Chapter 42: Awakening


Chapter 42: Awakening

[Redeem 6.78 million points for “Pinnacle’s Death-Tungsten, Plate Armor (New)
?”
Redeem 300 points for “Wang Gear Pane S10 Phone and Contacts Set?”
Redeem 1.5 million points for “Hyre Hunting and Material’s Gathering in the Northern Continent Compendium?”
Redeem 10,000 points for “10,000 centos?”
Redeem 20 million points for “Rook Pharmaceutical Premium Heroic Grade Lustrating Vials (1,000 Units)?”]

I tapped on the keyboard made of light as I made my selections.

“This looks good… is there anything else I need?”

The only final addition was a weapon.

A bow…

The image of the tungsten bow flashed up. Like another limb, its weight, the roughness of the diamond cross-hatching on its grip, the beautiful glimmer from the mirror finish when an arrow exploded in the distance.

Eurval…

“I… I don’t think I can do it.”

It’s so stupid, but I really can’t do it.

Another bow?

“I CAN’T JUST GET ANOTHER BOW!”

I slammed my fist onto the desk.

“FUCKING LAURENT!”

If not for the sound insulation I was sure it would have been heard.

My vision clouded as hot streaks began to roll down my cheeks.

I named the bow Eurval because it was something physical, something tangible that connected me to it.

I bonded with it deeply…

Its ridiculous way of waking me up, its stupid, almost impossible, training regimen, and it’s goddamn convenience. Eurval always had an answer, even when it didn’t it at least we had each other to figure it out.

But now all that is gone. Gone, because Laurent wanted the ethershard.

The way he looked at me.

I clenched my teeth remembering.

Like an ant. His ‘merciful’ way of killing me for his own greed.

The bottled frustrations poured out, I couldn’t stop it. Frustration at myself for being too weak to protect the things I cared about out. Frustrated at Laurent for being such bastard. The frustration of all the unknowns about this body and frustration about ever finding my classmates.

Its been months!

I have nothing! Absolutely nothing about what happened to us or even if they’re here.

Despair tried its hand finally being in a room alone with me. No longer staved off with the danger of being inside a dungeon or an unknown forest.

I sobbed silently.

***

“I can’t believe I cried…”

I was a little embarrassed, but at the same time glad. I felt decompressed.

When was the last time I cried this hard?

The memory of my aunt’s and uncles doorway came to mind as I brought the mail inside the house.

I think it was a couple months after my parents passed. After the funeral, after moving in, after entering the new school. A letter came from one of my parent’s friends asking when they would be coming to the Mongol wilderness for the photography project they had been working together on.

Something just snapped then.

My idiot father and mother had died getting lost scouting the area ahead of schedule on their own.

I could smile about it now, they died true to their stupid hearts. Not even having a child slowed them down.

[Redeem 7.12 million points for “Pinnacle’s Death-Tungsten Spear (New)?]

“I’ll to be an idiot too.”

I finalized the transaction, within a few minutes there was a knock on the door.

“Hello, I have a delivery.”

Choosing anonymous receipt I cracked open the door and took the single ring from the spatial mage’s hand.

“Please check its contents, I also have another delivery with you scheduled tomorrow. Due to the anonymity you have chosen it will have to be delivered to a room you are logged into, like today, or you can designate a registered adventurer to accept the delivery in your place.”

The spear, armor, and lustrating materials would come tomorrow.

I shooed the mage away with my hand and closed the door.

It felt rude, but I really don’t want anyone to see my face. I don’t think Laurent is after me, but if he ever is I don’t want to leave a trail he can follow.

I sent my sense into the Adventurer Guild’s own brand storage ring with everything inside except the armor and spear.

The ring was a plain band of a bronze.

“So much space…”

Within was a thousand cubic meters of space. Floating inside was everything I had bought, except for the three most imporant things.

From inside I summoned out a rectangular and glossy block with an array of cameras on the back along with a black pod that contained two contacts held in a green solution.

After binding the phone with my mana and putting on the two contacts I was greeted with familiar floating text boxes. Missing, however, was the AI of a MAGI.

The contacts are just a general purpose augmented reality system.

Only the rich could afford the nasal spray for a MAGI installation. Or, like me, be granted one as a student at an prestigous academy or school that spared no expense. With the points I have I could have bought one, but that would have been the smart thing to do.

It didn’t sit well with me.

If I installed a new MAGI into this body it wouldn’t be Eurval. It would grow into something entirely different because the experiences together would be entirely different.

