lasted, Riley was finally able to settled down, and return to her training.
She noticed that her healing factor was increased, by a small percentage, a few days later, and a few days after that, she began to develop an even more keen sense of smell.
Hearing came next, and this was one that Riley found greatly intriguing.
She awoke from a nap one day to find that she could pick up every noise in Kamui. Her hearing was already incredible, but this was pushing it to a level she'd never tried to reach before. Almost all at once, she could hear everything within the valley of her pocket dimension, which was strange because it was like she was everywhere, hearing everything, like their was no need for sound to actually travel to reach her.
She ran a few tests with this, and came to some fascinating discoveries.
She detonated a few bombs, far off from where she was standing, and found that she could clearly hear the explosion the instant that it occurred. She then heard it again, when the sound actually reached her position.
It quickly dawned on her that Kryptonians did not hear, the same way that other creatures did. Somehow, their ears could pick up sounds, without the sound waves having to reach them first.
It was truly fascinating, something that Riley would spend many long hours studying and trying to discern an answer to, while she continued with her training.
After nearly a year and six months, Riley had learned to harness Parallax's powers well enough to fully intertwine his power with hers. This allowed her to regain access to Bijuu Mode without much difficulty.
While dealing with the powers that emerged from her Kryptonian evolution, she also studied the abilities of the Yellow Power Ring, and devised a number of different methods of using it in battle.
At around the seven month mark, Riley found that the bio-magnetic field that was being generated around her body, was beginning to enhance her strength.
How Riley's strength worked, was that she possessed a level of physical strength that was immensely high, she then utilized Tsunade's ability to amplify her power, to increase the amount of force she delivered with each strike. Without amplifying her strength, Riley still possessed super-human levels, but she couldn't cause earthquakes, or crack open small mountains. With it though, she could unleash truly insane levels of power, just through physical exertion. The bio-magnetic field around her body, was now adding to the power behind her attacks.
It was like she now had two forms of amplification, both working from her base strength and then adding the effects together. In essence, when she threw a punch, the force behind it carried her base physical strength, which was then amplified by her magic, while at the same time, being amplified by this force-field.
These two separate effects, were giving her a noticeable boost in her physical strength. Riley hadn't noticed the field was increasing her strength until now, the effects had only been very minor before, yet now they were increasing as she drew in more sunlight, and her Kryptonian body parts, matured.
This discovery led to a new pursuit for Riley, a means to stack both amplifying effects together, rather than just add them on to each other. In Riley's mind, if she could find a way to cause these effects to work off of each other, than she'd have the ability to unleash absolutely monstrous levels of strength. In fact, if it worked as intended, it would be a level of strength that couldn't be matched by anything.
In her mind, the idea worked as such. If her base strength was one hundred, and she used Tsunade's Strength of One Hundred Technique to amplify her physical strength one hundred times, she'd have a physical power equal to about ten thousand when she hit. Now the field around her body was also amplifying her power, and slowly growing more potent, as she absorbed more sunlight. It was amplifying her base strength by about seven times. So her base strength being one hundred, her attack power would be seven hundred. How it worked now, was both those numbers, ten thousand and seven hundred were added together when she struck. If she could develop a means to stack those amplifications on top of each other though…
The Bio-field would have to come first as a biological part of her body. Base strength times the amplification. Again using the same numbers, you'd get seven hundred, but then if she could multiply that number, with the Strength of One Hundred Technique, she'd end up with a power level of seventy-thousand, rather than ten-thousand-seven-hundred.
This was how she explained it to Kurama, when he asked about her sudden excitement.
He too became excited when he took in the scope of just how much stronger Riley could be, if she could find a method of stacking these effects.
Riley was already an absolute titan, when it came to her physical strength. Her raw physical power was comparable to that of the Ten-Tails, when she was using all of her strength. Her strength alone could reshape the world, if she wanted it to, and this new power could push her even beyond that, if she could get it to work the way she wanted it to.
There was also the unknown to take into account as well. At the current moment, after only a short time of drawing in sunlight to fuel her new body parts, this bio-field could amplify her strength by seven times, but Riley hadn't noticed it before because it was too weak. That meant that it was getting stronger. How high could it go? How many times could this field amplify her base strength? If it reached a level comparable to Tsunade's technique, then at the very least, Riley would double her physical power, and if she did find a way to stack them. Well, if it made it up to a hundred, then using her previous math, that was one hundred, times a hundred, times a hundred. If Riley was already strong enough to crack open mountains, what kind of physical acts could she accomplish with that kind of impossible strength?
Needless to say, this idea swallowed up a lot of Riley's time, as both demons agreed that learning to stack these two effects would be an incredible boon to her.
It was while Riley was focusing on this new area of study, that she, Kurama, and Parallax began to discuss how they were going to go about drawing out Elder Elizabeth's agents, and breaking free from her plots and plans.
Riley's decision to 'go against the grain' was a good one, but she needed more than that. That was just an idea, a few words, it wasn't a plan.
So the three sat and discussed what they could do. First was to pinpoint allies, those that could help them, those that were most likely, not Elizabeth's agents.
Allies themselves would be difficult to pinpoint. They were looking for people who were least likely to be manipulators, people that were either operating wholly independently, or those that were more like followers. With the latter though, they had to be cautious, as just because a person was a follower, did not mean they couldn't be used to manipulate Riley.
The purpose was to find those that was were guiding Riley and her family towards this final battle, and put a stop to it. The best way to go about doing that, was to walk a different path, and see who tried the hardest to get Riley back on track, or to direct her in other directions.
"Well, this is not going to be fun." Kurama surmised.
"Tell me about it. I've got to find a way to do this without just being an obstinate dick to everyone I meet." Riley thought back.
"Hey that might be kinda fun though." Kurama noted.
"Yeah, but I don't want to ruin every relationship I've ever had." Riley responded.
"Well yeah. I'm not saying you go around intentionally doing the opposite of what everyone else suggests. That would be annoying, and as you said, it'd ruin all of your relationships by painting you as an absolute bitch. I'm not sure how we go about this though. How do you go against the plans of some master manipulator, when all you know is the end goal? You have no idea how exactly they're manipulating you, nor do you know who the ones are doing the manipulating. It's troublesome." Kurama stated with a hum of annoyance.
