Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 164

He’d managed to make it smoothly across multiple Worlds without being stopped or attacked . So far, no one had really confronted him and things were flying smoothly .

There was the sole exception of the Anomaly named Fifteen attacking him . The confrontation with that Anomaly had been dangerous and deadly, an attack that came out of nowhere . Fifteen had mentioned that he would be waiting for Dorian at the Demonic Ruins .

The Anomaly had also mentioned he had been sent here to investigate about him . He was clearly part of some greater force, not acting on his own .

‘But who? Or what? It can’t be the Shade leadership directly or the Church of Light, otherwise they would have just acted out in the open . Therefore, it must be someone underground or hidden . ‘ He rubbed his chin thoughtfully .

‘I don’t think I’ve offended anyone nearby, save for the Church of Light . Are they only investigating me because of the scene I caused?’ He sighed .

His biggest concern lay in Fate . When he and Helena had ripped through Chaotic Space, Dorian was 100% sure they had left some sort of noticeable trail . Thus, after he arrived, the first thing he wanted to do was obfuscate that and move away as quickly as possible .

Especially considering that Helena was a Vampire, and the Shades were currently at war with the Vampires . If the Shades here found out that Helena was not only a powerful Vampire, but also in a weakened state, as well as one of the vaunted Aurelius Reavers…

His eyes hardened .

Dorian had no doubt that at least some of the Shades here would try to kill her .

‘What do I do… What do I do…’ He thought, frowning .

He didn’t want to have to kill anyone or put people’s lives at risk . But one of the few people he knew and cared deeply about in this universe was currently having her home and life put in grave danger . The Shades were even trying to wipe her Race out, or at least her Race’s control of their Worlds .

‘Don’t think of them as a monolith, Dorian . ‘ He reminded himself . Just because the Shade King was forcing the war didn’t mean everyone else supported it . It only meant that the influence in the hands of the Shade King was considerable .

‘Why did the Shade King have to go to war, anyway?’ He thought, frustrated . Why risk your people’s lives? The Commune already controlled a little more than 2,000 Worlds . Would picking up a few dozen or so more really matter that much?

‘Whatever petty feuds you had with their kind, couldn’t you have just ignored or talked it out, and left your people in peace and harmony?’ He sighed again .

He wanted to do the right thing . But he saw, now, that it wasn’t always easy to find out what exactly that meant .

‘I don’t want to hurt anyone . But I will do what I need to do to protect her . ‘ Dorian’s heart was troubled, but his mind was made up .

Even if that meant being a bit dishonest and tricking several dozen Shades into helping him get her healed and escape .

“It will be a bit of a long trip to Shaptle from here, a full 4 days journey across this World Bridge even with this fast-paced Flying Ship . This is one of the longest World Bridges in the 30,000 Worlds . ” The Dream Guide Walter spoke as he walked up next to Dorian, explaining some helpful info to Dorian from the side . The Flying Ship they were on began to progress up the World Bridge, headed towards the glowing portal that separated it off into Chaotic Space, away from the Exotic World of Ballians .

“I’m aware . ” He was . The Dream Guide, as well as some of Dorian’s newly formed Moria Liberation Force subordinates, had informed him a while ago about this . With his Jade Memory, it was impossible for him to forget .

“We’ll just need to-huh-what-is-this- – – -”

WHOOSH

The world went black .

Dorian blinked .

“Huh, what was that? Did I doze off?” Dorian yawned as he cleared his eyes, taking in the surroundings as he came awake . He held up his clearly human hands, scanning them over curiously for a moment . All was normal .

He was standing outside the Catalana Hotel-by-the-Water in Sydney, Australia . The sounds of water pressing up against the nearby pier were comforting, reminding him of the beach back home .

“I’m… right . I’m out with my parents and some cousins on vacation . They all went back in for dinner while I said I was going for a walk . ” For some reason, Dorian felt as if the world around him was oddly surreal . He rubbed at his head, massaging his temples .

He took a few steps forward . People moved slowly past him . He saw a few couples admiring the view, a family laughing as a child chased after a seagull, and a pair of girls jogging past him . It was late afternoon, with the warm light just slowly starting to die down .