If I bought it I was saying that Eurval wasn’t special.

The phone, however, was a top end one I could at least I could take pretty pictures. It was the only one available since no one would spend guild contribution points to buy a cheaper one. The contacts come free.

Loaded onto the phone was the centos currency and my guild ID.

“I should change my name too…”

Not everything offered anonymity as the guild did.

[Accept change of name to “Lumi Nous?”]

[Yes]

—Pffft

I let out a chuckle as I typed out on the new name onto my public account tied to my guild ID.

I played with the phone for a bit and went into the contact directory. Stored within it was Eugene’s number along with Runter, Abigail, and Mei’s too.

“Should I contact Eugene?”

I shook my head.

Now wasn’t the time. I’m completely sure he would race here and help me maybe even assist me with Laurent, but similarly, as his friend I don’t want to put him that position.

At least not right now.

I need to regain my own strength and build my own base of support.

At least unlike when I first arrived into this world, I’m not starting with nothing. The mana pool and strength I had was gone, but I kept the experience to regain it all back.

I should be faster in reaching the same level I was before too, now that I’ve done it before.

“Though, I will miss the lustrating materials…”

If the stuff I was getting was graded as heroic then what Eugene shared with me had to be the upper parts of legendary.

An email notification popped up in my view.

[Your purchase from “Red Rabbit Outfitters” for 97 cts is out for delivery.]

I bought clothes similar to what I saw others here wearing. Simple fitted pants and a simply patterned airy cloth top piece that flowed down to my thighs with a band around the waist.

—Knock knock

Before they could speak, I cracked the door and grabbed the paper bag with clothes folded inside then shooed away the spatial mage.

I pulled out the clothes lifting up the top part so I could see its entirety.

“It has a little opening for a tail.”

It wasn’t really noticeable, it just looked like an extra large buttonhole. I also made sure to buy a robe with a hood and like the hole for the tail the hood had two slits for bunny ears.

The shoes where plain leather slip-ons. I was most happy with the purchase of underwear was, like a soft airy stretchy silk.

Clothed and ready, I stuffed my pelts into my storage ring and left the private room back out into the Adventurer’s Guild.

I looked around. The parties that had been seated in the lobby talking when I first arrived were gone and new ones had taken their place.

Everything looks normal…

I didn’t get the feeling like I had alerted someone of my presence.

I waved bye to Fra who returned a bow and left out into the city.

I should explore the town for a bit while checking out the inns I had marked on the navigation application.

Where is everyone?

I strolled through the town at a casual space taking in the beautiful city.

However, something was off. I had chosen the largest main stone walkway the map showed that had the most shops, but no one was here. The stores were open, at least the doors were, there was even uneaten plates of food on tables sitting out. Like everyone had disappeared into thin air.

I made my way further into town. From the tiny map being projected I was headed towards the center.

How eerie…

No way Laurent would evacuate then nuke a city just to kill me again right?

Does he even have any authority in the Northern Continent?

As I thought that, I found where everyone had gone off to.

The pole I had seen from afar wasn’t a lightning rod, but a massive sword raised in the air, held by an equally gigantic monument right in the center of the city.

The monument was a white marble statue of a woman with a set of bunny ears and a puffy tail wearing clothes similar to what I wore. Hundreds of people stood around facing the statue with their backs to me. Curious I approached to see what was going on.

“Hase, are you ready to awaken your blood?”

A familiar face caught my eye.

It’s the girl! The girl that had slain the rabbit hyre and I followed to the city!

A tall lady with green hair and a pair of long light blue bunny ears stood in front of the young girl. Behind the girl stood the man and woman who I had seen greet the girl at the city wall.

The girl turned back to look at her parents who nodded their head.

“Y-yes!”

“If you feel you are ready then place the essence orb of the hyre you defeated onto the altar and pour mana to activate the formation on it.”

The girl nodded her head and followed the instructions, putting down an essence orb and placing her hands on each side of the altar at the feet of the monument.

A soft red glow of her mana appeared as it slowly filled all the intricate etchings and lettering on the marble altar. The engravings under her began to glow also showing the entire spell formation had been filled.

With the spell completed a dozen shadowy red rabbits suddenly appeared in the air around her hopping in a circle after each other.

—Hooo

The crowd gasped

“Twelve appeared! Twelve divine rabbits! I haven’t seen anyone pass nine in so long!”