"The answer is simple. You do not work against their plans; you merely forge your own path. Choose which direction you wish to go, and forge ahead. Those that seek to control you, will reveal themselves, the further along this path you march." Parallax stated, earning a thoughtful look from Riley.
"Forge my own path huh? I know what I ultimately want, my paradise. I focus too much of my attention on just Albion, and not enough on improving my skills, learning what will be needed to build my paradise. I need to focus more on that, more on preparing myself, and setting the foundation for what I'll eventually build. Albion is a good learning exercise. Playing the role of a princess, I'll get the chance to learn how to rule, and how to guide people on a macro-scale." Riley thought to herself.
"That means no more sitting back and letting Artoria or Daphne handle everything. It's time to get involved and take in all the experience that you can. Learn how to rule over people, how to keep them happy, and under control. Meanwhile, you can work on developing the skills, powers, and abilities needed to construct this paradise of yours." Kurama suggested to her.
"That could work, there's also the Unitologists, I can use them to learn about how humans react to certain decisions, and how they can be guided, manipulated, and controlled. "Riley noted as well.
"The Earth is a doomed world. Even if we achieve victory, his invasion will drag this world into the Dark Realms, and any hope of it's future will die. Preparing an alternative, is the only way any human will survive." Parallax pointed out, causing Riley to remember the nature of Luna's vision of the Day of Wrath, and how she described the Earth being consumed by a red sky, and the sun going out. Parallax was right, there was no future for the Earth, if the invasion did occur. If the mere presence of this Archdevil, was enough to drag the Earth into another dimension, then the only hope for mankind was for Riley to build her paradise away from the Earth, and send those she wished to survive, to that other place, before the battle began.
"It's kind of maddening to think about. All of our work, all of our time spent on the Earth, and it'll all probably be for nothing, in the end." Kurama growled out with a sigh.
"Yeah, it's annoying. He's right though. If the Earth is dragged into the Dark Realms, then humanity has no future. If I want to save them, I have to focus on building my paradise, and using it as a kind of ark to save those that I wish to spare from the coming doomsday. The world itself, is most likely doomed, but that doesn't mean I can't save others from the coming destruction. I can't use Kamui, because it's wholly tied to me. I still plan on fighting this Archdevil, and if he manages to kill me, my Kamui dimension may be destroyed. I have to create a place that I can control, but that isn't tied to my existence, so that if anything happens to me, it can still go on." Riley thought to herself, considering the possibilities and what she could ultimately do.
"Well let's start with the possibilities. A new planet out in the universe, it'd be the easiest to create, and maintain, the downsides would be, it would also be easy to find, and easy to attack. Second possibility would be a pocket dimension of sorts, a self-contained space. Much harder to create, but also much harder to locate, and attack. Third option, a new universe, a place entirely separate from our current universe. Probably the hardest to create, and currently outside of our ability to make. It would be the hardest to invade though, and unlike something like a pocket dimension, it wouldn't require your magic to keep it intact, it could function on it's own. There are variations of these three ideas, and workarounds with all of them, but they each have their own benefits and drawbacks." Kurama laid out his ideas.
Riley was silent as she considered the options presented to her. Her paradise was meant to be a safe place, so she definitely wanted it to be somewhere hard to reach, but she had to be careful with where she set it up, and how. Things like pocket-dimensions were tempting, but they often had to have doorways leading in and out of them. Like the Bending Nations. That was an entire solar system contained within the shell of a giant dead turtle. Something like that was tempting, but Riley didn't like the idea of a doorway being the only thing stopping someone from invading her paradise. This was definitely going to take some thought.
The three remained in discussion for many long hours before Riley returned to training. Ultimately it was decided that she'd need to investigate alternate realities, other dimensions, and things of the like to find the safest, most stable platform to build the foundation of her paradise. All she knew for certain from this discussion was that this wasn't a problem that'd be handled overnight, and that she'd need to create a place that she could control, but that could also survive without her.
Over the next few months, she'd return to this conversation with her demonic companions, to trade ideas. At around a year within Kamui, Riley began to miss her mates.
In spite of herself, she couldn't help but be become distracted with thoughts of them. It didn't take long for her thoughts to take a turn towards the intimate, and that was when she learned that she now had access to a new power.
It was as she was thinking about her mates, that she felt power build within her eyes. Suddenly, and without warning, beams of energy erupted from her pupils, striking the ground infront of her.
The appearance of this power caught her off guard. It took several long minutes to stop the beams from blasting out of her eyes, and when it finally stopped, Riley was left standing before burned hole in the ground and wondering why that had happened.
She knew that it was another of Superman's powers, as she had felt the sting of it before, but she didn't know why it had suddenly manifested like that. It took a bit of testing, but she was able to get it to happen again, but repeated her earlier actions, and thinking about her mates.
Eventually she discovered that it was passion that made the beams appear, or at least triggered them. By allowing herself to feel things intensely, the power would manifest in her eyes. Lust and anger were the easiest methods of triggering the power, but she found that pretty much any emotion could draw forth the eye beams, she only needed to feel it intensely.
Once she knew what the trigger was, Riley began learning how to control it. It took nearly a month of practice, but she was finally able to trigger the ability without needing to spend a lot of time drawing up her desires.
Once she had mastered the ability to activate the power, she set about honing her control over it.
From her studies, she made some very interesting discoveries. She learned that she had immense control over how the eye beams worked. Heat Vision was what it was. She was releasing absorbed energy, in the form of thermal energy. She could control the intensity of these beams. With enough focus she could weaken them to the point of being able to set cloth on fire after a few seconds, or on the flip side, she could strengthen them enough to burn through solid stone. The heat produce by her Heat Vision, could reach temperatures greater than lightning.
The intensity of these eye beams would also determine if a person could see them or not, with the naked eye. Since it was just thermal energy, at lost enough temperatures, it wouldn't be noticed, but on higher ones, it would appear as two solid beams of light, erupting from her eyes.
