Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 195 Lord Inigo
After Dorian gained access to the Law of Pride, he tested it out slightly. The energy filled him with a not unexpected sense of superiority, enhancing the power and toughness of his body.
‘Pride is for the body. Greed is for the soul. Wrath is attacking energy. Gluttony is defensive energy. Lust is the perception of time. Sloth is for recovery.’ In his head, he listed off the various Demonic Laws he’d gathered, alongside the powers they held.
‘What on Earth could Envy give me, then?’ His eyes flashed at the thought.
‘First though… Let’s get this 6th Sealing Tube done.’
While the Demonic Shades were still cheering for his earlier spiel about the Demon Emperor, Dorian hovered his hand over the stone tube. Faintly, particles of light began to flutter off of it as he concentrated.
The world held down by chains appeared in his eyes once more. He ignored the fantastic image as he focused, clamping his hand down on the Sealing Tube.
“Hup!” Just like the previous times, he strained his muscles as he pulled on the tube, injecting it with energy from his soul. The Sealing Tube interacted with that energy, a feeling of strain settling on him as he began to pull it out
A large number of chains stretched taut in his vision. He continued to pull the tube, his muscles bulging.
‘Almost there… almost there…’ He mentally muttered.
He felt the chains grow taut, stretched almost beyond their breaking point. At the same time, the world around Dorian fluctuated with energy. The Laws of the Universe were thrown into disarray, becoming a confusing mess as reality trembled.
The watching Demonic Shades all looked on in awe, completely convinced of Dorian’s power.
“Hup!” He grunted out loud a second time and pulled hard.
The chains shattered. The world seemed to whiplash as the chaotic energy abruptly vanished, reality turning back to normal, as if the quaking energy waves had never existed.
“Ahhh.” Dorian tossed the Sealing Tube down as he felt a certain level of soreness in his arm, and deep within his soul. The strain of pulling out so many Sealing Tubes in quick succession was starting to take a toll on him.
A glowing portal of light appeared, floating at the back of the room, near the throne.
The Demonic Councilmembers congratulated him or commented on his success, eagerness in their voices. Each member, from Priscilla to Kantor, from Damal to Baron Radishow, had their fists clenched and their eyes shining. To them, this was the beginning of the greatest success for those that studied the Seven Great Laws of the Demon Race.
“Come, my fellow Demonic practitioners! To the last outer castle!” Dorian yelled out loud, motioning at them grandly.
“Yes, onward bravely!”
“Of course, Great Demon Disciple!”
The Shades all rushed in behind him as he stepped towards the portal. They were cheerful and happy, smiles shared all around. Like last time, Dorian had a couple of them run ahead and enter before he joined them, stepping into the portal of light.
‘Time to get the Law of Envy and finally finish up with the outer castles…’ Protective energy swarmed Dorian as he vanished, leaving behind an empty stone stage, the Castle of Pride falling into silence.
.. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Meanwhile, back in the city of Cracktyl, a very different scene was taking place…
“Bayran, do you understand what you are doing here?” Kanto Ren’s voice was dour as he spoke, darkness wrapping around him like a cloak. Spikes of dark shadow floated in the air all around him as he looked across the ruined street at the Shade he was facing.
“Duke Barmo invited you here to stop Lord Inigo… Yet now you are defending his wife? A traitor to the Shade race?”
After the battle broke out between the Shades defending the Royal House Inn and the attacking Shades from Duke Barmo, the street had become largely deserted. Dozens of shops had been destroyed, sending everyone nearby fleeing for cover in the large scale fight. The paved stone road itself had enormous gashes in it, giving the area the appearance of a ruined warzone instead of a populated city.
Bayran’s reedy appearance stood stalwart, an oversized cauldron held at the ready as he looked back at Kanto Ren.
“I was asked to come here to find out the truth.” He began, his words slowly and methodically sweeping through the air,
“I was told a fake hero was leading a group of brave Shades to their death.” His eyes gleamed with unknown emotion,
“I was lied to.”
A powerful Aura surrounded the Warrior-Alchemist as he stamped his foot on the ground, in a ready position.
