Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 14: Bluffing
On the outside, Dorian was the picture of a cool, confident, godly dragon giving off an unsurpassed aura with simmering arrogance. His scales gleamed, the red haze of power that surrounded him accenuating his draconic nature.
On the inside… Dorian was freaking out.
Back when he was a human, one of his favorite hobbies had been dancing. He’d performed on several small dance teams at his college, nothing too serious, but still something he enjoyed. He’d also participated in a few small plays in high school, and a single musical in college.
Stage fright was a terrible thing, but it was a fear he had thought conquered.
Now, however, as Dorian put up an angry face, glaring in fury at the warriors and wizards surrounding him, he realized that was a sentiment that could not be more wrong.
His body trembled against his will as he slowly turned his neck, glaring at each offending side. He could only pray they didn’t notice. He wasn’t even sure if his face actually looked angry. How was he supposed to know how a dragon’s facial expressions looked?
His eyes glowed as he forced himself to focus, feeling as if he was about to be sick.
After the two sides began fighting, Dorian had immediately seen how dangerous a situation he was in. The sheer power and strength each side showed off was something he could easily die from. A stray blast of that black lightning could incinerate him.
It would be impossible to sneak away safely, not when he was directly between the two sides, and standing still and doing nothing would be like asking to die.
So, he did the only thing he could think of.
‘Ausra, how do I activate the Aura we stored?’ He’d asked as the battle began to unfold.
‘Simply will it to surround you from your Soul, like a warm blanket covering you.’ Ausra’s response had been concise, but informative.
Just like the genie in his Soul Spell Matrix said, activating the Aura was like drawing a blanket around him, covering himself. He’d mentally willed the small red bead in his soul to move, drawing upon it.
As he did so, the bead visible grew smaller, losing roughly 1/4th its mass.
An incredible feeling of power and strength sweltered upon him. He felt as if he was looking upon the world with dominance, as if every being here was made to live under his rule. The feeling was addicting, sweeping through his mind with abandon.
Drawing from that feeling as inspiration, Dorian began acting like how he thought a godly dragon would act.
Graxital saw his death.
He stood absolutely still, not daring to move a muscle. His heart pounded, sounding like the footsteps of a great, lumbering behemoth in his ears. His eyes were completely open as he put his full and complete attention on the tiny green dragon in front of him.
The small dragon gave off an aura that was so incredibly mighty that Graxital knew that if he moved, he would be killed within seconds. Its deep, black eyes gleamed with unspeakable anger as it stared into his soul.
Even now, he could see the monstrous dragon shaking in rage, its aura palpitating off of it. Its face was pulled up in an unnatural, hideous snarl, grotesque and horrifying to look at. The half eaten deer thighbone it held in its claws was like a sword of destruction, power pulsing around it.
The beast was clearly beyond reasoning with.
It was a wonder that he was still alive, in fact.
Graxital was a tried and true magician, a wizard that had been trained in the Black Lightning Department for more than 12 years. He had reached the Grandmaster Class just last year, and was considered one of the most experienced Wizards in his age group.
It was because of this that he managed to secure a position under Lord Hadrion, the Rising Star of the Black Lightning Department.
His late father had always told him that hard work would bring results, but only if whom you worked for was an honest man. And Lord Hadrion was gruff, forbearing, but most of all honest.
He’d only followed the man for a year, but had been extremely impressed with his integrity and the care he showed, not only for himself, but for all the Wizards and humans around him. His gruff, silent personality was merely a cloak for a great man.
As his life flashed before his eyes, Graxital felt himself reach a sense of inner peace.
He needed to warn Lord Hadrion. This vile, twisted Dragon before him a creature that was at least at the peak of the Lord Class, maybe stronger. Even Lord Hardion could be killed if taken by surprise.
He could not let that man perish.
And he was willing to die to ensure that.
Far, up above, his spell Black Calling had finished, several enormous clouds having formed in the air above them, slowly rotating. It was a powerful elemental gathering spell, making use of the environment to strengthen one’s attack.
Unfortunately, an attack of this scale that wouldn’t even be able to scratch the dragon in front of him he knew, not even bothering to try.
