Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 74: Arrival at Icicar
Note: For those that didn’t catch it: The previous chapter was originally released in an unedited format, for roughly an hour after release. The correct version of the chapter was reposted after.
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Dorian breathed a deep sigh of relief, the horror in his heart fading as he watched the monstrous skeletal Giant move off towards the city.
He recognized the King Class undead, from the research he’d done before coming.
On Blizzaria, there were a nigh uncountable number of Lord Class undead, a testament to how powerful the fallen Grakon and fallen Giant race were. The Western Cave System was originally home to the Grakon Race. Most of the enemies Dorian would encounter would therefore be undead Grakons.
However, there also existed marauding undead Giants that would sweep through the caves, waging their eternal war against the Grakons. No matter how many Grakons or Giants died, there were always more remaining.
A few of the undead on the planet had gained some renown, sticking around for thousands of years.
The skeletal Giant Dorian had just encountered was one of those legends.
The One Armed Iron Giant of the fallen Giant Race. A masterful swordsman that, even in death, was still able to grasp hold of the Law of Cutting, and wielded a gargantuan sword made out of Thorin Iron, an extremely rare metal. The same Law the swordwielding vampire that had fought against the Eleventhborn, and one of Helena’s allies, studied.
The vast majority of the dead on Blizzaria remained unable to touch the Power of Law and had their strength lowered to the Early or Mid Lord Class, through sheer physical strength.
Dorian watched as the right arm of the Iron Giant blurred, flicking its wrist. Despite its huge size, the being moved with a speed that was astonishingly fast.
Three separate Grakons were sent flying into the air, their bodies torn apart from a single blow.
The Giant’s arrival had not gone unnoticed, despite its abnormally quiet nature. Dorian could make out several groups of Grakons approaching it fearlessly, their bodies expanding in size as they charged. Some of them grew to be 13 or 14 meters tall, and Dorian even saw one that was roughly 20 meters tall. The closer he got to the city, the stronger undead he saw.
Despite that, it still remained a fact that no matter how much taller the Grakons made themselves… the Iron Giant stood roughly 220 meters tall.
Waves of Grakons attacked, and waves of them were destroyed. Dorian eyed the field of mostly destroyed scaled minotaur bodies, looking at the various corpses. Most of them were destroyed beyond use, but he might be able to scavenge some energy.
Dorian blinked as a loud noise rang, off to his right.
A quartet of large, scaled Grakons had appeared, climbing up onto the ruins. Behind them, Dorian could make out at least 20 more Grakons, of varying strengths and size.
They’d been drawn here by the Giant’s arrival, and seemed to be patrolling where it had emerged from.
Dorian also noticed that the rocks and ground that the Iron Giant had destroyed when it planted its sword near him were starting to reform and repair themselves, an odd, magical sight he’d heard of in his research. The lands in the cave systems would automatically repair themselves after taking significant damage.
“Ohhh, that’s not good.” Dorian muttered as he and the Grakon made eye contact. He took a deep breath, his chest heaving with exhaustion.
It had been many hours since he last slept. The sheer effort of transforming, fleeing, and fighting so long was starting to take its toll on him.
“Grrrrrrrr.” The Grakon snorted, raising the same type of greatsword every scaled minotaur seemed to possess.
Without even waiting for a response, Dorian turned his body and sprinted off away from the Grakon, hurtling towards the edge of the ruins.
Behind him, he made out the frenzied stomps of the four close Grakons as they gave chase, rushing after him.
‘I won’t outrun them. They’ll just draw the attention of other Grakons in front.’ He swore, turning his head back briefly. The creatures weren’t particularly fast in most cases, but if they were running in a straight line, they could pick up speed quickly.
‘Should I use the Berserker Demon?’ The form remained untested, but was one that he had faith would clean ship with these Grakons, especially if he combined his various Abilities.
He frowned as he looked around, dismissing the idea.
More and more Grakons were starting to head towards him here. He didn’t want to risk testing his form in such an unstable environment.
“Alright.” He said aloud, shrugging,
“Plan B it is.”
He reached the very edge of the ruins. The stone platform he was standing upon was raised up on the cave wall a good thirty or so meters.
As he reached the edge, Dorian pulled on every fiber of muscle in his being, hunching downward.
And then exploded upward, his body hurtling through space as he crashed through the air.
