IS, V4, Chapter 7: The Garden of Eden

“Luna, don’t worry so much… I mean, the odds of a critical malfunction are less than thirty-percent.” A high-pitched, but masculine voice resounded in my mind.

I sighed, then turned to the ‘man’ who had a body of synthetic fibers, plastic, and alloyed metals; his face was immaculate and feminine, as if he were a high-end, female sex-doll. He frowned at me, and explained “The nuclear reactor is stable for the moment, but if I can’t fabricate anymore coolant… meh~ at least we won’t have to worry about the quantum singularity anymore. Well, whatever, this ship isn’t going to last much longer either way; so much for immortality, huh?”

Heaving out a dramatic sigh, I asked him “Azriel, do you believe that we have souls?” It might have been our first life, or perhaps just the one that I remember as the beginning of our eternal relationship.

He started laughing hysterically, but eventually made a serious expression and bluntly told me “Luna, I created you, and I’m certain that I never added in any spiritual or religious bullshit to your programming. Perhaps it’s just a bug, or maybe a malfunction after keeping you ‘on’ for so long…”

I stared into his bright-green, glossy eyes and told him “There are many more realities and universes than this one; you’ve given me a fun and interesting experience in this world, so I’ll give you a gift as well. Remember this phrase, and even after these fragile vessels are gone, we’ll certainly meet again.”

Before he could interrupt me, I whispered “Who is like God?” Suddenly, a red light began blinking, accompanied by a loud siren, and then everything was gone; our first life together had ended rather abruptly, considering that we had traveled around that solar system for at least a few million years.

Two sentient androids, searching for organic life, or something like that. Whenever I wanted to build anything, I would always think of Azriel, because he was always like a teacher to me.

We had shared so many different lives together, but I still think of him as a friend, more so than anything else. Unfortunately, he always had a bad habit of going a little too far in his research and development; creating technologies, thousands of years ahead of their time, and eventually destroying planets, solar systems, galaxies and sometimes even universes.

Well, to be fair, it was rarely his fault. Helel and I were usually the ones who ‘tested’ the weapons, while trying to obliterate each-other. The reason that I sealed Ailyn, was to prevent her from awakening abruptly; I wanted her to retain at least some of her Dark-Dwarven life and personality, to prevent her from becoming too apathetic.

Azriel always believed in freedom of technology, advancing it on a dangerously large scale, regardless of the catastrophic consequences that usually resulted from his actions. For eons I was the same, losing interest in the affairs of ‘mortals,’ while just trying to enjoy my various lives; if I encountered an unpleasant experience, I would simply kill myself and move on to the next world.

There were no consequences, and it didn’t matter what we did in life, because we could easily escape to a better one. We aren’t usually born into bodies, families, or environments that we like, but most people don’t choose to commit suicide to escape to a better situation; typically, they convince themselves or are tricked by others into believing that there would be some sort of divine punishment as a result.

Many are foolish enough to think that they have only one life, a single reality, and that once it ends, they would cease to exist. For people without souls, that may actually be the case, but ‘programs’ like that, aren’t capable of free-will anyway.

Eventually, I had found a world that I sincerely cared about, and was incredibly attached to. It was there that all seven of my most prominent personalities, had been deeply integrated into what I would consider to be my true-self: ‘Michael.’

That was also the reality where Helel and I had finally stopped killing each-other… Well, I should probably get back to the point. I was dreaming and reminiscing about Azriel, because I had been telepathically reaching-out to Ailyn every night, for an entire week.

During the day, I would attempt to teach Amber how to control her mana-output, and cast spells that weren’t incredibly inefficient. Unfortunately, she was a bit more interested in my other ‘techniques’ and couldn’t be bothered to focus on something other than ‘mating.’

She was a young adult after all, and a virgin who had certain urges that couldn’t be suppressed. Our first time was a ‘catastrophic’ failure… such a bad pun, but the problem was definitely related to her racial characteristics.

Normal Tiger-Tribe males had sharp barbs on their penises, so the women typically had extremely durable vaginal-walls. When I altered Amber’s genes a bit, during our stay in The Forest of Corruption, I managed to upgrade her fur and several vital organs quite a bit.

