Welcome back to another chapter of "Grimm's Evolution". A little bit earlier than usual so that's something right? Maybe I will finally get some sort of schedule going on... Yeah, I wouldn't count on that. Still, I am trying to up the pace of releasing new chapters as I want to finish those stories sooner rather than later. Will I succeed? Who the fuck knows, but at least I will be trying.
Moving on, I wanted to inform all of you that due to my lack of Beta readers for most of my stories (If I missed someone who wanted to beta one of my stories and didn't reply to your PM I am sorry.) and Crow being very busy lately, I decided that after I finish the next chapter for all of my fics I will be putting them on my discord server.
Currently, I almost finished chapter 14 and the two first scenes (3k words) are available to read on my discord server (I will finish it either later tonight or tomorrow). Normally I would only write one chapter, give it to discord 1-3 days early and then post it on FFN. But due to some delay, I went back on my promise and decided to give my discord community an advanced chapter as an apology. So if you guys want to read it, you are all welcome to join the server. Everything is free.
Here is the link to my discord server: discord. gg/ b7JaQcpuc7 (Just delete the spaces.)
Now enjoy the chapter.
Chapter 13. Into the Fray
"Please tell me it is some sort of a joke. How the hell am I supposed to fulfill those objectives?" I whined as the notice of the new quest still floated before me, "Don't get me wrong, killing Merlot isn't the slightest problem and I will do it with a smile on my face, but the rest? You are only giving me the option to either kill or avoid all of them. And the less said about curing the virus the better. I can provide a way to cure it but not do it myself..."
Silence fell upon the mostly empty cave, with only cracking of the firepit providing proof the time didn't freeze. I stood there defiantly staring at the quest notice. No way in hell, I could finish it with those objectives. As a Grimm — even with a human form — I had no chance of curing the virus by myself. Besides if Ozpin's and Salem's group would be there then I had very low chances of avoiding them. Especially if we all wanted Merlot to go down.
I took one last look at the notice and murmured, "Please?"
[Oh fine... I should have known that you wouldn't be able to interpret the objectives properly. Here you go and I'm not changing it any further.
[Quest objectives updated]
Objective: Bring Merlot to justice (Killing him will do), Avoid giving away your true nature to/kill Qrow, Glynda, Ironwood, White Fang branch, and Salem's agents Provide enough help to cure the Virus/Kill off humanity.
I sighed and slumped down on my bed. Now those objectives at least looked somewhat possible. Still pretty hard, but doable. I would just need to mostly stay in my human form as soon as I got near Atlas. There I would somehow give all the files I found to those who were working on a cure and be on my way to find Merlot. All the while no one would question why a random guy had all those things.
A piece of cake...
I groaned loudly as I thought of my very, very advanced plan. There were so many unknowns that I simply couldn't find a good plan of action. Atlas was the most advanced kingdom in Remnant and the anime didn't show enough for me to just sneak through their security. I had been living in this world for long enough to know that not everything worked like it did in the show.
So yeah, I would pretty much need to come up with a plan on the fly. Which in the end was fine with me. Going in without an advanced plan was always my kind of thing and besides, one wise person once said, "no plan survives contact with the enemy".
My only problem was Neo. I didn't like either of my ideas of where to leave her. Vale had all sorts of dangers for a young kid like Neo and This cave was compromised. Merlot knew where we were and I wouldn't put it past him to attack again. And who knew if this time Bob and Neo would be enough to push them back.
No, I needed another idea. Vale and the cave were just plans that I came up with without giving them much thought and as they affected someone else I couldn't just push the problem away. Not when Neo's life depended on it.
I closed my eyes and tried to think of anything that would work better, even a minuscule improvement would make me happy. But what could I do?
I laid there unmoving; my mind flashing through dozens of ideas that would never work. I searched and searched, going through everything I knew about the world of Remnant. What was I missing? Surely there had to be something at least a bit safer than my previous ideas.
