Chapter 1: The Waking
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Chapter 1: The Waking

 

I’m sitting in front of a man at a desk, I look around and see that the desk is sitting alone in a spotlight surrounded by darkness. The man is wearing a fine suit, the kind those rich people wear as they walk past me while I beg for change on the street. The kind that the people who were never hungry in their lives wore. 

“Hello.” the man said calmly.

“Hi…” I reply. 

I have no idea where I am…

“What do you last remember?” the man asked.

“I was sleeping… it was cold, so cold I thought I was going to die…” I reply.

“Well you did I’m afraid…” the man said with a sigh.

“What?” I asked in shock.

“Yes, you are dead I’m afraid. I apologise for all the grievances in your past life, many of the worlds are in a sorry state at the moment. The backlog of reincarnations we have to process is quite significant. We simply don’t have the resources to maintain a suitable quality of life for all the souls under our care.” the man said, looking quite defeated.

“So… what happens now? Do I go to heaven?” I ask, slightly hopeful at the idea.

Finally I won’t have to be so hungry that my stomach feels like just a dull ache in my belly. I won’t have to worry about freezing to death in the winter, getting robbed, getting stabbed…

“Unfortunately the Christians got it wrong my dear boy, there is no heaven. Although I am quite sure you aren’t that familiar with the various religious beliefs of the world seeing as you were… twelve years old when you expired.” the man said as he looked down at a file in his hand.

“Expired? Like food becoming expired?” I ask.

“When you died my dear boy. The Buddhists got it right actually… or at least they were the closest… does the word reincarnation ring any bells?” the man asked.

“Err, it means we get reborn into another… life…” I say as I feel my heart drop. I may have to suffer through all that I went through all over again…

“Well if you are worrying that you’ll end up in your past life’s circumstances don’t worry. Your age at the time of your death, plus the pain and suffering you suffered makes you eligible for one of our compensation packages...” the man said as he reached under his desk and pulled out a thick file.

“So according to this, you are eligible for the highest grade of compensation which entitles you to… keeping your memories if you so desire, a class A1 power level body and a Section B3 three question preference assessment by the assessing executive. That’s me by the way. So yeah… your next life will be pretty good relative to your previous one.” the man said as he read off a page in the file.

“Oh so I can be born rich?” I asked, perking up at those words.

“Well you could technically but that would be taking a worst deal honestly. Your entitlements from this compensation package afford you a higher existence than the kind that would require currency to obtain what you desire.” the man replied.

“Oh… so I won’t be human?” I ask.

“Well you can be but we can offer you something better. In truth not many souls get this package you only got this because your past two lives were terrible. You see if someone lives to between age 10 to 15 and suffers through most of it in three separate lives, only then would you be eligible for this package. Furthermore packages only apply on the third life onwards, so… yeah you got really unlucky three times in a row…” the man said with a sigh.

“Oh…” I reply at a loss of what to say.

“Ok basically, I’ll ask you three question and I will decide what your next life will be. You will be powerful enough to make your life whatever you want within your existence. Plus you can keep your memories if you want. So shall I begin asking the questions?” the man said as he put the file away and pulled out a pen and paper.

“Ok…” I reply hesitantly.

“What is your favorite thing to do?” the man asked.

“Eat.” I replied, thinking of that time a nice woman bought me a slice of pizza.

“Ok… consuming sustenance… what would you say is your strategy when you encounter problems in life?” the man asked.

“Erm well I just try to adjust to the situation and hopefully it doesn’t kill me.” I reply, thinking of all the times I had to think of strange and odd solutions to my problems.

“Ok… adaptive… then what would you say is your greatest strength?” the man asked.

“I don’t like to run from my problems because they always find you eventually, best to solve them as soon as possible… even if sometimes that takes a long time…” I reply.

“Ok… tries to overcome presented crises as much as possible… alright that’s about it. I think I have the perfect fit for you. So do you want to keep your memories?” the man asked.

“Yeah I think so, it would be waste to forget all the lessons I learned.” I reply as I remember all the hard lessons I learned in my past life. I would rather not make those mistakes again…

“Alright, so do you have any final questions before I send you on your way?” the man asked.

“Yeah, what will I be when I reincarnate?” I ask.