“Wowoah!” Dorian yelped aloud, a rush of excitement filling him as he sailed through the underground sky, flying high.
The roof of the cavern he was in was far, far above him, more than a thousand meters away.
As his body launched, he flew at least a hundred meters high in the sky, 130 meters after he considered the boost from the ruins being above the ground floor.
Behind him, he heard the snarling yells of a few of the Grakons as they jumped after him.
“Switch.” Dorian muttered, his eyes flashing.
Immediately, in mid-air, his body morphed and shifted, his Ifrit form transforming as he gained a pair of metallic wings, a sharp beak, and gleaming beady eyes.
His Black Ambian Eagle form.
Dorian shook out his feathers and flapped harder, pulling himself high into the air as he began to fly.
Behind him, several of the Grakons had expanded and leapt after him. Unfortunately for them, their sheer body size and the heavy scales that coated them, alongside their huge greatswords, weighed them down. None of them were able to clear 20 meters above the ground, let alone 100 meters.
Dorian flapped harder and harder, enjoying the sensation of flight. He turned his beak back behind him briefly, and then waved a wing back at the falling Grakons as if to say goodbye.
His body twisted and fell 10 meters through the air before he regained control of himself, remembering he didn’t have hands, and that waving a wing was stupid.
He soared until he was roughly 700-800 meters high in the air, well above any of the Grakons, or even the Iron Giant down below, but still far from the ceiling up above. He began to coast forward, slowly headed for the ruined city in front of him.
‘Alright, good, good.’ He thought, his eyes gleaming as he began to go over his plans.
‘I can take one of several paths from here.’ He nodded his head, going over the mental map he’d made of Bizzaria.
He needed to reach Dragonmount City.
He looked up at Icicar City, his eyes zooming over it.
It had been an expansive city, with tens of thousands of stone buildings. All of them were oversized, meant for beings quite a bit taller than regular humanoids. Dorian could make out several collections of buildings built into various stalagmites and stalactites, some high in the air while others low to the ground. There didn’t seem to be any ground access to the buildings built up into the hanging stalactites.
Most of the buildings were a faded grey color, and in ruins, often covered with ice.
At the center of the city was the magical stream of liquid ice Dorian had read about.
It was, to be more specific, real, physical Gworen Ice, magical ice that was frozen to a temperature far below freezing. Just getting too close to the river could freeze a creature to death, let alone getting in it.
Despite the fact that Gworen Ice was a solid, and not a liquid, it flowed here like regular, unfrozen water due to odd spatial phenomena surrounding the river.
Physical, solid matter flowing like a liquid. Dorian shook his eagle head as he looked at it, marveling. He still couldn’t quite wrap his head around it.
This river was purported to have been used in the creation of the magic greatswords almost universally used by members of the Grakon race.
As he was reviewing his plans, a loud explosion drew his ears.
The Iron Giant had just plunged his sword into the ground, forming a large, 100 meter wide crater, about a thousand meters away from the ruined walls of Icicar.
At least two dozen Grakons were sent flying, their bodies hurtling through space. Shards of ice and stone ripped into the air, flying out.
Dorian, 800 meters in the air, was safe and well out of range.
The Giant stood still for a moment and then held its enormous sword aloft.
It let loose an incredibly loud roar, incomprehensible rage and anger infused within it. Dorian trembled in midair, struggling to maintain his focus for a brief moment.
A resounding roar was returned, from deep within the city. Dorian twisted to look at the origin of the noise, his eyes alert.
A huge body blurred over the dilapidated city walls, landing down several hundred meters away from the city. Dorian’s eyes widened at the sight as he watched the body blur and expand, growing to a massive scale.
It was a Grakon, but completely unlike the Grakons he had seen.
It was far, far larger, standing at least 90 meters in height as it finished expanding, making use of its Ability. It wielded the signature gargantuan greatsword that all Grakons used, holding it aloft and pointing it towards the Iron Giant.
It was covered in aged, white scales, instead of the gleaming black scales he had seen on most Grakons, and wore a loose set of grey armor. Around its horned face a long, white cloth was wrapped over its eyes, covering them. The armor and clothes it wore seemed to have expanded in size alongside it.
‘It’s blind? Ah.’ Dorian recognized it from his research.
