Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 79: Breaking In
After stabbing the throne, Arial had asked Dorian to follow her down a long series of passages towards the bowels of the Ice Keep.
According to her, this entire underground structure was a no-man’s land that only the powerful blind Grakon King lived in. There were no other Grakons living here, or creatures of any kind at all.
As they moved, silently traversing long sets of iced-over stairs or empty corridors, Dorian’s thoughts became clouded.
‘Will? What do you think about all of this?’ He thought towards Will’s dormant soul, lying next to his own, rubbing at his forehead.
The memories he had gained explained a lot to Dorian.
The innate sense of combat he’d gained was something that rose from his subconscious. These memories must’ve been stored deep within his soul, and only awakened after something happened to them.
Dorian was also clear about who they were from.
His mind went back to the first day he came back to life, in a strange new body, trapped in a black cage.
To a powerful, overwhelming and domineering message that had rocked his mind.
AH, FIRSTBORN OF MY PERFECT FLOCK. YOU HAVE FINALLY FORMED, AND BROKEN FREE.
YOU HAVE BEEN CREATED FROM THE ETHER, BY YOUR LORD AND MASTER, THE GODKING YUKELI.
YOU WILL FOLLOW MY COMMANDS, YOUR SOUL HAS BEEN SEALED. YOU WILL KNOW WHAT YOU NEED TO DO WHEN THE TIME COMES.
SOW THE SEEDS OF CHAOS IN THE 30,000 WORLDS.
YOU, FIRSTBORN, WILL HOLD MY HIGHEST HOPES.
WHILE I MAY NO LONGER BE ALIVE IN THE DIVINE REALM, MY PLANS WILL CONTINUE UNABATED.
CHAOS WILL RISE. ORDER WILL FALL. THE CYCLE CONTINUES, UNABATED.
A name in that message stood out.
The ‘Godking Yukeli.’
The same name as the man from his memories, Yukeli Shorn.
‘But why? Why do I have his memories?’ He thought, unable to find an answer.
He didn’t even have all of the memories of the powerful warrior. Many of them were scattered and incomplete. The only memories he seemed to have a large amount of were the ones that focused on training and battle.
He winced. Even thinking about the memories was a bit painful as they tried to surge back up to the forefront of his mind.
‘I am Dorian.’ He muttered in his head, forcing them down for now. When he allowed them to rise forth earlier, his entire sense of identity had fallen into crisis. He felt as if he was starting to lose himself, and become someone else.
The memories, he noted, held valuable information. The sheer skill of the fallen warrior, the ‘Lord of the Absolute,’ was incredible, to say the least.
But what use was power if he had to lose himself for it?
‘Maybe I can isolate the memories? Go over them bit by bit?’ Taking them all in at once was unacceptable, as far as he was concerned.
For now, he would just leave them isolated in his mind, pushed to the back. As long as he didn’t will the memories to take over, they seemed content to remain in the back of his mind, not changing his personality.
‘Ausra, who was Yukeli?’ He turned his focus to his Soul Spell Matrix genie.
‘His Worship is His Worship.’ She replied, rather unhelpfully.
‘But he was a human, right? A human that walked the 30,000 Worlds, hundreds of years ago?’ He returned, his eyes narrowing.
‘I can only respond with information I have stored. I do not have an answer to your question.’ She replied calmly.
He sighed. Well, he hadn’t expected much anyway.
It was a mystery he would have to figure out on his own.
The Ice Keep was huge, stretching for miles underground. Dozens of sets of stairs led through twisting and winding corridors, giving it an almost maze-like appearance. The path Dorian took with Arial seemed almost random, yet unerringly led them into a descent.
The further down they moved, the colder it got, Dorian noted. He was in his Ifrit form, which was resistant to cold to some degree, but even he could feel the decrease in temperature. If it got much colder, it wouldn’t be that much better from being outside the cave, on the surface of the planet.
“So how do you know so much about this place?” Dorian asked, his eyes trailing on Arial.
He still didn’t fully trust her, not after meeting her so randomly. But she didn’t seem to be misleading him, and had helped save his life by letting him hide away in here.
Arial turned her head back to look at him as they walked down a long, empty hallway before responding,
“I’ve lived in this region ever since I grew up. I was born on the planet of Paxital.” She began, her voice melodic,
“My blood is special. While the vampires and Blood Wizards from the Three Families are usually more orderly, about 30% of all vampires are rogue, and don’t align themselves with them.” She continued,
“A girl like me needs to know a few good escape routes to survive. This is the first time I’ve been forced to use the Ice Keep route, a dangerous one in its own right, so I don’t know everything. I only know what research has been pulled, beaten, and brought out.” She waved her hands around her,
“Like how to get to the Red Portal and how to activate it.”