He closed his eyes, and then opened them, a calm smile appearing on his face.
“Lightning Magic: Requiem Above.” He made his move all at once, pouring every fiber of energy he had in his body into casting this spell. They could not depend on the mercy of this beast to spare them. Even Aymon, the Space Wizard, was frozen in terror, unable to flee.
Requiem Above was a special spell, unique to Lightning Magic. It made use of the ambient energy to create a large shockwave.
This spell was usually used to blast away large numbers of attacks in the air, detonating in an explosion. It was a rather uncommon spell, and few Wizards in the Black Lightning Department studied it.
He nodded and smiled as he began to slip into unconsciousness, seeing the shockwave start to expand a thousand meters in the sky.
The last thing he saw was that horrifying, evil dragon glaring death at him, and his comrade Oblong giving him a smile of acceptance, his eyes gleaming with tears at his sacrifice.
Oblong stared at his idiot companion, his face frozen in a smile of pure, unadulterated rage. He’d known Graxital was the quiet type when they’d partnered up, but had been completely unaware of his apparently suicidal nature.
‘Are you trying to get us all killed?!’ His eyes were bloodshot, tears of frustration and fury welling up as he saw Graxital cast his spell and then collapse. Oblong’s arms trembled as he dashed forward, grabbing ahold of the fool’s body.
What a terribly unlucky day.
Far above, an enormous shockwave began to spread out, blasting apart the clouds that had formed. A small explosion of black lightning shot up into the air, crackling. Around the black lightning, white energy began to crackle, further fueling the expanding shockwave.
Blasting off like an enormous signal beacon. Oblong realized his companion’s intentions then, cursing him in his head. The idiot might be fine sacrificing himself, but Oblong certainly wasn’t.
The remnants of the shockwave slammed into them, shivering as it collided with Oblong’s innate barrier. He forced himself to duck down, bowing as he faced the green dragon. Several of the warriors standing off to the side were stunned by the impact, a few of them even falling to the ground.
“Our deepest apologies, your Lordship.” He stuttered out, proud of himself for not stopping. Every word he spoke had to be forced from his mouth, his heart shaking.
The godly dragon merely stared at him, its eyes unfocused as if it was ignoring him. It then blinked, its eyes piercing towards Oblong with all the might of an ancient beast.
“BEGONE!” Its voice thundered out, a single word filled with arrogance.
Oblong trembled, the fat on his body jostling as he swallowed hard, forcing himself to not fall unconscious. Several of the guards nearby had collapsed from fear and terror, unable to hold themselves up.
He bowed his head again, the awe-inducing aura making it hard to concentrate. Oblong jerked Graxital’s unconscious body into the hands of one the warriors that were standing nearby. All of them, whether they were the Black Iron Guards or the soldiers provided by the Nobel Family, stared at Oblong like he was their only hope.
He made another jerking motion. Quickly, the soldiers grabbed their wounded or injured, and began to back out of the valley. The Royal Wizard Aymon led the retreat, readying himself to cast a large scale spatial magic to get them as far away as possible.
“Hmph. Who are you to demand we do anything, drake?” As they were fleeing, Oblong vaguely heard the voice of one of the Nobles call out at the dragon, filled with arrogance.
He grinned cruelly as he heard this. The idiot was asking for death. He smirked as he hurriedly ran away, pleased that at least the Nobles would suffer from this more than them.
As he fled, he couldn’t shake the sinking sensation that he’d forgotten something.
Dorian had froze when he saw one of the wizards cast a spell, his heart dropping as he thought he’d been seen through.
However, it seemed the wizard was only dispersing a spell he’d cast earlier that caused the clouds to gather. A huge shockwave had arisen as a result of this, stunning Dorian and nearly knocking his tiny dragon body unconscious.
When he came to, finally clearing his eyes, he saw the worried look of the fat wizard staring at him, quivering.
Dorian forced himself to continue playing the part of a godly dragon, filled his voice was as much arrogance as he could muster as he yelled out as loud as he could,
He almost hiccuped as he made himself glare angrily, daring the humans to respond.
