Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 64: Something Goes Right
Dorian – Soul Status
Soul Stage: Lord Class (Early)
Health: Good (Undergoing Genetic Repair)
Dorian smiled, pleased, as he looked at his status.
He had recovered nearly half his full strength. In fact, his current strength now already exceeded that of his previous form, his Lesser Throne Demon.
Lesser Throne Demons could be considered a closely related brother of the Ifrit Race.
The Demon Race was an ancient race, full of a myriad of related, demonic creatures. All Demons were aspected towards one element or another.
The Ifrit Race was part of the original, ancient Demon Race, a race that came into existence long ago, their origin unknown. The Demon Race had only fallen to extinction relatively recently, several hundreds of years ago.
Lesser Throne Demons, unlike Ifrits, were a created race, formed through experimentation with the bloodlines of other creatures, notably Dragons. They were naturally weaker.
Dorian shook the thoughts from his mind as he focused on the tasks at hand.
He was sitting in his Inn bedroom, at the Bover Watch Inn. The owner of the Inn, a retired swordmaster named Genjio, was a member of the Aurelius Family. Helena had acquired rooms there for him, and her squad, for free.
Spread out on the rug in front of him was a collection of paper.
He had gathered all the information he could about his planned route.
He’d briefly reconsidered the route that took him through the Aurelius Family headquarters before tossing it aside. The security on the World Bridges along that route would be far too tedious, and it would, in general, be far too dangerous.
He’d decided to stick to his original plan.
His next destination was Blizzaria. Also known as the World where the Dead Walked.
It had a corny name, sounding much like a B-tier horror flick from Earth. Still, Dorian treated it completely seriously, learning what he was up against.
According to his research, Blizzaria was home to two separate fallen civilizations. One was the nearly extinct race known as Giants, while the other was the fully extinct race of Grakons.
Giants, like their name implied, were gargantuan beings. Some of them had appearances similar to humans, others had appearances with huge, curled horns, or massive, hulking arms. A large variety of shapes and forms combined within the Giant Race.
Their one similarity, however, was their massive, massive size. Even the smallest Giant stood 10 meters tall. The tallest Giants could reach recorded heights of nearly 100 meters tall, towering behemoths that feared nothing.
Grakons, on the other hand, were much more normal sized, standing about a meter taller than a regular human. They looked similar to the mythical Minotaurs from Earth’s legends, except instead of covered in fur, they were covered in dark black scales. They had a supernatural Ability known as Expand.
Their Expand Ability, the only race of creatures known to have it, allowed them to vastly increase their size and strength for short periods of time.
The ancient races were bitter enemies and worse rivals for thousands of years.
The exact history of how these two civilizations died off was lost to history.
All that was known, now, was that the dead members of both races walked the snowy lands of Blizzaria, cursed to live out their existence as unfeeling constructs.
How they came to be there, walking as the dead, was also a mystery.
Once he’d learned all of this, Dorian had once again seriously reconsidered his route.
The phantoms of the dead that haunted this Exotic World ranged from mighty to weak. Even King Class undead could be found here.
Neither the Borrel Autarchy, the Shade Commune, or the Aurelius Family, all the nearby powers, wanted to deal with the planet, and it was left to the wilds.
After a while, however, he’d shaken his head, determined.
Helena had been quite clear and open with him. There was no realistic chance that the leader of the Aurelius Family would allow him to walk free, not after his brethren had already killed untold innocents.
Further, while he wanted to trust Helena, and genuinely believed her good intentions, he had no illusions about the reality of this world. The female warrior was good natured and kind, but there was little chance the leader of such a massive power would reflect that same nature, in Dorian’s opinion.
It was possible… but it was a risk he didn’t want to take.
That said, his only other viable choice was also a dangerous risk. Traveling through a haunted world full of powerful undead… it wasn’t exactly an ideal situation.
He sighed. All of this was incredibly stressful.
His stomach rumbled as he was in mid-thought, distracting him. He looked down, and then grinned, tossing aside the stress.
He had time. He could afford a day to think it over.
With that in mind he stood up, storing all the papers in his Spatial Ring. He turned and left his room, and then downstairs to leave the Inn, heading off somewhere to eat.
On a frozen world far away…
Gerulf Aldric groaned as he came to, pain slowly forcing him awake. He blinked his eyes blearily as the world around him came into focus.
A large, expansive stone cave spread out around him, filled with icicles and glowing chunks of white crystal. The cavern was tall, the cave roof stretching up at least a hundred meters. It was a huge underground chamber, one that had several large entrances and exits.