Voices from the crowd began to whisper out. One by one each rabbit hopped in a downward spiral towards the little girl, Hase. When they arrived before her they jumped into her chest.

Holy shit shes growing ears!

Her hair color was changing too!

I watched in awe when each shadowy red rabbit jumped into her the illusionary ears of red mana on her head grew longer becoming less transparent and more real. The fur growing was a reddish brown and her hair became a dark red.

“It should start soon, I will activate the barrier.”

What’s starting?

“GRAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

The girl’s eyes shot open the whites turned completely red. Her expression was a savage one. As if dyed in anger she began to jump around at an incredible speed inside the barrier hitting it as she tried to escape it.

Is she okay? No one seemed surprised.

Like a frenzied animal in a cage, the girl kicked and clawed at the invisible wall. Even jumping to attack the crowd at times. If not for the barrier keeping her in I was sure she would have. This went on for what felt like an eternity of rabid attacks and movements, like she was possessed by a demon.

“GRAAAAA!” She wailed one more time up into the sky.

“What innate ability do you think the last rabbit will give her?”

“Who knows, it has to be something good look at how long it’s taking for the formation to readjust her mental state.”

“Just the increase in her strength, speed, and mana alone with 11 rabbits should count as an amazing gift in itself…”

“Lepilia must look at her favorably, gahaha.”

Lepilia?

“Shh shh, the 12th rabbit is moving..”

The crowd hushed as they watched the last one descend charging at the girl bursting into a reddish smoke once it struck her chest.

—!

For a moment a tinge of fear hit me, but then quickly disappeared.

The moment the final rabbit hit the girl she fell onto the ground. A moment after the red mana from the spell waned and the formation stopped glowing returning into carvings of marble.

“All went well. You can pick her up now she must be exhausted. Make sure to feed her a decent recovery potion and lustrating material.”

The tall woman turned to speak to the girls parents again.

“Would you like me to divine her ability?” The green haired lady asked.

“If lady Koun would do us the honor.” The father gently picked up and carried the sleeping girl in his arms up to Kuon.

“Let me see.” lady Kuon placed her hand over the head of the young girl. A green stream of mana flowed out gently flowing over the Hase’s forehead.

“Oh my!”

“What is it, lady?” The two parents looked worried.

“Your daughter, she has awakened the innate ability of teleportation!”

—Hoooo

Even I gasped with the crowd this time.

“Lupilia must surely look fondly at the girl. They have been blessed with a daughter who can work as a spatial mage just like that. They’re set for life.”

“Didn’t that family just arrive in town the other day? I wasn’t expecting this much from a bloodline living in the actual sticks.”

The mother’s face turned red as giant tears fell from her eyes. Her brown ears drooped bobbing up in down. Her face was in bliss. The father holding Hase looked like a stone, but like his wife’s his ears drooped too. He was doing his best to hold in his emotion to not wake his daughter.

Spatial mages are the backbone of the world. Pay is great and there is virtually no danger attached.

Oh her face changed too?

If I hadn’t seen the whole process I wouldn’t have been able to tell it was the same girl.

Happy, the two parents walked off with their son who looked a bit clueless to what hat happened in tow.

Everyone else dispersed back into the city, some who seemed close to the parents went and offered their congratulations.

Permanent change of face, hair, eyes, and gaining an innate ability too?

Can I become a hyridean?

Please?

***

Is that why everyone in this city is attractive?

When they awaken their hyre bloodline their faces must gain some kind of blessing…

I am seriously considering turning into a full hyridean.

Is it a requirement that I have Lupilia blood within me?

With no Eurval I sat down on a bench under a pretty tree and researched the question on my own.

—Taptaptaptap

I clicked away on the full sized screen projected through the contacts using the phone as a keyboard and trackpad.

So the answer is yes and no…

Yes, it is possible, but I would have to hunt a massive amount of hyres and bring each orb to the formation. Like the trait filtering spell, the altar very specifically chooses and balances the traits a person absorbs as to stop from going crazy. The difference between the filtering spell being it also stimulates physical and non-physical traits of a specific hyre essence to augment the hyre’s innate abilities or traits.

Probably why it’s so much more complicated in design than just the filtering spell.

If someone has tons of mixed blood from generations of different hyridean carriers its not necessary to go hunt and only one essence orb related to their bloodline is needed. The single downside is the mechanism to awaken specific abilities or strong ancestors isn’t possible and is mostly ‘random’.

Powerful hyridean clans use this fact to make sure their blood doesn’t get tainted.