He walked down the pier, smelling the frothy sea air . They were situated right next to the ocean, in a luxurious hotel suite his father had specially booked . In particular, their hotel lay near a small peninsula . Across the strip of ocean, another large and luxurious hotel could be seen, with various boats moving about in the water .

“It’s beautiful . ” He thought, staring at the glimmering ocean water .

*splash*

He turned to his right, looking at a statue of a large, scaled lion . It was a fountain of some sort, shooting off water into the ocean .

“Huh, a lion . That reminds me of something . . . ” He muttered, staring at it curiously .

WHOOSH

KEEEEEEEE

A burning sensation spread through Dorian’s head as he heard an unsettling keening noise echo out . He clutched at his forehead as this happened, groaning in pain .

“Uh, sir, are you alright?” One of the couples noticed Dorian as he fell to one knee . The speaker was a 30ish looking woman with dark brown hair and a concerned expression on her face . She reached out with a hand to help him up, thinking he had fallen .

“Memories… My memories…” Dorian whispered, ignoring her . The pain in his head continued, as if two parts of his mind were clashing . The pain continued to increase as he stood up, moving the woman’s helping hand away .

“GRRRRR!” Dorian roared out loud, his eyes blazing . He clenched his fists, forcing his way through the pain with sheer willpower alone .

“GIVE ME BACK MY MEMORIES!” His voice echoed like thunder, shaking the air around him .

BOOM

Abruptly, the painful resistance in Dorian’s mind vanished . A millisecond later, a rush of memories flooded back into him .


Abruptly, the painful resistance in Dorian’s mind vanished . A millisecond later, a rush of memories flooded back into him .

Memories of dying, here on Earth, and being transported to a strange new universe . Memories of becoming dozens of different creatures, of shifting forms and shapes . Of learning powerful techniques or creating his own combat attacks .

Of making friends and defeating enemies .

Memories that he could not forget . Memories that he would never want to forget, even if his creator claimed they were not his own .

“Ahh . ” Dorian blinked, feeling his mind fully restore itself .

He smiled .

“Jade Memories, thanks for that . ” He spoke aloud, naming and thanking the Ability that had come to his rescue .

“A lion… one of the rumors about that fallen Draconic Tribe was that it had been wiped out by an enormous lion . ” He muttered and then shook the stray thought from his head .

“So this is a Dream Zone, huh? How did it hit us on the World Bridge?” He looked at the incredibly realistic landscape spread out about him . Around him, several of the couples and families were all glaring at him askance thanks to his random outbreak . Some of them were taking their children away while giving him hushed glances, as if Dorian might be a threat to them .

“It tried to shake my memories away, or something like that . But, because of my Jade Memories Ability, I can’t forget anything . It’s not possible . Therefore, the two opposing forces crashed, and I ended up escaping through some type of loophole . ” He nodded . It all made sense in at least that regard .

After all, how many beings had an Ability perfectly tailored to memory? Probably an extremely tiny number . Putting in a safeguard of some sort for that, if it was even possible, would most likely be considered a waste of time and effort .

“But what now? I’m still here . ” He looked around the pier for a moment before closing his eyes . The Dream Guide had stated that almost every Dream Zone varied . The key way to break out of any Dream Zone was to ‘break the dream’s core’, which could mean anything depending on the person . Decidedly unhelpful advice .

WHOOSH

Raw, powerful energy flooded into Dorian’s body, enhancing his strength and physique tremendously . The power from the Law of Valor condensed the energy into his veins and muscles, vastly increasing his strength .

“I can still use all my techniques it seems . At least, I can draw upon the Laws here . ” A feeling of relief appeared as he noted this . If it was like this, he had no fear at all .

‘Ausra, are you still here?’ He asked, internally .

‘Yes . ‘ A cool voice in his head replied .

Dorian nodded at the reply, turning his focus back to the world around him .

According to the Dream Guide, while the Dream Zones could be dangerous if one was caught up in one, they weren’t a death sentence . Indeed, most of the time one was caught in one, it was only a matter of escaping it and waking up .

And even the Grandmaster Class Dream Guide was capable of escaping from plenty of Dream Zones and had done so multiple times .

Thus, Dorian wasn’t too worried .

