After a long while, Aurus felt that he hit something hard.
"Ouch," he couldn't help but say.
But although he said that, his voice couldn't be heard at all. It was as if it echoed within him.
"Well... that's weird, I feel like I can speak as much as I want, but I can't hear anything."
At this moment, he tried to look at his surroundings, only to fail in vain. The reason behind this was that...everything around him was pitch black!
"Haah...is there any way to see?"
As this question popped up in his mind, a notification sound could be heard going off in his head.
'[Soul Perception I] has been unlocked.'
As if the colors started to coalesce towards Aurus' eyes, the pitch black surroundings turned into a myriad of colors that would make it seem like the situation a while ago was only dream.
"Agh!" Though it wasn't for Aurus. Being bombarded with a ton of colors all of a sudden made him feel like his eyes were going to tear apart. But for some reason, he felt nothing although he shouted in reflex.
After a while, the colors dimmed down, allowing him to see everything around him. Taking his first glance at what surrounded him, he felt like this place was familiar.
But in actuality, it really is familiar to him.
Recalling all of the thoughts in memory that were surprisingly not wiped by Kurohana, a distant memory from his past surfaced in his mind.
Aurus couldn't believe it at all. The distant memory that surfaced was a time when multiple little branches tried to do whatever they can to progress in terms of level or skill. Although what surrounded Aurus now was not sticks but instead grass, the trees, rocks, and everything else was exceptionally similar to the ones in his memory.
"If my guess is right, this is...the Forest of Beginnings."
The Forest of Beginnings, the first place players would arrive at when they start playing Infinite Stick Evolution. To others, it was a hellish time since everyone did whatever they could. But for Aurus, it just gave him a nostalgic feeling.
"Well...since I'm at the Forest of Beginnings, that means I have been reborn into...the world of Erudinia."
Erudinia, the world where ISE is based in, is surprisingly where Aurus is reborn. He didn't know why Kurohana did this, but he wanted to say thanks at least.
After looking at his surroundings, he turned his attention to his body. As said earlier, Aurus would be reborn as a stick. And as expected, he was indeed reborn as a stick.
Although there were different types of sticks since they came from different species of trees, Aurus didn't bother to care about what type of stick he was since he would eventually find out once he leveled up.
"Speaking of which...if I was reborn into the world of Erudinia as a stick, does that mean that I have a system?"
Although you may not hear this Aurus, you definitely have a system. Didn't you hear the notification sound from before?
"Wait..." Aurus started to process what happened before he could see. "I heard a notification sound and some voices and then all of a sudden, I could see everything around me."
Once he realized his current situation, his nonexistent eyes gleamed. "Could it be...?"
'The [Existence Evolution System] has been enabled.'
'Setting user [Aurus] as the owner of the system.'
Hearing the voices that echoed in his mind, Aurus felt elated to know that the system in ISE was given to him.
"Is this the bonus Kurohana wanted to give me? If so, then this is a really good bonus."
Although he wanted to be reborn as a stick, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do when he was reborn. But since he obtained the system from the game, he felt that his life had a direction now.
"First of all, since I have the system, I'll have to become a God-tier existence once more. I only played as a God for like a few days before inevitably dying. I still don't know why that lightning bolt killed me though."
After dying, all he felt was disappointment that he was not going to be able to play as a God-tier existence in ISE anymore. Now that he had the system, even though it would take him a long while, he could reach the same height where he once was and even go further beyond.
As he was going to check his current situation, a voice that was familiar to him started to speak in his head.
"Hello there Aurus. It's me Kurohana. Although I kinda forced you to be reborn as a stick, I gave you two bonuses so you can say that everything is even. The first one is the Existence Evolution System you're using. Pretty familiar, right? I somewhat copied the system from the game you played and tweaked it a little bit so you can have more fun with the possibilities!"
Hearing that the first bonus was the system, Aurus couldn't help but feel proud that his guess was right. But wait...second bonus?
"As for the second bonus, it is a special skill that would definitely help you out. If you knew what it was, you'd definitely bow down in front of me and worship me hahaha! Anyways, I'll let you find that out for yourself and also, good luck!"
Since the second bonus was a skill, Aurus decided to leave it for now. At the moment, what he wanted to know the most were his stats!
"Open the status screen!" Aurus shouted.
As if he was playing the game, a small semitransparent screen appeared in front of his field of vision.
[Aurus] (Level 1/3)
Existence Level: Inanimate
Unused Experience Points: 0
Unused Genesis Points: 0
Checking that everything on the screen was the same as starting out in the game, Aurus couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief.
As for the stats and the other stuff, this heavenly body will explain it to you at another time.
"Open the skill screen!" Aurus shouted. Excitement was evident in his nonexistent eyes as he was extremely curious as to what skill Kurohana gave him.
[Soul Perception I], [Blessing of the Reincarnation Goddess]
"Oh, [Roll] is still here. That's nice. But what about [Soul Perception I] and that other skill with the long name?" Aurus couldn't help but think hard as to what the two skills did.
"Identify [Soul Perception I]."
[Soul Perception I] (Level 1/5)
A skill obtained by those who are gifted in the soul, this skill allows the user to sense everything in their surroundings within a set radius.
Current radius: 5 meters
"Ah! So that's why I can see now! It's all thanks to this." Aurus checked that the current radius of this skill was at 5 meters and examined if it was true. After a few minutes of testing, he found out that everything within a 5 meter radius was vivid and extremely detailed. As for everything beyond that, only blurry images could be seen.
"And now...this...long skill."
"Identify uh...[Blessing of the Reincarnation Goddess]."
As Aurus started to read the skill details, he couldn't help but have the urge to hug Kurohana at this instant. Why? It's because of this.
[Blessing of the Reincarnation Goddess] (Level MAX)
With the goddess of reincarnation as your guide, your memories in your past life have not been tampered by the goddess but instead reinforced, allowing you to recall every single memory from that life. It also allows you to gain 50% more experience from everything you do thanks to your memories.