Chapter. 91: Evolutionary Herald
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It was almost instant.

It was bad. Sometimes I wanted to cry and scream, sometimes I simply wanted to be alone with my thoughts, never to be bothered again. Sometimes I wished I never existed, everything I did was wrong. But, I could also see it clearly as day. I was better now, I had improved, I had moved on. It was clear to me, the issues with my perception before. Things sucked, yes. But was I to blame? Really? I wasn’t. I wasn’t going to be the perfect warrior my parents wanted me to be, I was never going to live to their expectations.

It was just an impossibility. It sucked really. I was just me, Blair. A weird child that lived in their home most of their life, someone who could only leave their house under strict supervision, and someone who never had normal friends or ever felt truly loved. In the end, all my gratitude, issues, hang ups, sadness; it all came from the fact that I was told to love them, to be grateful. But just looking through my memories, it was clear to me, it was just misery. Sometimes I questioned if I even was an elf, but that didn’t really matter to me.

Revenge? I hated the Woodland Elves still, but now for different reasons. Maybe I could’ve had a normal adulthood, a normal life after I escaped my parents, but now that was taken away from me. In the end, I had no chance at normality anymore.

In the end, I still wanted revenge, just for personal and selfish reasons. It was different.

My past sucked, and well, it would be a lie to say I didn’t resent my parents, it would be a lie to say I didn’t want an explanation for things, but from the looks of things it was a fact that I was getting nothing, my parents were dead, all the elves were. In the end, it was just a fact of life.

Though, it would also be a lie to say I didn’t feel bad about things, my feelings were closer to resignation and defeat rather than something I had gotten over. I couldn’t change how my parents treated me, I can’t change the fact that they are in fact now dead. In the end, there were a lot of things I couldn’t change, but the things that I can change are happening now ⁠— I had things; hopes and dreams.

My parents didn’t matter, the elves didn’t matter. I just wanted to be happy, maybe not feel lonely anymore. I wanted to move forward, past my irrationality, past my denial, past my roots. I want to be better. I couldn’t change the past, but I could change the future.

Things still sucked, but at least, the Deep Dark, in spite of being a dark forest, in retrospect; it didn’t have that many dark plants, however, they were still my friends. I remembered. All of the wondrous ones I encountered, even if they were very few and far between.

[Prophecy Knowledge Discovered ⁠— Ensnaring Smil (Dark Plant) ⁠— A vine plant that resides inside of trees, it has a grasping reflex with inverted thorns to catch its prey. It can feed off from other plants or animal protein. Weak to fire. Thrives in dark and water-rich places.]

[Prophecy Knowledge Discovered ⁠— Eater Valea (Dark Plant) ⁠— A carnivorous plant that resides inside bushes waiting for prey to pass, it can feed off nutrients from the soil, from other plants or animal protein. Weak to fire. Thrives in dark and water-rich places.]

[Prophecy Knowledge Discovered ⁠— Coiling Smil (Dark Plant) ⁠— A vine plant with a coiling reflex laced with sharp and poisonous thorns. It feeds off ground nutrients. Weak to fire. Thrives in dark and water-rich places.]

And finally, the last one. The plant that had saved my life during the forest fires. The plant that had allowed me to forget things under its leaves.

[Prophecy Knowledge Discovered ⁠— Royal Azalea (Dark Plant) ⁠— A giant flower that absorbs vitality from the surrounding plants before sprouting and producing nectar. Thrives in vitality filled places.]

All of the knowledge covered certain things, a brief description of the plant, where they could be found, sort of, and if they had a weakness. Though the descriptions left a lot to be desired. Both smil plants were similar to each other and existed together. I remembered the ensnaring one hugged me, and the coiling one wrapped around my body as a sign of affection back when I was a kid. They never hurt me. I was friends with the plants.

The Coiling Smil was a dark red vine that generally existed with the Ensnaring one, a dark blue one that would contract on contact. Eater Valea, it was a strange plant, it was big and had a single rounded bud that would open and close⁠— full of serrated thorns, laced with poison. It was a dark green in color, and it could extend past its body.