Despite its sheer size, the room was mostly empty. Only stalactites, icicles, and glowing crystals decorated it.
The temperature was cold, but not the brutally cold weather of the surface.
Gerulf shivered as he forced himself to stand, feeling his condition. He was injured, his body covered in several large burns. His right leg was broken, and it felt like he’d strained his left arm.
He withdrew a Grandmaster Class Light Pill from one of his Spatial Rings, swallowing it down without hesitation. He sighed as he felt the infinitely comfortable healing magic wash over him, his injuries and wounds starting to restore.
His memories gradually began to return to him.
They had been crossing the surface, following a map to get to one of the three major cave systems. Travel on the surface for extended periods was suicidal, and therefore they could only hunt for their target in the caves. They were trailing the damned fox at a relatively decent pace, but still had yet to find it.
When they were almost finished crossing over, they had encountered a creature.
He groaned as he remembered it.
A massive, hulking dragon covered in bright orange flames. Its sheer force of presence was overwhelming. It was a mighty King Class beast, well stronger than them.
If that had just been it, they could’ve dealt with it. Their Axios team had fought, and won, against King Class beasts before.
What was infuriating about this one was its incredible luck, and its annoying intelligence.
The drake had, for some reason, started rhyming at them.
As soon as they saw it, they’d launched several defensive, slowing, and attacking spells, hoping to slow the drake before it got the upper hand.
Unfortunately, every single spell they cast at the dragon miraculously missed. Not a single spell managed to hit.
And it wasn’t for lack of trying. Even Gerulf had launched one of his own trusted Piercing Spells, his Ten Mile Lance.
Yet, somehow, his attack missed.
It should have been impossible. How could an attack moving in a straight line at a target that was standing still miss?
The gargantuan dragon didn’t cast any spell or use magic to block the attacks.
They just… missed. Through sheer luck.
It was infuriating.
And then it rhymed at them again.
And then it threw an enormous meteor of flame at them.
“Arrrgh.” He clutched at his head, feeling a massive headache coming on. The healing magic from the Light Pill swarmed up to stave it off.
“Who’s still with us?” Siegfried’s voice rang out in the distance, echoing.
“I’m here!” Gerulf bellowed shaking himself out. Dried blood, burnt skin, and ice sloughed off him.
A deluge of voices sounded off as the various members of the Axios team came to.
Gerulf saw them all beginning to congregate in the center of the room, and walked towards them, limping slightly. The healing magic was still doing its work.
They’d managed to beat a quick escape from the giant dragon, fleeing towards one of the entrances to the North Cave System. It seemed they’d successfully made it, but not before it lobbed off one more of its huge, scathing attacks, injuring most of them.
“Three, four, five, six…” Siegfried counted off the members there, and then sighed.
“It seems we lost Parmon, Pavil, and Gora.”
A small moment of silence formed. The Axios members were all fighters for the Church that knew death was a constant companion. They operated under dangerous conditions performing the most dangerous missions the church had.
Still, to lose three companions so abruptly… Gerulf sent up a quiet prayer, blessing their souls to live in the paradise of Light. He hadn’t been particularly close to any of the fallen. In fact, the only Wizard he was close with on the team was Siegfried.
He’d lost too many friends by being close to them to allow himself to open up so easily these days.
Gerulf looked around. There were only six of them left. Each of them wore a set of white leather hides, the hide of a White Winter Bull, a type of beast known for its warmth retention as well as tough defensive skin. They had two female Shades, and four males, if he counted himself.
Most of them were swathed in white furs or scarves, hiding their appearances. The bitter cold of Blizzaria was hellish, even for them. Several of them were injured, some worse off than Gerulf. None of them seemed to have been crippled, thankfully, and with the powerful healing magic they had in the form of the Church’s Light Pills, they would all make it.
It was only the unfortunate three that hadn’t managed to dodge the brunt of that Dragon’s fire that had apparently perished.
The strange attack had been imbued with not only the Law of Fire, but also the inherent essence of Dragonfire. It had melted through his innate barrier as if it didn’t exist.
Siegfried, a small Wizard adept in Steel Magic, was the only Wizard other than Gerulf who kept his face uncovered. He had a slim, pale face with warm green eyes and a small nose. His weak chin made him seem weak, but as the only Pseudo-King Class Wizard among them, he was anything but.
“We lost our scryers.” Mika, one of the female Shades spoke up. She was adept in Light Magic, a Lord Class like Gerulf.
“Damn it! How are we supposed to find that murdering bitc-”
“Language Jasper!” Gerulf interrupted the other Light Wizard among the group, glaring at him. Jasper rolled his eyes and waved his hands in surrender, apologizing.
