The creature woke up, once again, confined and confused. It felt restricted as if there existed walls pressing down on its flesh from all sides. The confusion lasted for but a moment, but in that single moment, the [Survivor]’s heart began to race and panic to start knocking at its sanity.
Yet, a moment was all it took to settle down as it remembered its last awake moments. ‘30 days.’
The creature, though, certainly, did not feel as if it had been 30 days since it had last been awake. Its last awake memories had been of a body that had been failing. It had felt sore and tired. Its flesh had lacked strength and its entire body had been just so slow.
Yet, now, even though it had yet to break out of its cocoon, the creature could practically feel the difference. What had once been sore muscles had been replaced by a new one that felt taught. The body that had once been failing, felt good as new and the flesh that had once lacked power, was almost bursting with energy.
The creature tried to move and heard cracks resounding all around. It stretched its body and the first rays of dim light pierced the empty darkness. It flared its limbs as it exercised its newfound strength and the cocoon fell apart, revealing the moth within.
The moth was a third of a mortal’s finger in size and it seemed a little unordinary. Its body was covered in soft white fur-like hair and had 2 antennas popping out of its head. Its beady dark eyes seem to mirror the darkness of the very night. Its multiple legs seemed to be too thin and weak to support its weight, yet, they held the creature up just the same.
Despite having quite a few new body parts, the [Reincarnated] felt quite peculiar towards the folded set of wings on its back. Despite never having had wings in any of its lives before, the creature did not feel unused to them. Instead, the usage of wings and the resulting flight seemed to be almost instinctual; almost akin to moving just another limb.
The moth tried to flex its wings and the translucent wings spread out in glory. The thin veins zig-zagged across the papery wings, creating a beautiful sight. The bug gave the wings a practice flap and felt its light body rise up in the air a bit. Hurriedly, the creature stopped.
Though, at that moment, a slew of notifications popped up.
|[Evolution complete. You have evolved into a White Furred Moth.]|
|[Evolution bonus of 15 HP has been added to your total Health Points. You have been completely healed.]|
|[Level up bonus had increased to +2 HP per Level.]|
|[Your HP regeneration rate has been increased to [11 + Level/10]. Rounded down.]|
|[Vessel Title, [Hungry], lost.]|
|[Skill [Flight Lv.5] granted.]|
|[Skill [Night Vision Lv.1] granted.]|
|[Skill [Sense Lv.1] granted.]|
|[Level limit on Skills has been raised to Level 10. Evolve further to raise the Level Limit again.]|
|[Skill [Poison Resistance Lv.5] has levelled up to [Poison Resistance Lv.6]. Continuous damage caused by poison has been decreased by the 6 points.]|
|[Skill [Poison Resistance Lv.6] has levelled up to [Poison Resistance Lv.7]. Continuous damage caused by poison has been decreased by the 7 points.]|
|[Skill [Poison Resistance Lv.7] has levelled up to [Poison Resistance Lv.8]. Continuous damage caused by poison has been decreased by the 8 points.]|
|[Poison mastered. Hallucination effect added to the venom.]|
The creature gaped with its mouth open for a moment before it laughed. Though this time, for the first time in its new life, actual sound escaped its mouth and it jumped in surprise at the sudden sound. It looked around its hideout for a moment before realizing that there was no intruder and the sudden sound had been the sound of its laughter.
The shook its head at the ridiculousness of it all before it began going through its notifications. The creature laughed at the loss of the Title [Hungry]. That was news that the moth would have celebrated no matter what. The constant feeling of pure and untameable hunger, that the Title had forced upon it, had been a special of kind misery.
The Skills [Flight] was pretty straight forward. Though it started at Level 5, much like [Poison Resistance] had. The creature scowled at the memory of its failed efforts.
|[Ability to ease the flight of a creature. Prerequisite: Wings]|
It was the other two that had something more than what the creature had expected.
|[The ability to see during the night.]|
|[Ability to momentarily enhance the antennas and sense the subtle scent in the surrounding. The cost of the Skill depends on the level of the Skill. Current cost: 10 Mana/min. Prerequisite: Antenna.]|
Despite the somewhat unexpected additions, the Skills were pretty straight forward. And given their utility, the creature thought for a moment to Level them up, much like it had done for [Moulting] and [Survive]. Though that thought gave it pause and it scowled again as the memory of the Level limit, refused to be forgotten.
At that moment, it was the next notification that gave it some respite, as it increased its Level Limit to 10. However, it was the notification after that one that truly began healing the nearly broken mind of the White Furred Moth.
The increase in three Levels at once, which proved to the creature that all its suffering, its pain, its agony, its torment, and its torture for weeks and weeks on end, had not been for nothing. That its efforts had not been for nothing. And somehow, it also assured the creature that its very existence too wasn’t for nothing.