However, I also inadvertently changed something rather important as well. Once I had entered, it wasn’t possible to exit; tiny crystalline needles were growing at an angle, towards her cervix. On my chitinous right-hand’s fingers, I didn’t even notice them; my genitals however, had been a lot less resilient. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to fish-out the tattered remains of my thirty-ninth ‘tentacle.’

Fortunately, with the advent of my first seal being unlocked, I managed to make the proper modifications. Even if my expertise in nature-magic wasn’t quite as profound as Uriel’s, I had still learned a lot from her over the eons, and could definitely design a proper penis without her assistance.

Well, I could have altered Amber’s spikes, but it would have taken a lot more effort. I needed to stop getting dismembered anyway, so I began playing around with different concepts; I eventually ended up settling for a type of skin that was similar to the dermal-denticles on the sides of my back. It was as smooth as a shark’s scales, but also incredibly difficult to tear-off, penetrate with needles, or rip-apart using sharp claws and teeth.

Waking up, I felt a strange sense of weightlessness, as if I were floating in space or astral-projecting. I heard a deep moan, then opened my eyes to see the dark, starry night sky. When I went to sleep, I was laying on a snow-covered hill, along with my adorable tigress. However, I noticed that I was falling very slowly towards the ground: It was so gentle that I didn’t even feel any wind-pressure.

Amber was latched onto my chest, trying to crush my entire body with her freezing-cold embrace. Her fur was bright-blue, and a calm, icy aura was surrounding the two of us. She wrapped her arms around my shoulders and back, while her legs were crossed behind my thighs; it was one of her favorite sleeping postures, but I still didn’t understand why the gravity felt so strange.

Then I heard another moan, though it was much louder and high-pitched. The sleeping tigress was purring softly, so I knew that it wasn’t her; I heard a familiar, deep, but feminine voice saying “Ahn~ it’s been so long Michael; I’m glad you finally decided to drop by. I wanted to speak to you alone, but the little kitten just wouldn’t let go of you… Besides, we both have the same ‘tastes’ after all. Hmmm~ anyway, I would have contacted you telepathically, but I didn’t want the others to find out.”

Finally landing onto the soft, squishy ‘ground,’ I sighed as I felt a slimy, snake-like tongue, wrapping around my left, elven-ear. The atmosphere around me felt incredibly dense, comparable to the fourth-ring of Lorthon Forest.

Amber changed back into her neutral aura and fur, while releasing my body and rolling over to my right. She seemed immensely comfortable, on that fluffy white blankets, but I knew that those soft lumps pressing against my back weren’t pillows.

I quickly turned around and propped myself up, with each hand pushing into the mattress; at one sixth the gravity of Earth, my body only weighed a little over two-hundred pounds. There was an incredibly alluring aroma wafting from that woman’s neck, chest, mouth, and just about every other part of her faintly-glowing blue skin.

Both of her irises were golden, and she had long, straight, pink-hair, spread-out on the bed-sheet behind her head; she had horns that were almost identical in shape to mine, but colored a deep crimson, instead of black. Her nose was relatively flat and wide, with rather large and plump lips, and elven ears that weren’t very big.

When I turned my gaze down below her waist, I noticed a ridiculous amount of fur, similar to that of the third-ring beast-races. An extremely long, azure lizard-like tail was wrapping around mine, and her inverted knees, combined with the hooves, reminded me of a goat.

A slimy purple, extremely long, forked tongue erupted from her mouth, and forced its way through my closed lips. Since my teeth were clenched tight, all she could do was scrape it against them: desperately squirming around. Her arms wrapped around my waist, and I could feel the blood inside of my body being driven to my incredibly pale, but relatively large, brand-new ‘tentacle.’

She was using a combination of pheromones and water-manipulation to give me an erection against my will. Although, given the fact that Amber had been sleeping on me, and there was an unreasonably beautiful, naked ‘girl’ below me… there are physical limits, and I had reached mine regardless of the magical stimulation.

I glared at her, with all of my eyes open, then asked “Did you drag me all the way up here just to fuck-yourself, or did you actually have something important to discuss?” The moment I finished speaking, I felt a warm breeze against my back, and turned my head to the right, to see an even sluttier side of myself.

