29 – A playful flick
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As his eyelids slowly, fluttered, parting apart from each other after countless years of tranquility, the gaze that looked back at the world was vastly different from before.

Mayhaps it was an aftereffect of the man different creature's fusion, or perhaps that the countless traits were now seamlessly fused, merged into a new one, Aziel's look on the world had a massive change from before.

The reptilian-looking eyes were now a part of his history. Two balls of perfectly crafted milky-white marbles looked curiosity at the world. With a pair of unique-looking hazel-brown stars looked back at the world.

Covering the mysterious-looking shape, a light yellow, almost golden-tinted bedding of golden coating filled up the circular iris. It looks unique, exotic.

Still although undoubtedly, it looked rather peculiar, the faint hue, the resonating light glimmer that it emitted, was the wildest of it all. As if pair of flickering built-in flashlights, it instantly become obvious once his sight cleared up.

The previously pitch-black darkness was battling against two sources of faint light pillars, lighting up the shambled, destroyed entrance, revealing the large pile of millenial rubbles he himself had left behind before shutting himself in.

However, the bizarre, inexplicable events didn't stop with the mystery of his glowing pairs of gaze. As his sight gradually returned, enhancing itself by each passing second, before finally his night vision also kicking in, he was met with a shocking, magical scene yet again.

The sight that surrounded him, looked truly as if he was outside the boundaries of the planet itself.

The small pebbles as well as the surprisingly thin layer of dust that managed to seep into the closed-off abode were floating in the air around him, levitating and slowly circling, orbiting around his body, at a constant steady pace.

As if he was a force defining the laws of the world by his mere presence. An existence, an entity by normal means.

Silent, Aziel gaze was once again lost in the strange aura of dirt. A small, crooked smile creased his lips, still hiding behind the darkness of the shadows.

'Interesting… Is this perhaps pure [Aether] energy?' He pondered, focusing on the direction the orbiting was heading towards.

From closer inspection, it seemed that instead of just simply orbiting, they were instead floating in inward-patterned spiral slowly, but surely closing in towards him, slowly falling to the ground listlessly once they have come in contact with his naked, bare, and… fair light-toned skin…

'What the…' Shocked to see the skin on his arms, Aziel hurriedly swayed his gaze to all around his body that he could look at, finding the same results everywhere he checked.

His smooth, dark green, almost black-toned skin has once again changed, now looking fair like some of those arrogant and proud High Elves in Nova.

'What is this?!' He grumbled inwardly, finding the change from his previous, in his opinion rather majestic dark tone to this new… well… this fairness to be rather displeasing.

Yet, he could feel that apart from the shift in color, his skin was just like before, sturdy, resilient, and elastic. The old thick scales of his first iterations were now nowhere to be seen, only its most dominant qualities were retained, the negative aspects were gone.

Still, he was quite displeased, feeling that he was once again heading in the same direction as before. Was it a defect, or an inborn trait of his [Essence Restitute] that it seemed to head for the very same direction of how he looked before in his peak?

Will he once again, have long silver hair, cascading down from his head, reaching to the lower half of his back, making him look like a wild beast unless he pulls them together into a ponytail? Will his eyes be like pairs of crimson, blood-red moons, gazing down at the world, causing everyone to look at him feel an eternal dread and coldness?

His skin, whilst still much healthier-looking than before were already seemingly heading in that direction. His jubilation for his darker shade of skin is just a memory now.

'Whatever…' He grumbled, deciding to shelve the 'issue' for later. For now, feeling his body bursting with energy, he once again felt he needed to feel the fresh air.

Not sure of how much time could have passed, he once again felt curious to see how those hairy monkeys have been up to. Are they still barely more than the predecessors they have originated from?

Were they really the first humans of this world? If so, how was their journey through time? Did they become the same religious plague upon this world, just like how they are on Nova? Are they still striving to dominate every living being around them?

Thinking about them, Aziel couldn't help but recall the image of that female, the one he unwillingly though, but have hurt not once but twice in her probably short, fleeting span of life.

Will he ever find out what had become of her? Did she manage to overcome her grief, and find her happy ending? Or did she eventually succumb to all that pain that she couldn't understand or process at the time?

"Huah..." Aziel sighed, a wry look donning his face, he shook his head to clear from these useless thoughts. Whatever happened, it was the right thing to do. They were just not meant to be. Not then at least.

Standing up, the silent cave was suddenly filled with dozens of cracking sounds. Joints and muscles struggled as they were moved for the first time since Gods' know how long...

As he stood up, he felt... different. Smaller perhaps?

Aziel frowned, he wasn't sure, feeling the memory suddenly be only a distant fleeting image, nothing more than a tingle, an itch in the back of his mind.

Still, he felt that he should be closer to the ceiling, albeit most like by not much, yet as if a few inches was lost somewhere along with his recent 'upgrade'.

Also, his body felt lighter, leaner, thinner.

'I need to find some water to check myself... Something just feels weird... different.' He made a mental note to be one of the very first things to do once he gets out.

'Anyway... I wasted enough time. Let's leave.'

Cautiously, remembering what happened during his first-ever 'power-up', he made sure to apply only the minimum amount of force as he slowly took that couple of steps and walked over to the pile of rocks blocking his path towards the exit.

Not sure of how strong, how powerful he may have become, he decided to try and compare himself to his old standards, and see if they were still up to par, or perhaps he needed to spend a bit more time accomodating.

Pushing out his right hand, he flicked at the closest rock.

The action looked casual, playful even.

From the look on his face and the effort he had put it, it would have looked that there was nowhere near enough pressure applied to move the stone.

Yet, what happened caught him off guard.

As if it was hit with overwhelming, explosive, and violent force, the blockage exploded, the massive obstruction, as well as the entire ceiling, the top of the mountain, was blown off.

As if a sleeping, slumbering volcano had suddenly woken up, a loud roar shook the world for dozens of miles around the vicinity...