Suddenly my eyes snapped open and the map of Remnant appeared in front of me. I scanned every uncovered part before my gaze settled on one location.
"It could work," I murmured, remembering what I went through back then, "I am a lot stronger now. If I killed them then this place should be one of the safest places on this god-forsaken planet. "
I ran a hand through my hair as the requirements for the territory appeared before me, "Yes, I definitely can do this and Neo shouldn't complain too much. Hell, she might even like the place."
With a nod, I closed my eyes and let my body relax. I still needed to heal from today's outing and sleep was the easiest way to do this.
The next day came much faster than I expected, but hey at least the system kindly healed all my negative statuses. Even though I stayed in my human form after I came back, I could still feel the phantom pains. Not the best experience that was for sure. I really hoped that today's plans wouldn't see me in a similar state.
I looked around the cave and began gathering everything of importance. I doubted we would be coming back here anytime soon and I didn't want to leave anything of use. It took me weeks to gather some of the things that I and a growing child needed for a quite comfortable life and I didn't want to go through this again.
Weapons, furniture, food, dust, and a lot more went straight into my inventory. I only stopped when a rustling reached my ears.
"I would say good morning Neo, but as you see it is still pretty dark," I said pointing to the cave entrance where not even a single ray of light came through. I only slept long enough to heal my negative statuses, we didn't have time for more.
Neo furrowed her brows and began typing on her Scroll, "I thought you are giving me a choice. From what I see you already decided that you will leave me in Vale."
It was hard to tell if she was angry, but she definitely wasn't happy if the narrowing of her eyes was any sign.
To defuse this situation before it blew, I quickly waved my hands, "That was the plan at first brat, but after some thought, I decided that you are going neither to Vale nor staying here."
Her eyes widened, "You are taking me with you?"
I could feel her excitement from here and it made me feel a bit guilty to destroy her hope, but only a bit. Her life was more important than enjoyment, besides I could let her watch my fight from some distance later today. Probably not enough to placate her, but well, you could have everything.
"I'm not," I quickly continued before she could start typing, "Both of my ideas were pretty bad and so I came up with something slightly better. I am pretty sure you will enjoy it too. Now go gather your things, we won't be coming back here in the near future."
I saw Neo slump a bit with a sigh. Good at least she knew not to argue about this. Yesterday's attack showed her the danger she was in. Besides we didn't have time for useless arguments.
Still, the girl couldn't help but ask, "Can I at least know where are we going?"
"You can," I nodded, "Even though it is out of the way, we are going to Patch Island. I have some unfinished business there and it should provide a safe enough spot for the time being."
Just wait shitty Reapers, I'm ready for round two.
"Hold tight! I will be going as fast as I can. Can't risk anyone seeing me until we are near the ground," I shouted to the girl holding onto my spikes. It took a good few hours of flying at my full speed, but we were finally here. Neo complained a bit, but a human with unlocked Aura could survive a harsher environment than this.
Currently, I was flying pretty high, the clouds around me definitely confirmed that. If anyone from the ground even noticed me now, they wouldn't see more than a black blur. Due to my size of a large truck, I needed to fly around the island beyond anyone's sight, but now it was finally time to go down. I hoped that Bob would listen to my orders and do the same when he finally caught up to us.
I slightly tucked my wings and shot down. From the quick peek I took, Neo's eyes were wide in horror as she gripped my spike even tighter. Welp, I did warn her... At least she held on, that was something right?
[Now entering: Major territory number 1]
Huh, new notification style. Very nice Game! I thought absently and tried to ignore Neo punching my scales as I softly landed near the cave I remembered very well. Good times when I was still a little Nevermore. Now let's see.
[Number 1: Patch Island
-Defeat semi-powerful sea Grimm (0/2)
-Exterminate individual number of Grimm (Completed)]
Just as I thought.
