Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 77: Clashing with the Shades
Powerful rage ran flush in Dorian’s mind, fiery uncontrollable anger. His body finished its expansive growth, his fully grown Berserker Form trembling. This new form was unstable, but very physically powerful.
‘Condense.’ While his mind had been torn asunder, both by rage and the thousands of memories that swarmed into his head, Dorian didn’t lose track of the scene at hand.
Immediately, his hulking, eight armed Berserker Demon form shrank inward, his entire body morphing.
A magical transformation took place.
His 8 arms warped inward, condensing into a single pair. His entire physical form shrank down in size, to a mere 2 meters, a regular height for a humanoid. A small, burning flame erupted on his back, and two large, pointed black horns sprouted, just above his forehead.
A terrible concentration of power ran flush in his body, raw physical might condensed to an extreme. His perception of time scaled upward, the world around him slowing down as he grew stronger and stronger.
As he Condensed, the insane anger faded to a much more manageable level, but still present and influencing his mindset. The Constant Anger Ability that affected the mind of a Berserker Demon was unable to fully activate when he was in his Condensed form.
Instead of fiery fury, his anger became cool, frozen like his surroundings. His mind sharpened, becoming acutely focused on the world around him.
Increased Energy Level: 69,027
The mental notification rang out in his mind, informing him of the increase.
He also received a warning from Ausra. He could only maintain this form for 3 minutes before he would suffer permanent soul fracturing.
He had 3 minutes to handle this situation.
His raw, concentrated physical might had reached an absurd level for a humanoid that didn’t use the laws of the universe.
His boosted strength wasn’t quite on par with the two Shades, but it was powerful enough that he couldn’t just be stomped and ignored.
The Shade that had punched him gave him a glare once more, and then vanished. His body blurred as he moved incredibly quickly, particles of light flowing off him. The Aura of this Shade was huddled close around his body, pure and mighty.
‘Just like Isaac during the Meladona War.’ Dorian thought, his eyes cold. He held his arms up, protecting his face.
Even in his new form, Dorian was still unable to reach the same level of speed as the attacking Shade.
Dorian’s body hurtled to the left as he felt a huge impact slam into his side. It was painful, but his Condensed body was abnormally tough and tensile, his cells literally closer together and denser, making absorbing impacts easier.
This time a kick, Dorian was able to make out, knocking him up into the air. He grunted as he felt the blow, the incredible speed behind it granting it a massive amount of force.
He sailed nearly 40 meters high into the sky, in a split second.
The Shade materialized in front of Dorian, his body still giving off particles of light. His right arm was raised, perched just above Dorian’s chest.
Dorian smashed down onto the ground, a large, 10 meter wide crater forming, sending shards of stone and ice into the air.
Dorian – Soul Status
Soul Stage: Lord Class (Early)
Energy: 61,027/69,027 (Condensed)
He called his status to mind. His energy levels were dropping fast. In his Condensed form, they skyrocketed to high levels, but with every blow he took, he would become weaker.
“Oh, a tough one, huh?” The Shade materialized in front of Dorian, shrugging.
Two more blows knocked Dorian around, one smashing into his chest, while the other his back. Each punch was physically impossible for Dorian to make out, the only thing in his vision an afterimage left with motes of sparkling light.
Even if Dorian had similar Energy Levels, his from his powerful body, while theirs from their use of Laws and magic, he doubted he would be able to reach such a fierce speed. The magic that the Shade used was Light-aspected, and seemed to be focused on blazingly fast speed and close combat.
Dorian’s body smashed into a pillar that was set in the ground, about a dozen meters from the entrance to the Ice Keep, near where he had been in the beginning. The pillar collapsed beneath him, but absorbed enough of the force to stop him from flying off.
Blood spattered from his lips as he coughed, finally sustaining an injury from the repeated blindingly fast attacks.
However, as he raised his head, throwing himself off the ground, a small smile formed.
Dorian closed his eyes. Every attack created a mental image of his foe, combining with his knowledge, observations, and experience. He had fought in tens of thousands of battles over the years, against countless foes. This was nothing to him.
‘I can feel you.’
As more blows rained down on Dorian, knocking him back and forth brutally, Dorian slowly twisted his left arm, placing it precisely at an angle off, exposing his face. He opened his hand, holding it just slightly out.
His form was limited. There was no chance he could react in time to any of the attacks sent his way. The sheer, raw speed of his attacker outclassed him.
But that didn’t mean he was helpless.
As another blow slammed into his side, cracking one of his ribs in his Condensed form and sending him soaring several meters, Dorian’s eyes twitched for the briefest second. His smile widened into a blood rictus.
Dorian closed his hand.
In the same instant, an enormous blow slammed into the side of his head, almost causing him to fall unconscious. Blood spattered out from his face, his nose breaking.
However, instead of flying off like before, his entire body jerked, twisting around in mid-air as he came to a stop, his feet landing on the ground.
“Huh?!” Jasper looked down at his leg in shock, motes of white light flowing off his body.
Dorian’s clawed, black hand had latched onto it.
“ARRRRRRGH!” The Shade screamed in agony as Dorian clenched his hand, breaking past the innate barrier of the Wizard and then breaking the Shade’s right leg in a single motion.