“Only… how do I leave?” He began to walk down the pier, ignoring all the people staring at him . Though Dorian didn’t consciously notice it, his sense of self and strength of will had grown to tremendous levels over the time he had existed in the 30,000 Worlds, partly due to the growth of his powerful soul . Even if a thousand people were staring at him, he wouldn’t be the slightest bit fazed .

“Only… how do I leave?” He began to walk down the pier, ignoring all the people staring at him . Though Dorian didn’t consciously notice it, his sense of self and strength of will had grown to tremendous levels over the time he had existed in the 30,000 Worlds, partly due to the growth of his powerful soul . Even if a thousand people were staring at him, he wouldn’t be the slightest bit fazed .

He walked away from the pier, over to the front of the hotel his family had been staying in . He could see several cars parked out in front . A few palm trees rose up high into the air, swaying with a light breeze .

“Oh wow, cars . It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you . ” He muttered as he walked up to one of them, a red Toyota Camry . He tapped on its hood a few times, trailing his fingers over it .

If he counted all the time he’d been in the 30,000 Worlds, including the time he spent stuck in that mental prison when he was forced to heal his soul, he hadn’t seen a car in years .

*ting*

He flicked the hood of the car very carefully, nodding as he heard a resounding metallic echo .

“This dream sure is incredibly realistic . ” He examined, frowning . If his Jade Memories hadn’t restored his mind to him fully, Dorian had no doubt he would’ve been completely convinced that this was the real world .

He moved away from the cars and entered the hotel lobby .

“Welcome to the Catalana, how can I help you?” As soon as he entered, a woman standing at a receptionist desk greeted him warmly . She wore a tight blue dress with the symbol of the hotel on it .

“I’m good, thanks . ” He waved her off as he walked into and towards the center of the lobby, breezing past the reception . The hotel was an expensive one, finely decorated with large paintings and expensive art decorations . The hotel lobby was huge, with several large rooms, an open restaurant, and a circular pond all within it .

“This is exactly like my memories . ” Dorian said slowly, losing himself in nostalgia as he looked around . He walked up to the pond, looking at the various fish swimming around in it . In the background, relaxing music was playing while the cool breeze from an air conditioner swept over his body .

Everything looked and felt similar to what he had seen and felt here, so long ago .

Abruptly, his heart dropped as he realized something . His head twisted as he looked over towards the open restaurant in the lobby, his eyes scanning everything . There were about three dozen wooden tables set up, most of them half full . The floor beneath the tables was tiled, a peaceful grey color .

A few seconds later, he found what he was looking for .

A small family that was dining at one of the wooden tables . A woman that looked to be in her early 50s wearing a comfortable yellow sundress . She had long brown hair and cool blue eyes, with a ready smile on her face as she talked, animatedly, to the man sitting next to her .

A man that had a strong jawline, with short brown hair and bright blue eyes, a man that looked very similar to Dorian’s human form . His blue eyes were full of kindness and wisdom, well-worn laugh lines covering his face .

His father and mother .

“Aunty Ella, Kelly keeps poking my hamburger!”

“I did not! It was all Kyle!!”

Dorian’s hearing focused on that table as his powerful senses zeroed in, letting him hear a spurt of conversation .

Conversation coming from the two other members at the table . A 12 year old girl with long blonde hair tied up in a braid, and a 10 year old boy wearing a set of bright blue swimming trunks .

“Hahaha, oh, you two . Kelly, don’t poke your brother’s food . Kyle, don’t you poke her back . ” Dorian’s heart ached as he heard the aged, but cheerful, voice of the woman speaking . A voice that brought back memories swarming inside him .
Conversation coming from the two other members at the table . A 12 year old girl with long blonde hair tied up in a braid, and a 10 year old boy wearing a set of bright blue swimming trunks .

“Hahaha, oh, you two . Kelly, don’t poke your brother’s food . Kyle, don’t you poke her back . ” Dorian’s heart ached as he heard the aged, but cheerful, voice of the woman speaking . A voice that brought back memories swarming inside him .

“Listen to the old lady, kiddos!” He heard his dad reply with a hearty chuckle .

