Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 180 Moria
Dorian’s first glance of the world caused him to be taken aback.
It looked nothing like what he would expect.
When he heard the phrase “Blighted World” he expected to see a planet that was desolate and filled with death, ravaged by Demonic beings.
Yet the world before him seemed to be healthy and teeming with life.
He saw a colorful landscape full of flowers and trees, with warm sunshine shining down on the swathes of healthy grass that spread out across the land. A large mountain range could be seen off to the left, while a large plain, full of more flowers and trees, stood directly in front.
Vaguely, in the distance, Dorian could make out a castle, set several dozens of miles away from the World Bridge.
‘According to what I’ve learned, the Blighted World is a world that is united against any non-Demonic creature and full of Demonic remnants. I never actually read a description of what the world looked like, though…’ He looked around in mild surprise.
The World Bridge itself was barren, all the way to the point where it touched down on Moria. Apparently the only ‘life’ that could exist within this range was that which was directly part of Moria.
‘I don’t see any moving figures…’ He observed quietly.
While he could see what appeared to be plant life living cheerfully, he didn’t see any bipedal creatures, or even insects.
Everything was also eerily quiet.
The soldiers waiting behind Dorian all looked on quietly, a unique feeling sweeping over the crew. A feeling of anticipation, of nervousness, of excitement.
“Let’s move forward, men. Let us see what Moria has to offer.” Dorian broke the silence, his voice sounding off in the air full of bravery and power.
Without hesitation, they began to move forward.
The Moria Liberation Army, plus Mello and his men, jogged down the length of the World Bridge. They were still a few miles away from Moria, looking down on it from above.
As they ran, Dorian made his way over towards Fabian. The Captain’s team was centered right next to him.
As he realized that he was a bit underprepared, he figured he’d start up a quick conversation with Fabian. The warrior liked to inform Dorian, often unnecessarily, about the risks they were taking and likely would come in useful here.
“So this is Moria, huh?” He began, speaking as he ran. They were moving as a unit at a fast pace, it would take around a minute to cross into the world itself.
“Yes, Holy Highlord.” Fabian responded, bowing slightly as they moved. The rest of the Shades were spread out, keeping watch on their surroundings.
“We’ve reached the outer facade of Moria. Don’t let the cheerful exterior fool you, Holy Highlord. None of those plants or trees are truly alive. In actuality, they are all dead or dying.” Fabian nodded at Dorian, motioning at the world before them.
“It has quite the facade.” Dorian muttered, glancing at what Fabian waved at, the countless patches of grass and trees that seemed quite alive to him.
Fabian simply nodded, his eyes alert and keen as he kept his guard up.
Soon they reached the edge of the World Bridge, where it connected to Moria. Their force moved almost as one over it.
As soon as Dorian stepped foot on the planet surface, he understood what Fabian meant.
‘The air… what is this feeling?’ He blinked slowly, spreading out his senses.
Everything around him… it felt incredibly still. The grasses and trees that appeared to be teeming with life now seemed frozen, unmoving and deathly. Everything was still cheerful and colorful. But Dorian could sense something that made it all look subtly different.
‘There is no energy in the air.’
When on any other World, there was always one constant thing that Dorian could always feel. The Laws of the Universe and the background energy coursing the air. This energy was like the heartbeat of the universe. Much of it he could do nothing about and only unconsciously felt. He hadn’t even been that aware of its presence before right now.
However, when you took it away… he suddenly felt incredibly vulnerable. It was an odd feeling to have something you depend on suddenly become hard to grasp.
“Ready up, Shades!” Fabian’s voice boomed out, quickly echoed by Ayra and Horbold.
“Energy flows weirdly here, so conserve what you got! Drawing on the Laws ain’t easy and you’ll tire quickly!” His voice carried with it his usual confidence and demeanor, somehow managing to shake off the pall that had fallen over the group just due to how sheerly loud the King Class Mystic Martial Artist was.
“To the first castle!”
Dorian did possess some knowledge of at least the makeup of Moria. The planet was far smaller than a normal world, for reasons unknown. It was only around 150 miles wide. He could see the curvature of the world, though it had been more pronounced when looking on it from high up on the World Bridge.
There were several strongholds spread throughout the Blighted World. Demonic remnants moved about near each of the strongholds, from what he had been told. Great treasure could be found in the strongholds, if one managed to survive exploring them.
For, there was a reason Moria had never been cleansed, despite powerhouses like the Church of Light, the Dukes of Shadow, or the Shade King existing.
It all had to do with the suppression of Laws on the planet.
Law energy ran out quickly and was difficult to replenish. Even for a powerful Angelic Class expert, this world could quickly become very dangerous.
Dorian and his allies began to move forward without hesitation. The eerie atmosphere did nothing to stop the bravery of the Moria Liberation Force, each one of the Shades was here of their own volition. After all, everyone that had sought ‘Lord Inigo’ out to join his army was someone that wanted to put a dent into the Demonic remnants here, no matter the risk.
Dorian was more than willing to help them with that. It was a win-win situation for him and them.
They crossed several hundred meters of grassy plains. As they moved forward, a few of the Shades split off from the group and raced ahead, acting as scouts. Everyone conserved their energy, not wasting any Spells.
A few tense minutes passed without a sign of anything. Dorian, Mello, and the rest made steady progress across the frozen landscape.
The grass underfoot crunched as they walked over it. While it appeared to be alive, in actuality, all the flora here was dead. There wasn’t even a breeze in this still world, everything forlorn and tired, covered in a veneer of life.
