Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 28: A New Form – Beginning of Volume 2
The echoing booms of thunder rang out across a pitch black sky, rumbling the air itself. Chaotic gusts of wing rattled off against a dark, forbidding castle, set atop a lonely plateau.
The plateau protruded alone from an enormous ocean, the only visible land for dozens of miles. It was large, spanning seven or eight miles in width and length, and several hundred meters up above the sea below.
Huge waves crashed to and fro near this plateau, frothing waves that tried to wear away the stone that had stood for tens of thousands of years.
Atop the dark plateau was a small, dark forest, and a large, expansive castle made out of a strange, black material, glistening even through the dark, overcast sky above. Several large spires shot up from the castle, giving it a magnificent appearance.
In a room at the center of this castle, the sounds of the outside world could barely be heard. Only a few faint rumblings indicated the presence of thunder at all, most of the noise smoothened out.
This room was well lit, contrary to the dark exterior of the castle. A large, stylized wooden table at three meters across lay at the center of this room, its circular shape resembling the shape of the room itself, a large circle.
Ornamental sets of armor decorated the sides of this chamber, interspersed between large tapestries depicting scenes of battle. Overhead several chandleries were set in the ceiling, glowing and giving off light.
Atop the round table at the center of the room was a massive chart, covered with tens of thousands of small circles, and tens of thousands of lines, drawn from circle to circle.
A man wearing a smooth pair of black leather pants, and a relaxed grey vest with a white undershirt stood, with a glass of wine in his hand, staring at this map. His handsome face, with a smooth jawline and piercing green eyes, made him look the very picture of elegance. His long white hair was wrapped up, atop his head in a bun, with an ornamental needle keeping it in place.
The man smiled, drawing a sip from the glass of wine in his hand, revealing two sets of pointed teeth.
“Ahh. A most excellent vintage. Is it from Touranat?” Marcus Aurelius, the Head of the Aurelius Family, said aloud, staring at the complex map.
“Yes, milord, first created 936 years ago, by the Petruscent Kingdom’s finest winemaker.” From the shadows that covered the edges of the room, a woman emerged, wearing a tight, form fitting red dress. She had brilliant black hair that rolled off her shoulders, carrying herself with an elegant and powerful air. She smiled as she spoke, her beautiful lips warming while her purple eyes gleamed.
“But…” The woman said as she stepped forward, giving Marcus a light bow.
“But?” Marcus turned slowly, the very picture of a powerful Vampire ruler. His eyes gave off a sense of endless mystery, a dark stranger in the night.
“But you really should consider your health, milord. Drinking so much in the evening is bad for your livelihood, I’ve heard from the humans, and don’t you remember what happened on the planet Vixoriant when you got drunk and destroyed half of the Augustus Ancestral Castle-” The beautiful woman began, her eyes earnest.
“Julia.” Marcus cut her off, still maintaining his powerful image.
“Milord, I’m just saying we really should consider th-”
“Julia.” His voice contained iron in it as he spoke again, turning to glare at her,
“Woman, I just- you know what- okay. Okay. We’re doing this again.” He gave her a second glare,
“Go, off back to the shadows with you.” He waved his free hand at her dismissively, motioning for her to step backwards.
Julia rolled her eyes as she turned around, and marched back into the darkness at the edge of the room. She stood at the very border, still in plain sight.
Marcus sighed deeply, and then looked back down at the map before him. He slowly moved the wine glass in his hand, sinking in to the mood of the moment. A majestic air seemed to gather around him as he leaned forward, dignity wrapped around him like a cloak.
He slowly raised it to his lips, drinking it slightly, his movements full of calm assurance.
“Ahh. A most excellent vintage. Is it from Touranat?” He said, his eyes studying the map before him.
“Milord, do we really have time for thi-”
“WOMAN! I AM 7,000 YEARS OLD, I HAVE TIME FOR EVERYTHING!”