“Oi, who are you calling an old lady, you doddering fool!” His mother spun around and glared at his father, wagging a finger at him . Dorian couldn’t help but smile, grinning like a fool himself .

‘That’s right… on this trip, we took my aunt’s kids with us, because she had to leave for a couple of weeks on a business trip . They planned this ahead of time . ‘ His eyes widened as he processed this, his eyes greedily drinking in the scene like a man lost in a desert drinking up water .

This was identical . Everything was the same . Even the minor details of life, like his aunt’s children being at dinner with his parents…

It was all exactly the same .

“Mother… Father…” Dorian stared at them, quiet and pensive . His hands shook as an overwhelming sense of longing filled him .

“I never got to say goodbye last time…” Emotions swept through his heart as he saw them . Regardless of whether or not these memories were truly his own, Dorian had long since decided he would accept them as real .

Seeing his parents again after so long, after everything he had been through…

He closed his eyes, feeling his cheeks grow damp . His sudden death on Earth had been far too abrupt . Fate had chosen that time to claim his soul, departing him from the land he knew . There were so many things he wanted to say to his father, to say to his mother . To let them know that he loved them, to apologize for all the little things he’d let hold him back .

Alas .

As his heart shook with emotion, however, it also filled with determination .

“Ah . So this is the trap . Well laid, Dream Zone . This is not real . ” He opened his eyes and took a deep breath, forcibly controlling himself . Tears dripped down his face as he tore his gaze away from his family, not allowing himself to get caught up in the vision . As much as he wanted to, he knew he could not afford it .

Not when Helena was depending on him .

‘Helena…’ Dorian’s breathing was erratic as he began to walk back through the lobby, feeling as if each step he took weighed a thousand pounds . His entire body seemed to be screaming at him to stop, to turn around and hug his dad . To tell them about all he had gone through, everything that had happened, to let them know how much he missed them .

‘If this were a simpler time, here on Earth, I would ask you on a date . ‘ He rubbed his eyes as his thoughts moved forward . He couldn’t afford to let himself wait here even a moment . He pushed his thoughts away, focusing on Helena . The wondrous Vampire that had quite literally fallen into his life . He closed his eyes again as he moved, doing everything he could to walk away .

If he tarried, he feared he might not be able to turn away again .

‘Though, maybe I could call this an extended date . After all, we did technically sleep together . Well, at least, we slept in the same room, though in different beds . Close enough . Probably shouldn’t let her hear me say that, though . ‘ He high-fived himself anyway, managing to force up a small smile as he walked out of the hotel . As he left those doors, he felt a weight rise from his shoulders .

It felt as if he had finally broken free from a past that was trying to drag him back . At the same time, however, a heavy feeling filled his heart . A feeling of loss, of loneliness . Of melancholy and sorrow . As if he was giving something up, something he could not get back .

He moved forward outside alone, his shoulders hunched as he left behind a family that he would never see again .