With some further testing, she found that she could manifest this power from all five eyes that she possessed. Her two normal eyes, the one on her forehead. The Rinnegan in her palm, and the Sharingan at the end of one of her tails.
This opened up a wide array of offensive means by using any one of these eyes as a vector for this attack, though humorously, one day Kurama asked what would happen if she used the Byakugan while using her Heat Vision. Would the beams still just shoot out of her pupils, and hit whatever they were aiming at, or would the Heat Vision, strike at everything she was looking at?
The answer came when Riley tried this out, and subsequently blew a hole through the back of her head.
Kurama and Parallax spent a good hour laughing at Riley as she cursed and writhed in pain. It seems that she could, in-fact, use the Byakugan to strike a target in any direction, though if there was something in the way, that too, would be struck, which included her skull.
After she recovered from the pain, she was able to find the humor in what had happened to her. Thankfully she hadn't tried looking in every direction when she used the two powers together. Had she tried that, Riley expected that she would have blown her entire head off and burned much of her body.
Learning to shoot beams of heat from her eyes, was certainly an entertaining experience, if nothing else.
Days went by as Riley's powers continued to grow, when suddenly, inspiration struck her.
She was beginning to notice that there was almost no limit to the amount of solar radiation that her body could absorb. She could sit out in the sun all day long, and her body just kept drinking it in, and storing the energy it provided.
If her cells could just keep storing solar energy, did that mean that their limit was infinite? Like if she sat in Kamui and absorbed sunlight for a hundred years, would her Kryptonian abilities keeping growing stronger?
It was as she was contemplating the nature of how her cells stored solar energy, and she was struck by a curious thought. What if she could modify her cells to store and use magic, instead of sunlight?
Her body, constantly produced magic, the only limit to it, was how much energy she could store at once, what if she had cells that acted like Magical Coils, that could just continuously fill with magic?
If something like that were possible, then it would be theoretically possible for her to always be storing excess power, and she could amplify the amount of magic she could hold. Hell, even if there was a limit to how much magic her cells could store, it would still increase the amount of magic she had, if each cell in her body, was now acting as a storage device.
The only downside would be that if Riley's body was destroyed, the energy in those cells would either be destroyed, or be released. She'd need to find out which. If it was destroyed, then it was no real issue, Riley could regenerate, and she'd just begin filling them once more, but if it was released, that could potentially be disastrous.
Still, despite the possible dangers, the benefits far outweighed them, so Riley began her experiments.
Her starting point came with drawing up information collected by Hashirama from his studies of the captive Sound Ninja Jūgo. This sound ninja had been captured during the Fourth Great Ninja War. Hashirama had taken to studying his unique abilities, which included the ability to naturally, and constantly draw in Nature Energy. Hashirama had studied him for a time, and being tied to the Gravemind, all of the things he learned, were available for Riley to view, by simply consulting with her familiar.
Once she had taken the time to go over all of Hashirama's findings, she set about replicating Jugo's cells, and the way they constantly absorbed Nature Energy. Once that was done, she set about adjusting them to absorb her magic.
This process took several days of trial and error, as she used her demonic magic to mutate the cells, so that they'd begin absorbing her magic. Once she was successful in getting that to work, to turned to studying her own cells. She studied how they absorbed sunlight, and how it was absorbed, and compared that to how the cells she'd created, absorbed her magic.
After a week, she had a great enough grasp on how both cells operated, that she set about creating a new form of cell, one that absorbed magic, namely Riley's specific magic, and absorbed it, like how Kryptonian cells, absorbed sunlight.
It took nearly three months, for her to create a cellular type that achieved her goals. She stood over a petri dish of these cells for several hours, channeling magic into them, all the while watching with her Rinne Sharingan as they consistently and effectively absorbed her magic.
To her surprise, she watched as the cells metabolized the magic, and turned it into a new form of energy. It was something akin to the energy that was formed when her cells absorbed sunlight, but it was more magical in nature. Whatever this energy was, it was new, different in a way to her normal magic, almost like it had undergone some sort of refining process.
She'd have to study it, but first, she needed to see what the dangers were, so once she had gathered enough magic in these cells that they were positively glowing, Riley set the petri dish on fire, and watched as the cells died.
To her surprise, and joy, she found that the energy dispersed into the land and air around it, without killing everything in it's path. Riley was left to conclude that because of the Ten-Tails, her magic was enough like nature, that it could be harmlessly absorbed, that or this new type of energy was less virulent and deadly than her normal Youki. Either way, she was greatly pleased to see it.
Though it did dampen her prospects a bit, that her cells were changing her magic into a new form, as that meant that she'd either have to learn to harness this new form of energy, or somehow convert it back into her normal magic.
Still, this was an incredible boon, that would allow her to enhance her Kryptonian powers, using this new form of energy, rather than sunlight, meaning she would constantly be charging these power reserves, and from what she could tell, this new form of energy created by her cells refining her youki, was even more potent than the energy made by metabolizing sunlight, so she'd have to experiment with it, and see what would change.
This was one of the first times that Riley had modified her body so deeply. Usually, she just adapted or changed organs or appendages that appeared on their own, but this was an intentional change, to something else.
With excitement, trepidation and a bit of fear, Riley set about modifying her Kryptonian cells, to this new format, allowing them to begin feeding on her magic, instead of sunlight.
Riley felt it almost immediately upon completion of the process. She could feel her magic beginning to flow in every cell of her body, and she could feel how every cell began to drink in the energy.
Something incredible soon began to occur, as her Kryptonian powers, began to run off this new energy that was being generated and stored by her cells.
Even after only a few minutes of exposure, Riley felt her powers return to their previous levels, and then begin growing past them.
The force-field around her body began to rapidly grow in strength. Riley could feel it dancing across her skin. She felt her senses grow even more keen, and when she tried to use her Heat Vision, the beams that erupted from her eyes were blue, instead of red, and burned even hotter than before.
Excitement built in Riley's chest, as she vaporized a massive swath of field before her. The heat that expanded outward from where the beams struck, caused fires to burst to life in an instant.
She let out a menacing chuckle as she held up a hand and clenched her fist.
She then threw down a punch into the ground, unleashing the power of only her base strength, amplified by the bio-field around her body. The end result was an explosion that upturned a square mile of earth.
