Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 58: Backlash – Start of Volume 3
Note: I’ve gone back and begun editing the previous volumes, fixing typos and the like.
I should be finished editing within 3 days. Just a mini update.
Here we go, starting Volume 3! Expect daily updates, every single day without fail.
A large, deep blue lake spread out for miles, teeming with life. Healthy, well-kept oak trees surrounded the lake, planted amongst large swathes of bright green grass. A large river connected to the north of this lake, rustling past peacefully in the mid-morning light.
To the west of this lake was a small keep, built out of aged grey stone. Rustic wooden platforms surrounded the edges of this castle, a restoration process clearly ongoing. A paved stone path led to the entrance of the keep. The path moved off in the other direction towards a populated city, many miles from here.
Atop the highest point in this castle a flagpole rose, bearing a large, lightly glowing white flag, white sparks flowing from it. Six golden circles crossed each other on this flag, forming a unique shape.
A small wooden boat floated near the center of the lake. Aboard that wooden boat were two figures.
One was an aged, elderly man, muscular and bulky despite his elderly status. He had tan, leathery skin, and a wizened face. He was completely bald, with a grand and long, bushy white beard. A kind smile could be seen on his face as he held onto a black fishing rod, pulling on it slightly.
He wore a set of simple white robes, adorned with small golden patterns on the edges. A necklace hung around his neck, with an icon of a golden sun hung at its base. He gave off the aura of a priest or holy man.
The only thing that separated him from being a human was the small, black aura that rose from his hands.
The tell-tale sign of the Shade race, a race of humanoids that looked virtually identical to humans except for the Dark Points found on the back of each hand, and the fact that they didn’t bleed red, but instead, black blood mixed with strange, black energy.
The other man on the boat had a younger appearance, his face unlined by age. He had the same tan skin, and was also muscular, but more of a lean kind of muscular. Instead of an adorned white robe, he wore a set of faded grey leather armor, the insignia of a golden sun emblazoned upon it. The same necklace of a golden sun rested around his neck.
His hands were wrapped, hiding the Dark Point that each Shade had, causing the black aura to dissipate.
He was currently waiting patiently as he looked at the aged, white robed man in front of him.
The older of the two spoke aloud, pulling slightly on the fishing rod in his hands,
“You doubt the direction of the Church, Isaac?” His voice was deep and enthralling, full of charisma and warmth. He looked at the younger man, giving him a kind smile.
“No, High Priest.” Isaac said, bowing his head apologetically.
“I merely do not see the point in aiding that… creature.” He gestured vaguely back at the castle off to the side of the lake.
The old man smiled again,
“I understand your worries, Isaac. With his Highness Keldon off clashing with the Aurelius and Augustus Families, we are spread thin at the moment.” He paused, setting the fishing rod down to the side, and turning to give his full attention.
“The way to salvation is not always a clear path. Obstacles will appear, whether through our own thoughts, or through the actions of others.” He raised his hands as he spoke, his eyes radiating light and passion,
“We Shades are a race others claimed must live in darkness, decrying us as evil for tens of thousands of years. Yet now? The Church of Light has spread to all of the Shade Race, and salvation is at hand for all. We are mightier than we have ever been before.” He continued,
“Peace dominates the land. Every man and woman is treated equally, everyone has enough food to eat and water to drink. Slavery is abolished, and crime has widely fallen. No longer are we forced to live under the rule of others.” He nodded his head,
“Our job is not an easy one, Isaac. To spread the Word of Light to all is our calling. Many of our missionaries have fallen in the field, killed by those who would silence the Word.” He sighed, real and tangible sadness infused within his voice.
“I understand that.” Isaac broke in, his body trembling as he was caught up in the charisma of the High Priest,
“I just don’t understand how that creature fits in with the Word. Why we must hunt down other beasts for it? The Word of Light doesn’t condone pointless killing.” A confused expression donned his face.
The High Priest simply smiled once again,
“What the Church needs, right now, is a symbol, young Isaac. Something the common people can look up to, and know that only by believing in the Light can they find salvation. After all, without the common people, what are we?” His eyes glinted, continuing,
“And we have been given an opportunity, praise the Light in its infinite benevolence, to create that symbol.” He nodded his head sharply,
“All we must do is help the Twentiethborn reach its highest form.”
“We shall help it become a true Angel of Light, and spread the Word of Light to all.”
Dorian blinked, soft white and red light causing him to stir awake.
His consciousness came awake instantly, the usual bleariness caused from waking up absent. Dorian looked around in confusion, scanning his surroundings.
All around him, an expansive, white stone floor spread out, seamless, with no cracks or imperfections. In the distance, the horizon gradually faded into white fog, making this world seem endless. Far, up above, a small, glowing red orb could be seen.
Every direction he looked, endless white nothingness spread out. The only thing on this world was him, and the stone floor beneath him, and the red orb giving off light above.
‘Initializing soul scanning metrics… Soul Spell Matrix repair process preliminary scan engaged.’
