17 – Vol 02: A new era
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[Volume 02 - The Progenitor]

Time neither waits nor revolves around any single soul. It always had and always will pace forward in the same steady rhythm. Never slowing down for any single being.

After the cataclysmic event that scorched the Earth and purged 99% of the life from the surface as we know, the damaged planet needed a long deal of time to recover.

Life almost completely vaporized, the fauna was the first to hesitantly start reclaiming its lost grounds after a couple hundred thousand years of solitude.

Eventually, just as it started, life was once again restarted through the same cycle, yet this time, Mother Nature took a step in another direction.

Putting an end to the Triassic Period, and how it was later most commonly referred to as the 'Mesozoic Era' or the 'Age of Dinosaurs', an entirely new realm of life took over the reins.

Species of an entirely different kind both in nature, size, and behavior replaced the giant mythical reptilians; the age of mammals, or better referred to as the 'Cenozoic Era' have arrived.

When Aziel was crushed under the planet-sized space rock and was almost instantly vaporized, he was buried under miles and miles of minerals in the process.

Buried deep underground, whilst his body went through countless incarnations, slowly using up all the stored energy it had accumulated throughout his reign as the Apex Entity, the True Overlord of this primitive realm.

Unfortunately, or maybe quite the contrary, the humongous boulder made of unknown material and home of many microscopic organisms, over time had begun to slowly fuse together with the humanoid mangled flesh underneath it, piece by piece, atom by atom they slowly became one.

[Essence Restitute] though it was capable of reconstructing its host, whilst also passively improving it based on the type of damage the biomass received, couldn't work freely. It also required 'fuel' as well.

Eventually dropping below the same critical levels as it was during the time of their expulsion from Nova and arrival to this world, it slowly entered a long hibernated state, slowly amassing energy and gradually fusing the alien, otherworldly mass into the body.

Countless millennia have passed since the cataclysmic event that wiped out nearly all life on Earth and pressed the reset button on all life on the planet. All dinosaurs have now gone extinct, smaller mammals taking their role in the new environment.

The planet's once-massive singular continent has broken up, scattered across the globe, each carrying different forms of life, some big, some small. The bigger animals ruled the land, trampling the weaker ones for their continued survival, to thrive in the world's newly-formed habitat.

This new world was relatively stable as each animal maintained its role. The environment continued to progress, and heal.

This was about to change, as an apex predator from the age-old, prehistoric world had laid dormant for all those countless years, buried deep beneath the Earth in his near-eternal slumber.

This entity will not stay dormant for much longer.

No, it will soon rise and take back its rightful place as the absolute pinnacle of evolutionary life.

***

In an unknown location of the new world, a forest flush with life and greenery could be observed. In the distance, a long-fanged tiger was fighting a life-or-death battle against a massive bear-like creature; they were both fighting for the corpse of some animal that was sprawled in its own blood down on the floor, cold and lifeless.

Little did they know that an ancient, primordial entity was about to wake up.

Deep underground, Aziel was twitching from time to time. Immense heat starting to be released from his body, the cracking sounds of joints rang out. Aziel's body started to shake violently, causing tremors above the surface, despite his body being many miles below ground. The heat his body was generating was causing the rocks around him to melt away.

All of a sudden it all stopped.

The tremors, the shaking, the heat, all of it.

Everything came to a sudden halt.

Everything was shrouded in silence.

Suddenly, Aziel's eyes flung open with immense force. After countless years, he was now awake, his body had reset itself and ended its long cycle of hibernation. The massive boulder that once caused the cataclysm was now nowhere to be seen.

He did not speak, nor did any visible emotion could be seen on his face. He merely shifted his position, raising his back, and sitting up straight.

Yet, this seemingly simple action caused the tectonic plates above him to shift, generating massive tremors, earthquakes to disrupt the surface.

The two fighting animals have long been gone since, scared of the sudden earthquakes their primitive minds can only register as a sort of danger they need to escape from.