The ground shook, as the shockwave rippled out. It felt like a large chunk of Kamui had begun shaking from the force of the strike.
Riley rose from the chaos of the explosion and hovered into the air, staring out at the devastation. Her smile grew larger as she took in the measure of her new powers.
"Incredible. Truly incredible. Even if you can't find a way to stack the two amplifying effects onto your physical strength, with these new enhancements to your body it will, at the very least allow you to double your attack power. Possibly even more so. Wow." Kurama offered to her in praise.
"This ability truly is extraordinary." Riley thought to herself, with a smirk.
"Now all you need is to learn how to manipulate this new energy form that's being stored in your cells and you'll be golden." Kurama offered with a note of approval in his voice.
"This energy is unlike normal magic. It's almost like some kind of synthetic magic. I'm not quite sure how to place it. It's strange... Very strange. Have you ever seen anything like this?" Riley directed her question to her demonic child.
"Such an energy is foreign to me, however something about it seems more focused, more refined. It is as if this new energy is magic given physical shape. We must study this." Parallax replied with curiosity.
"I agree." Riley stated as she flexed her muscles and felt the power contained within them.
For the next several weeks Riley and her demonic companions experimented with this new form of energy.
After a bit of trial and error, Riley found that she could manipulate this energy though it quickly became apparent that this energy wasn't purely magic. It was a magical energy but after being metabolized by her cells it had changed into something more physical.
This energy couldn't really be shaped into spells or jutsu, it acted more like a liquid in how it moved, and acted so it made it exceptionally difficult to get it to work for magic. Even using a focus like her staff didn't help.
What Riley did find was that the energy could be used as a fuel source. Similarly to how it fueled her Kryptonian powers, it could also be used to fuel her other physical abilities. Essentially anything that was a function of her body that only required magic as a fuel source, she could use this energy for.
And it proved to be extremely efficient as a fuel source. Riley found her body was stronger than before. Her physical senses were more sensitive. Not to mention the boost provided by the Kryptonian DNA she'd absorbed.
It took only a day or two after converting her cells to this new form for them to fully charge. It seems there was in fact a limit to how much of this magical energy her cells could store. But much like a muscle, these cells could be improved.
From what she observed so far, her cells could quickly convert raw magic into energy, once they were full, they'd continue converting magic and storing it just at a much slower rate.
If Riley expended a large quantity of this energy and allowed her cells to recharge, she'd recharge to whatever limit her cells were at before she had used the energy. So in essence, her cells were constantly improving upon themselves to store more energy. It was a slow process but it was constantly occurring.
As long as Riley was fully charged, her cells would continuously increase their storage limit.
It was difficult to tell, but the speed of this improvement was incredibly slow. About a fraction of a percentage every week or so.
Because this energy type only worked as a fuel for her physical abilities, that meant that Riley had to get creative with the abilities she tried to fuel with it.
All of her Kryptonian powers were fueled by it. All of her body's functions could be powered by it. Powers like her ocular perception were improved but she couldn't use this energy to launch any of the Rinne Sharingan's offensive jutsu.
She could use it to fuel physical abilities though, like she could use this energy to harden her skin, using the ability she'd learned when she ascended to the Seventh tail. This allowed her to further increase the density of her flesh to the point where it, combined with the force field projected over body was enough to stop Kurama from cutting her in half when he swiped at her with his full strength.
She was still thrown through the air but he was unable to slice her with his nails thanks to the power of these two abilities working in tandem.
It was Parallax who speculated that if she used the Yellow Power Ring to add yet another layer of protection over her body she'd effectively be indestructible.
Her flesh would simply be so impenetrable that any attack that could break through the ring's shield plus the force field produced by her cells wouldn't have enough power to then damage her body.
It made her essentially indestructible to all but the most powerful of magical attacks. Other physical abilities she could fuel with this power were her strength and speed. It was a unique dynamic because this energy could be used two-fold, due to the Kryptonian evolutions she'd undergone. The first was that this power fueled the bio-magnetic field around her body, which affected her strength, speed, acted as a shield, provided her protection, and things of that nature, while the energy could also be used to power her muscles. Using it, instead of her normal magic, caused her muscles to respond with about a thirty percent greater efficiency.
Thirty percent was a helluva power boost for someone as strong as Riley, and that was to her base abilities, such as strength, speed, and reflexes.
Needless to say, Riley was very pleased with her current endeavor into Kamui. Absorbing Superman's DNA had already provided her more boons that she could have ever hoped for, and she was certain it'd continue paying dividends in the years to come.
For months, Riley practiced with her newfound powers. She gained greater control of this new energy, and adapted the powers of the Yellow Power Ring, to her fighting style. Riley was most pleased with all that she had acquired, though it was Parallax who revealed that there was so much more that could be gained. Due to a demon's ability to adapt without limit, so long as they had the means to know what they were doing, that meant that she could absorb the best racial traits from various aliens across the stars, without needing to learn magic in order to unlock them. Because these would be purely physical traits, they could be absorbed, and used to enhance the strength of her body.
That wasn't to mention the various alien magics from across the stars. Parallax himself was a being that was near Omnipresent, due to his ties to fear and his age. If there wasn't a fear based entity in close proximity to a population, that the fear that population felt, most likely, fed Parallax, because of that, he had a connection to almost every species, race, group in the universe. That connection wasn't overly strong, and it didn't provide him much information when it came to those feeding him, unless he got close to them, but he was alerted to those who caused great fear. He was also connected to each of the Yellow Lanterns, and if he were to focus, he could almost feel what was happening around them.
The Fear based, sensory power, was one that Riley developed due to their bonding. Much like Kurama's Negative Emotion Sensing, Parallax could sense the fears of any person he was connected to. Simply by focusing on them, he could know their fear, entirely. From the little things that spooked them, to their worst nightmares.
Now Riley possessed this Fear Sensing ability, allowing her to identify the fears of any person or creature she came into contact with. It would allow her to know their deepest fears at only a glance, and that coupled with the ability to use either Genjutsu, or the Yellow Ring to project their fears, meant that she had a way to easily debilitate any of her enemies.