It was here, when they were several kilometers deep, growing closer to the castle they were heading towards, that they made first contact with a Demonic remnant.
The initial attack didn’t come in the form of a large horde of charging creatures, nor from a long-range strike or blast from above.
Instead, it came in quite an unusual form.
A sneak attack.
But not one aimed at Dorian.
Instead, it was aimed at Captain Fabian.
“Keep on moving! Make sure the scouts have a clear line of sight all the way back! We don’t want any surprises!” Captain Fabian was constantly issuing orders. Dorian acted more as a figurehead, allowing the more experienced warrior to command the troops. The grizzled veteran was an accomplished fighter, after all. Even the other two King Class Mystic Martial Artists acceded to his orders.
They had no intention of trying to sneak up on anything. There were around 100 Shades, plus Mello, all moving in a huge group. In this still and lifeless world, they stuck out like a sore thumb.
Just as Fabian was in the middle of issuing orders, something shot out from the ground directly below him. It moved so abruptly and instantaneously that even Dorian was completely taken by surprise.
“Wat-” Before Dorian could shout out a warning, the creature had already struck.
A meter long worm-like creature that appeared to be made out of pure white bone, with a pair of red eyes and glowing white mandibles had blasted out of the ground like a spring. Its body was covered in a faint white light as it moved, enhancing its speed and impact.
Species: White Demon Worm (Desiccated)
Class – Lord Class (Middle)
Maximum Energy Level: 41,330
“-ch out…” Dorian’s shout of warning fell to the wayside as he saw the aftermath of the attack, his eyes widening.
Captain Fabian’s arms had blurred as he reacted instantaneously to the threat. As a hardened King Class Mystic Martial Artist, Fabian was a master at hand to hand combat, with far, far more experience than Dorian. He was constantly on guard and eminently prepared for any sort of surprise attack.
Thus, when the Lord Class White Demon Worm had burst from the ground, the Captain brought his right hand down in a piercing motion, as if it was a spear. His movements were launched out of pure instinct, like a technique he’d practiced over and over, tens of thousands of times, so much so that it became second nature.
The experienced warrior had pierced through the head of the White Demon Worm, killing it instantly. A powerful King Class Aura burst out for a split second, one that was tightly constrained to avoid wasting energy.
Shouts rang out as the other Shades turned towards the scene of the attack and then looked down, on full alert as they scanned the ground. The three groups all bunched up together. Dorian merged with them.
Just an instant later, several rustling sounds could be heard. Faint movement could be seen as the dirt underfoot shifted.
A literal explosion of force shook the air as several dozen Shades mercilessly ambushed the ambushing White Demon Worms while they were still underground, not giving them a chance to attack.
Even the weakest Shade here was a powerful and well-trained Lord Class expert, willing to give their all to help slay Demons. No one here was a coward or inexperienced. In fact, Dorian was probably the least trained fighter here, considering his situation. Thus, Dorian’s soldiers dug into the ground mercilessly, leaving no openings.
A huge cloud of dirt, dust, and broken White Demon Worm body parts were flung into the air as the attacking party was completely obliterated.
Dorian watched all of this happen, feeling mildly shocked.
‘Well… I guess my army is really strong.’ He blinked as the dust cleared, feeling mildly amused and not even a bit worried. He almost felt bad for the Demonic remnants.
After all, how many people would bring along a literal army when they went exploring for treasure?
If he had been alone, those White Demon Worms would’ve proven a deadly threat. Their method of surprise attacks while moving in large packs would’ve been a very real problem.
But he wasn’t alone. Instead, he was like one of those young masters from some stories he read back on Earth, using his wealth and influence to have over 100 expert bodyguards to help escort him. It was incredibly unfair to the Demonic remnants, not that he cared.
“Kill the Demons!”
Cheers broke out as the dirt clouds fell away, revealing a good two dozen or so ripped apart White Demon Worm corpses, and not a single injured Shade.
‘They’re Desiccated… just like the Grakons and the Giants back in Blizzaria…’ Dorian’s eyes widened as he looked at the torn apart corpses, realizing what he had scanned.
‘Does that mean I can absorb remnants of their Soul Spell Matrix?’
As Fabian was barking out orders to get the soldiers to reform, Dorian walked up to one of the dead worms, resting his hand on one that was only slightly ripped apart.
‘Ausra, can I absorb anything here?’ He mentally queried. While the creatures had an identical status as the ones on Blizzaria, that didn’t mean everything would be identical.
‘Scanning… Yes. Remnant portions of a Soul Spell Matrix exist. However, due to the desiccated status of this being, you can only absorb a portion of its Soul Spell Matrix. This White Demon Worm was a Late Lord Class beast in its prime.’ She replied, her voice ringing quietly in his head.
‘What about the Bloodline of the Demon?’ He was well aware that he was able to absorb the Bloodlines of creatures through their Soul Spell Matrix, as well as through their blood itself.
‘It is in a degraded state. If you absorb more versions of a White Demon Worm Soul Spell Matrix, it should be possible to piece back together a full replica, and recreate the Bloodline and its various Abilities.’ Ausra replied calmly.
Dorian smiled. Demonic Bloodlines were both rare and powerful. He only had a few random ones himself. If he could add a large number of powerful ones to his repertoire, combining them with his Balance Demon, Black Scaled Rage Dragon, or Void Raptor Bloodlines…
It was almost certain he would find some very powerful new forms.
‘Time to keep hunting.’