Aziel's mind slowly woke up, flashes of visions, memories of his last moments slowly emerged in his mind. He recalled the meteor and how the collision forced his body into hibernation for countless years. His eyes gradually adjusting, he decided to get himself to the surface. Being so deep underground, encased in the rock wasn't comfortable.

Aziel positioned himself upwards and tried to limit his strength to not damage the environment like he did the last time he was caught in the same situation. Deciding to use around a fifth of his power, he launched himself with the force of a massive explosion.

He burst through the crust, sending shockwaves throughout the zone, knocking over all trees within the radius.

He had launched himself into the upper atmosphere of the planet. As he reached previously unattainable altitudes, he was appalled at how powerful he was. As his momentum came to a halt, Aziel was soon hurtling back towards the surface of the Earth.

Within moments, Aziel collided with the ground causing a cloud of dust to form.

After some time had passed and the dust cloud dissipated, Aziel was seen standing in the crater he created, observing himself. Feeling an immense boundless sensation locked inside, he couldn't stop shaking as his body was filled with overflowing energy that felt like it could spiral out of control at any moment.

At this moment, Aziel felt as if he could easily destroy the entire landscape if not more if he would let this energy go out of control. Not wanting to test this theory at the moment, as it could prove catastrophic, he placed the idea in the back of his mind for a later date.

Examining his surroundings, he came to see a forest, but not the same forest as the one he was in before, this was much different. The flora wasn't as harsh, as violent, as outlandish as it was before, it carried a tranquil, peaceful atmosphere within them. It was much more compact, the grandiose scale seems to have vanished throughout the course of time.

Walking out of the crater, Aziel spread his wings and began to fly.

"I need to find someplace where I can release this urge that's welling up inside me…"

For the following hour and a half, Aziel was flying across the continents at an unimaginable speed. In his eyes, the terrain was vastly different than it was before, smaller masses of land spread all around the previously endless deep blue. The once singular gigantic domain of the sea was now separated into several smaller sections.

Eventually, Aziel came across a small island far away from any land, devoid of life. It was completely desolate with no signs of ever producing any. He decided that this island would be a good place to release his boiling urge, as his newfound immense power was becoming overwhelming.

"This will work!"

Landing on the small island, Aziel retracted his wings into his back and examined the zone to make sure it was clear. As he was growing restless, the urge in his body was growing stronger, the energy was continuously growing in its potency, turning more and more violent as time passed.

Not being able to take it anymore, Aziel raised his hands above his head and tightened his fists. His fists radiating immense pressure. In the next instant, Aziel slammed them into the ground as hard as he could, not holding anything back.

*BOOM!*

An explosion many leagues above what he has ever produced was released.

It spread rapidly, similar to that of a modern-day nuclear bomb, multiplying the damage immensely. The small island began to shake violently without stopping.

That was not the end of it, as the island slowly began to sink into the water as if something was pulling it from the bottom. Aziel felt this and immediately summoned his wings and flew above to observe what he had done.

"This felt amazing!" He exclaimed, with a satisfied grin sprawled across his face.

He felt relieved as his body was no longer tingled with this sensation of immense power. It was now calm, allowing him to think clearly and observe the situation at hand.

Remarkably amazed by what he can now do, Axzal became ecstatic as he could now be officially classified as one of the most powerful beings on this planet, even including those that have yet to appear.

Remarkably amazed by what he could now do, Aziel felt satisfied. Through countless years have passed since his arrival, memories of his past life still clouded his mind. A question was slowly growing swelling inside, he couldn't help but ponder.

"I wonder... Am I close, or maybe even above compared to my previous self? It's really hard to guess..."

Aziel said with frowns wrinkling his forehead.

Still, there was a swelling pride, happiness that slowly, but gradually stepped to the forefront of his mind.

Turning around, he flew into the distance, not able to hold back the excitement for what the future holds for him and what benefits he could reap from the challenges that he will soon come to face.

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