Parallax assured her that the magics of Earth, barely even scratched the surface of what was out there. Riley may have mastered much of what the Earth had to offer, but she was nowhere near finished with all that she could gain from just this planet, when considering the rest of the universe, Earth was a drop in the ocean of what was out there.
Parallax himself knew of several alien races that possessed unique physical traits which would be of great benefit to Riley, if she found and absorbed some of their DNA.
There was also the other Emotional Spectrum entities. Parallax was certain that the Predator and the Butcher would willingly bond with her, in order to unite their powers against the Archdevil that had triggered all of this to begin with.
And on that note, Riley questioned her demonic child on how to one went about killing an Archdevil.
"Killing an Archdevil is no trivial task. It is at once, easier than killing an Archdemon, yet has the capacity to be infinitely more complex." Parallax answered.
"How so?" Riley questioned.
"An Archdemon is the source of all of it's power. Archdevils, and Archfiends, often have outside sources. Devils more than fiends, but still. You are a prime example. You are the source of all of your power. Yes, you gain some through worship, but compared to your total power, it is nothing. In most cases, only the truly mad, worship Archdemons, as there is often nothing to worship beyond sentient chaos. To worship an Archdemon is to generally worship nihilism, and an end to all things. You are unique, and hold onto you intellect and sanity, making you appear more like a Devil, but you are still the source of your own monstrous power. Our foe, is an Archdevil, most of his power, comes from elsewhere." Parallax explained to the two.
"So that's what you mean by killing an Archdevil is no trivial task. For demons, all of there power is self-contained. It's all right there in front of you. Yeah it's gonna be hell defeating them, but there's no real smoke and mirrors. For Devils, the majority of their power comes from other things, like rituals, magical objects, worship, and sacrifice." Kurama offered up, earning a nod from Riley as she understood what they meant.
"So, in order to kill this Archdevil, we need to find the source, or the sources of his power, and destroy them. If we're very lucky, it'll be an object, or a number of objects that make him so powerful, and if we're very unlucky, it'll be a fuckton of worshipers, who are fanatically and blindly loyal to this thing, willing to sacrifice even their own children for it. If that's the case, then this becomes more difficult than it already is." Riley rationalized.
"Yes, I suspect more so the latter, unfortunately. At best, a combination of the two." Parallax said to them.
"Why do you think that?" Riley asked.
"He refused to fight you. Despite having more power than you did, he chose not to engage you in battle. The only reason I suspect he would refuse to do such a thing, is because you could too easily invade his realm and slaughter his power source. You have the power all beings of darkness crave, and because of that, he fears what you could accomplish if he is not careful." Parallax explained, earning curiosity from the both of them.
"Wait, what is this power you're talking about? I thought he was after one of your siblings, not Riley?" Kurama questioned.
"The Rinne Sharingan. The power to open dimensional portals, on a whim. That is the power he, and all others crave. For Devils, even as powerful as this one, he is still limited by his ability to cross over into the physical realm. He needs a portal to be opened, and it's near impossible to do it, from that side. You need someone on this side to construct a gateway to maintain the portal, on top of opening it. Otherwise, whatever comes through will then be trapped here, once the portal closes. The Rinne Sharingan, has the power to open portals to other dimensions, other realities, other universes. If you wanted, you could freely travel to the Dark Realms, and then travel back, using the power of your eyes. It is why the Ōtsutsuki covet and protect the God Trees, so fanatically. If creatures such as us, were to get out hands on them, we could steal the Rinne Sharingan, from them, and use that power to go wherever we pleased. It is also why, fusing with the God Trees is so taboo, as you're creating a demonic entity, that can go anywhere it pleases, and invade any reality is so chooses. This Archdevil is greater than you in raw power, but if you fought him, and escaped, you would be free to counter-attack whenever you wished, while he would be forced on the defensive, and be unable to retaliate against you, if you were here, in the physical realms. You could attack him, but he couldn't attack you. It is because of this, that I believe at least a large portion of his strength, comes from the peoples he had conquered and enslaved. They are forced to worship him, forced to make sacrifices in his name. This powers him, grants him his mighty strength, but these lives are feeble, and you have the power to easily wash away entire worlds. Even if his worshipers consist ofquintrillions of beings making-up hundreds of thousands of civilizations, spread across a million worlds, that is still a manageable target for a being your power." Parallax laid it out for the two of them, giving them a moment to digest all of this information.
"He's right Riley. If what he says is true in regards to the Rinne Sharingan's powers, than that would mean you could invade his realm, destroy a planet and retreat to the physical realms and he couldn't follow you. With the amount of power you have, wiping out an entire planet wouldn't take much time at all, maybe a few moments, at most. Let's say he does have a million worlds under his control. You destroy one a day, that's less than three thousand years. For an immortal being, that's nothing. For something like him that's probably been around for millions or possibly billions of years, three thousand, is like the blink of an eye." Kurama stated, causing Riley to nod in agreement.
If everything that Parallax was saying was true, than she could understand why theRinne Sharingan would be so highly coveted by demon-kind. The power to go wherever you wished on a whim. That was power, beyond imagining for beings who's only real limit, was where they could go. That still left her with questions, one of which, her son hadn't answered yet.
"What about Kurama's earlier question? I thought he was after the child connected to all my feathers? And why is it, that it's so difficult for beings of the Dark Realms to invade reality?" Riley inquired.