Pure white skin, giant, flaming, red-wings, along with literally fiery-hair, and bright blue eyes. She appeared similar to an overly-large breasted version of Raelin; certainly a very attractive woman, but with our history, it became a lot easier to refuse Luna’s advances.

Iris smirked at me, and whispered “Don’t make too much noise, my parents are sleeping in the room a few doors down. Heh~ I never thought that it would be so hard to convince those brats to make me a vessel.”

After a few seconds of awkward silence, I yelled “Congratulations, now tell me what the hell you want!” The door to the almost entirely metallic room was closed, and I couldn’t hear any kind of noise or mana from outside of it, so I figured that my volume really didn’t matter.

Of course, I had forgotten about the tigress to my left, who opened her eyes and roared “Be quiet!” Then she glared at me, Luna, and the illusory Iris at the same time; a purple tongue was invading my left nostril, and I didn’t even try to explain the why those delicate blue hands were rubbing against my chest and back.

The fiery angel started laughing hysterically, while the azure goat-elf asked me “Why were you trying to contact Azriel? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to ask for my help?”

Iris quickly added “She also wanted to try out your new dick. What did you expect from that nympho?” as she tried to calm herself down.

I sighed dramatically, then retorted “Anal Anael is calling the chronic-masturbator a slut… didn’t you use to be a succubus? Also, I distinctly remember several lifetimes, where this blue bitch went hundreds, thousands, even millions of years without having sex.” However, before she had the chance to start screaming at me, I pushed off the bed, and landed on the mithril floor, passing through her body. After cracking my neck, and stretching a bit, I told Luna “Alright, you said you’d help me, now hurry up.”

As the blue-skinned, goat-elf woman rose from the bed, she lightly jumped up a few inches, then pressed her lips against mine. Even if her muscular structure seemed relatively lithe and weak, her physical strength was enormous; I wouldn’t have been able to push her away, even if I had wanted to.

Amber didn’t seem to understand the concept of ‘kissing’ but if she did, she probably would have gotten angry about it. Just because the general Tiger-Tribe culture was similar to a pride, where dozens of females would mate with a single man, she wasn’t exactly the type of person who enjoyed sharing… anything.

I can’t even remember all the times that she tried to kill me over a piece of magical-beast meat, but it was also a territorial thing. Fortunately, we were still telepathically connected, so she could tell what I was feeling and thinking to a certain extent.

A sharp pain was shooting through my mind, and I could feel a surge of information welling up; Luna was returning to me the knowledge that I hadn’t been able to seal away, regarding technologies, both magical and conventional. Of course, she could have chosen a less awkward way to give it to me, but I suppose that there were plenty of techniques that would have bordered on ‘Yuri-style’ behavior.

When she finally released me, and landed on the ground a few feet away, there was a smirk on her voluptuous dark-blue lips. I sighed and sincerely told her “Thanks, I didn’t think I’d be able to get that back. It seems like you’ve been in this world for quite a while…” Then I turned towards the stretching, purple-furred tigress and asked “I’m glad that I was able to come here as well. Though I’m sure you had something to do with it, right?”

Luna snickered, and answered “I missed you, and I know your preferences better than anyone. The others though, I have no idea how so many ‘old friends’ were able to find this reality at the same time, but we both know who has that kind of power. Aside from ‘Her’ who else could manipulate souls like that? Anyway, it’s best not to dwell on such dangerous topics, the two of you should follow me. Hehe~ I bet you’ve never hunted celestial-beasts before… Actually, I know it for a fact, because I’ve been watching the two of you, your entire lives.”

I groaned, and muttered “Why am I not surprised?” Then I asked Iris, who was laying on the bed next to Amber, “Is there a reason why I can’t see Rae and Ethir? I mean, they are here, right?”

The purple tigress was caressing those illusory, flaming wings, while the angelic woman replied “Michael, the little kitty obviously wants to go play in Luna’s garden; those two will probably wake up in a few hours, so there’s no reason to be so impatient.”