It would be a pain in the ass if the system told me to kill fifty Grimm again. Oh don't get me wrong, I could slaughter them in an hour with the Grimm's level on this island, but as a big ass dragon, I risked detection every second. Now I only needed to find those two fuckers that live somewhere by the coast.
"Alright Neo, get the hell down, no more flying today, I promise," I growled as the girl delivered yet another punch and jumped down from my back. It didn't hurt but was getting very annoying... I got that the journey wasn't the most comfortable, but she could at least show some appreciation for what I was doing for her.
I took a deep breath and counted to ten in my mind. Calm down, she just had to sit on my scaly back for a few hours straight, of course, she would be annoyed. The whole situation with Merlot hanging over our heads definitely wasn't helping.
Right just don't get angry at the brat and everything will be fine.
I shook my head and transformed into a human. The clock was ticking and I still had a lot of shit to do here.
"Come on. Let's get you settled down, you can rest after, while I take care of the fuckers that control this area," I moved to walk into the cave, but stopped when the girl gazed at me with eyebrows raised; her hands already typing on the Scroll.
"Control this area? What? Aren't Grimm mindless beasts?" Probably realizing what she just wrote, Neo quickly added, "No offense of course."
I snorted, "Grimm have hierarchy too you know? It just works a bit differently, at least for me," she gave me a blank stare. What? Did she really expect me to explain it? Yeah, not likely. Still, the girl continued with her stare so I just waved her off, "You know what, never mind. It is a Grimm thing. You wouldn't understand."
With that I marched forward, completely ignoring the confused girl. That was what she got for being an annoying little brat...
It took me at least an hour to set up the cave so it would be somewhat safe. Some modifications with earth dust, setting up a camp inside, and dumping all the things Neo would need to survive in the coming weeks. Said girl also came out of her confusion and helped me — or rather ordered — prepare everything. At least she didn't ask any more questions so that was a plus.
Finally, with everything done, I approached the exit of our new temporary base and called out, "Neo, it's time."
The girl instantly dropped the weapon she was inspecting and looked at me, her fingers already typing on the Scroll, "How long will you be away? Bob isn't the best conversationalist and I don't like being alone."
I chuckled seeing the frown on Neo's face and ruffled her hair, "I hope it won't take longer than a week, but who knows. Merlot is a sneaky bastard and it might take me a while to track him down even if the Virus will be dealt with. Also, I'm not ordering you to stay inside all the time. Patch is one of the safest places on Remnant when it comes to Grimm. I know we haven't been training for that long, but even you should be able to deal with almost everything here, and well, Bob will deal with the rest. Though I would prefer him to stay put, you know how he is after all..."
Neo swatted my hand away and growled. How cute, I was almost tempted to do it again.
"What about other people here? You told me that there is a large village and a Hunter school here. Can I go to check it out?"
I ran a hand through my hair as I tried to find a good answer. The girl needed more contact with normal humans, but I would prefer to be there during her first visit. I knew nothing about the settlement on Patch beyond the Signal academy and Ruby's home. Oh, I spotted the quite large village the last time I was here but didn't stop to investigate. I was a Grimm for fuck sake...
"I don't know Neo. I doubt that the humans here would try to hurt you, but it would be risky if you tried to go to the village. Really a random kid showing up without an adult out of nowhere? That ought to raise some questions, at least I think so," when Neo's gaze fell a bit, I was quick to add, "Look, I'm not against you trying to approach the village, but it would be best for you to stay out of sight until I come back. In the end, the final decision is yours, just please don't let anyone follow you back here. I don't want anyone finding out about this or spotting Bob without a good reason."
Neo nodded and smiled. I could just hope that the girl would use her brain and didn't do anything stupid.
I snorted and crouched down, opening my arms, "Come on kiddo, I have to go," Neo didn't need any more incentive and jumped forward, encircling her short arms around me and burying her head in my chest. I chuckled and returned the hug, "Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna miss you too brat. Be sure to practice what I taught you and don't destroy the place."