Dorian looked at the walls she had waved at. As he stared, he could almost see the energy running flush in them.
Whatever she had stabbed on that throne had set off a chain of energy, causing the air and walls of the Ice Keep to be full of it. It had an ancient feeling to it. It wasn’t something Dorian could touch or manipulate, however. It just seemed to… exist.
“Well, thanks for helping me.” He’d gotten caught up in this mess because of her, but it was his own fault for exposing where she was in the first place. He’d say they were even in that regard.
“You’re helping me back, after all. I don’t think I would’ve made it to the Ice Keep in one piece, or be able to reach the Red Portal as easily without your help.”
They were silent for a while as they continued to descend. The walls took on a heavier, bluer tint as they walked lower, the stone becoming less and less apparent. Everything was lit by eerie, blue light that seemed to be just barely present.
“So what about this place, then? Why does that blind Grakon live here?” He shifted the topic.
“Long ago, the Giants and Grakons were constantly at war. Towards the end of their reigns, for unknown reasons, the two races had one last, final war, one to overwhelm all others. A war to end all wars.” Arial narrated after studying Dorian for a second,
“Aristodemus the Coward was a legendary Grakon King, and a member of the Great Grakon Generals, the elite and most powerful members of the Grakon society, according to the records I’ve read.”
“When the war was at its peak, and had reached a fever pitch, there was a vicious battle that saw horrendous losses on each side. Aristodemus, in a previous battle, had been badly wounded, struck blind by the attack of a Giant Highwarrior.”
“Another Great Grakon General, Eurytus, had been similarly injured.”
“Brutally marred and injured, both Great Grakon Generals retreated back to Icicar under order from the ruler of the Grakon race, to heal from their injuries and later rejoin the war effort.”
“Eurytus, however, changed his mind, defying orders, and left to rejoin the Grakon defense, while Aristodemus continued on to Icicar.”
“The battle he joined was known as the Last Stand of the Grakon armies. It was a brutal battle that saw the death of nearly 80% of the Grakon race. The Giants suffered a similar fate, roughly 75% of their forces wiped out, forcing an end to the war.”
“What happened after that, exactly, is unknown. What is known, however, is that Aristodemus was labelled a coward by the survivors, shunned and humiliated.”
“As a result of this, of his own race rejecting him, Aristodemus isolated himself here, in the Ice Keep, where he spent the rest of his days.”
Dorian was silent as he heard the tale, shivering slightly. The history of this world, even of a single character on this strange planet, was incredible. Though, in his opinion, this Grakon race sounded rather judgmental. To reject one of your own, humiliating him, for returning on orders to heal… it didn’t feel right to Dorian.
They continued to descend. They started to find chunks of ice lining hallways, or even standing in the middle of them. Sometimes they ran into an entire wall of ice blocking the way.
In those situations, Dorian stepped forward, unleashing a small ball of Emerald Flames.
These flames melted the ice instantly, clearing the way.
He also devoured a Magic Herb from his Spatial Ring, trying to restore his energy. He was running at about 60% strength and felt exhausted.
Using his Berserker Form had been a chore, especially when he Condensed it.
His Condense Ability seemed to be a shifting technique that didn’t always operate in the same way.
When he Condensed some of his more normal forms, like the Giant Myyr Dragon, his body would shift to be smaller, but tougher and stronger, a few slight adjustments here and there.
When he Condensed his Ifrit form, he would draw upon the latent Elemental Energy in his blood, exploding to great heights of strength, at a cost of damaging his genetic bloodline and forcing himself to undergo genetic repair.
When he Condensed his Berserker Demon form, his physical body itself had transformed greatly. The eight arms his Berserker Demon form possessed had shifted to only two arms, and the actual shape of his body had changed.
‘Perhaps it’s because the Berserker Demon is an unstable bloodline?’ He thought, shaking his head. It was yet another mystery to add to the pile.
His thoughts ran all over the place as they continued to descend, their progress relatively slow due to the increasingly annoying chunks of ice.
Successive explosions rang out as Gerulf slammed a long, silver lance into the doorway blocking off the Ice Keep, his chest heaving from exertion.
“Piercing Magic: Heavy Point!” He chanted a spell as he punched forward, slamming against the door.
An odd, echoing creek sounded off as the door shifted, sparks flying up. The array of symbols on the front of it were cracked, giving off wisps of bright white light.
“Gerulf, how much longer?” Siegfried’s voice called out, ringing above the sounds of Gerulf’s attacks.
“I’ve almost got it!” Gerulf called back, wiping a sheen of sweat from his forehead. The White Winter Bull hides that he wore were in a pile next to him, steam rising off his body. Small bits of Dark essence rose from his exposed Dark Points, the tell-tale sign of a Shade. The essence didn’t contain any energy, and it rising off his body had no effect on him.
