Reborn: Evolving From Nothing / Reborn: Evolving From Nothing Chapter 176 Impressed
“How did he manage to predict that surprise attack? Even I was unable to sense it.” The powerful Pseudo-Angelic figure was standing in the shadows of a small tower about 200 meters distant. He was using a unique Wind Magic Spell that allowed him to listen and see through the wind, letting him observe from afar.
He was the only person present that was able to sense the blinding arrow of energy that blew the famed Demon Hunter Bayran away.
In that same moment, however, he also managed to detect a sliver of the energy imbued into that arrow.
While the energy in the arrow was extremely self-contained and concentrated, Excelsior Gamin was a Pseudo-Angelic Class expert that had mastered the Law of Wind. He was able to cast his awareness into the wind itself, sensing almost everything within a certain range.
“That attack… it was Demonic in nature.” The Excelsior’s eyes flashed darkly as he turned to look at the World Bridge to Moria, a breeze starting to stir around his body, swelling with energy. He had been in a fantastic mood recently thanks to hearing about the young hero Lord Inigo. After listening to the many tales told of him, he had secretly become a fan. This abrupt attack had ruined that mood.
“Is Moria becoming active again? Was the attack a response because of the young hero’s Fate? Is this his destiny?” After a moment, the powerful Excelsior paused.
Among all Pseudo-Angelic Class experts, Excelsior Gamin was not one of the mighty ranked on the Recording of Might. Not all Pseudo-Angelic Class experts were listed. Only the strongest known 49.
In terms of raw numbers, the total number of Pseudo-Angelic Class experts, among the trillions and trillions of beings in the 30,000 Worlds, certainly exceeded 49.
The upper limit was quite small, however. Likely less than 500, perhaps even smaller. The difficulty in reaching this stage of power was excessively difficult, but the sheer number of beings in existence meant there were bound to be some number.
The fact that there were only 8 known Angelic Class experts was proof in itself of the sheer freakish talent it took to reach that stage.
As for those that reached the Ascendant Class… No one known to be alive had achieved that Class.
“…I should not meddle with his Fate… His destiny is his own to control. If he is destined to be the destroyer of the Blighted World of Moria, it is not my place to change that…” After his moment of pause, the swelling energy that surrounded the Excelsior seemed to calm. He turned away from the World Bridge, shaking his head.
“However, an attack of such scale would injure even me… I can’t just let the potential Angel of the Church walk to his death… But, then again, he managed to dodge it, something even I would’ve failed to do if my guard was down…” The elderly man went back and forth, his body swaying as he talked to himself.
“Hmmmm… Inner peace… Inner peace… Inner peace…” He took several deep breaths, calming himself down.
“I only came out here to test him and see if he truly could represent the Church. Just by looking at him, I can sense the honor and valor he carries himself with. He is a true hero.” Excelsior Gamin was extremely confident in his judgment call.
“However, you can never be too sure. He did come up only as Neutral. Was it because of the distance?” He rubbed at his bald head. Reading someone’s Fate across many planets was always a difficult task, even when using powerful Artifacts as aids.
After a moment’s pause, he tapped on a small ring he was wearing. A moment later, a fist-sized bell appeared in his hand, one that glowed very faintly.
“The Haydo Truth Seeing Bell is much more effective when seeking the truth over a short range, not through multiple planets. Bishop Das oversees the Church here and is talented in Light Magic.” Gamin nodded his head sharply as he made a decision.
“If he comes up Neutral again, I’ll help him slightly to point him in the right direction. If he comes up Good, I will gift him one of my personal Artifacts to guard him. If he comes up Evil…” His voice paused,
“If he comes up Evil, I will confront him and kill him myself.”
“…but first, let’s go nab some of those pies before they’re all gone…hehe…”
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The ostensible ruler of Shaptle was a Shade known as Lord Calvier, the City Lord of Shaptle. Lord Calvier was a loyal knight under the Southern Duke of Shadow, Duke Barmo. He lived in a large mansion at the center of the city, with two large towers on either end.
In one of these large, grey stone towers, two figures could be seen at the very top, on the open roof.
One was that of a Shade wearing a long green robe, with finely manicured fingers and a rather weak looking face. He had a weak chin, a small nose, and eyes looked downcast.
He was the Third Shadow Captain, Kanto Ren, one of the 5 strongest Shades under Duke Barmo, and a powerful King Class Wizard.
In his hands was a folding telescope, one he put down from his face with a frown.
“Oho, not the results you were expecting, eh Kanto?” The other figure on the roof said, a voice full of cheer and glee, as if taking pleasure in Kanto’s displeasure.
