"Y-Yes, Eisen?" Dien asked with a stutter caused by nervosity, before the old man answered again. "At first, I obviously didn't like you, but if you're someone loved by Bree, then you can't be a bad guy. Sorry for treating you so roughly before."
"No, it's fine! You don't need to apologize, I know I did many bad things, so I get that you don't trust me." Dien said, quickly shaking his head, but Eisen replied with a simple sigh accompanied by a light smile.
"Let's just leave it at that we both have things to apologize for, shall we? No need to fret over it anymore, what's done is done. Either way, we'll leave you two alone in a bit, and you can catch up then. I have something to tell you all about the situation here." Eisen told them, before everyone chose to take a seat around him and he slowly explained everything that was currently going on with the last shard, the other originals, and Ailren as well, before talking about what he wanted to do.
"First, if possible, I want to get the shard as quickly as possible, maybe even today, since I won't wake up for three days once I go to bed the next time. And I'd like to avoid a fight, I really just need to get the shard. Tomorrow, Aylrentyrth will be here, so we won't need to worry about protection in case they want to get back at us, and we're leaving the town in a few weeks anyway."
"Yeah, that may be so, but it's not as easy as you say it is. Their whole base is basically completely surrounded by their goons. They aren't strong, and they're very very dumb as well so it wouldn't be hard to overwhelm them with tricks, but considering their numbers it still won't be easy." Xenia explained after what Eisen just said, and the old man didn't need to think for long until he came up with a plan.
"So their mental stats are their weakest, huh? I have a pretty good idea on what I should do if that's the case. I don't personally like it, but it may be the best thing to do." He said, before Kiron looked at him in surprise, trying to figure out what he was talking about.
"M'Lord, you don't mean using that form, right?" The half-dragon asked, but Eisen quickly nodded. "No, I mean exactly that. I'm going to use my 'Golden-Eyed Demon' Form to scare the goons away, and I'll complete my form as well. And I'll need the help of all of you to even further increase the effects."
Now, everyone looked at each other in concern, before Eisen began to confirm what everyone could do, and how it would fit into his plan. "Dien, you have some kind of Ice or Frost element, right? Can you make some kind of cold mist with that?"
Confused, Dien quickly nodded, slowly holding up his palm to demonstrate, a cold mist that would give you goosebumps immediately flowing out of his skin. "Yes, that's not too hard."
"Perfect. Sky, do you know any Horror Stories that you can use with your element?" Eisen asked next, and now it was this young Fey-Kin's turn to shine. While he was still staring down Dien as his sister leaned onto the Half-Elf's shoulder, Sky slowly nodded. "It's not a really a horror story, but there's something that can help you."
After rummaging through the pile of books inside Bree's backpack, he quickly took it out and flipped to the right chapter, while Xenia was leaning in with an especially high amount of curiosity. Quietly, Sky prepared to cast his spell. "The Devil's Spawn, come out." He exclaimed, before the room was filled with a bright light and the letters on the pages of the book Sky was holding slowly flew off, starting to form a small body. It seemed somehow monkey-like, and it was only the size of Eisen's lower arm, but it had a rather thin and long tail, small, bat-like wings and two small spikey horns on the top of its head. It was completely pitch-black all over, with the exception of its eyes that were as white as fresh snow.
"I see. It doesn't look like something you'd need to be scared of, though." Eisen muttered quietly, "I was hoping for some kind of item… But what can this 'Devil's Spawn' do?"
"Ah, it's his stare. People that look into his eyes are more easily swayed by raw emotions. Meaning, after that, your demonic form will work much better, right?" Sky suggested as he unsummoned the Devil's Spawn again, and Eisen quickly nodded.
"I see, that's perfect then. Before we go there, just summon it again and have Bree transfer mana to you so that you can keep it up for a while. Kiron, you please stay around me in case I need combat support. Komer, you please stay outside and make sure nobody comes too close to the building. You should have the highest Charisma out of everyone here, so it should be easiest to convince others for you. Caria, Melissa, you go with me too, so that you can restrain some enemies and so that we can have the Scout Bees could quickly grab the item if needed. I doubt that this ringleader guy would be dumb enough to just carry the shard around with him at all times, and I think he should have somehow managed to manipulate the curse so that he could keep it somewhere safe where we could then just take it." Eisen explained his thoughts, and everybody seemed to somewhat agree to the suggestions and the rough plan that Eisen came up with, and only Xenia had something to say about it.
"I mean, I guess that's fine, but we don't even know where the hell the shard is supposed to be." She said, but Eisen slowly nodded.
