Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing 227 Facing Death
“Hmph.” Casually, Dorian stepped to the side of it, dodging it with ease.
The punch flew past him, as did Zero’s body as the powerful warrior continued his blitz. A look of startlement was slowly beginning to form on his face as he realized his attack had missed.
The moment Zero noticed that, the pale pink energy transformed into the deep red energy from before. Zero’s movements slowed down ever so slightly as his defenses and raw attack power enhanced, costing him slightly in speed.
The Anomaly’s body then began to shift, turning towards where Dorian was standing. Zero’s right leg stamped down hard onto the rocky floor, sending out a webwork of cracks as he forcefully halted himself.
Once more, Zero punched out with an extremely powerful punch.
And, once more, Dorian dodged it with almost casual ease.
“Well then.” Dorian spoke aloud as he saw the results of his newfound speed, his eyes blazing with emotion as he looked at the Anomaly that had nearly murdered him,
“How unfortunate for you.”
Dorian’s body transformed into a blur as he ran up and punched Zero in the face.
The resulting impact sent Zero’s body flying a dozen meters through the air, Dorian’s eminently powerful Empyrean Vampire form proving more than strong enough to manhandle the slow-moving Secondborn.
Dorian quickly chased after Zero, moving so quickly he caught up to the Anomaly in just a split second. Then, while Zero was still flying away from the force of Dorian’s first punch, Dorian raised his right arm and slammed the Anomaly in the stomach, sending the Secondborn soaring off to Dorian’s left.
Both times, Zero’s eyes managed to perceive the incoming attack, but he was physically unable to block the blow. The warrior was able to shift some of the red energy that covered him, but not enough to block out Dorian’s blindly fast strikes.
Pure ecstasy flowed in Dorian’s veins as the energy from the Law of Lust flooded his body. He watched as Zero flew away in slow motion, feeling an incredible sense of power.
At the same time, however, he couldn’t help but frown.
‘Why is it so difficult to use any of the other Laws?’ Both times now, when he went in to attack, he attempted to activate the Law of Wrath. This Law greatly boosted his attack strength and, when it came to direct attacks, was his most powerful tool. He should’ve been able to blast apart Zero’s weakly raised barrier of energy in an instant.
Instead, however, Dorian felt as if it was almost impossible to access any Law save for the Law of Lust. Even the Law of Original Sin was something he couldn’t draw upon. His body was still boosted a bit by the Law of Pride, but it was a boost that was rapidly fading away.
Small bits of red Annihilation Energy had singed his hands ever so slightly, minor injuries he’d gained from punching Zero. Without Wrath Energy boost his attack, the Annihilation Energy was free to run amok.
As he questioned this, a piece of innate knowledge settled in his mind, born from his new understanding of the Law of Lust.
He was currently operating in a specific, special state the Law of Lust could activate.
The Law of Pride, when mastered, had its ‘Super State’ that Dorian had seen Leader control.
Conversely, the Law of Lust had its own version of a Prideful ‘Super State,’ a ‘Speedy State.’
In this Speedy State, Dorian could draw upon the Law of Lust to enhance his perception of time, dependent on the strain his body could bear. A regular being would be able to reach a speed of 2-3 times as fast.
For Dorian, who possessed the body of one of the strongest beings in existence, a natural King Class Empyrean Vampire, he could stretch his perception of time to an incredible 10 times.
It was insanely powerful. It did, however, have its downsides.
The energy from the Law of Lust was naturally created and formed to operate at different speeds. It was an internal part of its Law, after all.
This was not the same for Dorian’s other Laws.
The only Law of his that felt like it might be possible to use was the Law of Original Sin. However, at 10 times speed, Dorian still found it impossible to grasp onto. His understanding of the Law needed to fully integrate the Law of Lust into it, and that was only possible when all of his Demonic Laws reached Completion. Anything else created an unsustainable imbalance.
‘Still…’ Dorian clenched his fists as he looked back up.
Zero’s body was still flying through the air in slow motion. In real time, less than one second had passed between his two attacks and his moments of pondering.
‘I refuse to believe I can’t hurt you.’ Dorian’s body transformed into a blur as he rushed forward again and attacked.
Dorian’s speed was already at an extremely high level in his normal state, with a perception that operated on a far higher level than regular beings thanks to his strong soul. While Zero was quicker than him, it was only by roughly 10-20%. Very noticeable, yes, but not impossible to respond to.
Dorian’s perception boosted his speed to 1000% its normal rate, meaning his advantage over Zero in terms of speed was essentially insurmountable.
