Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 35: Condense
Dorian went with the guards patiently, following their directions. They didn’t ask for the Spatial Pouch he had tucked under his shirt, or even check him for weapons.
It was a novel experience. He’d never actually been arrested before, or interrogated. They didn’t chain his arms together and didn’t seem to be concerned with him trying to escape. Apparently the authority of the City Lord was unquestioned here.
They guided him through a maze of streets, towards a large grey stone building.
The City Lord insignia was emblazoned on the front of this building. The location was shaped like a miniature castle, with only slits for windows and thick stone walls blocking off the outside world. The appearance itself was very foreboding.
He looked at the fierce looking building, and then mentally shrugged. It looked like it would be quite hard to escape from if he was a regular person.
Dorian waltzed inside alongside the guards. He quickly moved through an entranceway, and then some type of waiting area, down a hallway, and into a large, stone chamber.
Several tables and chairs were set up in this ten meter by ten-meter room. It was built towards the center of the large building, lit up by several orbs of light installed into torches on the walls.
At the center of this room was an elegant looking vampire, dressed in a set of black robes. His lips were thin, and an unknown light gleamed out of his eyes. He looked a bit aged, as far as Dorian could tell, perhaps whatever age represented middle-aged for a Vampire.
The higher your Class, the longer your lifespan, according to Ausra. If a human reached the King Class, they could live for hundreds of years, even potentially thousands. Vampires were naturally long-lived on their own, and adding the study of magic to that further slowed their aging.
Standing behind the black-robed vampire was another vampire, wearing what looked like a full set of metal armor, except for a helmet. He had piercing red eyes and short brown hair, and was, by far, the most militaristic looking vampire Dorian had seen yet.
What caught Dorian’s eyes, however, and almost made him stumble in shock were the two figures he saw, standing right next to the two vampires.
Two Aethmen, one a woman and one a man.
Clarence and Jeriah, the two merchants he had arrived here with.
“Sir! We’ve brought the target after finding him causing a disturbance in the northern sector of the city.” The leader of the guards announced as he entered the room, pulling Dorian forward. Or, at least, trying to pull Dorian forward. Dorian’s body weighed several hundred pounds, and even though the guard was at least at the Sky Class, pulling someone as heavy as Dorian would require a solid grip.
Dorian stepped forward with him, regardless, not wanting to cause a scene yet.
“Very well. File your report, and then return back to your patrol. You are dismissed.” The vampire wearing the set of metal armor ordered, waving the guards away. They shut the door behind them, filing out.
“What is this? I’ve done nothing wrong.” Dorian asked, holding his hands out in front of him.
The armored vampire turned towards him and stepped forward.
“I am the Captain of the Guard, and the Adjudicator of the City, Vyers Mikael. Titan, you have been charged with not only assault, but robbery, and attempted murder. Further, you seem to have caused a disturbance in the streets, another crime to your list.” His voice boomed outward, a powerful air exploding around him. Dorian could feel the strength ebbing off the man’s body in waves as he glared at Dorian, his eyes gleaming red.
‘A Vampire Noble at the peak of the Grandmaster Class. He is not a Wizard, but instead trains in a mystic art designed for vampire warriors.’ Ausra identified the vampire in front of him.
“As required under Family law, you have a right to see your accusers at the time of your arrest.” Vyers waved his hand behind him, his eyes focused completely on Dorian.
Dorian turned and stared at the two merchants, his eyes emotionless.
“That is him, your honor.” The female Aeth Jeriah stepped forward, her voice trembling. Clarence closed his eyes, the picture of a man in fear.
“Shh, shh, it’s okay.” The Wizard standing at the side grabbed ahold of her and pulled her back, comforting her.
Without letting Dorian get a word in, or even asking for his name, the armored vampire continued,
“You have a right to defend yourself under the law, two days from now on trial. Until then, you are under confinement orders, and will be held here at the City jail.” Myer’s eyes were cold as he looked at Dorian, as if already sure of his guilt.
He clapped his hands together. Immediately, several different armed warriors moved into the room, all giving off strong auras.
“Lock him away.”
Dorian sat down in a dark cell, several dozen meters underground, alone. His hands were folded together as he sat cross-legged, calmly breathing. His Spatial Pouch had been scanned and searched and then, surprisingly to Dorian, returned to him while he was in his cell with everything still within it.