.
Alright . Dorian thought, grinning . The progress they had made was incredible and they hadnt even run into any snags . This was the kind of travel he liked . Hed managed to make it smoothly across multiple Worlds without being stopped or attacked . So far, no one had really confronted him and things were flying smoothly . There was the sole exception of the Anomaly named Fifteen attacking him . The confrontation with that Anomaly had been dangerous and deadly, an attack that came out of nowhere . Fifteen had mentioned that he would be waiting for Dorian at the Demonic Ruins . The Anomaly had also mentioned he had been sent here to investigate about him . He was clearly part of some greater force, not acting on his own . But who? Or what? It cant be the Shade leadership directly or the Church of Light, otherwise they would have just acted out in the open . Therefore, it must be someone underground or hidden . He rubbed his chin thoughtfully . I dont think Ive offended anyone nearby, save for the Church of Light . Are they only investigating me because of the scene I caused? He sighed . His biggest concern lay in Fate . When he and Helena had ripped through Chaotic Space, Dorian was 100% sure they had left some sort of noticeable trail . Thus, after he arrived, the first thing he wanted to do was obfuscate that and move away as quickly as possible . Especially considering that Helena was a Vampire, and the Shades were currently at war with the Vampires . If the Shades here found out that Helena was not only a powerful Vampire, but also in a weakened state, as well as one of the vaunted Aurelius Reavers… His eyes hardened . Dorian had no doubt that at least some of the Shades here would try to kill her . What do I do… What do I do… He thought, frowning . He didnt want to have to kill anyone or put peoples lives at risk . But one of the few people he knew and cared deeply about in this universe was currently having her home and life put in grave danger . The Shades were even trying to wipe her Race out, or at least her Races control of their Worlds . Dont think of them as a monolith, Dorian . He reminded himself . Just because the Shade King was forcing the war didnt mean everyone else supported it . It only meant that the influence in the hands of the Shade King was considerable . Why did the Shade King have to go to war, anyway? He thought, frustrated . Why risk your peoples lives? The Commune already controlled a little more than 2,000 Worlds . Would picking up a few dozen or so more really matter that much? Whatever petty feuds you had with their kind, couldnt you have just ignored or talked it out, and left your people in peace and harmony? He sighed again . He wanted to do the right thing . But he saw, now, that it wasnt always easy to find out what exactly that meant . I dont want to hurt anyone . But I will do what I need to do to protect her . Dorians heart was troubled, but his mind was made up . Even if that meant being a bit dishonest and tricking several dozen Shades into helping him get her healed and escape . It will be a bit of a long trip to Shaptle from here, a full 4 days journey across this World Bridge even with this fast-paced Flying Ship . This is one of the longest World Bridges in the 30,000 Worlds . The Dream Guide Walter spoke as he walked up next to Dorian, explaining some helpful info to Dorian from the side . The Flying Ship they were on began to progress up the World Bridge, headed towards the glowing portal that separated it off into Chaotic Space, away from the Exotic World of Ballians . Im aware . He was . The Dream Guide, as well as some of Dorians newly formed Moria Liberation Force subordinates, had informed him a while ago about this . With his Jade Memory, it was impossible for him to forget . Well just need to-huh-what-is-this- – – – WHOOSH The world went black . Dorian blinked . Huh, what was that? Did I doze off? Dorian yawned as he cleared his eyes, taking in the surroundings as he came awake . He held up his clearly human hands, scanning them over curiously for a moment . All was normal . He was standing outside the Catalana Hotel-by-the-Water in Sydney, Australia . The sounds of water pressing up against the nearby pier were comforting, reminding him of the beach back home . Im… right . Im out with my parents and some cousins on vacation . They all went back in for dinner while I said I was going for a walk . For some reason, Dorian felt as if the world around him was oddly surreal . He rubbed at his head, massaging his temples . He took a few steps forward . People moved slowly past him . He saw a few couples admiring the view, a family laughing as a child chased after a seagull, and a pair of girls jogging past him . It was late afternoon, with the warm light just slowly starting to die down . He walked down the pier, smelling the frothy sea air . They were situated right next to the ocean, in a luxurious hotel suite his father had specially booked . In particular, their hotel lay near a small peninsula . Across the strip of ocean, another large and luxurious hotel could be seen, with various boats moving about in the water . Its beautiful . He thought, staring at the glimmering ocean water . *splash* He turned to his right, looking at a statue of a large, scaled lion . It was a fountain of some sort, shooting off water into the ocean . Huh, a lion . That reminds me of something . He muttered, staring at it curiously . WHOOSH KEEEEEEEE A burning sensation spread through Dorians head as he heard an unsettling keening noise echo out . He clutched