Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 61: A Question
I know some people are a bit antsy: Don’t fret, the pace will start to pick up again soon 🙂 Feel free to take a couple days off, and then come back when I’ve released 3/4/5 chapters 🙂
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“…and that is our full report.” Trajan gave a sharp nod as he finished speaking, his eyes glued to the figure of the well dressed Highlord. He didn’t give off a hint of the nervousness he felt.
The Highlord was an incredibly powerful and intimidating vampire. Trajan kept his every cell focused on the powerful man as he spoke, not daring to tear his eyes away for a second.
“I see.” Highlord Marcus was currently standing near the large map of the 30,000 worlds, laid out along a sizable table. A small glass of wine rested in his hand, one he swirled lightly. The air around him seemed to solidify as he continued,
“So you’re telling me you tracked down your Anomaly, found Helena who engaged with it and lost, and then you engaged with it and also lost, but in the end were saved by a mysterious Demon, a species previously thought extinct, who somehow convinced the Anomaly to leave, by speaking in Draconic or a similar language that you could not understand?” His voice was cold and calm, the image of a powerful leader.
“Yes sir!” Probus answered, his voice full of complete confidence. Trajan sent him a sidelong glare. Trajan himself had been the one making all the decisions, so if anyone was at fault, it wouldn’t be Probus.
“And that you left Helena, who was injured but also healed by that mysterious Demon, alone with this mysterious Demon, one that you, again, have never met before?”
“Yes sir!” Probus responded instantly, bearing a cheerful smile. Trajan sent him a second glare.
The dark vampire ruler was quiet for a moment. He swilled the wine around in his wine glass, contemplating. Trajan felt his heart shiver.
“Well, that seems quite reasonable to me. She’s a strong, independent vampire, and if she opted to stay behind, she has her own reasons. She’s a member of the Reavers, just like you.” Highlord Marcus nodded his head, turning back to look at them.
“HEM.” Before the Highlord could continue, a loud coughing noise interrupted their conversation.
The red headed Spymaster of the Highlord was currently glaring at him, giving him a deathly stare.
Marcus rolled his eyes, but instantly resumed his lordly appearance, looking at his confused subordinates.
“Next time, however, be sure to check the extent of her injuries, as you should for any comrade, and vet the unknown humanoid better.”
Trajan bowed his head slightly, nodding. Probus did the same, a small smirk on his face. Trajan made a mental note to bring up the deteriorating ecosystem of the O’val Valley World. Probus hated being lectured on environmental prevention.
“Now, with that out of the way, I have a new mission for you. Forget about the Anomalies for now. We are no longer targeting them.” Marcus continued, a black look appearing in his eyes. His demeanor seemed to become stricter, edged with darkness.
“The Shade King has launched an offensive against us and the Augustus Family controlled territories. You are to join up with the leader of the Reavers, General Carus, on the World Petir, and ready yourselves.” Carus, the leader of the Reavers, technically wasn’t one of the Three Family Generals. He was every bit as strong as one, however, a deadly force in his own right. An extremely powerful King Class expert.
The three powerful Vampire Families. The Augustus Family, the Caesar Family, and their own Aurelius Family.
Their relationship with the Caesar Family was strained, due to personal conflicts, but they had an occasionally friendly alliance with the Augustus Family.
In the face of any conflict with outsiders, however, the Vampire Nobles would forget their grudges and become a close-knit group, refusing to budge even an inch.
Marcus closed his eyes for a long moment before opening them, looking tired.
“War is upon us, once more.”
“It’s great to see that you finally woke up.”
“Thank you for saving me last week. My name is Helena.”
Dorian’s heart calmed down as he stared at the Vampire Noble, his eyes narrowed. He remembered her. She was the one he’d saved, the warrior who selflessly defended the innocents in the city.
She looked lean and wiry, but also quite pretty. She wore a slim, blue dress tonight, one that finely accented her petite figure. Just her standing gave off a feeling of strength, her presence incredibly forceful.
For her, he had a great deal of respect.
“How should I respond, William?” He muttered out of habit, thinking up a response.
Helena stared at him in confusion.
“How should- who? William? What?”
Dorian blinked. Right. She could hear him if he spoke aloud. He mentally shrugged, accepting it for what it was.
“I’m Dorian.” He took a few steps forward, sticking his hand out in a friendly gesture.
Helena walked right up towards him, taking his hand without a trace of nervousness or caution. She smiled warmly as they shook hands.
“Nice to meet you!” Talking with someone else felt odd after so much time spent on his own. Despite that, he relished the moment. Not having to come up with responses for the other person made the conversation extremely pleasant.
“Have your injuries healed? When we got to you, you were badly wounded, and before we could do anything, you fell unconscious. I had some of my Wizards work on trying to restore you, but the injuries on your body seemed to be ones that needed time.” She began, gesturing down below them, where her subordinates were sleeping. She had picked out an unassuming, but nice, Inn, near the middle of the city to stay at.
Dorian nodded, looking at his hands. He still felt tired, but his injuries were mostly gone.
“I’m okay. My body will take about a week to fully heal from this weakened state, but I should be fine.” He tried to think up something else to say. Talking to real people was harder than he remembered.