"Yes, and that's where you come in, Xenia." As Eisen said this, he slowly activated his Flame of the Earth Transformation as well as his Truth Seeing Eyes skill before continuing. "You're going to help me complete my Demonic transformation. Also, you said you can somehow feel mana, right? Then if such a sensory thing is possible passively, would it be possible to make some kind of Curse-Radar with your magic or sorcery?"
"Sure, I can help with the transformation. And now that you mention it, making something like a radar shouldn't be too hard, but if there are people that can feel mana similar to how I can, we're going to be in trouble."
With Xenia's explanation, Eisen quickly shook his head. "It doesn't need to be perfect. With my Truth-Seeing-Eyes, I can see the black mana given off by the shard anyway, so we'll only need to know the general vicinity. We have a while left anyway. I think we should be there at around dusk, if possible. So till then, we still have enough time to prepare."
And as such, the group then chose to spend the next few hours doing just that, and everyone split up into a few smaller groups, but before then Eisen wanted to ask Sky some questions.
"So, Sky, what's your occupation now?" The old man asked, before Sky grinned happily and began to explain. "Hehe, I'm an Inkheart Storyteller now! It strengthens all skills related to reading, writing and speaking, as well as my element and magic in general. And I got a skill as well! It's called 'Storyteller's Library', and it lets me save information about books right now, and tells me how 'connected' I am to them, meaning how strong or stable the things and creatures I summon from them are. I think this is the type of thing through which I can store actual books later."
With a smile, Sky crossed his arms, and Eisen chuckled softly as he saw this sight. "Haha, that's quite interesting. Then we'll really need you to level up, huh? After all this is over, we're going to go to the nearby dungeon, so we should get you to level up as well."
"Yeah, that would be great! It's pretty annoying to be only at level 15 at my age…" He sighed out, and chose to sit down on his bed to read the story of the 'Devil's Spawn' again to strengthen his connection with it for later. So now, Eisen could continue working on his Demonic Transformation, despite not being quite happy with it. But scaring them away was far easier and a far better choice than blindly attacking them. It may further his reputation as a Demon, but that really wasn't important to Eisen at this point. One of the conditions to become a real demon was to 'Go to hell and back', and that really wasn't anything that Eisen was planning on ever doing. As such, even if he completed his transformation, he would hopefully never become a True Demon that was feared by everyone.
"Alright, Xenia, do you have any idea on what I need to complete my transformation?" Eisen chose to ask in the end, and Xenia, who Eisen guessed to be quite knowledgable about all things related to Fiction, Demons, Myths and Magic, quickly began to tell him her ideas.
"You need a few things to start it off! First, you need awesome wings! Then, some horns and a tail as well! And obviously we can't forget some proper claws either. Maybe make your teeth a bit sharper as well." She suggested, before Eisen quickly got onto those ideas. Until now, he had really only been simply transforming his body by covering his inside with his transformed mana, and hadn't been using it outside of his body on top of that.
The first thing that Eisen added to his body were the horns, as he had a pretty clear image about those. What he went for were horns in the spiraling shape of a ram's horns. The way he made those was by simply turning his element completely toward rock to at least give them a horn-like texture.
Similar to that, he then began working on his wings, which he wanted to make like those of a dragon. First, he began working on the thick 'bone-like' parts, forming them out of his full earth-transformed element as well, and then created the thin membrane inbetween those parts out of his regular element. Luckily, since it was simply magic, he didn't need to wear something special and could simply form those wings outside of his jacket while making it look like they were directly connected to his body.
He did something similar with the tail that Xenia suggested, simply forming it outside of his pants and with his element turned halfway toward the end of the earth-scale. With this, he already seemed to look a lot more like a Demon, even in Eisen's own opinion.
Now he worked on his 'claws', which Eisen simply created by adding a sharp bit directly connected to his fingernails, and then created his fangs by doing the same to his teeth, the latter feeling especially awkward and weird to him. In the end, Eisen chose not to use these, since they would probably just make it a lot harder to properly talk when he needed to.
All these parts were then saved as individual spells so that Eisen didn't need to manually form them like this later, but he still wasn't fully finished.
"This does look pretty good already, but I think we should do something to accentuate your eyes more, considering that they are the main thing in your title. Maybe we should work on your whole face a bit more. Right now, everything there is kind of glowing because of the flame part of your element, so maybe it should be turned a slight bit further toward earth to make the light that's supposed to be there stick out?"
"I get what you mean. I'll do just that, then. Tell me when it looks good." Eisen explained, slowly manipulating his element in his head to turn it more into rock, while still keeping the general feeling and the flame parts of his element somehow included, simply less bright.
And so, soon enough, Eisen completed his demonic transformation.
Eisen quietly leaned back on his chair and looked at the two of them standing in front of him, slowly staring at the Blood-Chimera Elf Halfling. "Dien." He said with a loud and clear voice, before he himself lightly jumped.