BUT!

I have one thing going for me that I’m confident in, the ridiculous way I absorb hyre essence orbs grants me an insane amount of hyre essence. Eugene questioned how I retained my sanity, but I honestly feel no big changes compared to when I absorb them the correct way. The only difference is the minuscule amount of essence the ‘right’ way gives me.

Wouldn’t hurt to try.

I opened up the digital version of “Hyre Hunting and Material’s Gathering in the Northern Continent Compendium” then filtered for all the rabbit based hyres.

[Hyre: Kick Rabbit 
Threat Level: D
Class: 2
Combat Data: STR: ~700, AGI: ~1200, MGI: NA, Mana Cap.: NA AM
Description: A rabbit based hyre that grows to 70-120 kg in size. While their strength is low they are have been granted the threat level of D due to their rapid population growth if not hunted regularly. Staple meat source for the Civieto people.]

[Hyre: Scorch Charge Rabbit 
Threat Level: D
Class: 1
Combat Data: STR: ~1700(~29,000), AGI: ~3300(~29,000), MGI: 4000 AM, Mana Cap.: ~4000 AM
Description: Known for its vicious fiery and explosive charge. Although it can only use its charge about once a day its extreme speed and surprising area of its attack can often kill other hyres or adventurers many times stronger than itself. Weak to water and ice based magic.]

I scrolled through the compendium and relented to search for hyres with a teleportation based ability since there were just too many rabbit based hyres near me within the borders of the Blood Axis.

[Hyre: Quick Warp Bunny
Threat Level: C
Class: 1
Combat Data: STR: ~2700, AGI: ~????, MGI: ~6000 AM, Mana Cap.: ~19000 AM
Description: The quick warp bunny while only being moderately strong is infamous for its ability to instantly teleport around its prey attacking from all sides in quick succession. It has a weak resistance to all physical and magic based attacks.]

It was a ways away from the town at least a week away meaning two weeks round trip…

How many would I need before I awaken into a full new hyridean bloodline?

Enough that it wouldn’t be worth it to buy.

I stood up off the stone bench and continued my way to the best-rated inn a couple blocks down.

—Ding Ding

A bell chimed as I walked into the homely looking inn. At the front was a wooden desk behind it stood a pretty middle-aged hyridean woman.

“Welcome to Ilonius, how can I help you today?” She beamed a youthful smile contrasting her eye wrinkles.

“I want to book a room for the week is that fine?”

“Of course! Would you like a view of the street below or something towards the back? Those rooms are usually quieter.”

Her black bunny ears bobbed up and down as he spoke.

“With a view is fine.”

“Alright, I have room 201 ready. Would you like to include two daily meals from our restaurant for 3 centos more?”

“Sure.”

“Your total for 9 nights and 10 days will be 10 centos exact.”

A prompt appeared in my vision, I pulled out my phone to approve the transaction.

“Coming from far?” She tilted his head as he tapped in the air finishing up on her side.

Probably assumed so because I had no ears sticking from out of my hood.

“Not too far, I’m off on a small personal adventure.”

“On your own? But you’re so young!”

I had forgotten this “Lucid” was much younger by a couple of years.

My voice was probably higher pitched too. At least she couldn’t see my face clearly or she really would’ve gotten a freight.

“Okay, your access had been sent to your phone. Please call us downstairs if you need anything, we’ll be happy to assist okay? My son will take you to your room. ”

I nodded my head and followed the young bunny eared boy.

“Are you really an adventurer?” The kid looked at me curiously as we made our way up the carpeted stairs.

“Yes.”

“Awesome, I want to be one too! I’m hoping I get something cool like Hase did in a couple of months when I start my awakening.”

“Maybe I’ll be like my uncle, he just became a C ranked adventurer! Everyone was so proud when he told us we had a big celebration and everything. We even had family from all over the Axis come to visit!”

What a talkative kid. I couldn’t help but smile at his abundance of energy.

“When do you think you will become rank D?” He looked at me.

“Who knows~” I replied with a shrug.

“Alright Mr. Nous, this is your room you can have your meals delivered or eat them down at the restaurant. Oh, I almost forgot after 9pm the restaurant becomes a pub!”

The young kid gave a deep bow then left back downstairs.

After I tapped my phone to the door it gently pushed open. A single large bed, a small table, a television, and a very nice bathroom by the entrance. All styled in a rustic fashion.

“The view is better than I thought.” I looked down through the large window to the street below.