Helena looked at him.
Dorian looked back.
Silence swooped in on the moment.
Feeling as if he should say something, he gestured upward.
“Pretty stars out tonight, huh?” He went with a line he vaguely remembered using on Earth before that had never let him down.
“Stars?” Helena looked up at the almost completely empty night sky.
The 30,000 World didn’t have stars, save for a mystical sun and mystical moon that orbited in the chaotic space near each world.
Dorian blinked and then mentally smacked himself. He felt like a teenager.
“You going out of your way to protect the innocents in this city from that fearsome dragon really impressed me.” Dorian began, looking off to the side at the sleeping city.
“It takes a lot of guts to do something like that.”
Helena turned with him, her eyes distant. She sighed.
“It was my responsibility. Protecting the territories of the Aurelius Family is part of my duty.”
“Still.” Dorian responded, shrugging,
“You still did it. That’s more than most could say.”
Helena smiled as she looked at him and responded,
“Well, what about you? You not only managed to heal me and save my life, but also blocked that huge fireball, and saved the city.” She waved her hand to the west, where the battle had taken place.
“What made you act?” Her voice was filled with an intense layer of curiosity. Dorian got the feeling that his response here would mean a lot to her.
“Why did I act?” He spoke aloud, rubbing his chin. He shrugged,
“It felt like the right thing to do.” The Eleventhborn was only here because of him, after all. Besides, he wouldn’t just let hundreds of thousands of innocent people die for no reason if he could stop it.
Helena blinked, staring at him.
“That’s it? You didn’t fight seeking a reward? You weren’t sent here by the Highlord?” Joining the Aurelius Family as an Internal Member was very difficult, but had plenty of benefits. Usually new members either had to be powerful vampires, or beings that committed grand feats in service of the Family.
“Well, I won’t turn down any rewards if they’re being offered.” He smiled cheekily,
“Ah, about that Highlord.” A stray thought appeared in his mind.
“His name is Marcus Aurelius, right?” He looked at Helena, his eyes shining.
Helena nodded, still dazed from his answer.
“And the other Vampire Families, they’re the Caesar Family, and the Augustus Family, right?”
She nodded again.
“What? Is something wrong?” She noticed his expression.
“No, it’s just the names…” He shrugged.
“What about them?”
“They feel… lazy.”
Helena stared at him oddly.
“Well, I suppose there can only be so many names in the world.” He shrugged a second time.
There was silence again for a brief moment as the two souls stared out over the moonlit city, quiet. Dorian studied the glimmering lights, the softly moving breeze, taking in everything. All the colors and noises were joyful to him, proof that he was no longer in that mental prison. He could faintly make out a few burnt areas, portions of the city damaged from the battle.
“I…” Helena began, before pausing, her voice troubled.
“You..?” Dorian gave her a smile. He was quite content just standing in the presence of another being. He felt supremely unconcerned.
If the vampires had wanted to kill or capture him, they already would have. In his current weakened state, there was nothing he could do to stop them right now, so he decided he might as well just enjoy being alive.
She turned to look directly at Dorian, a small smile on her face.
“My mother told me, when I was very young, that sometimes the best way to clear your mind is to talk to a stranger.” She waved at him,
“Do you mind if I share my troubles with you, Dorian? You saved my life, so I don’t exactly consider us strangers, but the point still remains.”
“Sure, go ahead.” He gave her a reassuring smile.
The more he talked to the vampire warrior he saved, the younger he felt like she seemed. One moment she was a proud warrior, and the next she came off as a nervous, young lady. She was also quite forward and direct, not that he was complaining.
“I was sent on a mission to hunt down a creature, an Anomaly, one among many that have caused a huge stir in the 30,000 Worlds. My mission was to find that creature, make contact with it, and if possible, make it come back with me to meet the Highlord.” Her voice was cool,
“If I take that Anomaly back with me, I fear… no, I know that it won’t be able to move freely for a long time. The Highlord is kind and wise, but extremely protective. We’ve already lost a large number of our men and women to the other Anomalies, and while the Anomaly I’m hunting is an unusual one, that won’t change his mind.”
Helena sat down at the edge of the roof, folding her hands together and resting her chin on them as she gazed out over the city.
Blood began to pump loudly through Dorian’s veins as he heard the words she spoke, his body tensing up. He remained calm, however, giving her a small nod.
“But what if that Anomaly was very different from the others? It was kind and strong, even going so far as to protect the innocent, without wish for a reward. Even going so far as to save my life.” Her face scrunched up as her and Dorian’s eyes crossed, a tingle of electricity seemed to flash between them.
“What do you think I should do?”
Dorian shrugged, tossing off the tension that covered him as he responded,
“It’s not that hard a question if you really think about it.” He sat down next to her, gazing out over the city as she had.
“Just do the right thing, whatever that may be.”
Silence came once again.
“Just do the right thing, huh?” Helena whispered after a few minutes, an indecipherable look appearing on her face as she struggled with her thoughts.
Dorian simply nodded, enjoying the beauty of the world around him.
The night passed, just like that. Two lone figures sitting atop an empty roof, staring out at a scarred city full of sleeping souls.