Dorian appeared in front of where Zero was hurtling towards in a split second. He quickly studied Zero’s body, specifically any areas that were vulnerable, like his eyes and throat.
In every weak spot, Dorian saw that the red energy that protected Zero had a heavier hue to it, as if it was more concentrated.
Zero’s life had been one of constant war. In that time, the Anomaly had adapted to that by consistently protecting himself in whatever manner he could.
After achieving the Angelic Class, Zero realized that while his Humanoid Form wasn’t his most powerful one, it was the easier form he could use when manipulating Annihilation Energy. Its small stature but considerable power made it a perfect choice.
‘Damn, it’s really like a suit of armor.’ As Dorian stared at the concentrated red hue of energy, he could instinctively tell that it would be a very bad idea to try to force his way through that. Zero was only able to create a few spots that deadly, even with his essentially infinite energy stores, showing the absolute prowess in those defenses.
Zero was taking Dorian completely seriously, holding back nothing at all and not underestimating him. It was the smart choice, but left Dorian in a sore spot.
‘Still…’ Zero couldn’t protect his entire body.
A slowed, but still resounding shockwave spread out as Dorian raised his right elbow and then slammed it into the side of Zero’s chest. The ground beneath Dorian shattered, stone and rock debris flying into the air in slow motion.
The wind gushed in behind Dorian as he moved supernaturally fast, pulling some of the rocks and stone shrapnel into the air behind him as he moved to where Zero had been sent flying.
He then punched him again.
And then 12 more times.
Each blow contained the full force that Dorian could muster, powered by his Perfect Body Ability. He tried to activate a few of his other Abilities, like the Touching Light Ability, but found that any energy that extended beyond his physique was extremely hard to stabilize. He had to rely on brute force.
At this point in time, from Dorian’s first punch to his last, roughly 2 seconds had passed.
By now, hundreds of pieces of rock and stone floated in the air, slowly moving upwards. Dorian knocked a few out of his field of view as he looked down at Zero’s floating form.
The full impact of all of his blows hadn’t yet been realized by Zero’s body due to Dorian’s extreme speed. Still, the red energy shield that protected Zero was fluctuating in several parts, a huge amount of force successfully transferring through.
‘Arrrgh.’ Dorian’s arms and hands were covered in burning red energy. In his Speedy State, limited by the energy sources he could access, he found it much harder to expel and resist the Annihilation Energy.
Abruptly, Dorian raised his right arm, glaring down at Zero’s floating body. He then slammed it downward with all of his might, focusing his full strength into this one single blow at Zero’s back.
A large crater formed in the earth as huge chunks of stone shattered upward. Zero’s body lay at the epicenter of this crater, smashed down into it by the tremendous power behind Dorian’s attack.
His body blurred as he sprinted a dozen meters backwards, his chest heaving from exertion. Going all out while in his Speedy State was extremely tiring, draining him of both energy and strength.
It took only a single thought for him to release his Speedy State. Immediately, the red energy that had been eating away at his arms and hands was smacked backwards as Dorian drew upon all of his Laws once more, returning to his full physical strength.
All the slow-moving shards of rock, the scattered dust and minutely moving stone chunks, all of them abruptly sped up as time returned to normal.
“Wheeze… wheeze…” Dorian’s chest continued to heave as he caught his breath and allowed his hands and arms to quickly regenerate using the recovery powers of the Law of Sloth. The energy from the Law of Sloth was his most effective tool when it came to helping push out and heal from the Annihilation Energy.
“You… got pretty fast.” An ominous voice echoed out as several large chunks of stone cracked before Dorian’s eyes. A moment later, Zero’s body slowly rose into view as the Anomaly stood up. Stone dust cascaded off his body as he stamped down hard, blasting all the debris off of him.
“No… no way.” Dorian stuttered, staring at him in disbelief. His lightning-fast attacks had all been extremely powerful, even if he could only use the Law of Lust for them. The might of his physical body was far beyond most reasonable realms.
Despite that… Zero looked mostly fine.
“Cough.” Zero pounded his chest as he spat out a small amount of blood. When his blood came into contact with the air, it instantly burst on fire, dissipating to nothingness thanks to the overpowering Aura Zero gave off.
“You’re the third being that has made me bleed. I didn’t think you had a trump card like this in store for me.” Zero’s shoulders shrugged as he hunched down slightly. He raised his arms in a guard position, his eyes pinpointed onto Dorian.
“But it won’t be enough, Firstborn. I cannot be stopped.” Zero took a step forward.
“I am the end.” His red Aura of energy expanded, blasting forward in a shockwave that sundered the air.