“After being knocked away by the mighty Lord Inigo, I was flung through the air for several dozen kilometers. While I sailed through the sky, I had time to think. Was it my fighting technique that let me down? My own flaws? A mistake I made?” The Alchemist’s words carried with them a feeling of determination,
“I had an epiphany then, as I sailed through the air.” He nodded,
“I was so focused on my own strength and my own ideals, so sure of myself and in what I believed, that I lost sight of what my true goal should be. Lord Inigo’s might, his strong will to persevere and challenge Moria itself… I learned an important lesson, one that expanded my mastery of the Law of Cutting and helped me break into the Late King Class.” He nodded a second time, sharply,
“And that lesson…” He puffed his chest up,
“Sharpness can be found in anything, but without the determination and ability to move forward, that sharpness is useless! A weapon is only as strong as its user!” His eyes boomed with light,
“Therefore…” His entire body trembled, as if the next words he was about to speak were a gift from the Heavens themselves,
“Sharpness can not only be found in round objects like this cauldron, but also square objects, like this box!”
From a Spatial Ring, the Warrior-Alchemist pulled out a large, ornate looking golden Artifact, shaped like a large box.
“I will not allow you to harm the wife of that Shade! His determination is worthy of respect and I owe him a great debt!”
The air blasted away from Bayran as he stood in front of the downed Fabian, protecting him.
“If you want to get at her, you will have to go through me and my Heaven Stomping Box first!”
Floating far above this ruined street, an elderly man could be seen sitting on a small cloud. Despite the Shade’s elderly appearance, his body gave off a feeling of overwhelming strength, like that of a powerful beast.
At this exact moment… that Shade was munching on a pie, watching what was happening down below with an interested gaze, as if he was gazing upon a good play and snacking on some concessions.
“Mmm…mmmmmmmm…” Excelsior Gamin smacked his lips in delight as he finished devouring the pastry.
“Now that was delicious.” He wiped his fingers off on a cloth napkin he pulled from a Spatial Ring. He then turned his attention downward, where the ongoing battle was taking place.
“Lord Inigo… I trust my judgement and the judgement of the Haydo Truth Seeking Bell. But…” His eyes flashed,
“Now that I’ve checked, they really aren’t lying. Your wife is a Vampire, though she clearly has an injured soul, like you said.” He sighed, rubbing his forehead.
He had just gotten another intelligence report from the Church, one that looked into the background of Lord Inigo and his wife. The report was extensive, the result of intensive research and coordination from intelligence gathering experts.
From it, he’d actually gained very little. Just like before, he knew practically nothing about the mysterious Shade, other than his loud initial public appearance and his proclaimed mission.
The fact that even their most extensive research could uncover nothing, when combined with the results of his own judgement and the Truth Seeking Bell’s check, led Gamin to reach the conclusion that Lord Inigo must’ve been trained by a reclusive expert.
‘Perhaps that expert didn’t feel any animosity towards the Vampires we are at war with. Still… how exactly these two met is quite the mystery.’ He tapped his fingers together before sighing again.
“I suppose I should just go and ask her directly.” He said out loud, a powerful, energetic Aura gathering around him. Instead of moving down, though, he paused, smiling slightly.
“But before I do anything, I suppose I should ask what you want, hmm?” Gamin’s face maintained its cheerful appearance as the Excelsior turned to the left, his eyes piercing through the air.
A transparent, vague shadow shivered slightly as it was pierced by his gaze. A moment later, a humanoid figure appeared from the shadow, grinning slightly.
“Excelsior Gamin, your eyes are as powerful as they say.” From out of thin air, a lithe and muscular humanoid appeared, dressed in a long, black suit. He was handsome, with bright red hair and beguiling red eyes. On his back was a large, black scythe that seemed to absorb the light around him.
Most importantly of all, however… as this humanoid smiled, a pair of pointed teeth could be seen.
He was a Vampire, one that was currently giving off a very powerful King Class Aura, morphing back and forth between Pseudo-Angelic and Late King Class.
Gamin looked at the Vampire, his eyes narrowed.
“I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure of meeting before… but with a scythe and Aura like that, I suppose I know who you are.” The Excelsior continued,
“Balbinus, one of the four Aurelius Family Generals.” Gamin stretched his arms, leaning languidly on the cloud he was resting on.
“One and the same.” The red haired Vampire pounded his chest, smiling cheerfully. He seemed to preen as he continued to speak, puffing himself up like a peacock,
“Of course you have heard my legendary name. The Scythemaster of Urn, the Warrior-Knight of Felandwar, the Savior of Kibab, the Remunerator of Egon, the-”
Gamin waved a hand at him, cutting him off.