“I’m just saying. Without our scryers, we have no real chance of finding the Lightsworn Fox.” He began, his voice gruff.
“Alright, alright. Let’s take a minute.” Siegfried began, waving his hands at them. The two long blankets he wrapped himself in ruffled slightly.
“I think our first priority is to rest and recover.” His words carried a certain level of authority. As the ranking member, and leader of their Axios team, his words were law.
With that said, he laid down on the floor in front of them, wrapping his head over with one of his blankets.
And promptly fell asleep.
“Ugh.” Gerulf sighed and covered his face with his hands. Siegfried was a smart and powerful Wizard, with a good head for tactics. If anything, he had only a single flaw…
“He went to sleep again.”
“Such an unreliable…”
“What do we do now?”
A deluge of voices cast out as the other Axios team members complained.
The Steel Wizard was famous for his rather odd… sleeping habits.
“Alright. Jasper you carry him.” Gerulf took command. Once Siegfried went to sleep, waking him was like trying to wake the dead.
Actually, Gerulf thought, his eyes narrowing as he scanned the surroundings. Even the dead were easier to wake. There were certainly enough of them roaming these lands to prove that.
“Let’s keep moving. We’ve already drawn too much attention here.” He took over as he usually did, waving the group together.
“We know where the fox is trying to get to, so all is not lost. We’ll just head directly for the Western Cave System, and the Ice Keep, and cut it off there.”
“MMmm!” Dorian smacked his lips as he tasted the roasted duck, his mouth enjoying the juicy, warm flavors of the meat. He scarfed down a slice of buttered bread, relishing the taste as he ate his meal.
He’d found yet another restaurant to go to, this one well known for their roast duck.
And Dorian found that their reputation was well deserved. The food was as delicious as it was advertised to be.
It was a traditional looking restaurant, with several worn, but ornate tables. It wasn’t extremely fancy, but it wasn’t a run-down place. A few large murals of fierce, rippling winds coated the walls, referencing the mysterious windstorms that occasionally swept through Taprisha’s ground level.
Dorian had yet to experience them, but had read about them. Fierce winds whipping about like swords, tearing apart anything in their path. It was a good thing the storms were quite rare.
Every single table was taken up currently, most by large groups. Everyone here seemed to have a certain level of wealth, all of them dressed finely. Dorian glanced down at his worn, brown leather robe, one provided to him by Helena. It fit his Ifrit form better than anything else, but it wasn’t exactly a nice outfit.
That combined with his rather odd appearance made him stand out a bit. Not that he particularly cared.
As he kept himself distracted, still mulling over his decisions, in the background, he vaguely heard a disturbance.
“…I don’t care! We’re eating here, and we will place our orders now!” A young man’s voice rang out as he waltzed into the dining room, accompanied by several well dressed other men, and a few giggling girls. They all head fine hair, wore fancy lace or silk clothes, and were decorated in jewelry.
A pair of solemn looking black robed Wizards followed behind the speaker, a bored expression on their face. The speaker was a young man, around 18 or 19, wearing a set of ornate golden robes. He had short brown hair, and fine facial features that gave him an authoritative look.
The slightly grey skin tone of all the young men and women gave away that they were all Vampire Nobles.
“Please, noble sir! All our tables are currently taken, and there is a fifteen minute wait already! We don’t have anything avail-” A portly man came in after them. He was the man in charge of the front of the restaurant, the same man that had seated Dorian. He wore a set of loose white pants and a grey shirt, with the name of the restaurant, the Wind Willow Eatery, emblazoned on it.
“Nonsense. It’s your honor for my presence to grace this establishment.” The young vampire smiled as his eyes scanned the restaurant, glancing over all the other finely dressed merchants or Wizards. Many of them were looking on in disapproval that he ignored.
His eyes finally landed on the table Dorian was eating at, all alone. He smiled.
“I see an open space right there!” The vampire walked forward, stopping directly in front of Dorian. He tossed a pair of silver coins onto the table.
“Consider your meal paid for by me, the second son of the 5th Palace Master. Get lost.” He waved his hand for Dorian to leave, turning to look back at his group of followers with a smile.
Dorian swallowed the meat he was chewing, blinking as he looked at the silver coins, and then at the arrogant noble before him.
After all this time visiting random expensive restaurants, hoping to run into an interesting fantasy situation like a mugging or rescuing a damsel in distress, it had finally happened.
Someone had finally tried to arrogantly kick him out and take his place.
He felt himself start to tear up, looking at the vampire gratefully.
After all that stress and worry trying to make a decision, it seemed at least something in his day had gone right.