Ausra’s familiar voice rang out in Dorian’s head.
‘Where am I, Ausra? What is happening?’ He asked aloud. The area looked somewhat familiar, the white fog in the distance similar to the Evolution Space he could envision with his Soul Spell Matrix.
‘Your body suffered an enormous amount of strain. The injuries you suffered were severe, including highly damaging genetic corruption due to your use of Condensed Elemental Energy. In addition, your soul was injured due to you forcibly ignoring the soul adaptation period and combining unadapted forms.’ Ausra began, her voice rattling off information cooly,
‘Due to this, your mind and body have entered a dormant state. Because of a lack of energy, your Soul Spell Matrix is repairing the damage by drawing on the natural energy of the world around you.’
Dorian blinked as he heard his situation, sighing. It seemed he’d managed to survive, but only just barely.
‘The injury to the soul is fully treatable, but only if you remain in a dormant state. If you choose to awaken now, the injury may remain permanent, and limit your future growth, in addition to a nonzero chance of death.’ Ausra finished.
‘Alright.’ He shrugged. It didn’t seem he had much choice here. He’d made his decisions, and maybe others, if they were in his place, would think they were foolish. But he would stick by his morals. This was a life he’d live with no regrets.
‘So where, exactly, is this?’ He repeated his question.
‘Your consciousness is resting within the nucleus of your Soul Spell Matrix. This is a representation of it, created from your own expectations. It is under your control.’ Ausra’s answer was concise.
He looked around, again nothing the lack of… well, anything really. He glanced upward at the red orb in the sky, about twenty meters above him.
‘Is that William?’ William’s soul was encased in a cocoon of energy, protected from dissipation. He had around a year till that energy fell apart, and William died for real. If he didn’t manage to make William a body that perfectly matched his soul’s wavelength… that would be it for him.
The only reason William had ended up as he was was because of his brave sacrifice, saving Dorian’s life.
Come hell or high water, there was no way Dorian wouldn’t do his damnedest to save him in return.
‘Yes. The cocoon of energy encasing the soul of the human you saved is currently bonded just outside of the nucleus of your Soul Spell Matrix.’ Ausra replied, echoing in his head. Unlike when he was in his Evolution Space, he couldn’t see the ball of light that represented Ausra here.
‘Okay. What is this form?’ He queried, rubbing his chin. He looked down at his body, staring at it.
His form was that of a human. He held his hands up in front of him, waving in front of his face.
He wasn’t super muscular or super thin, though he wasn’t overweight either. He was slightly lean, with short brown hair, and piercing blue eyes.
‘This is how you envision your soul.’ Ausra replied.
‘Huh.’ He looked himself up and down.
Ever since he’d come to this strange universe, his view of himself had always felt as if it was changing. He felt like he didn’t blend in with other humans well anymore, as if he was out of place.
At his core, however, he still stuck to the morals he’d held in his previous life.
He shrugged. At the end of the day, it hardly mattered. His real form was a body that could be anything. Perhaps some part of him was still clinging to the idea of being a human. Perhaps one day he would return here, and his soul would no longer look human, but like something else.
So many strange things had happened in this new, odd universe, he was no longer ready to discount anything.
‘I have finished running my scan on the damage to your soul and physical form. Would you like to engage the repair process?’ Ausra replied, her voice cool.
‘Yes. How long will it take?’ Dorian queried.
‘Estimating… incomplete data does not allow an accurate assessment, save for a reliable claim that less than a month is required, in real time.’ Ausra responded.
‘In real time?’ The end of what his Soul Spell Matrix genie said caught his attention.
‘Yes, in real time. Time within the nucleus of your Soul Spell Matrix operates oddly. When the Godking created your Soul Spell Matrix, he drew upon the forces of creation itself, allowing you to bend reality and Evolve. Because your consciousness is stored here, your perception of time passing will flow with the distortions present in your Soul Spell Matrix. A real day could pass in a single hour here, or much longer.’
‘Okay, what does that mean, though? How long am I going to be stuck here?’ He looked around the endless white expanse, a hint of worry and irritation in his heart. It seemed like he might be forced to live in boredom for a few weeks or even a month.
‘I am unable to provide a reliable estimate. The repair process will require the full engagement of my construct, I am unable to provide real time estimates.’
Dorian paused at her words, frowning.
‘Alright, well, you might as well get us started. The sooner we can get past this, the better.’
‘Acknowledged. Engaging the repair process.’ Ausra’s voice rang out, and then vanished.
The world around Dorian flashed for just the briefest moment.
And then everything returned to stillness.
He was greeted with silence. The genie was fully engaged in repairing the damage to his soul, unable to respond or reply to him.
‘Ah, alright. I guess I’m my own for a bit, huh?’ He shrugged. He looked around the endless white expanse, and then up at the glowing red orb that represented William. He nodded, and then looked around.
‘Well, I might as well see what I can do here.’