And finally, the Royal Azalea⁠— I had seen it only once. It was a gigantic flower, a yellow one with a radius of well over a meter. Its stems held small beads that could be eaten to regenerate, both life and the mind itself. At least I remembered now. I couldn’t function the first day, there was sadness and happiness, there was a feeling of being completely lost. I remembered that I had found a small shelter next to the plant and hid there, when the elves came by the Azalea slightly shifted and covered the hole⁠— it was my friend too. I remember it almost beckoned me to eat its crystalized nectar, and once I did, everything clicked. All of the lies around me became a reality, all of my doubts and lack of confidence disappeared.

But it was more than obvious. It couldn’t last forever. Cracks began to show as soon as I fought the Everwood Moose, then with the humans and the elven child. And finally, at last, when Lumina interfered and forcefully made me remember.

“Looks like you’re alright,” Lumina said with a small smile. “The Royal Azalea is a rare plant, it holds no consciousness or intentions, it simply helps those that consume its nectar to change in the ways they desire. You wish to get rid of your trauma? Consider it done. But it is also a D grade plant, it can only do so much.” She shook her head. “Anyway, matter of fact is all it did was help you function, but as you could tell it didn’t particularly hide anything from you.”

I nodded very slowly, feeling some level of upsetness with Lumina. “So you made me see those visions on purpose.”

She shrugged. “You could say that, but at the same time you refused to walk my path, so it is a necessity for you to walk your own path. It was a bit of spite, but at the same time it was necessary. The wolf sure was helpful, but it was too gentle.”

I frowned. “Too gentle? Wolf?”

“The Universe won’t wait for your head to be straight, it will just tell you to go fuck yourself and deal with it after all,” she mused. “It won’t ask if things are alright, it won’t try to drag it slowly out of you. It will just rip it from your heart and make you eat it up.”

I felt even more annoyance, but said nothing. I liked Sun’s gentle approach better, it made me feel safe rather than make me feel like I was about to die at any given moment.

“Anyway,” Lumina continued. “I’ve begun to realize a few things as well. So I will ask for a favor when the time comes.”

“Favor?”

“Not important. Time's up.” She smiled. “I want you to go fuck that stupid moon wolf, yeah? Your wolf lover is in peril.”

I nodded, being reminded of my situation.

“Good luck.”

I blinked as I stared at the moonlight filled forest, and then⁠— Pain. I knelt down feeling as if a thousand insects were biting my body, my skin was being torn apart, my hair was being pulled out, my eyes were throbbing, and I began to throw up black blood onto the ground. In less than a second, more notifications came.

[Evolution Successful.]

[Ailments cleansed: Mimicry Enhancement, Fatigue, Mana Depletion.]

[Received free attribute points: +24]

[Received attribute points: +36 VIG, +24 STR, +36 PER, +24 END, +36 AGI, +36 WIS]

[Level ups will grant an additional +2 free attribute points.]

[Feat Achieved ⁠— Evolutionary ⁠Herald — You are the first to evolve in the New World. +20 free attribute points. Bonus to Prophecy Attributes every subsequent Evolution

“Don’t look at me like that. I am still the same! Don’t run, please!” ⁠— James, the Inquisitor.]

[Skill Updated: Penumbral Sense (Rare Passive) ⁠— Scales from PER]

The pain remained, but I could clearly see the effects. I felt my body grow stronger, I felt my vision and hearing grow sharper, and for a single second I swore that Penumbral Sense allowed me to see more than just waves of danger. I could see the notification, the skill had changed, though its rarity remained the same. I opened my status, and simply followed whatever impulsive instincts my mind told me I needed. I was done doubting. I needed it, my mind needed it, my being needed it. My racial stat was too low.

50 Attribute points landed on Perception, 6 on Agility.

In an instant, I felt as if I had become hyper-aware of everything. But it was also comfortable. I looked at my status once more, and noted the fact that my race had changed, just a bit. I was an elf, and that was about it. My attributes had… Changed. A lot. I stared at them, contemplating and taking them in.

