The First Lich Lord - C.191


The vindictive sneer on Theonis’s face froze in place and I smiled. I was going to get an ass chewing from Vito the next time he saw me, but it was worth it. I’d been worried when he said he would kill the others first, because I was the only one with a trap in my soul made by a very powerful vampire.

When Theonis attacked my soul, part of his mind followed that connection to direct the energy. When Vito realized what was going on, his first reaction, after everything settled down, was saying how stupid that was. Theonis, despite his strength, had never come across creatures that were capable of using soul energy. Or if he had, he didn’t know what he was doing. Friar Brown said the soul abilities were new to the high inquisitor, so I guess that explained why.

When he pushed his soul into mine and sent it across the connection between me and my phylactery, he greatly exposed himself. It was one thing to attack a soul directly in front of you where you had your full soul present, it was another to spread yourself out like that. That power was now trapped on the other side in a weave set up by Vito.

Once the trap had been sprung on the actionable part of Theonis’s consciousness, awareness returned to his body. He wasn’t even aware that his awareness ever left. Now he was stuck, he was aware, but couldn’t act.

“You stupid son of a bitch.” I repaired my body as I spoke. “I would tell you that you should probably either find a vampire or soul weaver to talk to, Friar Brown says there’s one around here, though I doubt he’s still in the city. But you’re not going to live long enough—not in the current thing you call life.”

With my arm fixed, Mercy snapped up and severed the tendons in the wrist that was holding me. I dropped to the ground. My mental connection to Shadow had the horse coming back to me along with the other mounts.

“Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what comes next, and I promise you will still die,” I said as I worked. I went to each of my trapped companions, using eldritch power in Mercy to work on breaking the chains.

I tugged at one with Mercy, but it didn’t break. “Man, these are tough. Any chance you could dispel them?” I looked at the frozen Theonis. “Right, my bad, you can’t do anything.”

The chains at my feet were already glowing with eldritch power, Othniel was trying to break free. I reformed Mercy into its plasma form and began to cut the bindings. “I do have to disappoint you, I’m not actually going to shove my hand down your throat to rip out your heart, it just sounds cool. I know you’re looking forward to it, but it’s far too complicated to actually pull that off. You’ll have to settle for my hand going through your chest instead.”

I broke Othniel free and went to Raven. I was out of his line of sight, but continued talking, knowing he could hear me. “Not to worry, I promise I’m going to put something in there to replace it.” As soon as Raven was free, I stepped in front of him and pulled out a death core.

“I know what you’re thinking, that’s just a regular death core created by a Lich.” I held up a finger shaking my head. Raven and Othniel were already working on freeing the others. “But I assure you it’s not. You see, Vito, the same vampire who trapped your stupid ass, killed this really powerful monster out in the death marsh. He got this core from it, a natural occurring death core from a creature over level 200, you know how cool that is?”

“I know you’re enjoying yourself, Zeke, but would you help us please?” Raven asked. “Those blood zombies are getting close, and we don’t want them to ruin the fun.”

“Okay, okay.” I smiled in his face, the desiccated flesh of my face twisting. “I gotta go, but once my friend, Freya—you’ll like her, she’s kind of hot—gets here, we’re going to have ourselves a little ritual. And then you and I will be the best of bud’s for the rest of eternity! I better gotta go though before Raven gets all stabby-stabby.”


“Why does this make you so happy?” Maxwell asked. “I thought you weren’t big on doing evil things, and this seems awfully evil.”

“I’ve been fantasizing about what I would do to this man for a long time,” I said. “And, not saying two evils make a right, not even saying what I’m doing is evil, but this man literally slaughtered civilians to create blood zombies, they don’t just spring out of the ground.”

This story has been stolen from Royal Road. If you read it on Amazon, please report it

“It’s not evil,” Freya assured Maxwell. “We are elevating him to a higher existence. If anything, what we’re doing is noble and right.” The fanatical fervor in her words was heavy.

“And he doesn’t get a choice?” Maxwell asked skeptically. “Seems like enslavement to me.”

“The living mind is easily deceived and fooled,” Freya said. “You should really let me elevate you as well.” She smiled mischievously at him. “The fun I would show you, you would write songs about it for the next thousand years. The binding to service is nothing more than giving him guidance in his early years in his new elevated existence. One day, the bond will dissolve and he will be free.”