“Oh I can’t tell you that, I can assure you your life will be much better than the previous one. The policy prevents me from disclosing details about the specifics of your next life. But I can tell you that you won’t be human.” the man said.

“So I’ll be something better?” I ask.

“Yeah definitely, humans are a class C7 body type creature, you will be a class A1 body type creature. So yes it’s much better.” the man said.

“Ok… I guess I’m ready.” I say as I tense silently praying the reincarnation process won’t hurt.

“Excellent.” the man said.

The moment the man said that word the world went black. I tried to get my bearings but I found I couldn’t move, it feels like I’m curled up in a fetal position. This place felt warm… and wet… oh god… I hope I’m not about to be born...

“What with this egg?” I hear a muffled male voice say.

“No idea, hey Alisa you said this tomb had some good stuff here, why is there only this weird egg?” I hear another male voice ask.

“I don’t know, this map was passed down from my family. I only recently figured out where it led to. Judging by the seal on the door this place has been sealed for centuries, everything looks undisturbed as well.” a female voice said, sounding very confused.

“You think this egg is valuable? I mean it’s quite big…” one of the voices said as I felt something tap onto a surface above me.

Oh my god… I’m in an egg… am I a bird? Am I going to be some weird pigeon or something?

“Hang on, what does this say…” I heard another female voice say. 

Then I feel the area around me shift and I feel this strange pressure around me lessen.

“WOAH WOAH! IT’S HATCHING!” I hear the first male voice say.

“Oh gods…” I hear one fo the female voices say in horror.

Then I feel the shell give way, and I feel my body instinctively thrash and I feel the shell start to break around me. Darkness gave way to light and I landed onto what feels like a stone floor.

“WE NEED TO LEAVE! NOW!” I hear a female voice shout in fear.

“WHAT, WHAT IS IT?” I look up just in time to see a man in armour say. He’s wearing what looks to be leather armor and he had a simple sword strapped to his belt. He looked to be about in his early twenties.

“IT’S A DEVOURER! WE NEED TO RUN! NOW!” the female voice said. I turned to see a woman standing in front of a stone tablet as she gazed at me in horror.

“We can’t just run, what if it gets out? The ones in the stories are the size of cities; this one is smaller than a dog. We should kill it while it’s small! If it gets out and starts growing it’ll wipe Averlon off the face of the world!” I hear the man in front of me shout.

“We’re iron rank adventurers, there's no way we can kill a Devourer!” I heard another male voice shout. I turn to voice and see him wearing lighter armor and looks to be holding a pair of daggers in his hand.

It was then that I noticed that my vision was strange, the colours seemed to be duller and I could see their hearts glowing red and pulsating in their chests. As I looked at those glowing red orbs I started to feel hungry…

“Then hit it and see what happens!” I heard the woman standing next to the tablet shout in panic.

I feel my blood turn cold and I turn back to see the man had drawn his sword. He raised it over his head and was about to swing right at me. Then time seemed to slow and I found myself easily able to dart to the left dodging strike.

“It’s fast!” I heard a woman say and I turned to see her with a bow drawn and aimed right at me.

When the arrow flew at me, time seemed to slow again and I easily dodged the arrow.

“WAIT! STOP!” I shout at the group. Instantly I saw all of them cover their ears as their faces scrunched up in pain.

“FUCK! KILL IT!” I heard the man with the daggers shout.

I continued to dodge their attacks, it wasn’t that difficult. I was fast, much faster than them. But as I dodged I started to get more and more hungry… 

I looked for an exit and saw a doorway but the stone door seemed to be shut. Well maybe I could open it…

I darted along the ceiling, my strange body easily moving along the inverted surface, I didn't seem to be slowed by gravity at all. When I arrived at the door I scrambled along it trying to find a way to open but I didn't see a door knob or anything. Just this large glowing rune in the middle where the two doors met.

It was then that I noticed that they weren’t attacking me anymore. I turned my head and saw all of them, their faces as pale as parchment. They were looking on in horror at the sealed door.

“The door’s sealed…” one of the women whispered in horror. 