“Yes, yes, it’s definitely you.” He resisted the urge to roll his eyes. The mouth of this self-obsessed Vampire was almost as strong as the genius Scythemaster was in combat.
“Only, I’m not quite sure what you think you’re doing here.” The feeling of jovial civility between the two wavered as Gamin’s eyes turned serious,
“You do realize you are far behind enemy lines, yes? And that you are at war with the Shade Commune? In fact, we are rather close to where the Shade King himself is stationed.” Gamin slowly stood up. As he moved, the ferocious Aura that his body naturally gave off seemed to shiver.
“Well aware, Gamin. But it’s not like you, or the Church, have any appreciation for the Shade King, no? He started this war on his own. Why should we be considered enemies when you aren’t even a part of his faction?” Balbinus’ words were cool as he spoke, his arrogance and confidence bleeding together.
Despite that, there was a certain logic to his words that Gamin couldn’t deny.
“Apart from that, I’d be happy to give you an explanation… but I can’t allow you to harm that little birdie down there. I’m afraid she’s off limits.” As he finished speaking, the jovial tone faded entirely, a dark Aura bursting out from the powerful Vampire.
Gamin smiled a small smile.
“You think you can interfere with my investigation on your own, Balbinus? They say you are arrogant, but I didn’t hear you were brainless.”
The air around Gamin seemed to shiver.
Suddenly, Gamin seemed to change. His physical appearance remained the same, as did his size, and other visible things. Instead, his body gave off a certain sensation that was impossible to mistake.
A feeling of unrestrainedness, of being boundless, as if he had suddenly become something beyond Shade, beyond a normal being. As if he had broken past any limits on his growth or physique, transforming from just a normal Shade… to something else.
An Aura that only an expert who had mastered the Law of Limits and stepped into the Pseudo-Angelic Stage could give off.
If Dorian had been here, he would’ve described the Aura in a single word.
Horrifying. It was like a massive dragon had been bound and shackled inside the body of a Shade, enhancing his physique to such an enormous degree that he could barely still be considered a Shade.
“Regardless of what I think, you are still an avowed enemy the Commune is at war with. I think you will give me that ‘explanation’ right here and now.” Excelsior Gamin’s eyes brooked no argument as he began to step forward, ready to attack and capture the Vampire.
Balbinus looked at the Shade in front of him, a single thought on his mind.
‘Highlord Marcus, your wisdom and planning are the same as ever.’ His eyes gleamed,
‘There is a weak but beautiful damsel in distress and an evil, monstrous enemy that must be defeated, all while behind enemy lines!’
‘This battle will fit perfectly into my new play!’
.. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Dorian stumbled out of the portal, his passive Exuberant Grace Ability helping him instantly recover as he quickly scanned his surroundings.
He had been spat out in what looked like a large, stone island. There were carved stone trees, a small house, even a moat of some sort with a bridge leading off to the other side. Actual flowing water ran along this moat, sloshing about.
Standing about a dozen meters from him, Baron Radishow was talking in an animated fashion with a Shade dressed in a set of metallic armor with a sword strapped to his lower back. This particular Shade had glowing blue eyes visible behind the mask he wore, with blue energy crackling around his armored vambraces.
Dorian recognized him as the Councilmember described by the others as Hallow.
Behind Dorian, the various members of the Demonic Council all arrived, dressed in protective gear. They all had eager looks in their eyes, excitement running in the air.
“Hmm?” Dorian muttered as he stared at the talking Shades.
“…ridiculous to even think, clearly a disguise-” The Shade that was talking to Baron Radishow cut himself off as he saw Dorian, spinning around.
“You fools… This ‘Great Demon Disciple’ is not truly named Lord Obelisk…” Hallow began, his voice echoing,
“He is none other than Lord Inigo!” He pointed a finger at Dorian viciously,
“Quickly! Strike him down!”
Dorian blinked. His heart plummeted a thousand feet, his brain going into overdrive as he heard the Shade accuse him.
“What?” He stuttered out, pretending to be confused.
As Dorian’s senses turned to the max, he quickly noted that all the other Shades were staring at the speaker in confusion.
“How dare you accuse me of anything! Do you think I won’t retaliate simply because we are both Demonic Law users?” His voice boomed out as he projected multiple Auras, the Demonic Laws he was capable of using drawing energy from the air.
‘The power of Law is somewhat weak here, again.’ He noted, feeling slightly more confident. Anywhere near a Sealing tube, the Laws of the Universe seemed to be universally weaker, despite him having shattered many of the chains that Sealed Moria.
