‘Is this power of the contract?’ He inwardly asked, but then he scolded himself. Of course it was, what else could it be?
He didn’t even need to look at himself to know that he had changed too, he could feel it. Bigger size, bigger muscles, sturdier bones and claws, overwhelming energy. He felt like he could actually mark a tree or a rock with an attack using this kind of might. As for his previous self, he felt like he could slaughter it with a single claw strike. That’s how much stronger he felt compared to before.
Of course, he couldn’t actually damage a tree or any other planet-grown structure. It was said that one needed strength beyond the 6th Realm, which was hopelessly beyond his reach. But still, he felt incomparably powerful.
He stretched out his Spirit Sense so that he could peer at himself.
And what he saw was a 70 metre tall Owl that was flapping his giant wings to keep himself floating, with the most pristine silver coloured feathers he had ever seen. They were highlighted with glowing white patterns that seemed to move with the light and they exuded a sense of power. His claws and beak resembled precious white metal and in fact, the rest of his face had become white too, somewhat looking like the 2-tone face of a monkey, but it was his eyes that stole all the attention.
Directly opposite to what had occurred to his brethren, the entirety of his eyes had become impossibly black, a light absorbing darkness of the likes he had never seen before. And they were so scary that they frightened even him, the owner of those eyes.
But this was the new him. However, although he may have those strange eyes and feathers like the moon, he-
Wait, the Moon!
In his confusion he had forgotten just who had offered the contract. The demand for eternal servitude, protection and a copy of his memories had snatched his attention. Maybe a part of him had also pushed aside the word ‘Moon’ since it seemed to have no correlation with anything else, making it make no sense, but now…
‘Status!’ He called out.
[Titles: Owl King, Wind Blessed, The Grey One, Grey Lord, The Moon’s Sixth Apostle]
[Race: Serene Moon Owl]
[Cultivation: Enlightened Beast, Stage 3]
[Combat Strength: Realm 4, Stage 4.5]
[Bloodline: Sanctified Lunar Bloodline(Earth Grade)]
[Physique: Moon Apostle Physique(Heaven Grade)]
[Elements: Wind, Ice]
[Affinities: Wind(100%), Ice(100%), Moon(50%)]
[Laws: Wind(1%), Ice(1%)]
[Innate Skills: Crescent Wind, Icicle Spears, Lunar Wind Fusion]
[Contract Skills: Divine Lunar Punishment, Divine Lunar Enhancement]
‘This…!’ He was flabbergasted. What was all of this?!
His race, his strength, his new affinity, new skills. All of this was given to him by the contract? No- wait, the Moon?
His head snapped up to look at the night sky, but more specifically at the Moon that seemed to look 100X more impressive than what it used to look like. It was brighter, more detailed, maybe bigger too? All this coupled with the contrast of the dark sky and the sprinkle of stars presented him with a sight that left him in a trance.
‘Did the… moon… always look this beautiful?’ He couldn’t help asking himself in abject wonder.
“WHAT?! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?! WHAT HAPPENED?!” A disgusting, rotten voice entered his ears and destroyed the temporary peace he had obtained. He slowly twisted his head around and stared unblinkingly at the pair of filthy Purgatory birds that had been harassing him this entire time with his new darker than dark eyes.
They both flinched, one more so than the other, but the other one, the one he quickly identified as the dirty offender that had interrupted his moon gazing, actually continued to yell at him, although with a noticeable lack of the previous ferocity.
“What have you done, Grey One?! What was that light?! How did you do this?!”
[Purgatory Vermillion Bird POV]
The Owl was different. That was easy to tell. The new appearance, but most importantly the new aura, was impossible to ignore. Somehow, someway, the strange Grey One had evolved in an instant.
Imoka couldn’t help but feel a chill run down his spine when he watched the Owl carelessly gaze towards the moon as if they were insignificant, a massive contrast to the anxious and desperate manner he had been moving around earlier, but he beat down the feeling. No matter how strong the weirdo had become, there were 2 of them now.
Joasai, his partner and the more experienced one of the two, must have been thinking the same, because he suddenly started yelling at the Grey One, demanding answers.
It was then that something changed in the air. A sudden chaotic violence that vibrated through the atmosphere and tore apart the previous serenity.
The Owl slowly turned around, giving them plenty of time to exploit him, but they did nothing. They… did nothing. Nevertheless, Imoka had plenty of time to psyche himself up and that was what he did, preparing for any sudden change in the situation, but not one thing… not one thing could have prepared him for the slow reveal of those endlessly dark eyes that looked like nightmares made flesh.
He jerked back in fear as his heart started beating erratically and breathing became difficult, even Joasai, his usually inexpressive partner, flinched.
He decided at that moment it was time to go. Not flee, just a tactical retreat. They had already caused significant damage to the Scavenge Owl race and they could always come back later, preferably after gathering more information on the Grey One’s change.
But unfortunately, his ‘mighty and bold’ partner wasn’t thinking what he was thinking because he actually decided to press on.
“What have you done, Grey One?! What was that light?! How did you do this?!” Joasai yelled out, but in an obviously more subdued manner.
His heart skipped a beat and he held his breath as he wondered how the suddenly nightmarish Grey One would react, but… but he didn’t do anything. For a long moment, he just continued to stare at them with those freakish black eyes. Completely still and unmoving save for the flapping of his wings that were keeping him aloft.
But then all of a sudden, his chest began to slowly expand as if he were taking a deep breath. A very deep breath.