Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 44: Exploring
Dorian looked out at the huge, sweeping valley, a small breeze blowing against his chest. He studied the sheer canyon, and sloping grounds off to his sides, nodding his head.
It reminded him faintly of the Grand Canyon back on Earth, only much larger. He could see long lines of vegetation, a mix of dark grey and faded green, lining the walls of the canyon. A small river flowed through the very center of the canyon on a long, meandering path that led out of sight.
He glanced down at his rather large body. At just a bit shy of 7 meters, Dorian towered above any of the creatures he had met seen so far.
The Overbal Canyon was a diverse region, filled with many odd caves and rock formations, as well as rare Magic Herbs or resources.
What interested Dorian most, and the reason he’d come out to test his strength, was a specific wild beast known to haunt the canyon.
An aggressive, Pseudo-Lord Class Solar Rock Lizard.
Several other Grandmaster Class beasts populated the region, one of the reasons why this area was considered a danger zone.
But a particularly cranky Solar Rock Lizard was known to thrive in the deepest regions of the Overbal Canyon, attacking anyone that came near it. The large lizard was vindictive, and would kill other animals simply for coming within sight of it, leaving their dead bodies to waste on the ground. It was one of the strongest beasts that could be found on Taprisha.
It was a perfect match for Dorian. The Solar Rock Lizard was, like him, a relatively slow-moving creature with a hard shell. It was tough and strong, with powerful rending claws. A good beast to test himself on.
In addition… the Ability the Solar Rock Lizard held was one he absolutely wanted to have.
An Ability known as Hyperion Beam.
His eyes flicked to the left and right. He didn’t see any other creatures nearby as he looked down into the canyon.
He shrugged and began to walk forward, his black claws sliding over the rocky ground.
‘So, Ausra.’ Dorian thought as he began to make his way along the side of the canyon. He stretched his wings out for a moment, readying himself to glide down.
‘Tell me what you know about the other members of the Flock.’ After meeting Mello, Dorian was well aware that the other Flock members could pose a very real threat to him.
The City Lord of Potor, a powerful vampire Wizard that studied Control Magic, was killed just the other day in his mansion. Dorian wasn’t sure if this was Mello’s work, but it felt too coincidental to not be.
It had thrown Potor City into chaos. The sub-leaders of the city, the Wizards of the 12 Palaces, were at each other’s throats, vying for control. Several small-scale faction wars had already broken out, leaving an undercurrent of fear throbbing in the city.
The Wizard Ralf that Dorian had killed had been one of these Palace Masters, albeit one that was being punished by the City Lord, and had been stripped of most of his official duties.
‘You have 87 other siblings, all of whom possess the ability to Evolve and absorb other bloodlines, just like you.’ Ausra replied, her voice cool.
He nodded. He knew that.
‘What makes them different from me, though? They don’t all have their memories, right?’ He knew he was a bit of a special case.
‘No. Why you have retained your past life’s memories is unknown to me, though His Worship surely planned this.’ Ausra returned.
‘Do they all have an Ausra like you?’ He questioned.
‘No. A Soul Spell Matrix Genie is a construct that requires an incredible understanding of the laws of the universe to create. Possessing one before the Angelic Class is normally impossible.’
Dorian paused at this.
‘Then how do the others absorb bloodlines and create hybrid creatures?’ He wasn’t quite sure he understood.
‘Most likely through a slow process of assimilation, absorbing bloodlines into their main bloodline and fusing with them.’ Ausra responded, enlightening him.
‘Their main bloodline?’ He asked back.
‘Yes, all the other members of the Flock came into existence with a singular main bloodline, to base their evolution off of. Even the weakest member started with at least a Lord Class bloodline.’
‘Only the Firstborn was left to start with no bloodline at all and three stored Absorptions.’
Dorian frowned, his draconic face scrunching up. His large, clawed feet stamped loudly as he barreled forward, alongside the edge of the canyon.
‘Why, though? Why did I start with nothing? Why do I have you?’ He mentally voiced his frustrations.
‘…I do not know.’ Ausra replied back, her feminine voice slightly hesitant,
‘I am merely formed from a complex collection of energy and magic. I cannot answer questions I do not have the answer for.’
He asked a few other questions, finding no other valuable information.
It seemed the other members of the Flock had come into this world much better off than he had, all of them already possessing at least Lord Class bloodlines.
He shrugged, though, as he considered the situation. Sure, maybe he didn’t start with the same level of strength as them. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t surpass them, and grow strong enough to do what he pleased.
Besides, there had to be some reason he started out like he did. He just needed to figure it out.
He nodded his head sharply and then shook the thoughts from his head, taking one more glance at the canyon before him.
Without another thought he jumped forward, spreading his wings as he began gliding towards the center of the canyon.