at his forehead as this happened, groaning in pain . Uh, sir, are you alright? One of the couples noticed Dorian as he fell to one knee . The speaker was a 30ish looking woman with dark brown hair and a concerned expression on her face . She reached out with a hand to help him up, thinking he had fallen . Memories… My memories… Dorian whispered, ignoring her . The pain in his head continued, as if two parts of his mind were clashing . The pain continued to increase as he stood up, moving the womans helping hand away . GRRRRR! Dorian roared out loud, his eyes blazing . He clenched his fists, forcing his way through the pain with sheer willpower alone . GIVE ME BACK MY MEMORIES! His voice echoed like thunder, shaking the air around him . BOOM Abruptly, the painful resistance in Dorians mind vanished . A millisecond later, a rush of memories flooded back into him . Memories of dying, here on Earth, and being transported to a strange new universe . Memories of becoming dozens of different creatures, of shifting forms and shapes . Of learning powerful techniques or creating his own combat attacks . Of making friends and defeating enemies . Memories that he could not forget . Memories that he would never want to forget, even if his creator claimed they were not his own . Ahh . Dorian blinked, feeling his mind fully restore itself . He smiled . Jade Memories, thanks for that . He spoke aloud, naming and thanking the Ability that had come to his rescue . A lion… one of the rumors about that fallen Draconic Tribe was that it had been wiped out by an enormous lion . He muttered and then shook the stray thought from his head . So this is a Dream Zone, huh? How did it hit us on the World Bridge? He looked at the incredibly realistic landscape spread out about him . Around him, several of the couples and families were all glaring at him askance thanks to his random outbreak . Some of them were taking their children away while giving him hushed glances, as if Dorian might be a threat to them . It tried to shake my memories away, or something like that . But, because of my Jade Memories Ability, I cant forget anything . Its not possible . Therefore, the two opposing forces crashed, and I ended up escaping through some type of loophole . He nodded . It all made sense in at least that regard . After all, how many beings had an Ability perfectly tailored to memory? Probably an extremely tiny number . Putting in a safeguard of some sort for that, if it was even possible, would most likely be considered a waste of time and effort . But what now? Im still here . He looked around the pier for a moment before closing his eyes . The Dream Guide had stated that almost every Dream Zone varied . The key way to break out of any Dream Zone was to break the dreams core, which could mean anything depending on the person . Decidedly unhelpful advice . WHOOSH Raw, powerful energy flooded into Dorians body, enhancing his strength and physique tremendously . The power from the Law of Valor condensed the energy into his veins and muscles, vastly increasing his strength . I can still use all my techniques it seems . At least, I can draw upon the Laws here . A feeling of relief appeared as he noted this . If it was like this, he had no fear at all . Ausra, are you still here? He asked, internally . Yes . A cool voice in his head replied . Dorian nodded at the reply, turning his focus back to the world around him . According to the Dream Guide, while the Dream Zones could be dangerous if one was caught up in one, they werent a death sentence . Indeed, most of the time one was caught in one, it was only a matter of escaping it and waking up . And even the Grandmaster Class Dream Guide was capable of escaping from plenty of Dream Zones and had done so multiple times . Thus, Dorian wasnt too worried . Only… how do I leave? He began to walk down the pier, ignoring all the people staring at him . Though Dorian didnt consciously notice it, his sense of self and strength of will had grown to tremendous levels over the time he had existed in the 30,000 Worlds, partly due to the growth of his powerful soul . Even if a thousand people were staring at him, he wouldnt be the slightest bit fazed . He walked away from the pier, over to the front of the hotel his family had been staying in . He could see several cars parked out in front . A few palm trees rose up high into the air, swaying with a light breeze . Oh wow, cars . Its been a long time since Ive seen you . He muttered as he walked up to one of them, a red Toyota Camry . He tapped on its hood a few times, trailing his fingers over it . If he counted all the time hed been in the 30,000 Worlds, including the time he spent stuck in that mental prison when he was forced to heal his soul, he hadnt seen a car in years . *ting* He flicked the hood of the car very carefully, nodding as he heard a resounding metallic echo . This dream sure is incredibly realistic . He examined, frowning . If his Jade Memories hadnt restored his mind to him fully, Dorian had no doubt he wouldve been completely convinced that this was the real world . He moved away from the cars and entered the hotel lobby . Welcome to the Catalana, how can I help you? As soon as he entered, a woman standing at a receptionist desk greeted him warmly . She wore a tight blue dress with the symbol of the hotel on it . Im good, thanks . He waved her off as he walked into and towards the center of the lobby, breezing past the reception . The hotel was an expensive one, finely decorated with large paintings and expensive art