Although the man who stepped into the spaceship certainly looked, the group was more surprised by Peter’s reaction. A man who didn’t seem to care about anything or anyone apart from Quinn, and lately one other, was slowly walking towards this person as if they had seen a ghost.
“Does Peter know this person? Is it another of his old friends from that Cursed Faction we learned about?” Lucia thought.
On a closer inspection, though, she noticed a few markings on the man’s face. It looked almost like scales were running up his sideburns, and there were a few scales close to his hairline.
Everything else about the person looked quite human, so it didn’t seem like too big of a deal.
“I don’t understand, Borden. How are you still alive after all this time?” Peter finally regained his composure and asked.
“Hey, everyone is interested in him, and there’s no welcome for me?” Shiro smiled as he walked in. However, he did get a big hug from Jake, who welcomed his uncle.
The others also gave Shiro a respectful bow, knowing who he was in the Blade family. His presence gave everyone in the spaceship a bit more confidence that this mission would go well.
Still, it didn’t seem like this would be enough to take on Laxmus or anyone of his calibre based on what they had gone through unless this other person was also quite special.
“It’s good to see you as well. It’s a shame that Quinn isn’t here to enjoy this moment either.” Borden replied with a smile.
Peter and Borden had a unique relationship. Borden was one of the people who had helped them when they went onto Blade Island. On top of that, Borden was close with the Blade kids, and so was Peter, as the two of them were the primary teachers back then.
Even if they only really taught them combat lessons.
“Quinn will be happy to see you. He probably thought the same as me, that you would be dead by now. And, if I remember correctly, didn’t the Dalki’s have a short lifespan?” Peter asked.
After hearing these words, as if an instinct had taken over everyone else, they took a step back.
Now thinking about it, the scale looked familiar on his body, and there were more on his arms as well.
Being brought up and told how vicious the Dalki race was and how much of a threat they were to the human race, it was normal for everyone to act this way, but seeing everyone’s reaction, Borden just let out a chuckle.
“Way to go and reveal my big secret to everyone.” Borden chuckled. “You just couldn’t wait for me to explain myself first?”
After letting out a fake sigh, Borden went to sit on one of the seats and lifted his hands to show that he was friendly.
“Don’t worry, I am a Blade, and I’m not exactly a full Dalki anyway, so none of you needs to be wary. But, regardless, I will just tell you a bit about myself to ease your worries.”
“But honestly, my situation is quite complicated, and I don’t even know the exact reason as there are a lot of different factors that… let’s say, led to this.”
“I don’t know if you all are aware, but a group of Dalki had surrendered during the time of war. They continued to live with humans, and Logan supported them for a while.”
“But, of course, Logan being Logan, he had done so with an intention. So he set up a condition that if they could help him with research, he would be happy to help.”
“Just like you said, after another 25 years or so, all of the Dalki on that planet had died. During that time, Logan discovered that I was different from the other Dalki.”
“Unlike them, I primarily have a human form and only change into a Dalki when I’m enraged. When creating me, Logan said he more so created a clone of Vorden rather than another race like the Dalki.”
“So I was quite stable. He also had managed to get some of the demon tier beast’s full energy from the lab when we fought against the Dragon.”
“Anyway, Logan told me one thing. I was to stop transforming into the Dalki version if I wanted to live.”
“At least normal life span, a human’s that is. Anyway, I listened to Logan and continued to live my life, but with everything happening, I also wanted to help my friends.”
“So I never stopped searching for a way to… let’s say fix myself.”
A lot of the thoughts were going through others heads. Even though they were missing a lot of the context, the more they learned about Quinn’s life and those around him, the more fascinated they became. It was as if all these small encounters of Quinn with these people, everything they had done together, was what had allowed them to defeat the Dalki.
Without the help and how the events happened, perhaps the Dalki would be ruling everyone at this moment.
“Surprisingly, it was Vorden and Raten’s humanoid beasts that managed to help me. They told me I was not human and should stop thinking like one. They had a theory that my beast part was incomplete.”
“After all, beasts live for thousands of years. The older they are, the stronger they get. Their solution was to try to become more of a beast, and they recommended that I consume beast crystals.”
“As you know, beasts can evolve by eating the crystals of other beasts. For humans, the energy is too raw and would kill them.”
“Unless one absorbs it in a particular way like Quinn did, and even then, the human bodies wouldn’t be able to handle such a thing thoroughly, but a beast body could and my body wasn’t human.”
“It took a long time, a very long time, I consumed crystal after crystal, and the years went past.”
“It was painfully slow, and I could imagine that the Dalki could not use this method, for their lifespan was too small, to begin with, but because I had those few extra years, I could take the risk.”
“At the same time, they also had the problem of being unable to reproduce.”
“Anyway, after a thousand years, here I am,” Borden said, standing up. “You’re looking at the most likely first complete Dalki.”
Saying these words, Borden was expecting something, but everyone on the ship was awkwardly silent. They didn’t understand the meaning behind the achievement that Borden was being proud of.
“Well, that was a nice story from Uncle Borden, and it successfully kept things interesting while we got to our destination,” Jake said and then, smiling at Borden, he added.
“Uncle, I look forward to seeing what type of power you have as a complete Dalki. Hopefully, we can put you to the test soon.”
“Is the base here?” Lucia asked, looking out of the window, only to see mountains and valleys.
“It’s not far from here.” Jack replied. “We will park the ship here and get to the base on foot.”
After a few minutes, the group descended from the ship, leaving it on the mountain top and activating a special camouflage feature to obscure the ship. It made the ship blend in with the background, but if someone came too close, they could tell that something was strange at the scene and might even be able to find the ship.
As for why they had been made to stop here, it was made quite clear after following Jake. They travelled across another mountain top at quite a speed but as silently as possible. When they reached the peak, they could see a valley.
In the valley, they saw a lot of individuals gathered outside of a massive hole in one of the mountains.
“Those are Dhampirs, and it says the red vampire base is located over there,” Jake explained while looking at the tracker in his hand.
Then, raising his head, he asked everyone, “So, any ideas on what we should do? How do we get to Xander?”
“Well, let’s just push through, get rid of the Dhampirs and enter the Red Vampire’s base. We can deal with things as they come.” Peter laid out his straightforward idea.
“Now that’s what you call a plan.” Borden nodded, agreeing.
“You guys are complete idiots. Is there anyone with an actual plan? If we can, I think it would be best if we avoid fighting the dhampirs and enter through a different location.”
“They’re just going to waste our time otherwise.” Jake replied, looking at everyone in front of him.
“If you want to know our luckiest way of entering, it would be that mountain top right there,” Muka said, pointing at the mountain at whose base the dhampirs had created the hole.
“Luck?” Jake frowned, shaking his head.
Soon, the whole group found themselves sneaking past the dhampirs and were now on top of the mountain. Surprisingly, the peak of the mountain had quite a flat surface.
“There’s no need to go any further than this!” Jake shouted. “It says they’re right below us, but how do we get in?”
Without saying anything, Peter raised his fist and soon started covering it with the yellow aura. Jake was slow to react because he couldn’t quite believe what Peter was doing, but by then, it was too late.