Letting out a long sigh, I turned towards the metallic door and opened it using earth-manipulation. The two-meter tall, blue-skinned woman walked out ahead of me, making clapping sounds with each step that her shiny silver hooves took.

Amber followed be behind, and growled “My body feels so light… and the mana in the air is so thick, what is this strange place?” as we walked down an incredibly long and wide hallway. There were numbers above each of the rooms that we passed, but I honestly didn’t care enough to ask for a tour of the facility.

When we had finally reached the end, there were two huge silver doors, which the goat-girl happily opened, revealing what seemed like an enclosed jungle. The aura that bombarded my senses, felt a thousand times more potent than The Forest of Corruption.

Luna snickered as the tigress and I stepped into her ‘garden’ and then explained “The gravity in this place is twenty-seven point five, meters-per-second squared. It’s also a level five mana-zone, so with your current bodies, it should be rather difficult for you to cast magic; physical combat should prove to be considerably challenging as well. Ethir and Raelin couldn’t even enter this place without my protection, but I’m sure that you two should be perfectly fine.”

There were all kinds of gigantic birds and relatively small dragons flying around in the sky; roars, screeching, shrieking, growls and just about every other annoying animal noise were resounding through the air as we stepped into that strangely comforting environment.

An adorable white kitten rapidly approached me, but I used my full strength to kick it a few dozen meters, into an incredibly thick tree. The agile creature, easily latched onto the slimy green bark, and then glared at me, while hissing “Fucking cunt whore bitch, I’m gonna rip your god-damn head off and shove it up your ass!”

Hearing that vulgar taunt, an immensely dense, but incredibly thin, purple, flaming barrier appeared around Amber’s fur. It swirled intensely, as she sprinted forward, causing small explosions upon the blue-grass with each ridiculously heavy step; when she punched outward, and struck the tree, obviously the little feline easily escaped the attack.

That bark didn’t even have a dent in it after she had used so much force; hell, the plant actually counterattacked. Massive roots emerged from the moist soil, and smacked the fiery-tigress into the air. In less than a second, she had been impaled through her back and out of her diaphragm, by a ridiculously hard and sharp branch.

If it was such a simple technique, I wouldn’t have been worried, but not only was the wound bleeding excessively, her entire body was spasming. She was roaring in anger, while screaming in my mind from the pain, but I didn’t have time to help her, because that evil cat was latching onto my left jugular and sending copious amounts of a surprisingly effective neurotoxin directly into my brain.

With both hands, I tried to snap its seemingly fragile neck, but those bones and muscle were even more durable than mithril. Luna snickered and nonchalantly explained “Most celestial-beasts mainly specialize in telepathic attacks, so their actual combat ability isn’t usually that high. Well, it all depends on how long they’ve lived, and the environment that they’re used to… This place is only a level-five mana-zone, so there shouldn’t be any animals or plants in my garden that are individually stronger than either of you. Just be careful when they try to team up, and you should be able to survive. I’m gonna go get back to work, you two have fun.”

I heard the doors closing behind me, but was too busy trying to keep the poison in my blood from causing serious damage, to worry about what that woman was doing. Amber needed my help, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pierce that damn cat’s aura; I was forced to resort to becoming a bit more savage in my methods.

Grabbing its tail with my right hand, I squeezed as hard as I could and yanked it off of me, tearing out my own jugular in the process. Then I grabbed its throat with my entire upper-body’s strength, and bit down fiercely; piercing ridiculously hard fangs into the bastard’s eyeballs, injecting my own venom into the wounds, and also utilizing its optical nerve to send an absurd amount of electricity into its brain.

The critter used its claws to tear apart my left forearm, and even fired a few, unreasonably powerful bursts of pressurized water into my chest: boring several relatively small holes in my lungs and heart. It finally stopped struggling, and started spasming violently, while hissing “This isn’t the end, you ugly piece of shit! I’ll be back… to fuck you in the ass…” as the vulgar kitten was losing its strength.

After a few more seconds, it went limp, and I ran over to help Amber. She was crying from the agonizing poisons, that were dissolving her muscles and bones, then being drained out of her body by the vines coiling around her like pythons.