“I have not even met you before.” As he spoke, he twisted Fate, trying to make the situation more favorable for him. Energy left his soul, but only a small amount. His Fate twisting powers weren’t omnipotent, and it seemed there were too many high level figures here for him to easily change much.
“Hmph, ‘Lord Obelisk,’ I am Hallow, the Master of Envy. I see straight through you. I know of your deviousness.” Hallow held his hands out in front of him, electrical energy surging around his arms.
Space seemed to freeze.
Dorian blinked as he felt this. Large chains made of invisible force seemed to have settled upon his arms and legs, immobilizing him.
‘Hmm?’ Dorian shifted slightly, feeling the incredibly solid sensation the chains gave off. It was as if reality itself had been frozen.
Faintly, within the chains, Dorian could sense energy from a Law fluctuate.
‘Perfect Body. Laws…’ One by one, Dorian activated all of his Demonic powers or useful Abilities. Despite his large energy use over the past several hours, the multiple Baptisms he had experienced had kept him energized and strong.
Immediately, his body transformed, his Balance Demon’s base statistics evolving in a huge manner. The world around him slowed, while protective and attacking energy covered his body.
With a single motion of his arm, he ripped apart the spatial chains that had frozen him, making the movement look almost casual.
Despite that, he felt uneasy in his heart.
‘Even with the power of Law weakened here, that chain was incredibly strong. I could feel Law energy flowing within it. Is it related to the Law of Envy?’ He tossed the thoughts from his mind as he stepped forward, his Aura overwhelming.
“I am Lord Obelisk, disciple of the Demon Emperor. I have fought against beings you can not even imagine, been to places so extraordinary they don’t even exist in reality anymore. I have seen things you all will never see, done things you all will never do.” His voice boomed, causing the air itself to tremble.
All the Shades that had come with him shook, their eyes full of devotion as they were swept up in his Aura. Every iota of feeling he gave off was like that of a powerful Demonic ruler.
“Do not question my authority.” His eyes blazed as he bored holes in Hallow’s face, the air crackling around him.
Hallow seemed stunned, unable to come up with a response briefly. However, the anger and refusal to accept Dorian remained in his eyes.
‘Damn, I can’t just bluff my way past him.’ Dorian’s heart sank as he realized this. His mind raced ahead of him as he went over every option he had.
As he took one last glance at the various Councilmembers, he remembered something some of them had mentioned earlier, how they were missing the Master of Sloth.
‘That’s not the only Councilmember that is missing…’ As this thought appeared in his mind, inspiration struck.
“Fear not, I will not strike you down for being misled. After all, I have only come to this conclusion recently, after greeting all of you.” Dorian’s voice had a certain level of grandeur.
“In my journey here to un-Seal His Highness, the Great Demon Emperor, I was constantly attacked and hunted. As I went through this trial, this dangerous journey, badly injured and weakened, I learned of the goings-on of the world around.” His eyes flashed,
“Specifically, I learned about a type of creatures known as Anomalies.”
He paused. His words had taken all of the Shades by surprise, even Hallow, as they stared at him expectantly.
“I recognize these Anomalies. For, in my time before I was Sealed away, I personally met and battled against a man who was intent on wiping out our kind. I learned of experiments he worked on before and after the final battle. Experiments that could end up with results like these Anomalies.” His voice was cold,
“A man named Yukeli Shorn.”
The air shivered. Every single Demonic Shade looked at Dorian, their full attention thrown his way.
“I’ve had my suspicions, but I am certain now…” Dorian’s eyes glowed as he looked up, his words causing the air to tremble,
“The reasons I was constantly hunted down… the reasons I was un-Sealed… the reasons you all are here…”
“It is all because of that man!”
“The creature you know as Fifteen is none other than a conniving Anomaly! A spawn of Yukeli himself!”
He had talked with the Shades about the other members of the Demonic Council that were on planet. Apart from the absent Duke Orbit and Hallow, there was also another member they had informed him of.
Fifteen. The Anomaly he had already encountered before.
“And the Shade you know as Lord Inigo is none other than Fifteen! Either a clone or one of his fellow Anomalies, targeting not only me, but all of you as well!” His eyes flashed,
“You all have been lured here for a reason! He not only wants to wipe out all the Demonic remnants here, he wants to kill all of you, me, and prevent the return of the Demonic Emperor as well!”
“Fifteen is Lord Inigo!”