"Yes, that was his target, and he most likely sought that child for two reasons. One was that he had the magical potential of the Rinne Sharingan in his body, thanks you your ties to him. The other, was his unique power to exist fully in multiple places at once across time and space. The thing about this child of yours, is that he could never be separated from any piece of himself. Even if that piece was separated by time and space, he could still be connected to it, and react around that piece, as if he were actually there. Realistically speaking, he was. He possessed the power to exist fully, in multiple places, at one time. Such a power, would make a demon, invincible. Truly, invincible. Imagine if you could create multiple copies of yourself, and each copy, was entirely you. Despite there being more than one of you, each copy, was wholly you. They weren't clones, but rather you, existing in a separate place, to another version of yourself, and each version was the same entity. They all shared one mind, one soul, one truth, yet they could exist in multiple places and times, at once. My dearest brother, is invincible, in a way that is more concrete than any other being I've ever come across. So long as one copy of him exists somewhere, he can never truly die. He can separate himself as much as he wants, and still be his whole self. Imagine if you had that power, to make other yous, each with the same power, each with the same mind. Every thought and experience one had, they all would. Brother, is a being capable of achieving true Omnipresence. If he split himself enough, he could one day spread across the entirety of the multiverse, to inhabit every world, every moon, ever inch of every universe. And he would experience all of reality, of every timeline, instantly. Such an experience would likely drive him insane, but he has the potential to achieve it. His only limit, is that he has to be able to go to a place, to leave a copy behind. If he developed the Rinne Sharingan, than there would be no limit to how far he could spread." Parallax answered the first question, allowing the two some time to digest that.
"The power to exist in multiple places at one. It's as you said, it would truly make someone invincible if they had this power. I'm guessing though that because you said each of these copies has one mind and one soul, that they also have one magical system. So if one were to use a lot of magic, the other's would feel the drain of it. Which is why this son of mine hasn't attacked this Archdevil, and destroyed him. In spite of the scope of his power, he himself isn't as powerful. He may be as invincible as a being can be, but he's not all powerful." Riley surmised.
"Indeed, yet in the hands of a powerful Archdevil, this ability would ensure that he could never be destroyed. The creation of Avatars in a one thing. To send out a clone of yourself that is lesser than the original. Such is a rare ability among gods, but far from impossible. The ability to exist in multiple places at once, would allow you to keep one copy of yourself in safe location, and send out as many other copies as you wished to perform as many tasks as your wished, and so long as you could regenerate magic fast enough, you'd be able to unleash your power on a scale, unheard of. Or, in the case of this devil, he could send a copy of himself through to the other side, and have it wander the universe, opening portals in the physical realm, without the need for sacrifice, or major rituals, then the original can just send copies through to conquer each area in turn, and drag it to the other side. At least, that's what I would do with such a power." Parallax continued on.
"And on that note, why is it so hard for a demon to open portals to the physical realm from within the Dark Realms?" Riley inquired.
"I am not sure. I believe it has something to do with the barriers between the Physical realms, and the Dark Realms, and how they were made. It makes it difficult to break through them, though it is infinitely easier to do it from our side of the great divide. If I had to make a guess though, it was probably a protection put in place by Life itself, or possibly even the forces responsible for creating the physical Realms. I have no proof of this, so my logic could be faulty." Parallax answered her.
Riley was quiet for a few moments as she thought on that. While it did raise her spirits a bit to have some sort of plan to use against the Archdevil, that didn't make the task any less gargantuan. If all of his greater power, came from belief and sacrifice, than that meant Riley would have to slaughter untold trillions just to weaken him enough to fully destroy. As Kurama had said, even with the power to destroy and entire planet, destroying one planet a day, meant that Riley would spend over twenty-seven hundred years fighting a war against this devil using hit-and-run tactics. Hell if she destroyed one planet, every hour, and used Kamui to rest between attacks, it would still take her over a hundred years, of nonstop carnage, to take out a million worlds.
Impossible for her? No. A useful fallback plan? Certainly. Open to all sorts of downsides? Yep.
Because of the Rinne Sharingan, Riley had the means to invade this devil's territory, but that didn't mean he wouldn't know when she showed up. He would also know what she was doing pretty much immediately and he'd set a trap for her. Also there was the fact that the portals her Rinne Sharingan opened were not solely locked to her magical signature. If she was distracted, even for a moment, while one was open, he could jump through it, and into the physical realms to attack wherever she was attacking from.
So while it was nice that she finally had an answer for how to defeat this Archdevil, that didn't mean it was the best one, or even preferable for that matter, because this plan was strongly tied to the idea that most of his power came from worship. If a large chunk of it came from a magical artifact, or some kind of other power source, than she had an entirely difficult problem to deal with.
From what Parallax had explained to them, Riley was a threat to this Archdevil, because she was powerful, and had freedom of movement. She wasn't stronger than him, but she had the means to be a danger to him, if he wasn't careful. In spite of his power, he wasn't going to risk giving Riley a means, or a reason to attack him, not until he was ready to face her.
So for now, Riley had no choice but to tuck this information away as a possible back-up plan and focus on what else could be done.
"Alright, let's circle back to the Elder Elizabeth problem. The three of us, can't do this on our own, and if I don't start finding other people to trust, I'm gonna start going stir-crazy. At the current moment, any one of my friends or family, could be witting, or unwitting agents of Elizabeth's, so how do we go about removing people as suspects? Who can I trust?" Riley questioned the two.
"Well you can trust the other Tailed Beasts." Kurama suggested.
"You think so?" Riley asked back.
"Think about it, we're mandated by the Sage to fight against any dark invader that comes to attack our world. So long as we're here on the Earth, we have to defend it against demonic invasion. So, Elizabeth wouldn't need to manipulate or recruit any of the Tailed Beasts to work for her, because we'd all do what she wants anyway, which is fight this Archdevil when it arrives. Plus, as demons, we're more knowledgeable than humans, so she'd have a harder time manipulating us." Kurama explained his logic, earning a slow nod from Riley. Parallax offered no complaints to the idea, so Riley tucked it away as a possibility.
"Who else?" Riley put out there.
"Well there's Tom." Kurama noted after a moment of contemplation.
"You think she wouldn't use Tom to try and manipulate me?" Riley inquired.
"No, I don't think so. Follow me here, Tom stuck with us through the Fourth Great Ninja War. He could have been a tool, even a prime suspect as a point of manipulation. But then the war ended, and Tom went to teach at Hogwarts. Despite the fact that he's literally bonded to you as a familiar, you two haven't spoken more than a few words to each other over the last few years. Aside from the handful of times you've seen him, usually as a guest at your weddings, he's normally spending all of his time at Hogwarts. Hell he's rarely even at Wizengamot meetings. He may have been a useful tool for her once, but if he was one, he's served his purpose." Kurama stated.
"That's true. I'll have to give old Tom a visit." Riley agreed with her demonic partner.