It had been nearly an hour and a half that Gerulf had been going at the enchanted door.
Even when he infused the Law he studied into his techniques, the Law of Might, one of the most commonly studied Laws for those specializing in the three Physical Magics, he was only able to chip away at the door’s defenses and halt its regeneration.
If he stepped away for even a minute, the door would fully restore itself. The odd magic of this world kept things from breaking down far longer than normal, and this door seemed to be taking advantage of that, as well as its own unique magical properties.
The fact that the Lightsworn Fox had managed to break past the door in mere minutes was proof to the incredible power the species held, at least in regards to their inborn Abilities.
“Anything else, Jasper?” Behind Gerulf, Siegfried was currently talking to the badly injured Light Wizard Shade, Jasper.
The warrior had recovered enough to regain consciousness and basic mobility, thanks to the efforts of Mika, the other Light Wizard in their troop.
“No.” Jasper’s voice was raspy as he talked, his eyes bloodshot.
“It was my own fault. The beast was incredibly strong, and I underestimated it. I didn’t sense even a hint of the Power of Law within its blows, only raw physical strength.” He shook for a moment before laying back down on a set of bundled fur coats and hides, pulled from one of the team’s Spatial rings.
Siegfried nodded his head, letting Jasper rest for the moment. Their opponents were wily.
His eyes flashed.
No matter how vile or conniving their target was, they would still complete their mission, or die trying.
A flash of magic energy shot into the air as a collision echoed out, coming from the entrance to the Ice Keep. Faintly, in the background, the clashes of the two giant King Class warriors could still be made out.
“Speaking of fighting, I’ve never seen someone that has a Battleform AND a Dragonform.” Arial’s voice echoed out as she responded, in the middle of a conversation about the Shades.
They had traveled quite a distance and had decided to take a small break, taking a bit of time to rest.
Dorian had chosen to close his eyes and relax, allowing his exhaustion to slip away slightly while he talked to the fox girl.
“Mmm, well, you could say I’m a bit unique.” He returned, not opening his eyes.
‘Ausra, what’s a Battleform?’ He had a good guess, but wanted to be sure.
‘A unique transformation Ability found in some rare and powerful bloodlines.’ She returned.
He mentally nodded. It was more or less what he had expected.
“It’s nothing special.” He blatantly lied.
Silence reigned for a few seconds.
“I see. Well, what about you, by the way? Why are you here?” She continued,
“The only reason I’m here is to escape from those Shades.” Her voice was filled with venom as she talked about her pursuers.
“Me?” He said, thinking his answer over.
“Well, I’m off on a journey to save a friend, and find a huge store of treasure.” He decided to be honest.
“Oh?” Arial’s voice peaked with curiosity.
“You’re going to Dragonmount and then Paxital, right?” She asked. Dorian had mentioned his destination earlier, when they were talking.
He grunted his acknowledgement.
“Then you must be one of the treasure hunters searching for the legendary Ascension Ruins on the planet of Magmor, huh?”
Dorian blinked in astonishment. The treasure stash he had been given information for… it was indeed located on the planet of Magmor. Specifically in a location called the Ember Gorge, according to what the old ghostly Wizard had shared, in what felt like so long ago.
“People already know about it?” He sputtered, his eyes opening in shock.
Arial gave him an odd look.
“Of course. All the strong locals in this section of the 30,000 Worlds have heard about the myth of the Ascension Ruins on Magmor. A magical area that is filled with treasure, and, even more enticing for the mighty, contains the recordings and history of various Lord Class, King Class, and even Angelic Class Wizards in their study of Law and journey towards Ascension.” She nodded,
“The only hard part is finding the ruins, which magically shift locations, and actually getting anything out of them. After all, this place was a creation of one of the greatest Fate Wizards to have walked the 30,000 Worlds.”
Dorian’s eyes widened, feeling as if his soul was trembling as she spoke, Fate seeming to twist in acknowledgement.
“The only human to Ascend to the Shattered Heavens within thousands of years.” Arial nodded again,
“Very few have the right to claim even part of the treasure or knowledge left behind by the Great Lord of the Absolute.”
Right at that moment, an echoing explosion shook the Ice Keep, resounding all the way to them, deep in the bowels. At the sound of it, Arial sprang up, her eyes glowing.
“They’ve broken in! Quick, we need to hurry! We’re almost at the Waterfall!”
Author’s Edit: Changed the last line that Arial spoke in the previous chapter to read:
“Now all we need to do is reach the Waterfall.”
“Now all we need to do is wait and hide.”
I think this makes it a bit clearer what is happening.