367 A Small Spark To Create A Huge Flame
At this time, a certain entity was walking through the Ruined Plains of Deriam once again. This was a place that would forever be coated in pure Destruction Energy due to the tumultuous fight between two Rank 1 Black Dragons in the past.
One had to wonder if Rank 1 Black Dragons could ruin an Area Zone for eternity, what if they fought at Rank 7? Then, wouldn't the whole main plane have been ruined and turned into a haven of Destruction Energy assuming it wasn't rent to ashes?
No wait, an even more important question was that while White Dragon True Gods had existed in the past - like Hikari's mother - how come no one had ever heard of a Black Dragon becoming a True God?
A True God Black Dragon could likely destroy not only the mortal plane, but the very heavens as well. This was enough reason to prevent a Black Dragon from ever ascending, but a Black Dragon/White Dragon duo at Rank 7 were impossible to beat.
So how did such a strange development occur throughout the ages?
An eternal mystery and food for thought.
However, the being walking through the Destruction Energy was not harmed by it, but rather welcomed and revered. There was a clanking sound with every step he took, a sound that would chill the heart of any member of Umbra or the other guilds.
A sound that would make Eva become solemn and Draco frown gravely. This familiar clanking sound that sounded abnormally pleasing to the ear came from one of the strongest and strangest entities unique to this timeline…
The Dark Knight!
He had changed greatly after his fight with Draco back during the Dragon Slaying Event. Back then, he had been barely cognizant of himself and his personality, only driven by primal instincts and shattered memories.
After a few months of striking it out on his own and getting used to his power and existence, he had evolved, especially after he Ranked up to Rank 2.
However, when he Ranked up, he was pulled into a strange world, one with metal machines moving over strange roads, people walking on paved footpaths and hundreds of humans in strange garbs moving about their daily life.
He had relived 1 year in Draco's body in his memories, which was equivalent to 1 month in this game world since he didn't have to worry about the stress of time dilation on his body like everyone else did.
Interestingly, he had chosen - willingly or not - to experience the period from when Draco went from 23-24 years old in the real world, which was the 2nd year of Boundless release, and the 8th year in the game world.
That year was quite a special one. Anyone who perused that fellow's life would know that this was the most iconic year in the history of their universe, regardless of timeline.
It was the year of the fateful betrayal!
The Dark Knight experienced everything first hand through Draco's shoes, his thoughts, naivety, shamelessness, and emotions. He had felt the change as Draco went from all that into an entity of negativity and hate, a being that only cared about revenge, the costs be damned.
This had fundamentally changed the Dark Knight and brought him closer to Draco… but not in a way everyone would expect.
At the end of their previous battle, Draco had looked the Dark Knight in the eyes and offered to be his friend and become eternal brothers with him, as they were of the same mold.
They had the same body, bloodline, mentality… but not the same soul. As such, there was a slight difference between them, and that was the eternal bond with Eva.
Draco's bond with Eva wasn't just about mere bloodline, it transcended that. It was something above time, space, chaos, or the origin of the universe. It was something engraved into the laws of reality, a connection that had been made fact for eternity.
This couldn't be re-made or cloned. As such, the Dark Knight was what Draco would be without that connection of fate tying him with Eva in a way that they could never get loose.
So, without that bond making them crave each other, what would Draco do?
Well, the question was obvious, wasn't it? It would be the same thing the bloodline suppressed Draco had tried to do in the previous timeline.
Destroy Eva, the traitor!
This was the Dark Knight's new mission. He no longer hated Draco. In fact, he worshiped him, just like how Draco revered Lucifer.
Draco had once surmised that most clones of a person would either try to kill their original and replace them or hold their original in the highest regard and serve them.
Draco himself was the latter type. The Draco who had reincarnated could be considered a clone, with Lucifer being the original. As such, he was loyal to Lucifer and hoped to achieve his goals as best as he could.
In this same manner, the second-generation clone - which was the Dark Knight - was loyal to Draco and Lucifer - should he learn about the Ultimate Devil - and would hold their will in the highest regard.
And after living through those memories and sharing Draco's raw hate for Eva, he understood what he had to do to honor his true self. Eva and everything she held dear had to perish!
This was the same goal Draco had up until he finally managed to beat her, before he was sent back to the past. Alas, the Dark knight did not know that Eva had paid the ultimate price already, otherwise he would rather move to support her as per his true self's wishes.
The void monsters that populated the Ruined Plains of Deriam were still waiting for the countdown for the World Event to begin. Since this kind of event had such far-reaching effects and a big momentum, it naturally had a long build-up period.
And this was why matters concerning other players had fallen to the background. Everyone had stopped everything else and they were preparing for this upcoming event that could change the landscape of the whole in-game world.
This was why the newcomers were spending so much money to catch up to those ahead and to build footholds. After learning about the ticking clock to the catastrophe, nobody had time to explore the world.
Nowadays, people were gathering resources through dungeons or business… while some seized it through Guild Wars. The average player was around level 35, with the elites like Gentle Flower and Noble Soul between level 40-45.