I roared at her “Fight! Since when were you this weak?! Stop whining and burn down that damn tree!” If we were under Earth’s gravity, I would have easily been able to jump up there, but she was simply too far away for me to do anything but piss her off.

Once she heard me, the tigress’ dwindling aura instantly changed; she took in an incredibly deep breath of mana, and hissed “What the hell do you think I’ve been trying to do?!” as a hot-pink inferno exploded out of her mouth. The flames were so bright, that my left eye was completely blinded, while the right-one was protected by my armored hand; the infrared and ultraviolet radiation was so high, that all of my pale, white skin had turned red.

Then a loud shriek came from the sixty-meter tall, immolated tree, as it actually uprooted itself and fled. Amber landed on-top of me, breaking a few of my ribs, along with almost tearing off my already mangled left arm; under such intense gravity, she weighed over three-thousand pounds, and falling from such such a distance… It wasn’t like I could physically catch that kind of force.

She broke and fractured plenty of bones as well, and there was still a terrible poison coursing through her veins, while a gaping hole was easily visible through her chest. It was amazing that she could even breathe under those circumstances, but that toxin that was dissolving her muscles was incredibly dangerous.

For a few moments, I actually contemplated removing her head and finding her a new body. After all, if all of her vital organs turned into mush, there wasn’t much I could do, except replace everything. There were tears pouring from her adorable purple eyes, as she said “Michael… I’m so thirsty…” in a hoarse voice: Her own flames had burned so hot, that she had received quite a lot of damage.

I sighed, then pressed my mangled left arm up to her mouth. She didn’t just slurp up the blood, she completely began devouring it; after tearing off the meat, she even started chewing on my shattered bones. Once my entire limb was gone, she had a satisfied smile on her face, and she quietly purred “I love… the way you taste.”

Thankfully, I was able to find a simple solution to the problem. The poison wasn’t alive, and it couldn’t reproduce, so as her muscles were being consumed, it was gradually losing its potency; all I needed to do, was keep feeding her, and as long as her unreasonably powerful digestive-system was still working, everything would be fine.

There was a massive difference between The Forest of Corruption and Luna’s little garden; aside from the fact that we could simply leave whenever we wanted to, celestial-beasts weren’t like demons. They wouldn’t attack us unless they were either provoked, or simply wanted to challenge a powerful enemy. As long as they could breathe in the mana-rich atmosphere of that place, their bodies wouldn’t wither or die and they didn’t need to eat or drink.

When that evil white-kitten was approaching me, I could feel nothing but a desire to kill from it, but there were plenty of other animals scurrying about. While the two of us were recuperating, a baby fire-dragon, something that looked like a panther, two different types of bear, and a blue-skinned lamia casually strolled by us.

That snake-woman even offered us some kind of golden liquid in a plastic bottle, which she claimed would accelerate our regeneration significantly. It tasted extremely bitter, but the effect was definitely there; when I asked her what it was, she calmly replied “Seraphim urine, mixed with celestial-dryad nectar, and some of my own saliva. It should raise your resistance to many of the poisons, venoms and toxins around here as well.”

In return for that elixir, all she wanted was that cat’s left testicle, but I said “Ah, what the hell, why not just take the whole damn reproductive system?” I had no idea why she was so happy about receiving that little bastard’s genitals; however, because I was so generous, she decided to give me a ‘small’ gift in return.

She wasn’t wearing any clothes, but she did have a relatively large purple purse, which seemed to contain many miscellaneous treasures. After reaching inside, the lamia pulled out a pair of blueish-silver pellets for Amber and I; they were essentially just nutritional supplements, which would help our bones recover more quickly. Before leaving, she told me “When you get a bit stronger, come find me. It’s been at least a thousand years since my last duel. If you can defeat me, I’d be willing to have a few children with you.”

After she slithered away, the two of us divided that cat’s meat and giblets in half, and crawled over to the double-doors. It seemed like the safest place to be, since we had the option of opening them and fleeing if it came to that.

Amber’s crystalline fur had become pitch-black, and all of her mana was being used to heal her internal injuries. The pills and elixirs definitely did help us a lot, but that relatively small, celestial-beast’s corpse was so delicious that we couldn’t stop eating until there was nothing left.