“Like hell you are.” Dorian clenched his fists as he drew upon the Law of Lust to the maximum once more, entering his Speedy State.
‘Arrrrgh!’ His soul writhed in agony as he fully overextended himself. He had officially drawn upon too much Law Energy, exceeding his limits even with the spontaneous growth of his soul that he got for reaching Completion with the Law of Lust.
While Dorian was powerful, when compared to an Angelic Class being, the amount of Law Energy he could handle was definitely smaller.
Still, he pushed himself forward regardless.
Reality slowed down.
Dorian burst past the shockwave of energy, his entire body undergoing a burning sensation as the Annihilation Energy sought to rip him apart. He dashed right up to Zero, his eyes gleaming.
Zero’s left arm was in the process of being raised to block his attack while his right arm remained still.
Dorian snorted as he lobbed a punch into Zero’s left shoulder, smashing the warrior off to the side. Once again, Zero’s body flew out in slow motion, knocked away by the powerful strike.
‘He may be tough… but I am still far, far faster than him.’ Dorian refused to believe that he couldn’t seriously injure the warrior and take him down. The fact that he managed to injure Zero, however minor, was proof that the Anomaly wasn’t invincible.
Twice more Dorian rushed forward and intercepted Zero, lashing out with a strong blow each time. Dorian felt his blood seem to boil with power as he refused to give up and continued his attack.
As Zero flew through the air, his right arm had not continued to remain still. In the tiny moment that Dorian took to bring forth his first three strikes, Zero’s right arm had moved steadily forward. Trails of red light began to shine from Zero’s eyes as he focused, seemingly ignoring Dorian’s blows.
Just as Dorian was about to launch his fourth strike…
He felt something latch onto his right leg with a crushing, agonizing grip.
“What?!” Dorian jerked his head down in shock.
A small, jagged tear in reality had appeared right next to his legs. And from that tear in reality a familiar looking hand had emerged, covered in red energy.
Dorian’s head spun up as he looked at Zero in horror.
Zero’s right arm ended in a second tear in reality.
“No…” Dorian only managed to utter one more word before…
Zero’s hand crushed down as it broke Dorian’s leg and ankle, particles of red Annihilation Energy burrowing into him.
Dorian’s grasp of his Speedy State was already an extremely delicate maneuver that required his full concentration. This abrupt intrusion shattered that focus, returning reality around him back to its normal speed.
“Arrgh!” Dorian couldn’t help but to yell as the pain swept over him. Despite his clouded mind, he immediately raised an arm, covering it in Wrath Energy as he slashed downward.
Instead of trying to cut off Zero’s arm, however, Dorian tried to cut off his own leg while simultaneously attempting to jump backwards.
The powerful Annihilation Energy that protected Zero was extremely durable. Dorian had experienced enough of it to know that his Wrath Energy wouldn’t be able to break through it in one go.
However, his leg was relatively undefended at the current moment. As long as he weakened the effects of his Perfect Body for a split second, he should be able to slice it off.
Unfortunately, just as Dorian was about to slide it off, a webwork of red energy shot up and covered his left, blocking his blow.
A small explosion of energy shook the air as the two energies collided. Dorian’s leg broke in several more places, the pain forcing tears to his eyes.
“It took me a while to get used to how you attacked.” Zero’s voice was cold as he expanded the tear in reality and walked through it, picking Dorian up casually and throwing him a dozen meters.
“Arrgh.” Dorian landed on the ground hard, barely remaining standing as he focused everything he could to push out the Annihilation Energy that was currently trying to ravage him from the inside out. His soul was overextended, however, forcing him to use only a small amount of energy, barely enough to hold it back.
“You even managed to crack one of my ribs.” Zero casually appeared in front of Dorian, looking down at him. Zero touched his chest, wincing ever so slightly.
His body was extremely powerful, and as a result of that power, any injuries he took would need huge amounts of energy to heal. As a creature with virtually endless energy thanks to his Divine Golden Lion Bloodline, that wasn’t a big deal, but healing the wounds still took time. For Dorian to injure him despite being barely an official King Class warrior was a very serious matter.
Blood spewed from Dorian’s mouth as Zero’s Aura forced him down to his knees. Dorian’s vision was blurred as he felt the world seem to turn against him, leaving him shaking.
Even then, he didn’t give up.
He froze as he prepared to transform into his Grey Mantor Bloodline.
“Ah, no, we can’t have that.” Zero seemed to predict his actions as he spoke aloud, flicking a finger at Dorian.