Soon, many top-tier players would Rank up and the threat from the void monsters would be greatly reduced. This would make this world event turn from a catastrophe for all players into a blessing for some, as they would use it to skyrocket in power and prestige!
Especially the almighty Umbra, where almost all the core members were now Rank 2 with legendary classes and those below them were either Rank 2 as well or closing in thanks to the efforts of the Ranked-up core members.
A guild like this would never suffer under any siege, only using the blood and effort of their enemies to fill themselves up with more power and room to grow. There was a reason why it was respected by all players and many NPCs.
Before one could think about taking down Eva in the slightest, they would have to tear through Umbra to get to her. Usually, Draco would also be standing solidly before her, but he was away at a crucial time.
And so, in order to make sure that the 'will' of Draco was carried out, the Dark Knight had come to this place to up the stakes. He calmly trudged through the former battlefield that had become the rally ground for an even worse battle that was coming soon.
Unlike the time Draco came here to Rank up, the void monster concentration had not reduced, only increased. Now, it was saturated to the point where even with the mist of Destruction Energy about, one could see the endless swathe of them.
Naturally, when they spotted the Dark Knight, they tried to accost him. However, they had no chance to contend against him at Rank 2 when they were only Rank 1 monsters.
Rank and level suppression alone made them appear like weak babies in front of the Dark Knight, so he didn't even change his trajectory or move. He simply sent out endless fireballs, wind blades, and lighting bolts towards them, searing, cutting, and shocking his enemies to death.
Yes, as was the situation with Boundless at the moment, the Dark Knight mirrored all of Draco's abilities except his innate technique auto-generation, his General Aspect (Abyssal Prime), his bond with Eva and his core memories.
Everything else though, the Dark Knight had. Draco's subjective magic, his true forms - Dragon, Devil and Demon - his constitution, his Control, his swords skills, and more.
The reason this was done was…
Hm, it seemed as if the Dark Knight had finally reached the tear in the fabric of reality. This very same tear was the cause of this event, a leftover effect from the Omega Beam from the Eyes of Caelo.
The void monsters here too were the strongest of the lot, able to bring destruction to all races of the world despite being only Rank 1. After all, Void Destroyers had enough HP to be classified as Rank 4 monsters, not adding their corrosive Abyss Energy and its resistance to everything not Aether-imbued.
They also tried to attack the Dark Knight, but he paid them no heed and simply constructed an Aether Barrier that repelled all their attacks. While he might have Draco's subjective magic and had not gone through the lessons the original had, he still had the same power.
The Aether Barrier wouldn't last long despite the Dark Knight having higher stats than players at his level - his status was torn between a player and an NPC, yielding him many benefits of both worlds - but it would be long enough for what he wanted to do.
He reached the Void Tear and noticed that it was beginning to close as it repaired itself. This showed that the countdown to the event was almost over, as it would begin when no more of the void monsters could come through it.
Even as it was right now, it was truly hard for any more void monsters to squeeze their way through. The Dark Knight saw this and frowned as his eye flashed a green glow.
He roared and transformed into his full Dragon form, the majesty of the hybrid Metal and Black Dragon pervading the world and making all lesser beings kneel. Even the void monsters settled down and watched him with surprise.
The Dark Knight was special because unlike Draco who was a pure Black Dragon, he was a metal and black hybrid. He had the ultimate defense and ultimate offense in one body, making him truly resilient.
The Hybrid Dragon had little time in this form, only one minute. As such, he raised his front legs and coated them with endless Destruction Energy, almost enough to create a second Plains of Deriam if he so chose.
He used his legs to grip at either side of the Void Tear. After making sure he had a strong hold on each side, he did the unthinkable…
He directly forced the tear to open wider!
The Void Tear had been small enough that only Rank 1 void monsters could squeeze their way through with extreme effort. Now, with the size the Hybrid Dragon had torn it to, only God knew what would crawl out of the abyss into the world.
In fact, as the Hybrid Dragon stood there, an intense and horrid aura billowed forth from the depths of the now expanded tear, blowing him away into the distance while spitting blood.
As for the consequences of his actions? He knew very well. Now, everything would fall on the shoulders of Umbra and while they would likely be able to weather this storm with relative ease - even with the havoc he had caused - he just needed them invested long enough for him to get close to Eva.
Author's Note: I can hear some of you hemorrhaging in your chest and large intestines from anger at this new plot development, but there was a lot of thought that went into this.
For one, the aweso- *cough* despicable Mad God has been inactive in the story for too long despite being the entity that even allowed it to exist. Now, it is time for it to cause trouble again through its new agent, the Dark Knight.
Or you didn't think that all this fellow has belongs to him? No, no, even I know how contrived such a plot would be. Now, I get to watch Draco suffe- *cough* struggle through this calamity to prove himself and why he was given such a long period of peace to grow.
P.S for those crying for more chapters, I've heard your plea and thought up a solid means to solve it.
It's simple: I can maintain the current quality and stress my limits to create more chapters if I'm bathed with money.
Or, I can just do without the motivation that is money and write more chapters, but full of filler that extends the plot. What should've been 2 chapters now becomes 10.