Records of Rebirth

Chapter 319: Insatiable

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Morgana's eyes focused, then refocused again, glaring through water until the particles of blood began to peel back. In seconds, the rippling blue colour became clear as crystal, revealing all the wonders of the vast cavern above to her restless eyes.

Just a little closer.

Her eyes remained fixed, tracking the movements of the large scorpion as it wandered near the water's edge. It couldn't see her, but its instincts already knew something was wrong. Its body was tense, the wiry hairs on its pincers throbbing with each new lap of water that hit the rocky edge. 

Yet it drew closer nonetheless, lulled into safety because it couldn't see an enemy in sight.

A little more and it wouldn't just detect the vibrations, but see the dark blood seeping out from beneath the water's murky depths, only by then it would be too late.

Morgana stared up at the scorpion whose reflection now floated over the water's surface. It had stopped, predictably tipping over the edge to take a closer look. 

At the first sight of blood, its instinct was to strike, its stinger crashing down into the water.

Morgana barely glanced at the barbed stinger as it missed her by a wide margin. Her wind blades fired before it could create the harsh, scratchy notes of its kind, as twin blades shot out from the water to slice through its stinger in one swift blow.

The scorpion lurched away from the edge, its lower mandibles gone, with a pool of blue blood at its feet, and it screeched noiselessly in alarm at the sight of its missing stinger. But before it could get away, Morgana struck out with her lashers, their sharp tips plunging through its armour and soft tissues to stab into the ground.

The scorpion stopped at once, multiple wounds opening up all over its body, unable to move as her lashers held it in place. Morgana smiled at its look of agony, and its endless thrashing that only served to cut through more of its flesh. With her spikes embedded deep within its body, it could not flee, only writhe in pain as more wind blades crashed down on its battered body.

Morgana then slipped out of the water and slowly disappeared into the immaterial mist while watching it with interest. The scorpion was so maddened with pain, the bloody stub of its stinger lashed out blindly at the tethers that held it in place, to no avail.

She only meant to test out a new skill, but it was already having this much trouble.

Morgana was beyond thrilled. Like a child in a toy store, she wondered what to try next.

Should she also use that?

She controlled her lashers to retract from its body, before piercing through it again, this time driving the creature to the ground. Like hooks, they dug through its midsection and limbs, ripping, and tearing through flesh as they went. The more the scorpion trembled, the more her stats experienced a surge of increase. 

Morgana was keen to prolong its suffering until she recovered fully, her only regret was that she had rendered it mute very early on and couldn't enjoy its dying screams.

Well, it was too late for regrets, so maybe next time.

She then glanced around the vast cavern – debating which other scorpions of the Queen's guard she should play with later.

Her gaze returned to the creature that was now crawling away, its dishevelled underside dragging a trail of blood.

Morgana frowned. Out of moves, already?

She gripped hard on the creature's armour, relishing the confused look in its eyes as it was pulled towards the water.

At its looming death, the scorpion gained a burst of strength to crawl harder, its raw waves of panic felt like a burst of euphoria to Morgana's senses. She even let it go, just to let it experience the glimmer of hope fade before unapologetically dragging it into the water.

It thrashed weakly and she held it under, watching its body grow slack. 

With so many holes in its shell, it drowned so much quicker, the pool of blue blood becoming even more syrupy, until at last, it sank below the mire.

〚You have killed LV30 Krigrax!〛

〚Notoriety + 120〛

〚You have gained a level!〛

There it went again, that strange voice.

The first time Morgana heard it, she was startled, killing her prey instantly before swimming to the bottom of the pool. It happened again when she killed another, and another. Eventually she realised it came from her own head and didn't know what to think anymore.

Was this another one of her tricks, like that status skill she had given them?

Her Notoriety score kept increasing with each new kill so she treated it like a contest, killing as many as possible to see what would happen.

Yet no Legacy came.

It wasn't like she cared for them, so why was she disappointed? 

For some reason Aurelia's smirking figure kept appearing in her mind, making Morgana even more livid. She amassed a mountain of corpses in no time, now all sunken below the murky depths, but her kills did nothing to satisfy her rage.

Even when it came.

〚Conditions for evolution satisfied.『Small Cerastes』can evolve into『Lesser Cerastes』or 『Ahmorra Cerastes』(Accept | Reject)〛

She was quick to pick the more unique of the two, from the brief explanation under each one.

It kept her body small, favouring lethality over might. 

And yet Morgana didn't feel it was close to being enough. She remembered the fear, having to act pitiful while presenting herself before their sinister leader. The shame she felt as those bright red eyes looked at her like a shiny object. 

A toy. No shred of sympathy for her injuries, just thrill.

Morgana chuckled darkly.

She clearly didn't buy her act one bit and could have killed her at any point during her charade, yet she did not.

It was as if she were saying. "Go on, entertain me."

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Don't mess with me!

Morgana lashed out at the corpse of the grotesque scorpion ahead of her, multiple vicious cuts spreading through its carapace like lashings, as wild and as angry as she was.

But there was no joy, considering she killed it long ago. She simmered over with chill, her slender wings quivering as their colour faded to match the misty dark water. 

Did 'she' care nothing for her resolve?

She should have known better than to try to fool her. But why did it feel like she was the prey caught against a spider web of her own making, struggling while knowing death was inevitable from the creature watching her. 

The terror she felt was just like the ones she had killed, only she didn't know when it would end.

The odds were against her but Morgana knew she couldn't go back empty handed. 

Ophelia may have given her word that she would earn a great victory, but it wasn't up to her.

The only thing that could save her was if she made everything right again. 

She had to earn her own place.

Morgana sighed.

Never again.

She never wanted to feel so small again.

She was so determined to succeed that the thought of failing made her stomach knot up inside, more so when she remembered Typhon's tender vows.

If she died, he promised to retrieve her body to give to Ophelia because he knew she would be sad.

But Morgana knew he wouldn't bring her whole, perhaps only her head would return as his twisted trophy.

What level was he now?

The intense hatred she felt for him had never been so great, only now it was accompanied by a dizzying nausea whenever she thought of killing him.

Morgana cursed Ophelia for interfering. 

Did she think doing this would hinder her in any way? 

They really were the worst! 

Morgana smiled sinisterly, her body trembling with excitement.

Kill a Queen? How many did 'she' want? 

Like she could resist such a blatant challenge!

Even if it meant her own death – she would do it, if it meant 'she' would stop thinking of her as weak.

And yet, once again Morgana felt abandoned on the side lines. She held her breath, unable to understand her frustration.

Why did Ophelia keep praising her by calling her sweet, and worse…cute? And why did Typhon seem so distracted lately? The Typhon of before would never have let her leave, knowing there was a chance she would return stronger.

Was she missing something, or had they both become soft?

Perhaps this was an opportunity. Less competition meant she was free to surpass them both and take their place.

Morgana's eyes brightened as she checked her stats. 


Name: Morgana [LV31 Ahmorra Cerastes] 

Specie: Ailith Vipera

HP: 740/760        Defence: 545 

MP: 580/580        Intellect: 550

SP: 710/710          Magic: 677

Attack: 730          Agility: 890


For the first time in a while, her hollow heart stilled.

She had achieved the thing she'd strived for since she could remember. But though she surpassed Typhon, she felt far from perfection. 

Her gaze swept across the vast cavern, sensing the Queen's menacing aura before she glimpsed her figure.

It was suffocating, but for some reason, it also felt very lacking.

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