So this is D grade…

Name: Blair | Level: 46

Race: (Elf)??? (D-Grade)

Feats: [Lone Survivor], [Bottomless Ambition], [Champion Of Champions], [Champion Of Illusion], [Pest Control], [DeathShot], [Five of a Kind], [Pacifist of the New World], [Evolutionary Herald]

Prophecy: Scarlet Bloom (D-Grade)

Basic skills: Universal Understanding (NaN), Universal Inquiry (NaN)

Free attribute points: 0

VIG: 145 | END: 70 |

STR: 68 | AGI: 100 |

PER: 143 | WIS: 148 |

Skills⁠—

My body still ached, but I stood up anyway, even though I was sweaty and covered in what seemed to be blood. My muscles felt sore, and constantly throbbed with pain, my brain hammered against my skull, and my bones cracked. Sun was still fighting the Guardian, who now had another armor, but seemed to be struggling. The surrounding Moonfangs hadn’t moved either. I turned back to the Guardian and evaluated it with a new perspective.

[Guardian of the Full Moon. Lvl. 64]

I can do it. It didn’t have Feats like me. It didn’t have the same advantages as me. I pulled out some seeds and moved my mana forward, which felt easy to move as if it was part of me⁠—rather than pushing it or shifting it to do my bidding. It took less than a second for everything to sprout and, in a few seconds, arrows full of new plants rained down on me.

I turned to Sun, who seemed to be struggling. I couldn’t see it, but I could feel his movements slowing down, I could see his trajectories turn sluggish. Time was almost up.

I pulled the Blessing from Fei and pushed mana through it.

I’m sorry for making you wait so long.

[Blessing of the Moonlight has been consumed.]

[The Moonlight shines brightly. Its company puts you in a frenzy. +20% to All Attributes.]

[You’re immune to Mental Attacks, effect: voided.]

My body began to shine in a pale light, and I felt the pain subside a bit, but I wasn’t done. I coursed my mana as I gathered my arrows and wrapped them around my belt. The mana passed through my very being, and I exploded it⁠—

Green mist pooled beneath me, and I felt great. It felt great to finally receive assistance.

VIG: 200 🡱| END: 97 🡱|

STR: 94 🡱| AGI: 138 🡱|

PER: 197 🡱| WIS: 205🡱|

I smiled and nocked three arrows, looking towards the Guardian. My bow was drained, but it didn’t stop me from replicating the Enhancement on it. My body was screaming in pain, but amidst all of it I simply felt happiness. I felt fulfilled over how long I had come. About how strong I was now. I tapped into my bow, and the notifications came.

[Mimicry Enhancement: Immediate Fate.]

I pushed the new type of mana into my arrows, they felt more responsive⁠— better, stronger, faster⁠— I knew what I wanted⁠—

I fired the first arrow. Ensnare. The Guardian of the Moon was hit on the legs, and fell down by a sudden green vine that wrapped around its limbs, it was thick and full of leaves. It constricted and the armor began to break apart under its pressure as it yelped.

Sun paused mid attack. “Blair?!”

I smiled, distracted by my thoughts. Don’t worry Sun, I can protect you now⁠—

Second arrow. Coil. It hit its neck, exploding into a group of wine-red whips that instantly went around its neck and clamped down. The Guardian squealed as it began to thrash on the ground, losing the capability to breathe, unfit of being any sort of leader⁠— just a monster that was being hunted.

The notification came as I smiled.

[Activated: Mark of Death.]

Eat. The third arrow was fired, and contrary to normal arrows, this one flew normally but instantly grew the size of a giant boulder. A plant bloomed mid air and lunged itself at the Guardian’s head. It chomped down on its head. The moonlight around its body exploded into mist as I heard a pathetic cry of pain, blood pooled beneath it as my smile deepened. This was what I was missing all my life.

I envied the Guardians, they were able to request assistance at any given moment.

It was amazing.

And soon enough, it came.

[Guardian of the Full Moon requests assistance.]

I smiled as its voice spoke through the plant. It was full of pain and gritty, nonetheless it boomed across the chamber.

“Kill these heretics! Kill them all!”

Howls entered my ears, clearly and distinct, all of the Moonfangs bared their teeth and I could sense it⁠.

All of them were coming for me.

I felt refreshed, my thoughts were clearer, my memories were there⁠—all of them. I nocked another three arrows aiming at the Guardian.

Why deal with an army, when you can kill their general?

If the Guardian died, then everything will be solved. All of them were brainwashed after all.

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