The little brat grinned and gave me a mock salute as she extracted herself from me. I shook my head at her antics and walked out of the cave, my form growing into my true body.
"Stay safe Neo," I murmured and leapt into the air, my wings carrying me towards the place where my first fight against the Reapers happened.
"Oh for the love of God, where the fuck are you?" I growled as I made yet another round near the coast I met the Reapers for the first time.
I didn't have time to stay here forever. Any moment now, Merlot could be progressing with his plans if he didn't already. Unfortunately, if I wanted to be almost one hundred percent sure about Neo's safety, I needed to kill those two fuckers. Now if onl-
"Shit," I spat as a projectile of pure water missed me by just a few inches.
My Aura activated as I spun around and watched as the two familiar Grimm appeared out of nowhere. My eyes widened when their bodies shimmered and slowly began to disappear. The hell? I didn't remember them having invisibility or ever using something similar against me.
[You have discovered the final attribute of Reaper. Use 'observe' to find out more.]
Right, there was one more question mark after I discovered their ability to spew water. Okay then, 'Observe'.
Adult Reaper lvl: 22
Additional Info: Weak and reinforced armor, Can fire water projectiles (Maximum 2 shots per minute), Reflective skin (Grants the ability to become almost invisible in the water)
Well shit, that was a lot more information than I got the last time I was here. Still, even with C- tier, I should be able to beat them both. I had the advantage this time... at least I thought so.
I sent the 'Hunter Pulse' in every direction and it instantly returned the positions of the two Reapers. I grinned and shot a volley of lightning inducted spikes at the overgrown fishes.
Their hisses reached my ears and my draconic grin became feral when I spotted the Reapers appearing again, this time both were pierced with at least five spikes each. Yes, this attack cost me over five hundred of my HP, but if what I saw was any indication then I won that trade.
Reaper HP: 2142 (Bleeding)
Reaper HP: 2217 (Bleeding)
Lightning and water are a deadly combination, my friends.
I could try to finish them with spikes alone, but I didn't want to lose all of my health, and besides, I wanted to try out a few things. After all, I was now strong enough to get close to them.
I pushed higher as another two orbs of water flew near me. Two shots per minute and one of them already used both, which one I had no clue, but I wouldn't waste my chance.
My wings tucked against my body as I pushed mana into my frontal limbs and flew straight towards the nearest Reaper.
My claws began to shift, five joining into one and slowly extending in length. A second later I didn't have claws anymore, but two sharp blades twice as long as the rest of my limb. They looked like they were made of metal, but I knew better. Whatever those things were, metal couldn't compare. Blades straight from Prototype. Damn...
My target also noticed the change and proved that I again chose the wrong target as it shot its remaining projectile straight at my face.
At this speed and distance, I had no chance to dodge. While I was pretty sure that I could survive one of the blasts without taking much damage, I had different plans. I took a breath and infused my lugs with pure Aura manipulation, unleashing a mighty roar straight at the projectile.
The pure Aura and water collided, fighting for dominance. In the end, neither of the attacks won and thus canceled each other. I smirked internally and activated Dragon's charge, increasing my speed even more.
The Grimm wasn't intelligent enough to realize what was going to happen, but it still raised its head and tried to grab me with its four moving claws.
Of course, it was all for nothing. Not with my two lovely blades. I just got them and I already fell in love.
The moment I reached the attack range, my blades came down on the moving claws. Without any armor covering them I felt no resistance when I sliced straight through them, leaving them completely useless.
I continued forward, finally reaching my true target in a powerful charge. I definitely didn't help the Reaper that my blades were pointed straight at its face.
Unlike with the claws, I met some resistance when I pushed my blades into the monster's head. Of course, the force of my charge rendered this resistance useless and soon I felt the Reaper stiffen before going completely still.
[Adult Reaper killed.]