“Aina…” Rathven whispered, motioning with his arm for her to step back. His dark leather armor creaked quietly as he wiped a sheen of sweat from his forehead, glancing back at his team. They were a group of Hunters, highly skilled and trained warriors, and a few Wizards, that tracked and acquired rare Magic Herbs or natural treasures.
They had around twenty other Hunters with them, all subordinates of Palace Master Gorth. Gorth was a Pseudo-Lord Class Wizard, and the Wizard most likely to succeed the late City Lord.
They’d been sent out on this mission specifically to find a Golden Apple, reports of which had one spawning deep within the Overbal Canyon. A Golden Apple was a miraculous fruit that carried an innate connection with nature. It would be aspected to one element or another, and was extremely useful for a Wizard studying whatever element it was aspected towards.
Palace Master Gorth studied Blood Magic, but a specific branch of Blood Magic known as Blood Fire Magic, a fire aspected type. If the Golden Apple was fire aspected, it was quite possible that the Palace Master could use this to help him break fully through to the Lord Class. If not, it could still be used as a valuable trade tool.
Gorth had obtained this information in absolute secret, paying a prohibitive price for it. As long as they reached the Golden Apple first… Rathven and the rest of the Hunters under the Palace Master would be richly rewarded.
For now, though, they needed to act like a normal hunting expedition, out searching for treasure. Gorth had sent them out like this before several times, so their actions were completely normal.
“What is it?” Aina responded, the female vampire’s eyes darting around.
“There.” Rathven pointed in front of them.
They had quickly entered the Overbal Canyon, and moved as fast as possible into the deeper regions. Large rocks and boulders littered the ground, while a river several hundred meters off to their left streamed through the canyon. Everything seemed relatively peaceful and calm, unlike the multiple attacks from wild beasts they’d suffered in the Pale Forest. In the background, they could hear bestial roars and the sounds of other creatures fighting in the canyon.
“It’s a Brown Boulder Bear.” A large collection of rocks could be seen, vaguely set on the ground in the shape of a sleeping bear. If one studied the rocks, they would notice that a few of them seemed to rise and fall, as if from the breathing of a living animal.
Aina’s eyes narrowed. Her hand dropped to her waist, landing on two small stone hammers she had belted. A powerful air began to rise around her, the energy of a Grandmaster Class Vampiric Berserker stirring.
“We’ll have to take it out now, and any other beasts we encounter. It’s already aware we’re here.” Brown Boulder Bears were notoriously watchful of their surroundings. Particularly because they rarely moved unless it was to hunt or protect their territory. They would need to kill it now if they wanted to continue without being stalked by it.
Dorian’s draconic voice blasted out as he slammed his right arm against the black and grey skinned leopard, sending it flying.
Red blood spattered in the air as the leopard landed down hard, collapsing onto the ground roughly 30 meters away. A small storm of dust and crushed rock appeared as it bounced a few times before lying still.
The corpses of several other black and grey skinned leopards were visible near Dorian, a full pack of eight of the creatures. They were all roughly two and a half meters tall, with dark spotted fur and long, menacing white fangs.
He’d been ambushed as he was making his way deeper into the large and wide canyon, while passing under a large stone arch. A pair of the leopards had pounced down on his back out of nowhere, their skin having transformed to blend in to the stone above.
Dorian’s scales were extremely tough, in their own right, especially when it came to his Giant Myyr Dragon form. Despite that, he had suffered several small injuries, their razor sharp claws cutting into his skin.
According to Ausra, these were Black Spotted Leopards, an aggressive beast known for hunting in packs and preying on larger creatures.
Dorian took in a few ragged breaths, his eyes taut.
-Absorbing detected bloodlines-
83% Black Spotted Leopard
11% White Maned Lion
4% Black Mantle Leopard
2% various undetermined bloodlines too small to currently measure.
He went from corpse to corpse, using his Soul Spell Matrix to absorb their bloodlines. The leopards had certainly been pretty brave, he noted, in attacking him. They were only Master Class beasts, though, admittedly, it was hard to tell if a creature was a Master Class or Grandmaster class without attacking and finding out.
‘The Black Mantle Leopard has the Ability External Camouflage.’ Ausra quickly scanned through the absorbed bloodlines.
The only reason he’d been injured at all was because he’d failed to detect the leopards. It seemed they’d inherited an Ability from one of their ancestors, and used that to ambush him.
‘Store it for later.’ He put the bloodline away, smiling cheerfully. It almost seemed as if the useful bloodlines and treasures were just walking up to him today. A camouflage ability sounded like it could be very useful.
He shook out his scales, turning to head deeper into the canyon.
As he was about to keep moving forward, he heard something that caught his attention.
“…quickly, switch left! Jason, Manuel, pull back and hit it there!”
“Keep it in!”
The sounds of a battle taking place. A few small explosions rocked the air, shaking a few small rocks near Dorian.
His curiosity overwhelmed him and he turned towards the sounds of the battle, deciding to take a look.