He then twisted his entire body, slinging the Shade around and slamming him into the ground.
A small, several meters wide crater formed in the ground, a webwork of cracks spreading out at the impact. Bits of ice and rock flung into the air, pelting around.
Dorian let go of the Shade’s leg, letting it, and the rest of the Shade’s body, fall to the floor, his condition unknown. The Shade’s scream had been cut off, returning to silence as he was slammed into the ground.
The Shade lay still.
Dorian had noticed that every time the Shade attacked, he left himself completely open, judging purely by the afterimage left behind each strike. It was a careless trait, one the Shade must’ve built up due to his incredible speed. In close combat, he’d probably met almost no one that could match him.
It was true that he couldn’t react in time to any of the Shade’s attacks.
So, instead, he had waited till he gained an understanding of the Shade’s attack style, and manipulated his pattern into attacking his face.
Maybe he couldn’t move to defend himself in time from any of the attacks. But if all he needed to do was move his hand slightly… That was within his physical capabilities.
“Your arrogance was your downfall.” Dorian spat out some blood from his mouth and then shifted his nose, setting the break.
Dorian leapt backwards, his body twisting out of the way as several steel swords shot through the air towards where he had been standing, narrowly missing him. He backflipped through the air, checking his status as he did so.
Dorian – Soul Status
Soul Stage: Lord Class (Early)
Energy: 31,027/69,027 (Condensed)
‘Hmm.’ He thought, frowning slightly. Just catching all those hits had taken a lot out of him. Thankfully, the fight itself had lasted only around 2 minutes. He still had another minute left.
“You bastard.” A voice full of anger raged out against Dorian, shaking the air as the other Shade blasted down in front of him. The Shade’s entire body transformed into a gleaming, metallic form, shining softly. His speed was much more manageable, far slower than the other Shade.
The Shade’s arms transformed, covered in small, metal spikes. The fighter took up a guarded stance, his fists clenching. Glowing white spikes formed on each knuckle of the Wizard, pointed and dangerous looking.
Despite the apparent carelessness of the first Shade, the Light Wizard had moved adeptly, and attacked in a trained pattern. They were both clearly seasoned and talented warriors. These Shades seem to have a particular focus on close combat magic, however, Dorian noted, and not on long range attacks.
That was unfortunate for them.
‘A Steel Wizard, huh?’ He smiled. This was just like Thavin from the Battle of Versaii.
“Steel Magic: Carrying Punch!” The Shade punched out, aimed directly for Dorian’s chest. As he did so, a large Aura of white light appeared on his knuckles. Dorian immediately felt a sense of danger, knowing if that punch landed on him, it would tear right through him, Condensed or not.
But, unlike the attacks of the other Shade, this punch moved at a far more reasonable speed.
Dorian twisted his body just slightly to the left. As he did so, he stepped forward, entering the attack range of the Shade.
His arms seemed to wrap around the incoming fist and arm of the attacking Shade as his body blurred. He stepped forward, but at the same time seemed to step to the side, causing the Shade’s fist to just barely miss his chest.
Dorian’s arms twirled.
The attacking Shade yelled out loud in pain as he was sent flying, smashing down hard a dozen meters away from Dorian.
Long, red burn marks marred the metallic arm of the Wizard, seared into his skin, while the arm itself was twisted at a sickening angle, broken.
Every movement Dorian made held a colossal amount of raw, physical force. The innate barriers of Wizards were powerful but were much better suited at resisting attacks with the power of Law imbued within them.
They crumpled beneath his sheer physical power almost as if they weren’t there at all.
“Oh? My HirGira technique only broke your arm, and not your shoulder too?” He nodded his head. Thavin had been a Human Steel Wizard, while this Shade was a bit more resilient. His Steel Magic might have a different foundation. He would need to adjust his martial techniques accordingly.
“Be proud. There are few warriors who stood against the Lord of the Absolute and managed to last beyond a single blow.” Though, in his current odd form, it couldn’t be considered a fair fight for Yukeli.
‘Wait. Yukeli. What? Lord of the Absolute? Huh?’ Dorian’s mind reeled all of a sudden as he looked at his hands, and then the downed Shades in shock.
‘What is happening? I did this? The-these aren’t my memories. What?!’ He shook his head, clutching at it with his hands.
“Dorian, I got it open! Quickly, I can see the rest of them arriving! We can’t take them all at once!” Arial’s voice echoed out from behind
‘You have reached your limit in your current form. If you remain Condensed in it any longer, your soul will begin to fracture.’ Ausra notified him.
“Steel Magic: Steel Pillars!” The downed Shade waved his unbroken hand, causing a dozen meter thick pillars of glowing steel to appear, shooting out to surround him and his unconscious comrade.
At the same time, at the corner of Dorian’s vision, he could make out several blurred forms rushing onto the plateau.
Dorian stumbled backwards on autopilot, his body transforming back into his Ifrit form as his mind shuddered in shock. The cold edge of anger left his body as he switched forms, making it much easier for him to think, and realize his actions.
He turned around, his thoughts confused as he leapt down the sunken stairs, running to the safety offered by the Ice Keep.
Editing Note: I accidentally called Dorian ‘Jack’ in the previous chapter twice. For those that missed, that was a typo that I fixed. There is no Jack here!