Over two thousand health in one blow? Holy shit. Either I somehow got more powerful than I thought after my trip to Merlot's base or I overestimated those Reapers.
The second reaper didn't give me any time to think about my accomplishment as it rushed forward trying to avenge its... friend? Yeah not likely, they were too dumb to understand the concept of friendship.
I gave a mental shrug and pushed myself forward, meeting the Grimm midway.
Dismissing my blades, I grabbed the offending claws and flew higher, my strength barely managing to hold onto the almost forty feet long and surprisingly lighter than I expected, monster.
The beast struggled in my hold, trying with all its might to free itself. I wouldn't lie that it didn't almost succeed, the Grimm was very long and when it began whipping its body left and right, I almost lost control of my flight.
Unfortunately for the Reaper, I adjusted my flight, and in one powerful swing, I threw the screeching Grimm towards the sandy coast. Of course, I wouldn't stop with just that and instantly began to channel mana into my mouth. My jaw began to spark as lightning cracked all around it. Let's see how the Reaper will handle an attack powered by half on my remaining mana.
The wave of lightning shot forward illuminating the area in blue light even though it was still the middle of the day. The power of my element was just too beautiful to watch.
The Reaper never knew what happened. It just impacted the hard ground and a second later millions of volts traveled through its body and pulverized it until only its smoking corpse remained.
Damn, I might have put a bit too much power into the attack. I should get the hell away from here before anyone decides to investigate.
Shrugging I ignored the multiple notifications and took off into the air, my destination in mind. Alright, let's see what I got from those overgrown snakes and the territory.
-Two Adult Reapers defeated, 3000 EXP x2 awarded
-Major territory conquered, 10k EXP awarded, 3 EP awarded
-You leveled up once
-Spike Spears leveled up once
-Lightning elemental leveled up once
-Legion leveled up once
-Due to your accomplishments during the fight you gained 2 STR
-500 Lien looted
-2 Water dust crystals looted]
Not bad, next, I thought as I gained comfortable height and speed. It would probably take almost a day of flying before I reached the shores of Solitas.
[Congratulations, you just conquered your first Major territory. This is your first step towards creating your own empire. Do you wish to learn more about conquered territories?
Huh, I don't know about creating my own empire, but sure. Why not, And so I selected 'yes' not expecting the large influx of information. As I read further and further, my eyes only got bigger. Shit, I really should have conquered a territory earlier.
[Welcome to the second part of the territory tutorial where you will learn more about managing your newly conquered lands.
Territories are a very important part of the System. They let you take the lands for yourself and create your own empire if that's your wish. Every conquered territory grants you multiple possibilities that will be explained next.
First, each territory grants you limited control over Grimm in the area. Both those that live there and those that will come (This part can be overridden if another person is already controlling the Grimm). You can order them to not attack certain individuals, but you can't order them to move out of your territory or attack someone in your name.
Warning: Due to Salem controlling most of the Grimm, she will be alerted that someone is messing with her Grimm. (No she won't know who, just that something is happening.)
Second, every territory grants the owner some sort of special boosts while you remain in the area. These boosts differ from the territory and can be accessed through the territory menu. Be sure to use them.
And finally the last and important function of conquered territories.
The creation of lairs.
A lair can be created in a secluded area after you secured the territory. Unlike what you probably think, the lairs aren't for you, but your own army. That's right, for the right cost you can now create your own spawn points for Grimm that will be fully under your control. Isn't that great? Now you can really start preparing for the world conquest.
Of course, each territory has its own limits that can't be broken upon reaching them. Also, remember that every Grimm spawned from your own pools needs to grow just like any normal Grimm. Of course, you can help them if you know how.
Good Luck in your conquest.]
What. The. Fuck.
Those words summed up this whole tutorial pretty well. Like, I expected something special for conquering a territory, but this? This shit was way beyond anything I ever thought of. My own army? Grimm Pools? What the hell game! How can you even do that?
