Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 41: Preparation
Highlord Marcus frowned as he looked down at the intelligence reports, the usually jovial light in his eye replaced by a cold, hard gleam. He stood in his Map Room, his usual base of operations when he was working.
“So in total, how many, Julia?”
His beautiful Spymaster stepped forward, her luscious hair shivering as she spoke.
“On the Planet of Taprisha, 8 Lord Class Wizards, all of them City Lords, or the chief subordinate of a City Lord. On the Planet of Yelter, we lost the Lord Class Chief Wizard of the Bullion Kingdom, and two other Lord Class Wizards. On the Planet of Tomahosh…” Julia continued, her voice listing a depressingly high number of casualties.
“39 Lord Class Wizards in total, spread across 18 planets.” She finished, summarizing her results.
“The treasuries of each Wizard were looted, and their corpses were found drained of blood, as were any other casualties in the near area. None of the killers have been apprehended. None of those that died were Direct Members of the Family.”
“In addition, we have reliable reports of a King Class Transcendent Flame Dragon appearing on Taprisha, the target you sent Probus and Trajan after. The drake slightly damaged a city it passed over, and then proceeded into the middle of one of the oceans of nothingness.”
A vein in Marcus’ forehead throbbed.
“A grand conspiracy has taken place, to disrupt order in the land under my control. To kill so many Lord Class Wizards, all at the same time… I must admire the brilliance of this adversary.” His voice was deathly quiet.
“Yes sir.” Julia’s voice was quiet, her eyes worried.
“The other notable piece of news is that the Shade King has sent an invitation, making overtures to meet with you.” She continued.
“Now?” Marcus took a deep breath, and then calmed down,
“There are no such things in life as coincidences of this nature. This is clearly related to the Anomalies that have appeared.” His voice was harsh, a jagged edge of anger in it.
“Where are the Family Generals right now?” He queried.
Julia responded promptly,
“Pertinax is still on one of the western border worlds, Igbo, that we share with the Caesar Family. There have recently been a few clashes there and the situation is still unstable. Balbinus is somewhere in the north, still hunting down the rumors of a King Class Shade Stalker appearing and destroying several kingdoms. Lucilla is… well, it’s Lucilla. We don’t really know where she is at the moment.”
Marcus sighed, rubbing his eyes. He picked up a glass of wine, holding it in his hands. He was about to drink from it when he saw the glare Julia sent him. He, instead, casually raised it in front of his face to look at, as if that had been his intention the entire time.
“Damn it. Alright.” He nodded,
“Send the damned Shade King word that we will meet in a few weeks, delay him with something.” His eyes sharpened,
“As for now…”
“Let the guard know I’ll be going out.”
Dim sunlight gleamed through the shuttered windows of Dorian’s Inn room as he blearily came awake, his body relaxed and rested. He stretched as he woke up, cracking his knuckles and shaking out his body.
As he came awake, he looked around the room. It was still the same, standard Inn room. A wooden floor with a black rug on it, a small wooden nightstand, a comfortable bed with two grey pillows. A simple, but suitable, bedroom.
“Alright.” He said aloud, getting his mind in gear.
Now that he was safe and had some time to think, he began to put things in order.
There were several missions he needed to complete.
He needed to find out what planets were on the two routes he had picked out. William’s soul was safe for thirteen months, but that didn’t mean he wanted to delay unnecessarily. He didn’t know how dangerous or how much time it might take to cross those 3 or 5 planets, depending on which route he took. He’d already spent enough time getting to Taprisha, and Potor City, safely, there was no telling how long it would take to make it all the way to the Ember Gorge.
Dorian looked down at the Spatial Ring, tapping on it lightly. Instantly, a sort of mental tally of everything in it came into his mind. Not like the mental updates he received from Ausra, but more like a simple feeling of knowing what was in it.
Tens of thousands of gold mints, and, now that he looked, even a few of the higher class gold shields. Several Thousand-Mint shields, and several Ten-Thousand-Mint shields. A decently large fortune.