decorations . The hotel lobby was huge, with several large rooms, an open restaurant, and a circular pond all within it . This is exactly like my memories . Dorian said slowly, losing himself in nostalgia as he looked around . He walked up to the pond, looking at the various fish swimming around in it . In the background, relaxing music was playing while the cool breeze from an air conditioner swept over his body . Everything looked and felt similar to what he had seen and felt here, so long ago . Abruptly, his heart dropped as he realized something . His head twisted as he looked over towards the open restaurant in the lobby, his eyes scanning everything . There were about three dozen wooden tables set up, most of them half full . The floor beneath the tables was tiled, a peaceful grey color . A few seconds later, he found what he was looking for . A small family that was dining at one of the wooden tables . A woman that looked to be in her early 50s wearing a comfortable yellow sundress . She had long brown hair and cool blue eyes, with a ready smile on her face as she talked, animatedly, to the man sitting next to her . A man that had a strong jawline, with short brown hair and bright blue eyes, a man that looked very similar to Dorians human form . His blue eyes were full of kindness and wisdom, well-worn laugh lines covering his face . His father and mother . Aunty Ella, Kelly keeps poking my hamburger! I did not! It was all Kyle!! Dorians hearing focused on that table as his powerful senses zeroed in, letting him hear a spurt of conversation . Conversation coming from the two other members at the table . A 12 year old girl with long blonde hair tied up in a braid, and a 10 year old boy wearing a set of bright blue swimming trunks . Hahaha, oh, you two . Kelly, dont poke your brothers food . Kyle, dont you poke her back . Dorians heart ached as he heard the aged, but cheerful, voice of the woman speaking . A voice that brought back memories swarming inside him . Listen to the old lady, kiddos! He heard his dad reply with a hearty chuckle . Oi, who are you calling an old lady, you doddering fool! His mother spun around and glared at his father, wagging a finger at him . Dorian couldnt help but smile, grinning like a fool himself . Thats right… on this trip, we took my aunts kids with us, because she had to leave for a couple of weeks on a business trip . They planned this ahead of time . His eyes widened as he processed this, his eyes greedily drinking in the scene like a man lost in a desert drinking up water . This was identical . Everything was the same . Even the minor details of life, like his aunts children being at dinner with his parents… It was all exactly the same . Mother… Father… Dorian stared at them, quiet and pensive . His hands shook as an overwhelming sense of longing filled him . I never got to say goodbye last time… Emotions swept through his heart as he saw them . Regardless of whether or not these memories were truly his own, Dorian had long since decided he would accept them as real . Seeing his parents again after so long, after everything he had been through… He closed his eyes, feeling his cheeks grow damp . His sudden death on Earth had been far too abrupt . Fate had chosen that time to claim his soul, departing him from the land he knew . There were so many things he wanted to say to his father, to say to his mother . To let them know that he loved them, to apologize for all the little things hed let hold him back . Alas . As his heart shook with emotion, however, it also filled with determination . Ah . So this is the trap . Well laid, Dream Zone . This is not real . He opened his eyes and took a deep breath, forcibly controlling himself . Tears dripped down his face as he tore his gaze away from his family, not allowing himself to get caught up in the vision . As much as he wanted to, he knew he could not afford it . Not when Helena was depending on him . Helena… Dorians breathing was erratic as he began to walk back through the lobby, feeling as if each step he took weighed a thousand pounds . His entire body seemed to be screaming at him to stop, to turn around and hug his dad . To tell them about all he had gone through, everything that had happened, to let them know how much he missed them . If this were a simpler time, here on Earth, I would ask you on a date . He rubbed his eyes as his thoughts moved forward . He couldnt afford to let himself wait here even a moment . He pushed his thoughts away, focusing on Helena . The wondrous Vampire that had quite literally fallen into his life . He closed his eyes again as he moved, doing everything he could to walk away . If he tarried, he feared he might not be able to turn away again . Though, maybe I could call this an extended date . After all, we did technically sleep together . Well, at least, we slept in the same room, though in different beds . Close enough . Probably shouldnt let her hear me say that, though . He high-fived himself anyway, managing to force up a small smile as he walked out of the hotel . As he left those doors, he felt a weight rise from his shoulders . It felt as if he had finally broken free from a past that was trying to drag him back . At the same time, however, a heavy feeling filled his heart . A feeling of loss, of loneliness . Of melancholy and sorrow . As if he was giving something up, something he could not get back . He moved forward outside alone, his shoulders hunched as he left behind a family that he would never see again

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