"Hmm… I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head. Give me some time, I'll probably think of some others." Kurama said to her after a few moments of thought.
"Any ideas from you?" Riley questioned Parallax.
"None of your friends or family, stand out as definitive, at the moment. I will observe them for now, and come to decision later. There are others, we could turn too, even if only as allies of convenience, having them for the future war, could be of benefit, and it would open certain doorways to us." Parallax offered after a few moments to consider her question.
"Who would these allies be?" Riley asked.
"The Guardians of Oa, and their Green Lanterns. When this Devil attacks, we will need all the help we can get to defeat him. The Guardians and their Green Lanterns have always had a vested interest in protecting Earth, they will ally with us in that conflict, but if we move early enough, we may be able to harness powerful resources from right under their noses. Such as tissue samples from the Guardians, allowing you to take on some of their inborn gifts, as well as giving us a way to locate Ion. My Mate will surely aid us, if only I can make contact with it." Parallax put out there, earning surprise from Riley.
"Didn't the Guardians of Oa hunt you down and imprison you and Ion for millions of years? I understand that they'd have an interest in protecting Earth, but why would they ally with us? Why would you even want to ally with them?" Riley inquired in response.
"I do hold great hatred for them, but not so much that I cannot see their usefulness. Besides, approaching them as allies, would open the doorway to strike at them, when they least expect it. The Guardians belong to a species that was one of the first group of sentient beings in the universe. Taking their DNA and using their bodies unique traits, will be of benefit to you. Plus the means of finding Ion, not to mention, it would reduce them as a threat for the time being. I would suggest you offer to speak with them, tell them who and what you are, and why protecting the Earth is so important to you. Hide your true intentions, behind the truth. The Guardians, despite their holier-than-thou appearance, have turned to evil in the past, to get what they wanted. They have committed unspeakable acts, to achieve victory. I know the darkness that lies in their hearts. They can be manipulated, and by manipulating them, we gain a powerful ally, and one who will one day, willingly turn their back on us. Beyond that though, the Guardians also know the location of Ophidian, one of the Predator's mates. Finding him, will help us in gaining Predator's allegiance, when the time comes." Parallax explained his reasoning to her.
Riley took in his suggestion and mulled it over. She didn't know much about the Guardians of Oa, beyond what was shared by her son, and what she'd learned by absorbing members of the Sinestro Corp. The Guardians were powerful, very powerful. Possibly strong enough, that united they could defeat her. Bringing such a power into her life, made Riley uncomfortable, but despite her discomfort, something inside her told her this was the direction she needed to go.
She needed to break the mold, go against the grain, if she wanted to lure out Elizabeth's agents, and find out who, if anyone, was actively manipulating her, and who was truly loyal. Riley was the paranoid sort, so she'd normally never try and mess with beings that powerful, but because of that, she knew it was something, no one would expect from her.
It was a gamble, a big one, but if she played her cards right, she may just get everything that Parallax hoped for. At the very least, the Guardians knew where two of the Color Entities were. If Riley could find them, then that was three of the seven she'd be allied with. Hell, Ion may even want to bond with Riley, in order to be close to it's mate, which would grant Riley the strength of Willpower, on top of Fear. A possibility for now, but one that was definitely enticing.
"Alright, how do I get into contact with these Guardians?" Riley asked.
"Find the Green Lanterns, and tell them about the Yellow Lantern's attempt to recruit you, and your desire to speak to the Guardians. That should set things in motion. The only warning I'll give, is to not accept any offer to go to their homeworld. If things turn violent, Oa is where they'll be strongest. Offer to meet them here, or on the moon, but not Oa." Parallax answered her, offering a warning as he did.
"Well, I have an exciting day planned. I've got to go set up a meeting with the Green Lanterns, and I've got a son to go a meet. Fun, fun." Riley hummed.
"Planning on calling it quits?" Kurama questioned, in regards to her training.
"I've hit a plateau. I think it's time I head back." Riley responded, earning a hum from Kurama that seemed to be his form of acceptance.
With a roll of her shoulders, Riley exited Prime Kamui appearing back in her room no more than an hour after leaving.
-Riley's Home, London Albion-
Riley quickly descended the stairs, to find Kaede and Kushina in the living room, with Lucille, Elric, Anna and Elsa. Three of the six of them were watching TV, while Elsa played with Lucille, using her ice magic to make twinkling crystals, that earned giggling from the baby
"Riley, hello. What's up?" Kushina inquired, upon noticing her watching them from the living room entrance.
"Nothing, just enjoying the sights." Riley responded with a gentle smile.
"Back from your training? Get everything figured out?" Kaede asked, turning her gaze to Riley. She stopped when her eyes fell upon her mate, as if taking in something unusual.
Riley knew that she was most likely seeing the magical energy being stored in Riley's body. It made her seemingly glow with light, to magic-sensing eyes.
"I most certainly did. I'm gonna run out for a few hours, gotta go meet one of my kids. This Lex Luthor. I didn't get the chance to before I was kidnapped, so I might as well go now." Riley said to her mate, earning a nod from her as she continued to stare
"Okay, will you be back tonight?" Kaede questioned curiously, blinking, as if trying to comprehend what she was seeing.
"Of course my love. I'll see you all soon." Riley offered to them before heading out the door. The moment the front door was shut behind her, Riley focused her senses, and began tracking down her pal, the Green Lantern John Stewart. Once she had a lock on him, she lifted into the air, and began shooting through the sky.
Another power that had been enhanced by her absorption of Kryptonian DNA was her ability to fly. Flight came a bit easier to her now. She could now move faster, and maneuver better in the air. Just another benefit of her endeavors
Within moments, she found herself above a massive sea of makeshift tents, on the edges of a city. Hundreds of thousands of people, displaced by Second Impact, had been forced into tent cities like this, just so they'd have some shelter. She scanned the crowd and quickly spotted John, helping out people by handing out clothes.
He was out of his Green Lantern getup, and appeared to just be helping his countrymen. Riley chose to wait, by disillusioning herself, and hovering overhead.
She knew that his Green Power Ring would alert him to the use of magic nearby, and as if on queue, he began to glance around.