He smiled. With this much wealth, he could probably sweep through those Blood Magic Shops he had visited earlier, and also check out the Preservation Shop he’d heard of to see if there was anything useful there.
He nodded, putting that second on the agenda.
The third and final thing for today would be to begin testing how to combine bloodlines. He’d recently grown quite a few of them to their maximum Growth Stage. Ausra had told him he should only combine bloodlines he had a complete data set for, which mean he needed to grow them fully before he tried to combine them.
It would be a day of reconnaissance, he decided.
Several hours later, Dorian found himself inside a small, local eatery, this one devoted to selling different types of fish, grown specifically for eating in special pools. A furor of worried conversation set the background, people still speculating over the death of the City Lord.
He looked down at the plate full of fresh grilled Red Scale Salmon, relishing the scent as he ignored everyone else.
While he was in a human form, he might as well taste all the delicacies he could manage, he’d decided.
He’d just finished sweeping through four different Blood Magic stores and was taking a brief respite for lunch before heading to his last shop, the Telaval Preservation Shop.
The bloodlines sold in the Blood Magic shops were all prohibitively expensive, but Dorian had ample funding, thanks to his recent gains. Unfortunately, the number of bloodlines at a high Class were sorely lacking.
Most of the shops were run by local Wizards or large scale merchant operations. That said, killing a Grandmaster Class beast and storing its blood was an extremely difficult task for anyone not at the Lord Class.
On Taprisha, even finding Grandmaster Class beasts would require you to either descend into the oceans of nothingness to search the floor, or to cross over the ocean to find other plateau islands that were left in the wild. Very few Grandmaster Class beasts lived on the local World Bridge.
In either case, the dangers were widespread, and not easy to conquer.
Dorian hadn’t known how expensive it was to buy even a vial of blood from a Grandmaster Class beast. He’d only ever visited a single shop in a cursory manner. The prices of a Lord Class beast’s blood were so expensive not a single shop had any.
Still, he managed to secure two separate Grandmaster Class beast bloodlines, a Giant Bore Snake and a Tayzon Rhino, and five Master Class beast bloodlines. His collection was gradually starting to grow, and the options he had expanding even further.
He decided to focus only on beasts with a higher Class and bloodline, or those with unique Abilities. Those with weaker bloodlines would serve little purpose in making him grow stronger.
He’d also learned a bit more about the two routes he had available to him.
The Ember Gorge was located on an Exotic Planet known as Magmor. The planet was an extremely odd one covered in large sweeping seas. These seas weren’t normal, aquatic seas, however.
They were, instead, enormous seas of molten magma and liquid fire.
To reach the planet Magmor, Dorian could take the World Bridge to the aquatic world of Torrin, and then through two Exotic Planets, one Lesser World, and one Major World, before arriving at Magmor.
Dorian struck this idea from his list immediately when he learned of it.
Torrin was located only a single world away from the planet Belar. The headquarters of the Aurelius Family was located on Belar, and any world close to it was heavily watched. As of right now, Dorian absolutely wanted to avoid any encounters with any powerful groups or forces.
Instead, he turned to the route with only 3 planets.
This route required him to travel across planet to the City State of Talladega. He would then take the World Bridge to the Exotic World of Blizzaria, named after the constant snowstorms that covered the landscape, through the Lesser World of Paxital, to the Exotic World of Lansc, a world known for its mysterious floating islands.
He didn’t quite like the idea of traveling through constant snowstorms, but the route itself didn’t seem to be too long of one, and seemed readily achievable.
Thus, Dorian cemented the plan in his mind.
A few minutes later, he left the restaurant, heading for his final destination for the day.
One of the two famed Preservation Shops in Potor City, the Telaval Preservation Shop.
In no time at all, he reached the shop. It was found near the center of the city, a large, expansive two-story emporium that spanned for nearly sixty meters in length. The outside of the shop was decorated in painted, green wood, depicting various beasts and creatures.
