211 Chapter 208 A Mech For A Mage King
SUMMON ELEMENTAL (EARTH).
The giant magical alligator, former swamp king, answered his call. Joseph gave permission for him to come through his magical nexus and he emerged from his chest in spirit form.
People in the crowd cried out as the thirty-foot-long alligator emerged, climbing out and turned to gaze back at him.
"Why'd you call me? Some tasty soul you wanted to feed me?" asked the swamp king, not bothering to open his mouth as he projected his deep voice over the crowd, as if enjoying the awe, he was inspiring.
"No, they are still trapped. You can have them after we kill NURKONG," said Joseph, thinking of the three souls he had his dragon guarding in the treasury.
"I was joking you know," rumbled the alligators voice in amusement.
"At thirty-foot-long, and with a voice that deep, it's hard to tell. You should smile if you're joking," chuckled Joseph.
Stella shook her head. "Joseph, you're the only person here who could read an alligator's facial expression."
"Hmm. You've taken good care of them. I knew I could trust them to you," said the alligator king, glancing over those who had bonded with his subject spirits.
"Of course. Remember what we talked about before? If I ever made a machine worthy of a king, I'd call for you?"
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"You serious boy? I thought you…is that it?" He looked at the mech, turning his entire body around and circling it. "Boy, that thing feels like a dragon. This isn't something mortals should ride."
"But you aren't mortal, and I need to fight beings that aren't."
Stella stared at the swamp king as his jaws parted slightly in excitement. "Oh my, Joseph. Even I think he's smiling now."
Stepping back, Joseph looked over his mech with a scrutiny he had avoided up until now. He had wanted to avoid seeing something he might have missed, but as his eyes traveled over its interlocking scales, he couldn't think of anything that might be wrong.
The mech stood on two legs, with its tail supporting the upright posture. Two wings that could have passed as dragon wings, were folded back behind it, waiting for the command to spread out and take the whole thing into the sky. He had completely reworked the head, making it more alligator than human in appearance, so the swamp king would feel more comfortable in it.
The swamp king started laughing. It sounded like an avalanche.
"If you strengthen me, until I can control that beast you've made, I'll work it for you boy."
"The offer for resurrection ends if you get inside that," cautioned Joseph, preparing the necessary spells.
"I told you I don't need that. I had a good life and went out with a fine death. Though, getting to be that beast is enough to get my blood pumping again."
"But, you," began Stella, with a confused look.
"Figure of speech, girl. Alright, boy, let's get me worthy of that thing. I clearly haven't been growing at the same rate as the children I left you."
Joseph smiled. "Don't worry. You are mine. There are a couple tricks only I can do. For now, at least. They are getting better."
DUAL CAGED SUN.
Two caged suns appeared beside the mech. One glowed a brilliant blue and the other a magnificent red. Live and dead mana flowed into the mech through the power cables on the ground under each sun. With a terrifying screech the mech jerked like someone used a defibrillator on it. Lines of runes and mana circuits under and throughout the scales began to glow.
MANA CONTROL ABSOLUTE.
Joseph dominated the mech and the suns. Forcing the mana from the twin suns into both the swamp king and the mech they began to resonate. The swamp king stood up and began to take a hunched over stance on two legs, while the mech grew smooth and sleek. The scales merged as it almost seemed to breathe. The swamp king's new form sprouted wings and matched the form of the mech as the mech finished changing too. The pistons and pumps underneath the armor changed subtlety, but magnificently.
Stella stared. "Did your robot just get abs?"
Joseph couldn't keep the grin off his face. This was even better than he had imagined! He wasn't even upset that she was still calling it a robot.
Joe helped him as they cast together to fuse the swamp king into the mech.
PERMANENT MACHINE POSSESSION.
The mech and the swamp king roared to the sky. Everyone except Stella and Joseph had to cover their ears. The cables on the ground disappeared as the micro-gates initiated. The twin suns would permanently power the mech directly, through two micro-gates. They were small enough they wouldn't damage the barrier between realms.
"I name you Chuck," said Joseph with exuberance.
"I don't know that name, but it sounds powerful," mused the swamp king.
"One of my past lives, in another realm, heard about him. He was amazing. Supposedly, he got hot one time, so he made the sun cooler. I don't really understand how, as I'm pretty sure they didn't have magic in that realm, and I died pretty young."
"I like it." Chuck nodded as he flexed and sharp crystal edges appeared on the tips of his scales.
Stella nodded. "I like it."
Joseph jumped up into Chuck's hand as he leaned down, and Stella joined him.
"Of course. I'm looking forward to my powers with you, what was it? Oh, piloting. Moving on my own is nice, but I can't wait to try full power mode."
Joseph nodded with a smile, and teleported into the chest cavity, where he had a chair to sit comfortably in. His feet were encased in braces so no matter what muscle he twitched; it would transfer to movement in the mech. His arms were similarly encased, and Stella watched from a chair just behind him, as bits and pieces moved in response to every nuance he made.
"Joseph," Stella says, "last night we had reports of more sightings of movement in the wastelands. Once, or twice, I might dismiss. Let's be honest, once or twice we would never dismiss. Not while NURKONG hasn't been confirmed dead, but this has been four nights in a row. Are you sure this thing will protect us?"
"Yes, my dear Stella. The twin suns cycle live and dead mana at high enough quantities, and high enough rates, to purify the corruption from the outside before it reaches the inside. At least, as long as I'm in control. I attached hard points for the squad as well, so you can focus on controlling them instead of fighting yourself."
"That will have to do, I suppose," she grumbled, turning to see a helmet for her to put on. Slipping the golem statues into the chutes he had placed within her reach, she watched them slide into place.
"Technically, Stella, I think I could cycle my mana well enough to deal with the corruption thanks to mana control, but if I'm wrong, I'll be puking blood and directly injecting corrupted mana into myself while attempting to purify it. I'd rather not risk it."
Stella looked at him sharply. "No, you won't," she practically growled.
"Don't worry, I'd never risk bringing you if I wasn't certain Chuck and I could keep you safe."
"The fact you worry about me, more than yourself, is a little less reassuring."
"Wow, I didn't realize how awkward it would be to have you two flirting inside me," said Chuck with a deep chuckle.
Stella paused before saying, "What would you consider flirting, lizard?"
"Let's go, Chuck."
Joseph hit full power and they flew into the air before Stella could continue that line of thought. Below them, a cheer rose up from the people who were watching.