He scanned the area for a few moments, before helping the remainder of the people in front of him, and then departing. He walked through the tents, scanning the area for the source of the magic, all the while Riley followed him from overhead.
Once he was isolated, between two large tents, Riley dropped down from the air, landing in front of him. She quickly dropped the spell, allowing him to see her.
He tensed, the moment he laid eyes on her.
"I come in peace." Riley offered, raising her hands.
"What do you want? Shouldn't you be preparing for the peace talks?" He asked her, narrowing his eyes at her, though his hands remained tucked into his jacket pockets.
"I wont be there. I'm not interested in making nice with the Americans. I did make the offer to Superman, and so far they're holding to some of their end of the bargain, but I'm still waiting to hear an actual admittance of guilt for what they did to Alma. I doubt I'll get it though, which is why I wont be participating, I'll just cause a ruckus if I'm there. I'll let the Queen handle it. I trust her to make the right call. If things go south, and we're still at war, fine by me. If peace talks lead to actual peace, than that's even better." Riley said to him, earning a sigh from the man.
"Well then what is it you want? I'm not interested in fighting if that's what you're here for." John stated with a shake of his head.
"I'm not here to fight, like I said. I actually came to talk to you." Riley responded, earning a blink of confusion from the man, that then morphed into curiosity.
"You wanted to talk to me? What about?" He asked her.
"You know what this is?" Riley inquired holding up the hand with the Yellow Power Ring on it.
John tensed in an instant, fear flashing in his eyes.
"Where did you get that?" He asked, nervously.
"The Sinestro Corp, tried to recruit me, after my attack on the East Coast." Riley said to him, lowering the hand back to her side.
"Tried? You refused?" He questioned.
"Well they kidnapped me for one. I don't like being stolen from my home and sent to another universe for three fucking days, while my people are at war. Barely got past introductions before I grew tired of their shit, and well, caused a ruckus." Riley explained to him, grinning evilly at the end.
"What did you do?" He asked, disbelief dancing in his voice.
"Killed a few hundred of their members, slaughtered a few million Quardians, and then bombed the fucking planet with meteors. I think the planet survived, but I left before the meteors touched down, so who knows. Regardless, I got my point across to Sinestro. I don't like people lording over me. I don't like being kidnapped. And I most certainly don't like that they stole three days from me." Riley answered, her smile growing more cruel as she explained her actions.
John stared at her for several very long moments before letting out a sigh.
"What is it you want from me?" He asked her.
"I want a meeting with your bosses. I want to talk to them, I'm willing to come to an arrangement with them and their Green Lanterns, so long as it benefits the Earth and my people. Tell them if they agree to speak to me, I'll meet them on the moon, neutral ground, as it were. As an added bonus, here and now, I'll swear on my life and magic not to bring any form of physical or mental harm to any members of this meeting, so long as they don't attempt to bring harm to me. So I have said it, so mote is shall be." Riley said to him, sealing her promise of protection with a magical pact, making sure to place emphasis on it being this specific meeting where these protections were in place. So long as no one tried to attack her, she would not do any harm to them in return.
John Stewart was most definitely shocked by this. He stared at her for several long moments, as he took in her words. Finally he spoke.
"Why do you want to meet with them?" He asked her, his gaze filling with suspicion.
"I want to discuss a potential alliance. Tell them, that I'm willing to reveal the truth of my existence to them, if they meet agree to come to this meeting. I'll tell them exactly who and what I am, and why I'm here." Riley answered.
He stared at her for several long moments before taking a step back, his eyes lowering to the Yellow Power Ring on her hand. His gaze lingered on it for a moment before he lifted his gaze back to her, and offered a nod.
"I'll agree to bring this message to them. I can't promise they'll agree, but I'll let them know." He said to her.
"I appreciate it. Let me know what their response is." Riley said to him, earning a nod from the man as she lifted into the air.
"You should get rid of that ring. Fear is a dangerous and addictive power." John said to her, his gaze following her as she ascended.
"I know. Come to the meeting, you'll understand why it doesn't matter if I have this ring or not." Riley said back to him, before shooting off into the clouds.
John stared up after her for several long moments, before letting out a sigh.
"Please let this be something good for once." He thought as he continued on his way.
-Metropolis, United States-
Clark Kent strolled out onto the balcony of his apartment, as a familiar heartbeat caught his ears. Their, hovering before him, was the princess of Albion.
"What are you doing here?" He asked her with confusion.
"I was wondering if you'd be willing to make introductions for me." Riley inquired with a smile, earning confusion from the Man of Steel.
It was time to make another gamble, go in a direction she wouldn't normally go. Riley was going to roll the dice a few times, and see what happened, all the while, she'd watch the reactions of everyone she knew, and track down any of Older Elizabeth's agents. It was time to get off the railroad her daughter was keeping her on, and the best way to do that was to make waves, and see who complained the loudest, and who put the most effort into getting things back to the way they were.
It was a game Riley hated to play, but she was going to see it through to the end, and find out, just what it was, that her mysterious time traveling daughter was after.
-To Be Continued-
Alright guys, here's the next chapter. What's Riley planning with Superman, it probably has something to do with Lex, but we'll just have to see. Riley's meeting with the Guardians is gonna be interesting, I wonder if they'll learn about Parallax and how they'll respond to that. Or if they learned that Riley was the mother of three of the Emotional Spectrum Entities. Definitely gonna be fun.
Question, anyone got any interesting ideas for love interests for Riley's children? As the story progresses they're going to be tagging along with their mother for more and more adventures. Right now only Elsa is in a relationship, aside from that, Eleanor and Elizabeth have the hots for Itachi, but beyond that, most of Riley's children are flying solo for now. I get a lot of cool ideas for children, but I can't use all of them, simply because there would be too many as just kids, Riley does have a shit ton of children, but it's not outrageous for her partners. Riley's mates birth a realistic number of children, usually no more than five, plus there's the ones they impregnate Riley with. With that in mind, let me know if you have any ideas, or really any interesting ideas for the story, I love to hear them and discuss them with you guys. I've got one message chain that's over 4000 messages long, talking primarily about this story. So I'm more than happy to talk stories with you guys.