The speaker was a gruff looking human wearing a vest of grey metal armor that seemed almost grafted to his skin. He looked to be in his mid-50s with a handsome face marred by a large scar tugging down the center of his lips and chin. He had short blonde hair and calm green eyes. On his back was a large pair of hammers, strapped into his armor.
“He is far stronger than I thought, it’s true, Ander. To send Bayran flying with a move so quick even I couldn’t see it… his fast-draw technique is extremely powerful. I have never seen anything like it.” Kanto’s voice was calm, betraying none of his annoyance.
“For a Lord Class Shade to be so powerful… no wonder the Church has paid so much attention to him. He’s the real deal.” Kanto continued and then sighed, his face twisting in a frown.
“Bahaha, indeed! Though, you with your Magic and me with my Mountain Hammers, we could easily do the same thing. Bayran is strong and good at killing Demonic remnants, but his skill is still lacking due to all the focus he puts into Alchemy.” As the cheerful human spoke, a powerful King Class Aura rippled out from him, one that was incredibly dense and powerful, an Aura of Might that was incredibly strong. A Late King Class Aura that stood at the very peak, just a step away from Pseudo-Angelic.
“Who knows, maybe that young hero really will clear out Moria! I like him!” Ander Borko, the Mercenary Leader of the Ranked Borko Mercenaries, the group guarding the Superior Auction of Shaptle and a team considered one of the closest to achieving S Rank, continued, laughing loudly as he stepped to the edge of the tower.
“I’ll be at the Auction House if you have anything else interesting to share! Bahahaha!”
Kanto watched with distaste as the local leader of the Golden Moon Mercenary Alliance threw himself off the tower with abandon. A gradual silence covered the tower as the Shadow Captain was left alone.
“I better contact Duke Barmo before I take further action.” Kanto sighed, feeling depressed. How could he have known that Lord Inigo was so freakishly strong despite being only Lord Class? He would need to reevaluate any future plans he put into place at the behest of the Duke.
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‘Where in the world did that come from? Was that purely because of Fate, or something else?!’ Dorian’s first thought was on the blast of energy that had shot past him and knocked the Alchemist away. He felt more than saw the attack coming thanks to Fate, but he still didn’t actually know what it was from. He couldn’t detect any energy coming off of it due to its sheer speed and it left behind no remnants.
‘Was it aimed at me?!’ He tossed the thought away for now, deciding to mull over it later as he glanced around at the onlookers.
“Wooo! Lord Inigo!”
“Heavens Above! What skill!”
A deluge of cheers broke out as everyone came to their senses, the shocked silence falling away. Clapping and applause broke out as people resumed their chants in support of Lord Inigo, as if nothing had changed.
Dorian, meanwhile, looked at the badly mangled street with a frown. It was exactly as he had expected. Their duel had caused a great amount of damage, obstructing the main part of the road.
‘Do mighty people really not care at all?’ He could understand fighting out in the woods or on a World Bridge. But a city street? He sighed. Maybe they could use Magic to fix the damage quickly, this was a rather affluent city after all.
It still rubbed him the wrong way.
The various Shades that had been on Bayran’s side all looked at Dorian, fear and awe on their faces. The biggest visible emotion, however, was one of respect.
As they saw Dorian frown, several of the Shades visibly wilted, looking down in shame. How could they dare to doubt the mighty and courageous Lord Inigo? He had even been so kind as to try and avoid harming Demon Hunter Bayran, doing everything to avoid having to attack seriously.
“Oh Great Hero, we beg your forgiveness. Our foolishness caused us to believe you were a sham and we are-” The group of Shades bowed almost in unison as one of the stronger ones, a Pseudo-King expert, came forward apologizing.
“It is fine. Rise, rise. I don’t do the whole bowing thing.” Dorian cut the Shade off, waving his hand at them. He already felt bad enough for tricking them, there was no way he’d let them start prostrating themselves.
The Shades all stood up, tears glimmering in their eyes for Lord Inigo’s great magnanimity. Dorian resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Was he really that convincing?
“That’s right! How could you doubt our Great Hero? The Holy Highlord is far above the likes of you!” A booming voice from behind shook the air as Captain Fabian stepped forward, his demeanor bold and proud.
“Brother, we were wrong! Allow us to redeem ourselves!” The Pseudo-King Class speaker for the Shades began,
“We originally travelled here to join Lord Inigo’s army to wipe out the Blighted World! We were led astray, but we have returned to the righteous path!”
“We must wipe out the Demons!”