Marcus glared back at the darkness, and then gave up on the moment, turning around and setting his wine glass down with a small smile. He wiped the smile away from his face as he turned around and gave Julia another glare for good measure.
“Alright, come forth. What’s the latest?” He asked, his voice calm. All of a sudden, a powerful, almost overwhelming Aura seemed to flow around his body, tightly constrained. Authority rolled off his voice as he spoke, any faint traces of mirth dying off completely.
“I’ve just heard word from Brutus on his and Gaia’s investigation of the Anomaly on Hasnorth.” Julia began, rubbing her nose slightly askance at Marcus,
Marcus frowned, folding his hands together,
“Indeed, though Gaia had her soulbound Blood Beast destroyed.” Julia responded.
Marcus nodded, his eyes flashing, a hint of pleasure in them,
“That’s what happened to Galeria on Paxtol, and Septimius on Yabound. These Anomalies really do possess the ability to destroy anything related to blood.” Marcus picked up the glass of wine, swirling it lightly in his hand.
“Almost as if they are our natural predators.” He contemplated the thought for a moment,
“But how did these two survive?” He had received previous reports unfolding over the past week, of the investigative teams he had dispatched meeting terrible ends. It had only been a preliminary investigation, and the teams were only to take action if they felt confident.
Yet these vile creatures had destroyed them without mercy. He silently grit his teeth, a seed of anger long since planted.
If he had known they were this powerful ahead of time… it was a moot point. Who could have expected this?
“It was a very odd situation, sir… The Anomaly in question apparently let them go.” Julia responded with a shrug.
“It… let them go?” He looked at his assistant and Spymaster, taken aback.
“Yes sir. It also scared off a group of humans before, and didn’t take action unless provoked. This is all according to the report Brutus has sent and sworn by.”
“It showed mercy… Huh. How very odd.” Marcus swirled the glass of wine again.
“Julia.” He spoke aloud, abruptly,
“Yes, milord.” She responded, focusing on him.
Marcus’ voice took on a grand air as he began to speak, a sense of majesty flowing from him,
“Send out my command. The Reavers are to appear to the castle the first thing tomorrow morning. I refuse to accept that we vampires, the dominant species, the protectors, have a natural predator. Fate may twist in their favor, but even Fate cannot stop overwhelming power. A river must bend and flow, at the will of the land around it.”
A small breeze blew out as he finished speaking, the needle holding his long white hair up falling out, setting his hair to flutter like a godly phoenix shaking its feathers. His eyes pierced forward with the resolve of a unstoppable lion, powerful and mighty.
“Milord, this world is trapped in eternal evening and has no morning.”
The Vampire Highlord seemed to deflate slightly,
“Ah, then have them arrive first thing in the evening.”
“Milord… It’s always evening here… there can be no first thing in the evening…”
Far away from the planet trapped in eternal evening, a hulking, four and a half meter dragon stood tall, shaking its luscious green scales. Its long, spiked green tail shined brightly in the morning light, giving off a deadly gleam. A set of wings stood attached to its body, long enough to glide with, but too short to achieve true flight. The dragon had a pair of muscular, scaled arms ending in sharp looking claws.
This dragon was currently standing atop a small cliff, overlooking a large, widespread savanna. The odd thing about this savanna was that if one looked off to the left or right, instead of directly forward in the direction Dorian was looking, very gradually, the world seemed to curve.
The sky above this savanna was even odder. At first glance, it appeared like a normal, everyday blue sky. If one studied it, however, one could see odd distortions permeating the air. Sometimes small ripples would appear, almost as if the sky above was constantly being torn apart and then almost immediately repaired.
Dorian took a deep breath, tasting the morning air with a hint of a smile.
It felt good to be alive.
Sure, he had a lot of things weighing him down. But, right now, he was alive.
And that was a thing to celebrate.
He smiled wider.
