Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 72: Shades
“Whew.” Dorian exhaled, catching his breath as he looked down at the corpses.
Three dead Grakons littered the ground. All of them, like the ones he had encountered before, were Lord Class, at the Early stage.
“Absorb em’, Ausra.” He ordered as he bent down, kneeling from exertion.
With these three killed, that would be 8 Grakons he had defeated in total over the past several miles.
Ifrit – Growth Stage: (4/4) Elder Ifrit –
Growth Progress – 86,231/0 –
“Not bad.” Dorian muttered as Ausra absorbed the leftover energy points and other remnants.
He then walked over to the corpse of each Grakon, placing his hand on each of their oversized blades.
“Absorb.” He muttered, using his will and commanding the energy in each blade to come to him.
Immediately, a rush of energy filled him as he absorbed the latent power in each of the magic, shapeshifting swords.
Ifrit – Growth Stage: (4/4) Elder Ifrit –
Growth Progress – 91,231/0 –
He smiled again.
His store of energy was rapidly rising, something he could make great use of. Grandmaster Class forms usually took around 60,000 points or so to fully max out.
Dorian considered his quest for a moment. His main goal was to reach the Ember Gorge and gain enough energy to recreate a body for Will. A rough estimate of what this would take, according to Ausra, could cost up to 15,000,000 points of energy, or even more.
A massive sum.
He shook his head as he reached a conclusion. There was no point in saving up his points now. He needed to use everything he had to get stronger, and to increase his chances of being able to survive, and save Will. Stockpiling now would just decrease his odds.
Dorian tapped his foot against the body of one of the Grakons. One of its scales popped off, landing on the ground. He reached down and picked it up, looking at it closely.
It was dried out, but still tough and durable. The lack of blood in the bodies of the Grakons greatly lessened their natural defenses.
In the 30,000 Worlds, blood wasn’t like the blood of earth. The blood of any creature had certain magical properties, identifying it. These magical concepts couldn’t be found anywhere else. Not on their skin, in various muscles, bones, or even in brain matter. Only in the blood itself of the beast, and any traces of blood found in parts of the body.
Without blood or a Soul Spell Matrix, no matter what parts of a corpse Dorian found, he would forever be unable to transform into its form.
‘Ausra, fully evolve my Black Ambian Eagle form.’ He mentally commanded. His body began to shrink inward as his form changed, becoming a young Black Ambian Eagle, about twice as large as his eaglet form.
‘Acknowledged.’ Ausra cooly replied.
‘Evolving to 3r-‘
‘Evolving to 4th Growth Stage.’
Black Ambian Eagle – Growth Stage: (4/4) Great Eagle –
Growth Progress – 50,122/0 –
Dorian’s body expanded as his physical form grew, elongating. His head reached a new height of nearly three and a half meters, while his wingspan nearly quadrupled. His metal feathers took on a powerful, lustrous glow, having a tensile strength and power not present before.
Dorian shook his body out as he felt this, greatly pleased. This was a form he could fly with, and feel relatively safe.
‘Ausra, can my Black Ambian Eagle form combine with the Berserker Demon form?’ He queried as he transformed once again, returning back to his Ifrit form.
Flying in the massive cave was possible, but it would be relatively loud and noticeable, and draw attention.
As his body returned to his Ifrit form, he scanned his environment, checking to make sure there was nothing trying to sneak up on him.
‘No.’ Ausra replied coolly.
Dorian sighed, and then shrugged. It couldn’t be helped.
‘Alright, nevermind,’ He began, cracking his fingers,
‘Evolve my into a Solar Rock Lizard.’ Dorian decided to run tests to see what the Black Ambian Eagle could combine with later. Right now, his biggest priority was power.
While he’d only managed to cover about 30 miles over the past four hours, a slow pace compared to his normal speed, this was largely because of Dorian’s careful nature.
The Great Road to Icicar was plagued with powerful Grakons.
Over the thousands of years that this Exotic World had existed, large numbers of the undead Grakons and Giants had been killed or destroyed. Either by hunters or powerful warriors seeking treasure or by powerful people simply passing through.
This had led to most of the weaker forces being wiped out, leaving mostly only the stronger creatures, at the Lord Class and above.
The Lord Class was a dividing line for most forces. Most teams of hunters or the like would try to avoid battling with any Lord Class foes, even ones that couldn’t use the laws of the universe and were just physically at the Lord Class level.
For some reason, no matter how many Lord Class Grakons or Giants were killed, there always seemed to be more left. The mystery of Blizzaria, and its strange undead creatures, was an unsolved one.
Despite this area being plagued by powerful creatures, Dorian had come to notice a few things.
The undead Grakons were not a particularly sensitive race. He had snuck past several groups of six or seven of the undead creatures, choosing to avoid any melees with a number greater than 3, just to be careful.
As long as he kept low and quiet, it was reasonable, and even expected, that he could slip past the powerful undead.
He had also snuck past three separate expeditions of hunters, some of them heading into various side-passages that lined the Great Road. Two of the groups had been entirely human, while the third was a smaller one led by a vampire and two Aethmen.
He decided to avoid interaction with them. He would go his way, and they would go theirs. No need to make things more complicated than they needed to be.
He shook the thoughts from his head as he focused on the present. The Solar Rock Lizard was a creature he 100% needed to become and make use of, and starting his growth of it now was important.
Solar Rock Lizard – Growth Stage: (1/5) Baby Lizard –
Growth Progress – 50,122/2,845 –
He ignored the soul adaptation period warning Ausra gave, focusing on the changes in his body.