The moth breathed deeply and shuddered. It remained in that motionless state for a few moments before summoning its Status.
Vessel: White Furred Moth
HP: 121/121 MP: -
HPR: 11/Day MPR: -
Lifespan: 240 days
[Crawl Lv.5] [Flight Lv.5] [Moulting Lv.3] [Night Vision Lv.1] [Pain Resistance Lv.4] [Poison Resistance Lv.8] [Sense Lv.1] [Survive Lv.2] [Venom Creation Lv.4]
The first thing that the new moth looked for in its Status was its lifespan.
‘240 days.’ The three-digit number written there, caused the creature to smile. And for the first time in a while, it felt a bit settled down. For even though the life span was not much, it had increased considerably from its previous one and this increase gave the bug a bit of hope.
The second thing that the creature searched for was its MP. It had, after all, been a sorcerer in its last life and magic had been a large part of it. The moth scowled at the blank space for its MP. It seemed that the creature still hadn’t been granted access to its magic.
'This will not do.' The bug decided as it focused on the option of MP.
|[Mana Points unavailable. Your species doesn't have access to Magic.]|
'Fuck. You.' The white moth’s face twisted. ‘I have had enough of this crippled existence.'
The creature felt that it had no excuse for not having its magic back, now that it had ample time to live and was not busy just surviving its day to day struggle. ‘If I can survive in this world as a mere caterpillar, I can definitely do so a moth.’
And despite the fact that it had been reincarnated and had an entirely different body than before, the creature felt it could get its magic back. 'Souls are the source of one's magic; not the body. And as I have been reincarnated, I still have my soul! Very. Much. So!'
After all, its civilization in the bug’s last birth had been researching the source of magic and the being had been a part of that research. Though not particularly high up in the hierarchy, it was high enough to know the basics of the research. 'I see no reason why I shouldn't have my magic back. I. Should. Have. Access. To. Magic!’
Thus, the war that had mellowed out, raged once again. It began to intensify and both the sides began ripping each other apart without the care of the consequences. As a result, the creature’s mind once again began to fray and unravel.
Meanwhile, the moth closed its eyes and focused inwards. It took a deep breath in and slowly, ever so slowly, let it out. 'If this world is not going to give me my magic back, then it will take it back myself.'
Once again, the bug took a deep breath in and slowly let it out. And with each breath, the creature tried to rid itself of negative emotions and thoughts.
It tried to let out its frustration, its irritation and its anger. It had been irritated and frustrated with itself, for not having its magic. It had been angry for being eliminated like an insect through divine punishment. This was the first side of the war. This faction was the result of the interaction between the soul and the instinct of the body. This interaction had created an Ego that should have ruled this Vessel that had originally been a caterpillar and was now a Moth.
This first side in the war was, thus, this Ego of the Immortal that desired magic because it was its and nothing else mattered to it.
And then there was the sorrow, the mourning, the heartache, the sadness and the grief. The sorrow that the creature possessed was for its own death. The mourning was for the death of its loved ones. The heartache was for the death of its family. The sadness was for the death of its country. And the grief for the death of its Gods. This was the second side of the war.
It was the result of the interaction between the soul and the instincts of the previous birth as a mortal. The Ego thus formed had not only lived but it had also experienced an entire life and then it had died. This Ego, that should have ceased to exist but lived due to meddling of an Existence, was the unnatural oddity.
This second side in the war, within the creature’s mind, was thus this Ego of the Mortal that desired to keep its humanity intact above all else. It sought to grieve for those that had passed and those that it had loved.
As the two sides clashed, the war between the Mortal Ego and the Immortal Ego once again reached a crescendo as the slaughter resumed. The creature, meanwhile, breathed but the breathing did not help.
It could not let go.
The two sides warred.
So, it took another breath in, taking it in as deep as it could, till its tiny chest started to ache and lungs began to burn. And then it sluggishly began letting the breath out. It let out the breath so slowly, that its body fought it to let the breath leave faster.
It repeated the process again and again; unwilling to be defeated. However, at the same time, it was unwilling to let go of its emotions. It struggled against its emotions, against its stubbornness and against itself. It still wasn't willing to give up against either of its opponents.
It continued to struggle against them with all its might.
The two sides continued to war.
It felt like it was being pulled in opposite directions. One direction led it to its magic but this direction sacrificed its heartache and its pain. The other direction led it to its grief and sorrow but it sacrificed its magic. The first direction demanded it to move forward as it let go of its emotions while the second direction required it to stop immediately in its path as it let go of its magic.
'No, I can't.'