He walked inside, taking a look around. The shop had several long tables set up in displays, with pictures and writing one each. A large box stood at the centerpiece of each display, with a see-through window letting you look at the corpse of the beast inside. There were a few stands with labelled vials of blood on them, and other odds and ends Wizards might need for certain spells or experiments.
The shop wasn’t crowded, but it wasn’t empty either. There were around thirty customers walking around, going from stand to stand. There were also several intimidating looking muscular guards, wearing grey leather armor standing at the entrance, and a pair of Wizards standing off to the side, watching everything.
There were five clerks, three human and two Aethmen, wondering about the shop helping various customers.
Dorian began to look around, scanning the shop for anything useful.
“Sky Class… Earth Class… Earth Class… oh a Master Class…? Hmm…” He started sorting through each stand, checking over the details on each beast.
Blackville Snakes, Whimper Hippos, Azure Finned Sharks, he found a large variety in selection, all of them pureblood. Mixed blood species were common in the wild, but pureblood species were more rare, and more sought after. Most of the bloodlines sold in shops were pureblood, or distilled till they were pureblood. So far, however, none of them here had particularly caught his eye.
Finally, at the end of one of the stands, he found something rather unique.
“Flame Elemental – Fire Imp. Master Class.” He stopped, staring at it in astonishment. An elemental?
‘Flame Elementals, creatures born from magic and the laws of the universe, have diverse properties and are not a common species. They maximize their growth at the Master Class, but have near perfect affinity for magic related to elemental fire.” Ausra’s voice rang out in his head.
Dorian’s eyes flashed, in particular when he heard the words ‘near perfect affinity.’
In his time in this world, he had largely understood the importance and power magic offered. However, as a reborn human, he was already well aware that his understanding and ability to study magic would be average at best. It could take years to get results in magic, and any training using it would probably be very slow.
However… what if he had a form with near perfect affinity for studying one type of magic?
Just like with Abilities, any results you gained in studying magic would stick with you, regardless of the form you were in.
He smiled. He looked over at the price of the Fire Elemental.
It was listed at roughly 45,000 gold mints, largely due to its rarity. After hitting up all those Blood Magic shops, Dorian’s funds had dropped to around 68,000 gold mints, more than enough to afford this.
He waved his hand at one of the clerks, calling them over. It was an aged human woman wearing a long brown robe. She had long greying hair and a warm smile on her face as she greeted him.
Dorian jumped straight to the point,
“I’d like to purchase this set for the Flame Elemental, and also the set for the pureblood Azure Finned Shark.” He didn’t have many aquatic bloodlines, so he figured he might as well snag one while he had the chance, just in case.
“That will be 59,000 gold mints even, sir. Each body is sealed in Time, with the guarantee of the prestigious O’riel Time Society that your purchase will be satisfactory or your gold will be returned.” The clerk added up his total for him, pulling out a clipboard as she began to mark it down.
“Would you like to have it delivered or any other sid-”
Dorian broke in,
“No, no, it’s fine. I’ll take it here and now.” He didn’t want to have a sales pitch thrown his way.
A few minutes passed as he moved over to a desk and signed a form, and then paid out the sum required. The process was streamlined, and just a couple minutes after that, Dorian walked out of the shop, the two corpses stored in his Spatial Ring.
He smiled, pleased with the purchases, and made his way back to his Inn.
Dorian sat down on his bed as the afternoon light faded to evening. He took a few deep breaths, gathering his focus.
The Soul Spell Matrix of the Flame Elemental had been preserved with its body, and his money had not been wasted. Flame Elementals didn’t have bloodlines, and therefore could only be absorbed in this manner.
As for the Azure Finned Shark, he had absorbed it like any other bloodline, storing it safely within his Soul Spell Matrix.
Now that he had finally settled all of his affairs, it was time to begin his main goal of the day.