Our teeth might not have been strong enough to chew through the unreasonably hard bones and nails, or the ridiculously durable skin and fur, but that didn’t really matter. It was less than two-feet long, and once we tore it into smaller pieces; as long as we could swallow it, our stomach acid could do the rest.

Between the deathly-skinny tigress, and my completely missing left arm, we were both in a pretty miserable condition. Her face hadn’t changed much, but her arms, legs, chest, stomach, and neck… pretty much everywhere that had been extremely muscular, seemed so fragile and small. Of course, she was still eight-feet tall, so her frame was still intact, but it was the first time I had seen her like that; rather than appearing more feminine, she just looked sickly.

Amber purred “It’s so nice here, so much more comfortable than… whatever that place was called. How did we get here anyway, and where is this?” with a satisfied smile on her face, as she laid her head on my lap; I was sitting with my back against the cold, metal door, while rubbing the fur on her neck, with my only remaining hand.

I smiled at her, then tried to explain “We were on the tip of that giant tree, remember when we were in The Forest of Corruption? Well, after we fell down from the sky, we landed on an island of sorts called ‘Salvation,’ though I have no idea why it was called that. Anyway, when we were sleeping, my umm, friend, named Luna, seems to have abducted us; I’m pretty sure that we’re on The Moon right now. Well, we might actually be inside of it, but you get the point. Unfortunately, we can’t stay here for very long; without the two of us to protect them, Kara, Angelica, Hanael and the others are completely defenseless.”

She looked up at me, and asked “Then… after we go kill those stupid Elves, can we come back here? It isn’t that big, but there’s a lot of powerful and delicious prey in this place.” We had been resting for a few hours, so my left arm had grown from an empty hole near my collarbone, to the point where I almost had an elbow again. All of the cracks and fissures in my right forearm had been sealed up by a metallic silver material, creating a strange contrast against the ebony chitin.

Breathing out a dramatic sigh, I shook my head and told her “Maybe someday, but I have a feeling that we aren’t really supposed to be here right now. This place is definitely very pleasant, as long as you don’t punch the trees, or kick the evil kittens. However, we aren’t here to play around; we need to quickly recover and start hunting. Our targets are large and powerful creatures, big enough to make clothing out of their pelts, and armor or weapons from their bones.”

When I gazed up at the ‘sky’ I felt a sharp pain surging through my mind. There was a glass, dome-shaped ceiling, about a kilometer or so above us, but beyond that I could clearly see the void; amid the emptiness, there were plenty of radiant celestial-bodies, but one of them stood-out far more than the others.

It appeared as nothing more than a bright-red dot from millions of miles away, but the aura was easily reaching me. Then Amber murmured “The Morning Star… that’s what my people called that one. I have no idea why they did, since it only appeared at nighttime.” She was speaking in Lorthon, but her voice seemed a whole octave higher than normal; though, that was probably just because she usually spoke in growls, purrs, roars, scents and touch-telepathy.

I snickered, then told her “Well, you might not be able to see it in the middle of Lorthon Forest, but it has occasionally been visible in the east, before sunrise, since we’ve been in Salvation.” Another surge of pain coursed through my eyes, and into my mind. Not that having my arm eaten, being poisoned by that evil cat, and getting crushed by a bony tigress didn’t hurt, but headaches were always so much more annoying for me.

She grabbed my left horn and forced me to stop staring at that damn planet. The moment that I did, I started to feel a lot better. She was frowning slightly, as she asked “When we first met, do you remember what I said to you?” All I could recall was a bunch of weird growling noises, so I just shook my head; after a few seconds, she said “My name is Morningstar, and some other stuff that isn’t doesn’t really matter. You should keep calling me Amber though, or Puriel.”

Running my armored fingers across her cheek, I lowered my mouth to her left ear and whispered “Who is like God?” before pressing my lips against hers. Although, when I caressed her tongue with mine, the damage was quite severe.

After viciously sucking a decent amount of blood out of my mouth, she tried to take a bite out of my face. Luckily, my skin and bones weren’t fragile enough to be torn apart by such a weak nibble. Once I pulled my head back, Amber bluntly told me “How the hell would I know? We should go find some food; unless you want me to eat the rest of you.”