“I have a girlfriend,” Maxwell said, flabbergasted.

“You do?” I asked. “In here or on Earth? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I knew,” Raven said. “He didn’t tell you because you’re going to be pissed.”

“Ummm,” Maxwell said. “It’s new and we’ve been really busy, so it just wasn’t something that was important to talk about, at the time.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. Of course that’s when Aaron and his team arrived, along with my sister, Jess. I looked at Jessica then Maxwell and took a step towards him. “You didn’t…” I was already reaching for his throat.

Freya’s loud clap drew my attention.

“We’ll talk later,” Maxwell said. When I turned around, he was gone, running toward Aaron and his team for protection.

“Zeke, time to get going.” Freya was impatient, there was a temple just waiting for her to take control of. She also got some kind of lewd excitement I didn’t want to think about too much when turning particularly powerful people.

I walked over to Theonis, who now had a ritual sketched out around him. I picked up his hand I put a few long pieces of bone I had prepared into the flesh around the wrist. I then carefully stabbed it onto the end of his stump. “You’ll want this.”

Theonis was stripped down to his undergarments. I made Freya leave those ones alone, there was no point in taking them off. I took out a death core from a cleric killed in this very square. He’d been strong enough to give a powerful death core, one I could even turn into second tier death energy. I thought this was a far better use for the core. Fortunately, his mouth was open, and I carefully put the core inside.

Freya began activating the ritual. Since I was part of it, I didn’t have to put my own power into it. I watched the divine magic swirling through and around Theonis. The ritual channeled divine energy. It wasn’t simple to turn someone like Theonis, but the results would be spectacular, or so Freya promised.

When the time was right, my hand incased in death energy shot forward like a claw. The magical resistances of his flesh had already been eroded. I tore out his heart, and in its place I put the death core. Theonis did not die during the process, that was why I had to wait for the ritual to reach the right spot. Similar to how I had converted players, only far more powerful.

That part done, I moved back and waited where I was supposed to. Power built and raced through Theonis. The hole in his chest had closed around the death core and the one his mouth exploded as more death energy pumped through his body. The natural death core at its center acted as the perfect conduit. His blood was infused and changed while his entire body was overwhelmed by a mixture of divine death energy and tier 2 death energy. At the very end, wisps of soul energy came from both him and me, creating a binding in the middle.

As the ritual completed, Theonis collapsed to the ground. “He’ll recover shortly, I’m going to go claim my new temple,” Freya said, already heading for the large temple. The insides of the temple had been purged of life already by her clerics. “With the soul connection, the trap will let him go in a moment.”

Theonis stirred several minutes later and got to his feet. “How do you feel, Theonis?” I met his gaze unflinchingly.

“I… don’t know.” Theonis’s reaction was not what I expected. “But don’t call me that anymore.”

“Okay, what should we call you then?” I asked.

“Matthew,” Theonis, now Matthew said. “It’s funny, I want to hate you, but I can’t.”

“I know,” I said, feeling a little weird. I pictured this as a fitting revenge, but it didn’t quite land. He seemed too tranquil. I scanned him.


Divine Living Dead

Level: 199

The divine living dead are some of the rarest to see. For a living dead to become divine they must either advance far in the service of a god of death or was converted after already becoming a divine race in the service of another god. Their bodies are capable of channeling great amounts of divine power, more than even their living counterparts. This makes them highly adept servants of death gods. This capacity for divine death energy however is not limited to divine. They are conduits for incredible amounts of first, second, and higher death energies as their bodies continue to advance.

Service of Penance: This being has sworn a soul binding service of penance, these can be sworn either willingly or by force if the life has been spared. The service of penance oath is not all-powerful, and if the holder of the oath pushes it too far it will break. Service of penance has a limited window of time before it will fade. This penance will last for ten years.

“I will not ask you to help me in this fight, that would be wrong,” I said. I was very intrigued by what he could potentially do, but I wouldn’t push him. Was I being silly? Yes. But it was one thing to forcibly turn the asshole into something else, it was another to force him to kill people he had once worked with.

I honestly didn’t think that making him fight with me would break the oath. I doubted he valued the other people around him overly much. It just felt like a step too far to me.

Then I saw my sister and remembered I had someone else I needed to strangle.

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