Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 62: Willpower
“Hup!” Dorian twisted his body to the side, narrowly avoiding a striking blow. He tried to lean backwards to avoid the second strike, but slipped slightly, his foot skittering on the rocky ground.
“Ow.” Dorian muttered as he was knocked backwards, flipping over and landing smoothly. He smiled, however, relishing the pain. Every experience was a joy to him right now.
“You need to keep your focus on your surroundings as well as your enemy. You also need to keep your guard up.” A stern, but warm, voice lectured Dorian.
The lean figure of Helena looked at him with a small smile of her own, waving at him to come at her again.
It had been two days since he’d woken up.
Dorian was stuck in his Ifrit form for several more days, waiting on the genetic damage his body had undergone to fully heal. He had already accelerated it as fast as he could, and couldn’t make it go by any faster.
The first day, Dorian had simply walked around the city.
He explored various nooks and crannies, watching people move about on their day. Everyone here moved in a hurry, rushing from place to place without pause. The rapid-fire style of life in the city was incredibly refreshing and amusing to watch.
He’d also visited a couple restaurants, trying out delicious delicacies that set his mouth to watering.
It was a luxurious, relaxing day.
As for Helena… She had set a trail on him, but other than that, had taken no action. She’d made it clear she knew he was an ‘Anomaly,’ what he gathered people called members of the Flock, but done nothing else. He was unsure if he’d convinced her, but knew there was nothing he could do in the meantime.
Till he was able to switch forms, it would be too easy to track him.
On the second day, Dorian had spent it much like the first. He also went to a few Blood Magic shops, and a Preservation Shop, looking for new bloodlines. He didn’t find any that caught his fancy, not after he’d already swept through once before, but had kept prowling.
He also acquired some basic instruction manuals on studying magic.
Ifrits had a natural sense for Life Magic related fields and an even stronger sense for Fire Magic related fields.
Since he couldn’t switch forms right now, Dorian decided he might as well start studying magic. The opportunity to cast Spells was too much to pass up, especially after he saw how powerful Wizards were.
Since Fire Magic was his strongest field, he decided to start with that first.
Studying magic in the 30,000 Worlds was a complex, but popular, field. The concept was rather simple.
The more Spells you cast, the more energy would flow through your soul. Eventually, enough energy would flow through it that you would experience a ‘baptism of the laws of magic,’ allowing your Soul Spell Matrix to grow in size and energy, to the next Class.
The study of magic could not be rushed. It was a step by step process that required gradual growth.
Casting Spells was somewhat similar to using Abilities, Dorian had found. The difference lied in the fact that in order to cast a Spell, Dorian had to consciously imagine and form magic symbols, willing them to combine in certain patterns.
When using an Ability, Dorian just needed to focus on the Ability and will it to activate. The rest of the process was automatic.
Casting a Spell required far more concentration and active effort.
Dorian had found that he seemed to be a natural at it, however.
He’d only studied magic for a single day, but in that time, he had managed to cast a single, low level Mortal Class Spell, the Warm Hands Spell. A cantrip that allowed a Wizard to warm their hands to an unusually high degree.
It wasn’t exactly the most powerful spell, and could hardly be used to attack. But it was still progress.
Most Wizards took at least a month or two of study before they could perform their first Spell. Many practiced using the energy in their Soul Spell Matrix, visualizing the complex magic symbols, and moving their will.
Dorian found that the only hard part, for him, when it came to magic was the complex patterns and symbols he needed to visualize.
Moving energy from his Soul Spell Matrix was something he was already used to, and in terms of practice with his will, Dorian could be considered at least an expert. He’d spent 8 years alone practicing nothing but using his will.
He was on his third day now, and currently in a practice spar against Helena.
He’d decided in the morning that he was going to go out on an excursion from the city, down to the floor of the oceans of nothingness below. He wanted to actively test casting Spells in the wild and to test out his Ifrit form.
Dorian – Soul Status
Soul Stage: Lord Class (Early)
Health: Good (Undergoing Genetic Repair)
His Energy had recovered to a strong enough state that he was unworried by anyone below the Lord Class.
When he had started heading out of the city, the trail following him had vanished. Just a few minutes later, Helena herself had appeared next to him, declaring that she would accompany him.