'I just can't.'
The Mortal and the Immortal Egos warred and the creature’s mind continued to unravel like a ball of string in free fall. The more they fought, the more it frayed. The more it frayed, the more fragile it became.
The struggle continued and each side continued to pull the creature in their respective directions while it tried to pull them both to itself. 'It isn't working. It isn't working! It isn't working! But I can't give up! No! Not now. Not ever!'
The war continued endlessly.
It tried to ignore the struggle; it really did. But that was not an option.
Whenever it began to get used to the conflicting pulls, the two contradictory forces reminded it of their existence by trying to overwhelm the little moth, trying to rip it apart. It felt itself being stretched to the limits of its sanity and then beyond.
Its sanity ripped.
Its mind cracked.
It wasn't sure if it was the same creature anymore.
The war reached its peak.
And then there was no coming back for the creature.
The war had been won.
The war had been lost.
It was just too much for a mere moth. Its yearnings were ripping it apart. Bit by bit, they ripped it apart. Little by Little, they ripped it apart. Fibre by fibre, they ripped it apart. Essence by essence, they ripped it apart. Part by part, they ripped it apart.
And by holding onto them, the creature refused to do anything about it.
But then, at that moment, it lost.
The creature lost.
It let go.
It had to.
Or be destroyed.
So, the creature let go.
The Mortal Ego lost the war.
The creature had let go of its sorrow. It let go of its grief. It let go of its loss. And it let go of its pain, its agony, its torment, its heartache and, in that moment that seemed to stretch for eternity, the creature let go of its last life. ‘I-I am…sorry.’
It had sacrificed its last life for its magic. ‘I am sorry.’
From this moment onwards, there would be no heartache within the creature for the death that had descended on its people. From this moment onwards, there would be no joy from the moments of happiness that it had lived in its past life.
The Immortal Ego had won the war.
From this moment onwards, its past life was not its. Its past memories were not its. Its past relationships were not its. Its past Gods were not its. Its past lessons were not its. Its teachings were not its. And its past morals were not its. They remained there, in the back of its mind. But they were not its. They were hers.
But she had died.
She was no more.
She had left behind her memories but those memories were incomplete and frayed as the consequence of the war that had raged within its mind. They were fragments and pieces. And they would remain that way, never to be whole again. Rather, as time would let its rot set in, the rot would wither away the fragments that remained until they turned into nothing but dust and sand.
For now, however, they remained within the creature’s mind but they were not the creature’s, for they were hers.
Was the creature still the same that it had been when it had begun this struggle? Was it the same being that had deigned both its memories and magic of similar importance?
This was not that being. For that creature was no more. It had died.
But it mattered not. Because it was at this time, that the moment which had stretched for an eternity, ended without warning. And with the end of the eternal moment, the creature felt warmth from somewhere far away.
It was its magic, the moth knew, it just knew. It wasn't anything else. How could it not be? The creature had been yearning for it for so long. And it could feel the magic. It was calling the creature, asking the moth to come to grasp it, embrace it; to make the magic its.
The magic drew near, the moth felt it come near. Slowly and steadily it was coming near the bug. It knew. The creature focused on the magic and pulled. And the magic was pulled. Towards it. And the creature drifted.
The creature continued to drift and so did its magic. They were close, very close. The moth could almost feel the magic, touching it, embracing it. The creature embraced it bac-
It couldn't embrace it.
It couldn't hold it.
The creature still had a yearning and those yearnings were holding it back, pulling it again from a different side. These remnant yearnings were the ones that its subconscious mind held onto. These remnants were pulling at its hands. 'How have I not noticed them!?’
The creature tried to push the remnants away, but they just pulled it back. Harder, each time.
They wouldn't let it embrace its magic.
Its magic continued to drift. It began to drift through the creature.
The bug could feel the warmth slipping past it, passing through it! The little being tried to hold it, it tried. But it still yearned and its yearning held it back. Its emotions were holding it back. They wouldn't let it embrace its magic.
‘…I let go.’
And thus, for the first time since its battle had begun, the creature let it past go. This time, the being had not lost. This time the creature had not sacrificed it. This time the creature had genuinely let it go.
At that moment, the remnant yearnings began dissipating and their hold on the bug loosened. The creature didn’t hesitate. Without even giving its yearnings a second glance, the creature drifted forward and embraced its magic.
The embrace seemed to last for a long moment but it was over in but an instant. And in that instant, a familiar warmth flowed within the creature’s body.
|[Magic has been unlocked.]|
The white moth opened its exhausted eyes and smiled at the notification. It wanted to revel in the feel of its magic but the battle with its own yearnings had sapped all its energy. Thus, the creature postponed everything and slept.