Cheers broke out from the previously wilting Shades as they regained their fire, the original reason they were here flowering once more. None of these Shades had a weak will. All of them had originally come to Shaptle to join an army headed to wage war against the Demonic remnants of Moria, after all. Such a mission was not one for the faint of heart.
“Well, that is-” Fabian began, but also was cut off as Dorian broke in,
“Every Shade will be needed in the battle against the Demons. Any righteous Shade that will stand by my side is one that is welcome to join us!” Dorian’s voice boomed out with authority and power, swaying any onlookers.
Internally, Dorian nodded his head. He was using the Shades, it was true, but they were also using him.
Destroying any Demonic remnants on Moria would come with huge rewards. Whether that was through merit and gaining repute, something he could use to gain things to heal Helena, or directly through treasure.
It was a win-win situation. He would help the Shades wipe out whatever Demonic remnants were left and get his own rewards in return. Besides, almost all actual Demons were evil in one way or another. Most of them preyed upon innocents, using the Demonic Laws for vile purposes.
Not all practitioners of the Demonic Laws were evil. But most Demons were, though exceptions always existed.
Back when the Demon Race was flourishing, they were constantly invading other worlds. The Demons were a Race built for battle, one that took pleasure in the pain or suffering they caused. They were hunters and they considered every other Race, or sometimes even members of their own Race, prey. The sadistic slaughter they left in their wake was well known.
Dorian could still vividly recall a scene from Yukeli’s memories, a time in his youth when his family had been brutally killed, his brother nailed to a cross and left out to die, alongside thousands of other innocents.
‘If there are remnants on Moria that are anything like that, killing them all will be a pleasure.’ His eyes flashed darkly.
“Wooo Great Hero!”
“We will kill all the Demons!”
“Praise the Great Hero Lord Inigo!”
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Dorian looked around the stately inn room, smiling.
The room was extravagant, with a luxurious silk bed, cool blue silk curtains, expensive paintings on the walls, a massive ancient wood bed frame, and a whole host of other fancy amenities. The room had clearly had no expense spared in its creation.
He, and the rest of his army, had just moved into a large number of rooms at a couple of expensive inns located in the central area of the town.
The owners of the inns had rented the rooms out to Dorian’s army free of charge once it heard of their mission and the fact that the Great Hero Lord Inigo was moving with them.
Demonic remnants would occasionally pour out of Moria onto the World Bridge, usually in the form of specters, ghosts, or mutant creatures. These proved to be a natural danger to anyone that wasn’t a mighty expert, making the area near the World Bridge to Moria a dangerous place to live.
The Superior Auction’s location here was partly because of the unique draw of Moria, but mostly out of convenience. Shaptle was a world that was located in a sweet spot between the Dukes and the Church. The Southern Duke of Shadow, the Eastern Duke, the Western Duke, and the Central Duke, all of them had bases located relatively close to this Superior Auction.
While the Church of Light had a Superior Auction located right in its home base, this Superior Auction happened to be in a relatively good location as well, near one of the 12 Archbishop Dioceses. Archbishops were second only to the Excelsiors of the Church in authority and power.
The Holy Prince also held great authority and strength, but he wasn’t included directly in any line of power. He had the potential to succeed the High Priest, but until then, he had little authority in terms of the clergy.
Dorian shook these thoughts from his head as he looked over to the bed, his heart beating heavily with worry.
Helena had fallen into a deep slumber again. Her face had grown paler and even gained a sickly air, as if she was truly ill.
This wasn’t a cover or disguise. This was her true state of being currently. As she fought to heal herself, Helena had told Dorian that her injury appeared to be worse than it seemed in a manner she couldn’t fully understand.
She needed to receive treatment.
‘But I can’t just take her to get healed.’ He thought, feelings of frustration welling in him.
‘Not when I’m in enemy territory. The Shades are literally at war with her kind. I need to maintain our cover and get her powerful healing medicine.’
He clenched his fists. He relaxed them as he walked over to the bed, looking at the sleeping vampire.
“Rest easy, Helena.” He put his hand on hers, making sure she was tucked in and comfortable.
“I’ll get you healed soon.”
It was time to visit the Superior Auction while there was still time left in the evening.
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“Ah yes, Lord Inigo! You’re interested in the dancers?”
“I believe it’s a style of dance that has become quite popular among the Mercenary Alliance. It is said to have first been discovered by a crew working on the World Bridge to Taprisha.”
“It requires considerable coordination and talent for high level dancers and is one of the hottest topics among the youth right now. I believe it’s called ‘Country Two Step!'”