Dorian’s body shook and strand inward, his physique changing from a powerful Ifrit to a small, baby lizard.
He was covered in small brown scales, and even as a baby, he had thick, muscular arms, relative to their tiny size. Hardened scales covered his back and arms, giving him a small layer of defense.
His Spatial Ring shrank somewhat, but not enough to stay on his finger. As a result, Dorian looped it around his lizard neck, as if it was a collar or necklace.
“Gweee.” He tried to speak aloud, and then shrugged, his small tongue slipping out and tasting the air. He wasn’t able to speak normally in this form.
‘Aw. I didn’t get the Ability yet.’ The biggest reason Dorian was excited for the Solar Rock Lizard bloodline he had was related to the powerful Ability it held.
The Hyperion Beam Ability.
He shrugged. He’d just have to wait out the hour adaptation period to fully grow the form and gain it.
Dorian began to skitter off, his small lizard form hurtling down the Great Road.
The miles fell away almost as if they didn’t exist, Dorian found. His tiny body was only three and a half inches (~8.5cm) long. Despite that, an impressive amount of power was packed into it, making it reach the peak of Sky Class thanks to his powerful Soul Spell Matrix.
He ate away at the distance constantly.
He skipped past several more groups of Grakons, some of them moving in large patrols, others wandering aimlessly or in patterns Dorian couldn’t understand. A few times he saw some even fighting each other, or making odd gestures as if they were communicating.
Hundreds of side caves and caverns broke off from the huge one he was traveling, leading to various hidden houses, homes, and miniature villages. The Western Cave System was once a place that had been heavily populated.
The closer he got to Icicar, the more Grakons he encountered, and subsequently avoided.
As long as he stayed quiet, running on the edge of the Great Road, and hiding in the stone and rock when Grakons were nearby, he remained virtually undetected.
Dorian had been moving for about 40 minutes, everything so far going perfectly, when it happened.
He came upon a scene out of nightmare.
The Great Road would occasionally swerve, or take slow, but noticeable curves. It was never a full or sharp turn, but one that curved enough that Dorian would be unable to see far ahead of him. In addition, his baby lizard for was low to the ground, already making visibility a pain, even with his enhanced eyesight.
He had just been taking one of these corners, his small body hurtling forward, when he forced himself to come to a halt as he stared forward in horror.
He had come upon a slaughter.
A good dozen or so Grakon corpses could be seen, ripped to shreds and lying in disrepair near the left side of the Great Road. On the right side, however, the side Dorian was on, another collection of corpses could be seen.
Two vampires, and 13, as Dorian counted them, dead humans. A hunting expedition of sorts. The bodies were spread out, covered in red blood. Dorian could taste the fresh scent of it in the air. They had died relatively recently.
The only way he was able to tell they were human or vampire was thanks to Ausra scanning them. To Dorian, they were all bloody corpses, covered in so many wounds and melted burns, it almost made him gag.
Several of them were clutching swords, a few wielding wands or staffs. Ausra stated that most of them had been at the Grandmaster level, a powerful elite team. The two vampires had been Pseudo-Lord Class.
Thankfully, his baby lizard form seemed to have given him a far stronger stomach than he had had as a human, and he managed to maintain himself.
‘How did they kill the Grakons, though?’ He wondered, turning to look at the dead scaled minotaurs. The weakest among them was bound to be Lord Class. A party of Grandmaster Class humans and vampires should be outmatched by far. There was a reason all the expeditions Dorian had seen were small, secretive ones.
Dorian skittered off into the rocks on the side, hiding as he heard a voice speak.
From farther down the road, a figure appeared, covered in white fur garments. Dorian couldn’t make out many details about the being, other than the odd black smoke that appeared to be rising from the being’s hands, and the corpse it was carrying.
That and the powerful Aura the being emanated. The unmistakable Aura of a powerful Lord Class being.
Class – Lord Class (Late)
Maximum Energy Level: 81,331
His eyes opened wide at the reading as Ausra scanned the Shade.
The Shade threw down the corpse carelessly. It was that of a now dead woman covered in horrific burns. One of the comrades of the other dead humans and vampires.
“None of them lasted a single blow. How incredibly pathetic. Even the Grakons were better than them.” The Shade laughed, his voice full of disdain. He shook his head as he glanced over the dead bodies.
Four more figures, covered in white furs or coats, emerged from the rocky surroundings. Four more Shades.
No, Dorian thought, five Shades. One of the Shades appeared to be carrying another one of their comrades. The Shade didn’t seem to be injured, but, for some odd reason, appeared to be sleeping.
“Quiet, Jasper. Let’s keep moving. That was the last of them.” One of the other Shades said, his voice gruff. This Shade turned and looked at all the corpses, bowing and folding his hands together for a few moments.
After that, the Shades turned away from the scene of slaughter, ignoring the dead bodies as they left, traveling down the road towards Icicar.
Dorian clenched his tiny lizard fists as he saw this, a small cinder of anger at injustice lighting in him.
‘Don’t be an idiot, Dorian. You can’t do anything to them.’ He mentally muttered, keeping his eyes on the Shades as they turned into specks in the distance. Still, the ember of resentment and anger at wanton slaughter stayed lit in him as he burnt the image of those Shades into his mind, especially the one that had laughed as he threw the corpse.
He turned to look at the dead bodies with a sigh.
He then waddled forward out of the stone surroundings, towards the dead Grakons. He might as well make use of the energy and bloodlines they left behind.