[Well, I was created by a being much more powerful than those two idiotic brothers. Coping their skills when you reach the requirements was never the problem. Remember, you create your own limits and I am here to break them.]
I suppose that makes sense. Maybe? Probably? I thought half confused, half understanding. After all, it was not every day you were told that you had the opportunity to create your own army. An army of powerful Grim at that. I suppose it could be useful, but I didn't really have any plans to conquer this world... at least not yet.
Yeah, this world was completely fucked up and needed change, but was I the right person to do it. Not really. Besides I was sure that ruling the world came with many responsibilities that I really didn't want.
Maybe if I had someone to drop the work on, My mind flashed with the images of Neo sitting behind the desk going through hundreds of documents. Yeah right, I snorted. Who in their right mind would want that job.
[Oh you would be surprised.]
Yeah, not thinking about that. I could worry about shit like this when I, for whatever reason, would wish for world conquest, not earlier. Though I was curious how it all worked.
Territory number 1.
[No. 1: Patch Island
Neutral Grimm: 96 | Your Grimm: 0 | Enemy Grimm: 0
Grimm Pools: 0/1 (Can buy: Basic Grimm Pool, 5 EP)
Bonus: +10% to skill EXP, Humans are less likely to approach you when in human form]
It costs EP? Damn, another thing to spend my points on. I hope the system will start providing more of them because soon I will run dry.
I dismissed the window and shook my head. Those boosts were a nice addition. Certainly, a good place to set up a base if I want to train up some low leveled skills. But beyond that those bonuses were quite useless as I didn't plan to spend much time on Patch. Maybe some short vacations after my trip to Atlas, nothing more. Even Neo would probably want to go back to the mainland after I came back.
Oh well, it wasn't like this would be my last territory. At least the Grimm counter was nice...
I chuckled as I observed the vast ocean ahead of me. The spat with the two Reapers was a nice break, but now I only had one thought in mind.
To cure the virus and kill the old shit.
Meanwhile far away from Umbra, said old shit sat comfortably in his base, watching as his lovely Virus caused chaos everywhere. Oh, he knew that Atlas had large chances of stopping his creation, but it didn't mean that Merlot would make it easy for them.
He even managed to get some help from the Faunus and they were ought to create some chaos by themself.
Of course, after the discovery of the Grimm and human hybrid, Merlot wouldn't be even angry if his Virus failed. No, as long as he had the opportunity to experiment on the perfect blend of Human and Grimm, Merlot would be happy.
After all, the creation of a perfect being was always Merlot's dream.
I am waiting for you, little dragon.
And that's it for today's chapter. A bit shorter than usual, but I was already nearing my standard 5k and so I decided to finish it a bit early.
Like I said chapter 14 is almost finished and the two first scenes (3k words) are available on my discord server. I will probably post it here in a week or after I finish chapter 15 which should be the one before the last chapter of Merlot's arc.
This chapter changed a lot during the time I was planning it. In the beginning the whole come back to Patch Island wasn't in plans, but after giving it some thought I decided that it was the perfect occasion to conquer this territory and give Neo a safe place to wait for Umbra to come back. Some of you might not agree with my decision, but well it is my story so deal with it.
Also, let me know what you think about umbra stomping those two Reapers. He had the advantage in every aspect of the fight and so I couldn't see the fight going any other way. I hope you agree with me.
Umbra's current stats and skills are also available on my discord but here is the basic status page for all of those that don't want to join.
Race: Soul Grimm
Title: Young Grimm
Level: 22 (6320/11000)
Evolution Stage: Draconic 3 (56%)
STR: 44 + (25%) = 55
VIT: 45 + (25%) = 56.25
DEX: 50 + (25%) = 62.5
INT: 37 + (50%) = 55.5
WIS: 37 + (50%) = 55.5
Elemental Affinity: Lightning
SP: 55 | EP: 12
Have a good day/night.