It was one of the few Grakons or Giants that was known by actual name, though the origins of the name, or how it came to be known as it, were unknown to Dorian. At least, he couldn’t discover why in the cursory research he’d done.
The blind Grakon was known as Aristodemus the Coward, the ruler of Icicar City.
A mighty King Class Grakon.
Species: Grakon (Desiccated)
Class – King Class (Late)
Maximum Energy Level: 2,314,630
Dorian watched as the two King Class warriors approached each other, the air around them trembling.
He also noticed that the ground and the massive crater formed by the Iron Giant was slowly starting to repair itself, the broken stone and ice reforming.
After a second, Dorian turned away and began frantically flapping towards Icicar. He realized, then, that he was far too close to the warriors.
Behind him, Dorian felt more than heard a concussive shockwave spread out as the two King Class fighters slammed into each other, throwing up enormous explosions of ice and stone shrapnel.
Dorian’s body twisted and turned as a chaotic flurry of air currents ran flush against him, a battle of vast scale taking place behind him. He struggled to maintain himself, his body beginning to nosedive. Even his Steady Wings Ability was of little use, the unreasonable currents throwing everything asunder.
Arcs of wind slashed out in random intervals as the two swordmasters sent out riveting attacks, splitting the air. Both of the ancient warriors had studied the Law of Cutting, and infused their understandings of that Law into their strikes, giving them devastatingly powerful potential.
Colossal, gaping holes were carved into the ground and ice nearby, several stalactites and stalagmites completely severed.
‘Damn it.’ Dorian swore, and then shifted forms as he was whiplashed downward, unable to maintain flight. Perhaps if he’d been born a Black Ambian Eagle, his natural flight instincts could have saved him. As it was, even with the innate understanding he gained for flying in this form, he didn’t consider himself an expert.
Dorian’s body expanded, growing to stand more than 6 and a half meters tall as he transformed into his Giant Myyr Dragon form.
If there was one form Dorian was confident could take falling a great distance without serious injury, it was his huge, resilient Giant Myyr Dragon form.
The wind buffeted Dorian brutally as he tried to hold his wings out, his large body shuddering back and forth. He had managed to fly over Icicar City in the midst of his struggles and was hurtling down towards it.
At the moment, he was roughly two hundred meters above the city and descending fast.
As he sailed downward, he felt an odd, tingling sensation. One that went to his core, his soul. This sensation drew him forward, and slightly changed the path he was falling in, as if he was being drawn by Fate somewhere, through the effects of his abnormal soul.
A few more seconds passed as Dorian tried to gain control of himself.
At the very last second, just a few dozen meters above the ground, Dorian managed to right himself, the chaotic winds dying down as he reached just above the city proper.
Unfortunately, all he managed to do was slow his descent. He winced as his Giant Myyr Dragon form smashed down hard into one of the stone houses, obliterating it.
‘OWWWW!’ He mentally swore as he collided with one of the many houses, feeling large amounts of stone rip into his scales. Warm blood poured out as he came to a rest, covered in bruises and small injuries. A small cloud of grey dust rose into the air, obscuring his vision.
‘Switch.’ He mentally cursed, feeling his body shift.
He returned to his Ifrit form.
Dorian winced as he got to his feet. The injuries from his Giant Myyr Dragon form transferred to his Ifrit form, leaving him in a pretty injured state. His right arm felt as if it was broken and he’d cracked at least three ribs, if not broken them as well. Apart from that, as well as the bruises and scratches that covered his body, he was in a good condition
His regeneration kicked in as his body set about repairing. Dorian took a few breaths, a feeling of tiredness trying to overwhelm him.
He needed to find a place to hide away and rest.
He fiddled with his Spatial Ring, making sure it was secure for a brief second. He then looked around, gathering his bearings. He had just caused a disturbance in the city, but he wasn’t particularly worried.
The sound and commotion of the two King Class warriors fighting was more than enough to drown out any attention he might raise.
“Cough, cough!” He took a few steps forward, exiting the haze of stone dust as he looked over the ruins of the house he had just destroyed.
As he finally cleared his vision, he froze, his heart jumping as he discovered a dust-covered figure, standing just a few meters away from him.
A small, petite girl with a pair of tufted fox ears.
His mouth dropped open in shock, his mind going to a nation back on Earth that was famous for having creatures that looked just like this in various stories, anime, and manga,