He hadn’t had much choice in the matter, so he’d accepted it for what it was, giving her a winning smile.
One thing led to another, and they had found themselves down on the ground level, far below the city of Potor.
Dorian had set off exploring into one of the nearby forests, and almost immediately been ambushed by a random beast. An Earth Class Rock Panther.
He’d dispatched it with ease, but Helena, after watching him fight, had shaken her head and taken him aside.
According to her, his style of combat was like ‘watching a drunk moose try to build a house.’ A rather unique metaphor.
And they were now about twenty minutes in to her teaching him how to fight. She had insisted on it, declaring that if he was unable to fight properly, he would die an early death.
She sounded quite tough when she spoke, but Dorian felt an undercurrent of care in her. He found it quite sweet.
That said, she was holding nothing back.
“Like this?” Dorian raised his black Ifrit arms, leaning forward slightly. He looked at the slim Noble, his eyes gleaming.
“Yes.” She took a step forward slowly.
Every movement she made was perfectly controlled. Not a single point was wasted. The exacting precision she moved her body with was at a level even Dorian was unable to match.
Her arms blurred as she entered range of Dorian, lashing out.
He knew she was purposefully slowing her attacks to make it easier for him to respond. Despite that, her unerring accuracy made her movements almost impossible to dodge, even when slowed down.
‘Hmm.’ He observed, twisting his body to the side. As he did so, he punched out with his right arm, in a straight movement she taught him.
According to her, the best use of his physique would be for simple, explosive attacks. Small jabs or light attacks would equate to almost nothing to strong beings in the 30,000 Worlds.
Like a river flowing around a boulder, Helena evaded Dorian’s attack simply be shifting her head to the side, despite moving at a visibly slow pace. Dorian could see where she was going, but every time he tried to hit her, he just barely missed.
“Hup!” Dorian felt a blow land against the side of his chest, flipping him backwards. He twisted his body in the air once again, turning over as he faced her.
“Keep your focus! Block or dodge my attacks, and wait for an opportunity to counterattack!”
Helena was unrelenting in her charge, already rushing towards him again. This practice session was something she was taking completely seriously, as was Dorian. The opportunity to spar and learn from a warrior like her was a rare thing.
As her right arm blurred forward towards him once more, Dorian glared at it in irritation.
He knew what he needed to do to stop the attack. He simply couldn’t respond fast enough. And, when he did respond in time, his fists seemed to just barely miss her as she dodged, leaving only a millimeter of room.
Already, just from this, Dorian could tell she was a genius in terms of physical combat. There was no way he’d be able to beat her right now, or even match up or defend against her, not when it came to technique.
‘Miss, dammit.’ He raised his right hand but continued to glare at her arm that was punching forward, his enhanced visual acuity in this form just barely allowing him to make it out.
As he glared at her offending arm, Dorian felt a strange stirring in his soul. A twisting feeling, one he had felt twice before. Once when he was fighting that Titan back on the World Bridge from Hasnorth, and once when he was convincing the Eleventhborn to leave.
Both times the feeling had gone forward without direct control or direction from Dorian.
Now, however, he consciously sensed the feeling, the odd, distorted sensation deep within him.
His powerful control of his will ran flush within him as he stared at Helena’s attack, and willed it to miss him.
Dorian felt energy leave his body.
At the same time, Helena’s fist was about to land on his side once more, sending him flying. Dorian was twisting his body as much as he could, trying to lean out of the way of the attack.
The air seemed to shiver just slightly.
Helena’s fist sailed a bare millimeter away from Dorian’s side, missing him by a hair.
“Hah!” Dorian yelled aloud in victory, bearing his teeth in a grin.
A second after, however, Dorian was sent tumbling through the air as Helena spun around, bringing her left leg upward in a swift strike that knocked him away. He mentally cursed as he landed down hard, jumping upwards almost immediately.
Helena had paused, looking at her hands in astonishment. Dorian grinned, enjoying her surprise.
“I dodged your attack, huh? Surprising, eh? My skill surprises even myself.” He continued to grin shamelessly. As he did so, he mentally checked his status again.
Dorian – Soul Status
Soul Stage: Lord Class (Early)
Health: Good (Undergoing Genetic Repair)
His mind raced ahead of him as he realized what he’d done.