The inn was settled on a nice high corner that gave me a glimpse of the quaint city. I stepped back from the large window and sat on the bed and began researching more about the city and what was close to it.

Why?

I wanted to know what the hell the pit of Lucids was for and who or what was doing it.

Using the map application to see a bird’s eye view of the forest didn’t show any sort of pit.

I guess that makes sense, the pit I woke up in wasn’t so massive that it was impossible to cover with simple earth magic.

On the map, I traced the path I felt I took to reach the city. Using the route I followed the kids on as a reference point.

Nothing.

Just vast stretches of fir canopy in all directions…

At least I knew approximately where I woke up. The stony dry river bed I followed was there close to three hundred miles from this city.

I gonna have to manually go scout the area myself.

At least the warp bunnies are a little past this area deeper in.

I can do both right?

Sitting on the bed, my eyes suddenly became heavy from having a bed for the first time in a week. The pleasantly warm air and the soft light coming in paired with the indistinct chatter from the sleepy city outside lulling me. I laid myself onto the bed and decided to take a midday nap.

—Brrrr brrrr
My phone vibrated on the nightstand.

“Hmm?”

With it, I roused awake from the sound and saw the notification in my vision.

[Your order from the Adventurer’s Guild has arrived delivery expected tomorrow.]

Nice. I set the five-minute delivery window at 7:00 in the morning.

I left my inn room and head downstairs to go eat the provided meal.

“Mr. Nous, are you headed to the restaurant?”

The nice innkeeper greeted me when I reached the front. The doorway that connected the adjacent pub and restaurant was here.

The pub had its own entrance too, but I would have to go outside to reach it.

“Yes, should I sit down where I like or is it waited?”

“Just go right on and sit where you like.” The inn lady’s ears bounced cutely as she sent me a warm smile ushering me with her hand to enter.

I nodded and went inside.

Like the style of the rooms, the restaurant was rustic too. With wooden tables and chairs. The entire place was being illuminated with floating candles that seemed to not have a single drop of wax melting. The longer tables even had benches.

I chose a small round table at the back. It must be an odd time as it was empty save for a party of five on a larger table.

Oh, it’s the party I saw at the guild earlier.

After taking a glance I sat down.

“Hi, Mr. Nous! What can I start you off to drink?”

They had to be siblings.

Like the young boy, this young woman was topped off with energy. Even had the twitchy and bouncy ears her mother had. Though she did appear a few years older than the boy.

Maybe around my total age? Was my guess.

“Do you have anything cold?”

“Of course! We have honey mead, lemonade, cola, water, iced sweet tea, and my father’s favorite carbonated sweet dragonfruit juice.”

“I’ll take the iced sweet tea.”

“I’ll be right back with a menu and your drink, oh and my name is Nejo and I’ll be your waiter for today.”

With a smile, she hopped away behind the bar counter where the drinks machine was.

Quickly, she was back.

“Here’s your menu and your drink. I have to recommend the special for today its kick rabbit cream stew if you want to try it. It’s really delicious!”

That did sound good right now.

Just as she handed me the menu I gave it back.

“I’ll have that then.” The quick movements accidentally knocked my hood back.

Oh shit.

I threw it back on in a hurry.

“Err.” She leaned close to me in a whisper.

“You know, here in Civieto we don’t discriminate against those who can’t awaken, so you don’t have to worry about hiding being featureless.”

She stepped back and sent me a warm smile. She had misunderstood, but I didn’t want to correct her.

“Actually, you know, now that I’ve seen your face you remind me of a boy that passed through here with a Scale Priest from the Eastern continent a couple years ago. You wouldn’t happen to know him?”

I looked at her with wide eyes.

“No way right, sorry. I just remember cause of the wayyy similar features you share. Actually, that kid might have had some kind of disability. The priest did everything for him, hand fed him too. He even joked about it and said he found him in the forest.”

“Oops, I’ll go bring you the salad and the bread first.”

She left me in a stupor.

Now I wondered if all my past records had been falsified.

Can I even take her claims as true? She could be mistaken.

Still the forest, the disability, it seemed like too much to not be it.

It would explain why I had features of a northerner that Pesca talked about…

Northerner as in the people further north from here. The Blood Axis encompassed the entire southern ends of the Northern Continent. Closest to the Scale Allegiance…

“Here you go Mr. Nous, be careful the soup is hot!”

Still, eyes wide, I slowly blew and spooned the delicious stew in my mouth in a dazed awe.


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Flower

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