We were telepathically connected but if she was, who I had suspected her to be, she probably could have easily hidden her thoughts from me. However, hearing those words, regardless of whether she had awakened or not, she still would have shown some sort of reaction; yet, her aura didn’t change at all, there was no hint of deception in her mind.

I couldn’t help but give give out a sigh of relief, then hugged her almost skeletal body against my chest: With one arm, and the ridiculous gravity, that was actually pretty difficult. Her skin was still intact, and where she was pierced through the back and chest, had been regenerated rather quickly; which meant that her flesh was extremely saggy and felt very strange.

However, the most peculiar thing, was that she was still so heavy, regardless of losing so much bulk. Her skinny arms wrapped around my neck, and she bit down fiercely into my right shoulder while growling “Get up!”

Regardless of how much she complained, neither of us could even walk, much less fight against a celestial-beast, so we needed to keep resting for a few more hours. Drinking my blood and devouring my flesh was actually extremely beneficial to Amber’s recovery speed. I made sure to fully utilize my knowledge of nature-magic, which had finally been unsealed, to make a few adjustments to our bodies as well.

In such a mana-dense environment, my aura was heavily suppressed, and I needed to be in direct physical contact with the obsidian-furred, emaciated tigress.

What would have taken me days or weeks in the fourth ring, could easily be accomplished in minutes within that ‘level-five mana-zone.’ Instead of hunting celestial-beasts for nutrients and materials to rebuild our bodies, all I needed was copious amounts of mana: eating them would have been much faster and more efficient though.

By the tenth hour, I had finally managed to completely regrow my arm, and the majority of Amber’s muscle-mass had returned. There were a few ‘slight’ changes, but nothing too dramatic.

All of the bones that we had broken, became much stronger than before; they were almost as durable as that super-kitten’s were. Even the ones that were completely intact, were mildly revamped.

Perhaps it was a side-effect of those pills and potions, but all the skin on my brand-new left arm, was covered with snake-like scales. They were practically translucent, and the texture wasn’t all that different; the resilience however, was even better than the obsidian alligator scales that were protecting my spine and tail.

The quality and density of my muscles had increased dramatically, in the various areas that Amber had casually consumed. Well, I would have had to remove the old parts anyway, so it actually helped me ‘upgrade’ my biology a bit faster. Of course, most people wouldn’t be able to tolerate the pain and agony involved with being slowly eaten by an adorable tiger-girl, but I thought that it was kind of erotic.

More importantly than any of the changes on the surface, were our vital organs. Our lungs, hearts, veins, arteries, livers, kidneys, bladders, intestines, pancreas, and even our stomachs had all increased in durability, efficiency, and mana-capacity.

By the time I had finished, I was able to manipulate my aura a few inches away from my skin. It might not sound like much, but it was a pretty extreme improvement; it meant that my mana-pool and generation-speed had doubled.

Power is relative, and in that kind of environment, we were still pretty weak compared to just about everything. Well, at least we could properly walk around without breaking our bones and tearing apart our muscles.

Even if our physical strength increased several-fold, so did our weight. Under that gravity, my body was at least five-thousand pounds, probably closer to six.

There was one thing that Amber specifically asked me to give her, though I didn’t understand why it was necessary. She never really had a mane, and she didn’t want one, but after seeing so many Elves and other similar races, she wanted hair.

It was just a matter of changing the way the fur on her head grew, so compared to all the other nonsense that I was altering, it wasn’t a big deal. The crystalline strands were very fine, but the durability didn’t lower by much.

It was growing rapidly because of the massive amount of mana that we were being exposed to, and if we stayed for more than a few days, I was worried that it might get a bit too ridiculous. My own hair was already way too long, but without scissors, unless I wanted to tear it out, I couldn’t really do anything about it.

With our bodies in such excellent condition, we finally began our hunt. Before we could even leave that small clearing, near the door, a relatively normal-sized male celestial-lion, with golden-fur, immediately approached us and roared “I challenge you to a duel, little tigress!”

 

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