Dorian knew that his soul was a unique one that had the ability to ‘Twist Fate.’ It meant people and things would be drawn to him, luck, or misfortune, would happen to him in excessive amounts.
All the Anomalies had unique souls that could ‘Twist Fate’ to various degrees. Dorian was unsure on the strength of each, but Ausra claimed they weren’t all equal. Some souls would be better able to ‘Twist Fate’ than others.
When Dorian put the full force of his will on willing something to change, he had felt his soul seem to vibrate, and then use up some of the energy he had within it. His long practice and experience in using his will had just barely allowed him to sense and control the sensation.
As soon as that had happened, reality itself had changed.
Helena’s attack, which had a 100% chance of smashing into him, had missed.
It wasn’t her full power strike, not even a tenth of her full power and speed since she didn’t use magic, and making it miss had cost him almost 100 points of energy, a notable amount.
Still, Dorian’s mind was blown away as he realized what he had done.
He had changed reality by simply willing it to change.
‘Incredible.’ That was the only thought that dominated his mind at this moment.
“No…” Helena continued to look at her hands, confusion coloring her voice.
“You didn’t dodge my attack. I… missed?” She clenched her fist and then glared at it as if it had betrayed her.
She then looked askance at Dorian, her face scrunching up as she stared daggers at him.
“Did I what, Smalls?” He kept up his grin as he called her by a nickname, continuing,
“Perhaps you just missed because of my dodging expertise, no? In my homeland, I was nicknamed the King of Dodging, after all.” He boasted, patting his chest.
“Homework assignments, class attendance, bills, success in life, you name it, I dodged it.”
Helena’s face just looked even more confused as she looked back at him, and then down at her hands.
She then rolled her eyes and jumped forward,
“Back to practice!”
Gerulf Aldric rubbed his hands together, watching as dark essence rose off from his Dark Points. He sighed deeply, feeling exhaustion seep bone deep into him.
He was a member of one of the four Axios Teams under the direct command of the High Priest of the Church of Light. A Peak Lord Class Wizard specializing in Piercing Magic, he was the Subleader of the nine man team.
His muscular, two meter tall body shivered in the cold air, his short brown hair wafting in the breeze. His face was tough and weathered, lined with both age and experience. He wore a set of warm looking white leather hides, acting as armor.
He looked out across the snowy landscape of Blizzaria. The Exotic World of Snow.
This world had another nickname, one that was far more ominous.
The World Where the Dead Walked.
“Careful, gentleman.” Siegfried’s calm voice rang out, raising catching his attention. The Wizard, and the leader of their Axios team, was standing off to the side, his small form wrapped up and covered by a pair of white robes and blankets.
“Ready up.” Gerulf yelled aloud as well, cursing their current mission.
They were the enforcers of the church, as well as the defenders. Their mission was to protect the Shade Race and the Shade Commune.
He was a soldier defending the freedom and survival of his race, the noblest cause there could be.
Not a damned hunter.
Yet here he was, in this godforsaken frozen world, trying to hunt down and capture a damned fox of all things.
They’d been on-planet for several days now, searching and hunting. They had two Shades that could scry Fate on the squad, but even then, they had made little progress.
Partly because of how low-key they were acting.
Blizzaria was not a world where even Pseudo-King Class Wizards like Siegfried would want to draw attention.
“Something is approaching!”
The world around Gerulf was covered in pristine white snow. They were currently on the surface of the world, in the middle of a large mountain range on one of the many shifting continents that covered the planet. Above them, the sky was covered in visible distortions, spatial fractures lashing out and occasionally tearing into the ground nearby.
Travel on the surface of this planet was extremely dangerous. They had only come up to cross from one tunnel to another, per the map the High Priest had provided their team with.
If they wanted to make any progress, they would need to dive back underground again, into the network of shifting tunnels.
Into the confines where the Dead moved.
Gerulf’s eyes strained as he looked out into the distance. Constant snowstorms covered the surface of Blizzaria, reducing visibility to just a mile or two, even for a powerful Lord Class Wizard and fighter like him.
He heard it before he saw it.
A loud, echoing voice ringing out, in simple Common.
“Oh snow I see, and snow I found!”
“Beauty of ice, and fire abound!”
“But who is this, new creatures in the cold without a care?”
“Celebrate, my new friends! For it is perfection I will share!”