Numerous messages following the completion of his question sounded while he sat on the bed with that dark expression.
〈System Alert: Combat Mission COMPLETE!〉
〈System Alert: Bonus Task accomplished, multiplier obtained.〉
〈System: 900 Experience rewarded.〉
〈System: Congratulations, you have reached Level 4.〉
〈System: Congratulations, you have reached Level 5.〉
Understanding that he had leveled up twice, Apollo dismissed the notifications before inspecting his current stats.
(Demon Monarch System) Lv.1
Name: Apollo Kaiser
Stat Points: 0.4
'It's slow, but I can feel myself healing. It must have something to do with the vitality stat," Apollo muttered while clenching his fist.
[Partly. The other reason is due to your level up. Although it isn't a complete heal, the short reset accelerates the healing process.]
"That makes sense. If my body was to stay the same after my stats increase, I'd have to question the system and your promises," Apollo chuckled.
[I as well! However, don't you blame me, I didn't create this blasted thing. I was shoved into this position. But, it's better than facing death, I suppose.]
"You didn't make this? Now that you mention it, you weren't the voice in my mind. You sound different. Still strong, but that other voice made me feel fear while also appearing familiar. Who was that?" Apollo asked.
[I don't know, but pack your things. There is no need to dawdle here any longer. We have made up our minds about what we need to do. Now, it is time to act on it quickly.]
Apollo obeyed and gathered his belongings. Frankly speaking, the sack on his shoulder was reasonably small. It only contained the rest of the cream he received from Danyul and the 2 tattered robes he owned. However, he didn't fret. If he achieved enough strength, a way to acquire things should present itself.
As he was about to leave, he paused. There was an odd feeling that he was forgetting something. Then, an image flowed into his mind. "That's right!"
Apollo stowed away something he was given.
He walked to the corner of the room and moved a brick from inside the wall, which revealed a small box hidden inside. The box exuded a bizarre sensation that Apollo had never felt until now. Once he opened the box, it revealed a pendant.
It was a pristine piece, to say the least. The pendant consisted of a silver thread-like chain with an oddly shaped, yet breathtaking crystal. It was hard to distinguish between a scale, tooth, or stone. However, the one thing that remained clear as day was the fact it looked to be dormant.
The reason it was hidden like this was due to his aunt's directions. When he turned 8, Cynthia gave it to him and told him it was a keepsake left by his father. However, in his memories, no matter how much Apollo tinkered with it, it didn't respond.
It looked like an artifact, but it didn't act like one. This was due to two reasons. First, Apollo's disabled meridians prohibited him from sensing the energy within.
Second, the requirements of the necklace had yet to be met. Until then, it would remain in a dormant state. Be that as it may, it didn't mean it was entirely useless. Due to the change in Apollo, it vibrated.
While in his palm, a small window appeared before his eyes presenting a fair amount of need-to-know information.
「Item Name: ???
Rank: ??? (Sealed Artifact)
Effect: +100% Experience. (Doubles the experience gained from any source.)
Sub-effect: Replenishes 1 Health and 2 Stamina per minute.
*Note: This artifact is capable of growth if you possess the means to do so. 」
Upon looking at the information, Apollo froze. While he didn't entirely understand what an artifact was, just based on the fact it doubled his cultivation speed, he was elated! If he played his cards right, then playing catch-up wasn't an impossibility!
'If not for Azridan, I would have never thought to wear this chain. I thought it was just an ordinary keepsake. Now, it seems its origins are much greater,' Apollo whispered while marveling at the pendant's appearance.
[Lad, this necklace is good. No, that's an understatement. It's perfect. With this, you are set for our journey. Granted, this is given there are no hiccups on our way.]
Right after Apollo placed the pendant around his neck, a gentle aura flowed into him. Albeit slow, the steady stream rejuvenated him. At the same time, Azridan spoke to Apollo.
[On this path, you will abandon your humanity and prey on worlds. I was given the task to guide you and that is what I shall do. You must remember, above all, strength is what matters. Do not leave regrets. If it comes to it, embrace destruction; that is all you can rely on. I will mold you into the being needed to truly become the Demon Monarch!]
"I want power," Apollo responded. An ardent desire burned in his eyes as he remembered that dark aura that encapsulated him in the other world. It felt powerful! That was his aim.
[Good, now we move forward. This will be your initial step to your ceaseless conquering.]
"Conquering you say..."Apollo trailed. To be honest, the words sounded oddly pleasant to him. To conquer meant he would be at the apex, and once there, he would be without contest. Therefore, he found his goal, "If it is like that, then I accept."
[Very well. From this moment onward, you will return to your rightful origin and also be addressed as the successor of I, Azridan T'hkrain. We will leave once you awaken.]
〈System Alert: A race change has commenced. In the process, you'll lose your status as a human.〉
〈System Alert: Requirements found. Determined change experiencing an adjustment.〉
〈System: Your hatred suffices, but you must prove your willingness to delve deeper into the pits of darkness.〉
〈System Alert: The Demon Monarch System has elevated to Lv.2 due to you accepting your natural race.〉
Suddenly, Apollo lost control of his body as a slit appeared on both Apollo's wrists, followed by obscure markings flickering in and out of existence. While this happened, his eyes rolled back in line with his waning consciousness.
Subtle changes began happening to his body as he passed out. The changes only stopped once completed, leaving the unconscious Apollo to sleep through the night.
The next morning, Apollo's eyes opened. However, there remained a slight buzzing in his head. Naturally, it was an aftereffect of the changes the system caused. Same as yesterday, he walked to the back courtyard where the pond was located to wash his face.
However, when he saw his appearance, he was startled, ultimately jumping backward. After scurrying back to his hands and knees, he crawled to the pond. As he once again looked into the pond, Apollo's jaw dropped.
For starters, his hair was now as dark as the abyss. Next, his dull grey eyes shifted into a vibrant amethyst color hiding untold secrets within. His previously chalky skin now carried a tinge of healthy bronze.
[Well, you're incomplete because it seems your evolution is rather special. So, you're now in limbo. You are, but also aren't an official Demon.]
"So different. But, other than that, my body feels," Apollo paused then recounted the events that transpired last night while clenching his fist. "Great."
"Azridan... Why do I feel like your name sounds familiar now? Is there a reason for this? I feel as if I've heard it before but I know I haven't," Apollo murmured, continuing to marvel at his changes.
[Hm, I'm not sure why. You don't originate from this world and neither do I. Nevertheless, in the future, we will learn more about our circumstances. More importantly, since you're now my successor, I have some things I've been tasked with passing down to you once you are ready.]
Meanwhile, Apollo also checked his status for changes.
(Demon Monarch System) Lv.2
Name: Apollo Kaiser
Race: Demi-Demon *Unique
Title: Azridan's Successor
Stat Points: 0.4
Just starting the change caused Apollo's stats to virtually double, forcing Apollo to question just how strong a true demon could be.
[It is time to embark on our own training experience. My regiment will be much more suited for your growth.]
Apollo nodded along. He stopped in to grab his already packed things. However, while leaving, he remembered something,
"I have to do one thing before I go," Apollo announced.
Things are changing, some subtly, others drastically. Either way, I'll be blitzing through some edits to improve fluidity and relations.
*Aug 18th, 2021
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