There was no one else nearby. His cell and three others were the only ones he could see in the dimly lit underground chamber, and none of the other cells had occupants in them. He could vaguely hear, up above, the sounds of the guards talking and laughing.
He had let the City guards lead him down, let them chain his hands together with a type of special, magic chains, let them take him all the way down on this charade.
And all he could feel now was disappointment.
Mostly in himself.
He wasn’t a fool. His Soul was powerful, and his physique strong. More than anything, however, Dorian had always had a knack for analyzing situations. When he broke down what he saw in that room, scene by scene, he understood what happened.
Clarence had his fists trembling, and looked both terrified and horrified upon seeing him. The same applied to his wife, Jeriah. When Jeriah spoke, her voice had been filled with real hatred and fear. When that Wizard by her side grabbed her, ostensibly to comfort her, her trembling had increased slightly, and she had leaned away.
The signs were small. If he hadn’t known he was innocent, it was possible he would believe they were being honest.
It was clear they were being forced to do this, against their will. Most likely by that older vampire Wizard. The man had looked at him as if he was looking at a piece of cattle.
Dorian sighed and rubbed his forehead.
He was disappointed with himself.
He had allowed himself to grow friendly with others, letting himself forget that his soul was one that twisted Fate, drawing events and things around him.
Anyone he befriended would be someone he put in danger.
He’d seen this before. One innocent being had already died because of him, preserved only in spirit.
And now, because of him, those kindly Aeth merchants were in danger.
If he had simply walked away after saving them, none of this would have happened.
He looked at his rough, red hands, rubbing his palms quietly. He slowly drew his head up, raising his chained arms to around his chest. These were magical chains, ones that adjusted in size to keep a prisoner locked in, no matter how small, or so he’d been told. Most likely made to target Wizards who could change in size, not Titans, but they functioned to lock in both.
He considered trying to absorb the energy from it for a moment before tossing the idea aside. He’d only managed to absorb energy from a single magic item, a broken ring, and had yet to test it on other items. It wasn’t the right time to test that out, the situation was a bit too volatile.
He stared at the chains and instead began to gather his breath, focusing.
Before he did anything else Dorian froze, sensing something moving in the corridor beyond his jail cell.
He didn’t sense this physically.
Rather, he felt a stirring of his soul, a physical connection established.
A warbling, keening cry sounded off, echoing quietly in the underground area.
“What have we here, Dorian, my friend?” In front of Dorian’s eyes, the shadowy figure of a bird appeared. This bird was like no other bird Dorian had seen before, made up of an almost transparent crystal, its shape and function unsettling.
‘A Crystal Eagle, a relatively rare beast that is adept at spreading illusions. It maximizes its growth at the Master Class.’ Ausra chimed in, identifying it.
“You allowed yourself to be captured, and trapped? By prey?!” Dorian recognized the incredulous voice.
It was the same member of the Flock he had met before, but in a different form. Mello.
“What I choose to do is what I choose to do. My will is unquestionable.” Dorian put up his confident front again, inwardly just feeling tired.
Mello shrugged, raising its wings in an appeasing gesture, on oddly disconcerting movement when coming from a bird.
“I thought much like you when I first came into existence. I wanted to experience the world around me, and gather allies. To expand and create the perfect being, yes, but with a vast swathe of allies, a grand alliance. Perfection is not found alone.” Mello began, his voice sounding majestic and powerful, an enthralling vision in his eyes. He continued, however, shaking his bird head,
“I was betrayed, attacked by a scourge of those filthy vampires and humans.” His eyes flashed red,
“You can’t trust them, any of them. I’ve been watching carefully, Dorian, my friend. Did you not see how those you saved betrayed you, merely to keep their own skin? The sheer unfairness of how the ‘Justice’ of this reality treats the innocent? There is no such thing as loyalty in this world, not among their kind. This is only a small example.” Mello’s voice was filled with disgust,
“The only ones we can trust are our own.” He said, with finality.
Dorian’s face remained unmoving as Mello’s words washed over him. He stayed quiet.