Strange, mysterious symbols appeared in the air around Dorian, locking down and slamming into him instantly. Even uninjured, Dorian was unable to react to them in time, let alone now. Zero’s Myriad Restriction Ability activated in full, preventing him from shifting forms or even moving.
“I’ve killed and absorbed enough of our brethren to know how we work.” Zero held his right hand out to the side.
A moment later, a large, glowing white sword appeared, created by some unknown Ability. This sword gained a red hue as Zero spread his Annihilation Energy all along its edge.
‘No…’ Dorian’s thoughts remained clouded by pain and muddled by his overextended soul. He was just barely aware of what was happening, but helpless to stop it.
‘I cannot die here…’ Memories of Helena flashed in his heart. He had just finally managed to start what might be a real future in this world. How could he be willing to abandon all of that now, after everything he had been through?
He struggled with all of his might, blood dripping from his eyes as he focused his full force of will on Zero, commanding Fate to change.
“Hm?” Zero froze for a moment. The sword he held in his hand shook briefly. The area around him seemed to lock up, leaving him unable to move.
“Ah.” A small shockwave shook the air as Zero shivered and broke that lock, freeing himself as he turned his head to stare at Dorian.
“You are full of tricks, Firstborn.” Zero smiled down at Dorian,
“But this is a Fate you cannot avoid, no matter how you rail against it.” Dorian could manipulate Fate with his soul, with a level of skill and power that outstripped all other Anomalies. Zero, with his much more powerful Angelic Class soul, could as well. While his skill wasn’t on par with Dorian’s, it was just enough to stalemate Dorian’s efforts.
Dorian gazed up at Zero, despair slipping its way into his heart.
A spontaneous breakthrough couldn’t just solve all of his problems for him. This wasn’t a fairy tale, no matter how magical his existence felt. It was reality.
He had done everything he could.
And he still failed.
Zero was not only an Angelic Class being, but also possessed a Divine Bloodline, an Abnormal soul, and an unworldly grasp of the Law of Annihilation. He was the Secondborn, a creature that had known constant war and battle his entire life.
Zero pulled the sword to the side and then aimed it at Dorian’s chest. The Secondborn slowly raised it up, preparing to plunge it into Dorian’s heart.
Dorian simply stared at it, coming to a somber realization.
He was going to die.
There was nothing he could do to stop Zero.
The fused part of Yukeli’s soul never roused or made any movements. Dorian was unable to switch forms and teleport or phase out of reality. Manipulating Fate had failed, his soul was overextended and it was impossible to draw upon any of the Laws. No Artifacts he possessed would be able to do anything at all in a battle of this scale.
This was the end.
A single tear formed and fell from Dorian’s visage as Zero sighed.
“I’m sorry. Farewell, brother.”
Dorian shut his eyes.
‘I’m sorry, Helena.’
“Huh?” Dorian slowly opened his eyes.
Zero’s blade stood frozen a few inches from Dorian’s heart, just moments from rending his flesh and dissipating his soul. As Dorian’s eyes trailed upward, he saw a long, wooden staff rest against the hilt of that blade, freezing its momentum.
A moment later, a huge explosion shook the air. Red energy crackled as several shockwaves spread out, knocking over all of the undead Grakons that were still milling about in the background, hundreds of meters away. The nearby Gworen Ice Waterfall shot out haphazardly, waves of solid ice splattering about the city at random.
Miraculously… Dorian was completely unaffected by the blast. When he blinked and cleared his vision, the sword that had been about to kill him was nowhere to be seen.
Instead, he saw a new figure appear in front of him.
A proud looking monkey, wearing a bead necklace and wielding a long staff in its left hand, its right hand pointed out in front of it with its palm facing forward and steaming.
“It seems we arrived just in time. These eyes of mine yet work.” The Monkey King, Sun Wukong, turned around and gave Dorian a small smile.
“Dorian!” A loud yell as a familiar looking Anomaly, Aron, appeared, wearing his full set of metal wolf armor. Next to him stood another Anomaly Dorian was familiar, Xaphan. He didn’t know the food-obsessed being super well, but knew a bit about him through Aron.
Standing behind those two were four other Anomalies, three he didn’t recognize, but one he did.
“Hello, Dorian.” Mello’s eyes gleamed as he waved casually at Dorian, giving him a thumbs up and a confident smile.
Next to him stood a man that seemed to be made completely out of glowing, translucent crystal rocks, with a face carved from that rough crystal, towering 3 meters high. Another seemed to be half-woman, half-plant, with green eyes that glowed ominously. The last had dark red skin and looked vaguely like a Titan, except one that was much smaller and leaner, with stark blue hair.
“We’re here to help.”