His bluff seemed to have worked as he watched the group of human warriors and wizards begin to flee, grabbing their companions and running from the valley. Just as they were exiting, however, Dorian was forcibly reminded that there was another side here.
“Hmph. Who are you to demand we do anything, drake?” Gaia’s voice boiled out, domineering and arrogant. Her eyes piercing towards the small dragon, a gleam in them.
‘What the fuck are you doing?’ Brutus motioned with his hands, talking in one of the two Vampiric languages, the Silent Language spoken by hand. The powerful warrior was incredibly on edge, having retreated backwards several dozen steps when the dragon unleashed its aura. His eyes continued to track both the dragon and Gaia as he responded, ready to flee at a moment’s notice.
‘Its body is clearly heavily weakened, you see it as well as I. It must be a heavily injured beast, reduced to this state with only its Aura remaining. No natural beast could have that Aura while also being so young.’ Gaia replied back, her eyes flashing. Vampires had incredibly adept senses, far surpassing that of humans. Even now, both Brutus and her could clearly tell that the dragon before them was weak, physically only at the Earth Class, unlike a powerful beast.
Her words had a certain level of logic to them.
Her heart was still filled with nervous fear, however, the aura before them truly too incredible. If she was wrong…
‘This is a one in a million chance.’ She continued, her hand trembling in both fear and excitement as she grit her teeth.
If they could get the blood of a beast that was at least at the peak of Lord Class for free…
Beasts that had a bloodline that could reach the Lord Class were very rare, and very powerful. Those that could reach the King Class were even rarer, and those that could reach the Angelic Class were almost entirely unheard of.
Blood Magic had an entire host of spells that required the blood of outside beings. A Lord Class’s beasts bloodline would prove immensely useful to them, something neither of them could hope to afford or gain as they were now, not in any sufficient amount. It would be that final push she needed, Gaia believed, to break past the barrier of the Grandmaster Class.
Gaia steeled her heart, ready to risk it all as she cast a spell,
“Blood Magic: Sweltering Shade!” Immediately, a dark aura of blood rose and spread into the air.
“YOU DARE OFFEND THIS GODLY DRAGON?!”
Gaia cringed as she heard the dragon’s roar, the fear in her heart rising. Her spell continued spreading, causing the valley to start falling into darkness.
The fact that the dragon hadn’t moved was the only thing reassuring her that her guess was accurate.
“YOU THINK DARKNESS WILL AFFECT THIS GODLY DRAGON? FOOLISH MORTAL, I WAS BORN IN THE DARKNESS! MOLDED BY IT! YOU HAVE MERELY ADOPTED IT!”
The dragon waved the half eaten deer thigh bone in its claws at her in a threatening and dismissive manner, looking at her with what seemed to be supreme confidence as the light in the valley faded away.
Gaia’s hands trembled as she stared at the green scaled dragon, visible only to her thanks to her spell.
This dragon was the real deal. She wholeheartedly believed that if it hadn’t been injured and weakened, it would utterly destroy them. Its origins seemed to be terrifying.
“Salum.” She called out, twisting her fingers. Immediately, the powerful Blood Wolf appeared in front of her, its body shivering with power.
Gaia studied two branches of Blood Magic, that of manipulating Blood and Blood Beasts, and that of drawing Fate.
Salum was the Blood Beast she had raised for years, the cornerstone of her strength, and her proudest creation. She had formed him from the bloodlines of several other powerful wolves, creating a massive beast of beauty and power.
“Swallow it whole.” Her eyes shook as she focused on the small dragon through the darkness and the red haze of power that surrounded the dragon, ordering her Blood Wolf forward.
The wolf dashed forward without a worry, inherently following her commands. Its footsteps pounded on the dirt ground, crashing down without pause.
As it did so, both she and Brutus jumped backwards, preparing to flee at a moment’s notice if anything went wrong. Brutus, in fact, fled back nearly 40 meters farther than she did, his fists clenched as he glared at her angrily.
‘Die you bastard.’ She mentally whispered, watching her 3 meter tall Blood Wolf slam into the small, green dragon, praying that the dragon would be killed.
‘Several bloodlines have been detected. Do you wish to absorb them?’