“Very well. Then experience it for yourself, like I did. I have other things to attend to, other Flock members to find. If you wish to join my alliance after you slaughter your way out, you can find one of my chief clones at the Blue Palace of the Planet Gorral.”
Mello’s body began to waver and started to vanish.
“Oh, one last thing.” Mello’s crystal skull seemed to smile,
“A rather… unruly member of our brethren will arrive on planet tomorrow. He’s the same as you, starting with a Draconic form. You might want to watch out.”
“He’s a bit of an… odd one. You’ll know when he’s here.”
Mello vanished, leaving Dorian alone in his cell once more.
Dorian let a few minutes pass as he thought about what Mello said, and his own feelings. He found that he couldn’t come to a conclusion, his thoughts lost and muddled.
Underneath all of this, a boiling undercurrent of rage had slowly been building. Anger at the injustice he suffered, the injustices he had caused others to suffer, and at injustice in general.
As he struggled to come to a decision, Dorian realized something, his eyes hardening.
What he would do in the future, how he felt, all of the confusing thoughts were something he could deal with later.
‘Right now’, he thought, his eyes glowing, ‘There are other things I need to do. Some people I want to talk to. And a certain Wizard I am going to kill.’
He looked down at his chains.
His Emerald Flames were a specialized type of Draconic Flame. While they might be only mediocre when compared to other types, there was one aspect that they excelled at.
A swath of green flames burst from his mouth, blasting away at the chains on his hands. A few sparks shout out into the air as the chains began to tremble, the magic in them going haywire.
A quiet explosion shook the air as the chains sloughed off, falling to the ground beside him with a solid clunk. He rubbed at his wrists and then stretched his hands, enjoying the freeing feeling.
He looked over at the thick metal bars blocking up his cage, and then shrugged. Moments later, another swathe of green flames burst out, melting a large metal hole.
He stepped through the hole, and then looked down the corridor. He could see the entrance to the passageway off to the side, a stone archway that was locked and sealed off.
Dorian stalked up to it, tying his Spatial Pouch securely to his shoulder. He rested his hands on the stoney surface of the door, feeling it clank.
“Hup!” With a small yell, Dorian smashed his hands into the door, shattering it with a resounding crash. Stone shrapnel exploded as the door collapsed, pelting him.
This opened up to another guardroom he had passed through, and a set of stairs that led upward.
The guardroom was empty, but he could hear guards running down the stairs due to the commotion he caused.
He smiled, and then willed his body to transform.
A split second went by, and instead of a two meter tall red Titan, a small, half meter tall green scaled dragon appeared. Dorian’s first form as a Myyr Dragon wyrmling.
“Condense.” Dorian activated the ability he had gained as a Titan.
Description: The signature Ability of the Titan race, unique to them. This allows a Titan to combine the essence and power of their physical form, vastly increasing their strength, physical endurance, and density, while greatly condensing their height and size.
Unlike his Emerald Flames, this ability didn’t grow in mastery. It was already extremely useful.
His half a meter long body began to shrink, his already diminutive status as a wyrmling shrinking down to just a mere few inches in size.
He felt his body grow tougher and stronger, the very scales on his body vastly gaining in defensive strength.
Instead of a mighty, Grandmaster Class Myyr Dragon, Dorian now looked like a tiny, baby lizard.
The effects of the Ability were exactly as he had tested before, secretly in the wagon he had ridden in on his own. He went and tucked his Spatial Pouch under the stone stairs, hidden away shoved into a corner, with his clothes inside it. Hopefully he’d be able to come back for it later.
Dorian licked his lips as he snuck up to the stairway, watching as the armored guards all ran past him into the corridor. He heard yells and shouts, the constant footsteps of angry men-at-arms.
The entire world was incredibly disorienting for him at this height, he noted. Every man looked like a giant, and even the steps he had crawled too looked massive in scale.
He blinked, shaking himself back into focus. He could only stay in this compressed form for a brief period of time, a dozen minutes at most.
He had managed to memorize the layout of the building when he was led to his cell, thankfully. He stuck to the sides of shadows and the corners of walls as he began to move, sneaking his way up the stairs, and through the guarded building.
All the guards and Wizards were in a fury, looking for an escaped Titan.
No one noticed, or even bothered paying attention, to a tiny, diminutive lizard, sneaking its way out the front door.