‘Alright Ausra, give it to me.’ He said, continuing a discussion he’d been having with the genie in his Soul Spell Matrix.
‘It is possible to combine your Red Salamander bloodline with your Myyr Dragon bloodline. However, the Myyr Dragon bloodline reaches its growth potential in the Grandmaster Class, whereas the Red Salamander maximizes at very peak of Sky Class. Your own Red Salamander form was only able to reach Master Class due to your Master Class Soul.’ Ausra continued,
‘Combining such a low level Bloodline with your Myyr Dragon form will almost certainly weaken it, and result in a waste of energy.’
Dorian mulled over the words of the genie, and eventually nodded, his large draconic head bobbing up and down.
What Ausra said made sense. There was nothing particularly rare or powerful about his Red Salamander form. It had a decent amount of strength and regenerative abilities for its level, but it was nothing compared to his Myyr Dragon form.
He couldn’t fault the Salamander for that, however. Without the first Red Salamander he found, he’d never have been able to create his current strongest form, and might not even be alive today.
‘Hmm, alright. Let me see my status once more.’
Dorian – Soul Status
Soul Stage: Grandmaster Class (Middle)
‘And my Growth Stage.’ He mentally added.
Another screen popped up in his head.
-Myyr Dragon – Growth Stage: (4/4) Elder Myyr Dragon-
Growth Progress – 6,232/0 –
‘Alright.’ He contemplated what to do for a few seconds before making a decision.
‘My Red Salamander form isn’t good enough to work with, and my Myyr Dragon form is maxed out.’ He began, thinking it through,
‘It’s time to choose a new form to Evolve to.’
‘Ausra, pull up a list of all the bloodlines I have, minus any useless or worthless ones.’
– Bloodlines Stored –
Forested Ancient Snake
Hollow Lizard (Degraded)
Brown Treasure Clam
Black Mire Wolf
White Rain Wolf
He was presented with a long list of bloodlines, far too many for him to simply focus on all at once.
‘Ausra, show only the Bloodlines that have the potential to naturally evolve to the Lord Class.’ He ordered, his heart hopeful.
‘You have no bloodlines with natural Lord Class potential stored.’
Dorian sighed, and then shrugged, an odd motion in his large draconic figure. It had been worth a shot.
‘Fine, show only Grandmaster Class bloodlines.’
The screen in his mind blurred for a moment and then reappeared.
– Bloodlines Stored –
Dorian looked over the choices.
‘Ausra, can you give me a general definition of each bloodline?’
Instead of responding, several screens appeared in Dorian’s mind, answering his question.
– Myyr Dragon –
A creature renowned for it’s lustrous green scales. It is a draconic creature, with a draconic form. As an adult, its height normally reaches around 4 meters tall, not including its flight-incapable wings. At its highest potential growth stage, it reaches the Grandmaster Class
– True Vampire –
A powerful humanoid being, renowned for its powerful sense of perception and innate talent in regards to Blood Magic. True Vampires possess powerful regenerative properties, as well as a strong physical form. At its highest potential growth stage, it reaches the Grandmaster Class.
– Titan –
A powerful humanoid being, renowned for its sheer physical strength, and its unique Ability known as Condense. Titans possess mid to strong regenerative properties, as well as an enormously powerful physical form, rivaling Pseudo-Lord Class beings when Condensed. At its highest potential growth stage, it reaches the Grandmaster Class.
– Virulent Wolf –
A resilient wolf-type creature, renowned for its incredible regenerative properties and its unique healing Ability known as Restore. These wolves have an incredibly powerful life force. Valued for their rare bloodline, these creatures are often harvested and used in magic spells. Virulent Wolves possess incredibly powerful regenerative properties, but weak physical strength, and are easily captured. At its highest potential growth stage, it reaches the Grandmaster Class.
Dorian looked over all the information he had been presented with, and then nodded his head, making a decision.
‘Alright, Ausra, I’ve made my choice.’