At that moment, if the heavens existed, then this battle between heaven and the creature -that rose to defy it- had been won by the heavens.
The little white moth woke up to an extreme sense of hunger and, for a moment, the creature thought that it was the effect of the Title [Hungry]. But this was a different kind of burn to the raging inferno that was the hunger of the Title. However, at that moment, the [Survivor] felt a warmth within its body and remembered what had happened the last night. It smiled.
The hunger didn’t let the smile last though and a delicate scent attracted the moth’s attention. The creature followed the tantalizing scent and came to halt before the broken pieces of its cocoon.
The creature frowned a bit and tentatively took a bite. But the piece of cocoon melted in bug’s mouth and left behind a subtle and pleasant taste. Thus, without a second thought, the creature devoured the rest of the cocoon.
|[You have consumed The Gift.]|
|[You have Levelled Up! The level up bonus of +2 HP +2 MP granted.]|
‘Eh?’ The creature looked at the last remaining piece of its cocoon before gulping it down with a shrug. With its hunger sated for the moment, the [Reincarnated] turned to look at the notifications waiting to be addressed.
|[22 Points of Mana granted.]|
‘Eh?’ The creature hesitated for a moment at the random amount of mana but moved without much delay. ‘Random mana is better than no mana.’
|[Title [Reincarnated] has come into effect.]|
The creature’s heart raced. ‘Will I get all my previous magic as skills and spells? Can that even happen?’
|[Mastery of Spell detected. Race [Immortal] denies access to Spells. Access Denied.]|
|[Mastery of Spell detected. Race [Immortal] denies access to Spells. Access Denied.]|
|[Mastery of Spell detected. Race [Immortal] denies access to Spells. Access Denied.]|
‘Just…what?’ The white moth stared for a moment more at the long list of spell rejections before hurriedly pulling on its Race to check if what the notifications were correct or not. Sure enough, its Race, [Immortal], blocked access to both Spells and Attributes.
The [Reincarnated] scowled. ‘Fuck. You. You little blue shit!’
|[Mastery of Skill detected. Skill [Mana Manipulation Lv.1] granted.]|
|[Mastery of Skill detected. Skill [Sense Essence Lv.1] granted.]|
The little creature blinked. It had honestly not expected to actually be granted anything after those series of rejections. Pleasantly surprised, the moth quickly pulled up the information on those Skills.
|[Ability to Sense and Manipulate Mana. Does not grant the ability to manifest the user's mana.]|
|[Allows the user to locate the Essence of an object or creature. The Skill costs mana equal to 5 times the Level of the Skill per minute.]|
The creature laughed. Although [Mana Manipulation] was not what it had hoped for, [Sense Essence] more than made up enough for it. With this Skill, the creature could use the skill set that she had possessed in her life.
‘Tch.’ A thought popped up and the creature’s mouth twisted in distaste. ‘All that life lived and I just got 2 Skills. An entire life, summed in just two, Level one, Skills. What a waste.’
As the rather callus thought passed by the creature’s mind, it did not feel even a single tinge of emotion. Such a situation would have been impossible for the creature just a day before.
And it was now possible only because of what the creature had done during the process of gaining magic. The Mortal Ego had lost and had sacrificed itself along with the emotions relating to its last birth. While the remnants of emotions that had been retained by its subconsciousness had been let go by the creature willingly.
As a result, while the experiences of its last birth did exist in fragments and pieces, they were not the creature’s experiences. To the moth, those experiences were like reading an incredibly detailed story and not something it had personally gone through.
It was for this reason that the Skills that it had gained, they all started from Level 1 rather than the actual Level that would have represented the creature’s mastery over the Skill in its past life.
Not that it mattered to the creature. It was now an [Immortal] in all sense of the world and could not relate to Mortal feelings and thinking. It was for this reason that the creature could pass such callus comments. Otherwise, how could someone that thought in the way of mortals -a being that even cried and rejoiced for the fictional characters they read about in the stories- not care about the life story of an actual living being? A being that they had been in their past life?
A Mortal could never.
And this was just one of the many changes that the creature traded for magic.
Within a desolate desert, inside a dilapidated shop, on a simple chair, a youth seemingly slept.
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Vessel: White Furred Moth
HP: 124/124 MP: 24/24
HPR: 11 HP/Day MPR: 1 MP/H
Lifespan: 240 days
[Crawl Lv.5] [Flight Lv.5] [Mana Manipulation Lv.1] [Moulting Lv.3] [Night Vision Lv.1] [Pain Resistance Lv.4] [Poison Resistance Lv.8] [Sense Lv.1] [Sense Essence Lv.1] [Survive Lv.2] [Venom Creation Lv.4]