By this point I was getting really hungry and as I looked at the glowing shapes of their hearts I could feel myself start to drool. Well I’m hungry, food’s right there…

I hurl myself at the nearest one of the four in the room, the one with the daggers. I extend my arms and tear at his chest. His armour is cut to pieces like paper and soon I find flesh. I feel his body topple over backwards as he screams. I begin tearing into his chest, removing all the pesky obstacles in the way, his flesh, the ribs and finally I see it. That pulsating red fruit, when I smelt the aroma of his heart I couldn’t resist anymore and I thrust my head towards it biting down hard onto that delicious looking organ.

I felt the man’s body twitch as I took my first mouthful of this heart. It was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. It tasted like honey and I ate every bite as fast as I could. When I finished I felt my body change and I heard a voice in my head.

 

New Essence acquired

Type: Human

Insufficient essence for assimilation

 

I felt my body seem to shift and change, it was an odd feeling but it felt quite pleasant. Then as quickly as it began it ended. As it ended I turned to look at the three remaining people trapped in here with me.

“Oh gods… it grew…” one of the women said as her whole body trembled.

As I rear up I realise I’m now as tall as them, previously I was only about half their height. That’s quite a growth spurt…

I’m still hungry though…

With the hunger still on my mind I hurl myself at the man with the sword and soon I find myself staring at his beating heart. I once again plunge my head towards it and savour its delectable taste on my palate. Again I hear a voice in my head.

 

Human Essence acquired

Insufficient essence for assimilation

 

So I get essence whenever I eat one of their hearts. Well there’s still two of them left and I’m still hungry…

The two remaining women are now in tears and are huddled together in the corner of the room. I think I’ll take the one who had the bow first…

They screamed as I shot towards them, I could hear the other woman screaming and sobbing as I tore into the woman I chose. Soon another heart was in my belly and I felt my hunger start to ease. Still not enough essence for assimilation… 

As I turned to the last woman who was now on her knees with her hands clasped in prayer.

 

Divine, forgive my transgressions

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

Deliver me from darkness

 

She prayed in blind panic, her eyes wide in terror as she looked down at the mangled corpse of the woman I just dined on.

Well this one wasn’t going anywhere, no need to rush…

So I reach out and grab her by the front of her clothes and she screams in blinding terror.

 

I DON’T WANT TO DIE!

 

She screams as she sobs. Her words give me pause as it starts to sink in. I just killed these people… I know it’s wrong… yet it doesn’t feel wrong… I know it should feel wrong…

Odd…

Hmmm, I wonder even if I kill her I would still be stuck in this room… she was the one who could read that tablet. I may be able to use her to get out…

So I drag her up and I realize I’m now probably two and half meters tall. I pulled her kicking and screaming all the way back to the tablet and I raised her up. I shove her face towards the tablet.

“What does it say?” I ask.

The woman screams as she covers her ears. I guess she can’t understand me…

I let her go and point at the tablet. Her crying subsided for a moment as she looked at my extended hand and at the tablet. It was then that I noticed my hand was a pale white and it had three fingers each tipped with a large black talon. I look down and see the lower half of my body was like a snake with no legs to speak of. That was also when I noticed I actually had four arms, all with three taloned fingers. 

The woman looks back at me tearfully and I point at the tablet again. So she shakily looks down at the tablet and begins to read. 

 

Within this tomb lies our greatest treasure

A child of primordial powers that will one day awaken

For this tomb holds the cradle of a Primordial Devourer

The ultimate apex predator, eater of heroes and gods

One day the child will awaken and feast upon the flesh of lesser creatures

This tomb will seal itself until the day a suitable sacrifice arrives

 

The woman faltered as she began to sob and her head dropped. I was starting to feel impatient so I reached out and grabbed her by the back of her neck and shoved her head towards the tablet. 

As she choked on her sobs she finished reading the tablet.

 

Once the sacrifice is complete

The seals of this tomb shall open releasing the child to the world

The child will remind the world of the truth that they have tried to so hard to forget

The true nature of life

Eat or be Eaten

Kill or be Killed

Consume, Adapt, Overcome

For this is life’s great imperative

Many will say this child is a living nightmare

But this child is no dream

This child is the waking...

 

Hey everyone hope you like this first chapter just an interesting story concept I wanted to try out. This draft has been sitting in my folders for awhile so I decided to just post it to see what you guys think. So tell me what you think, are you interested in reading more?

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