“It was humanity, who offered us a place at their fire. Humanity, who was willing to guard us during the day, as we guarded them during the night. Humanity, who protected us, as we were cursed to level so slowly, our early years being some of the hardest of them all. Humanity, who tolerated us at level 20, 25 when they were already leaping forward, some of the earliest, strongest pushing 300, 400 as the cruel world created amazing opportunities. Humanity, who saved what I believe were the last three vampires, the progenitors.”

“I am one of them. And I am eternally grateful.”

We paused a moment for me to digest.

Wow. Just.


Night wasn’t just old, he was old.

I was still trying to process the rest as he continued.

“They allowed us to occasionally feed from them, to take what we needed from them. They sheltered and protected us, and we helped them in kind, expanding their tribe’s territory and influence, meeting other tribes in turn, banding together for survival. Petty disputes mean nothing before the beasts and monsters out there.”

“Once the gods finished elves, they turned their hand towards other creatures, winged beasts of the sky, leviathans of the deep. I believe that they felt they perfected the humanoid form, so they reached still higher, for a greater form.”

“Thousands upon thousands of beams of light over the oceans and seas, populating the depths with creatures still unknown. I will not set foot over the ocean.”

“For that matter, there is some great monster in the Nostrum sea – a massive plant, stretching across the entire depths. Anything too far from shore gets grabbed and pulled down by thorny vines. I have been working on a solution for a few centuries, but have nothing so far. That’s one of the secrets, the creature in the depths, the reason we are shore-faring, and do not directly cross the Nostrum Sea.”

“Blessedly, it prevents anything large from forming in the Nostrum, keeping the threats minimal, compared to the size things could grow to unchecked. The only price is being unable to directly cross. The price, so far, has been worth it. Hence not spending too much time on the issue, compared to the Formorians.”

“Back to the skies.”

“Rocs. Golden Crows. Quetzal. Thunderbirds. Griffins. Phoenixes. Tapajaras. Wyverns. And so many more. Each one greater, fiercer than the last.”

“A flying island showed up, but as to what’s going on with that, I haven’t the faintest idea.” Night shrugged.

“Then, their final creation. Only a few dozen beams of light lit the sky that night, but the terrors of the sky, the overlords of creation were created.”


“Their reign of terror was immediate and brutal. Our only saving grace was, at first, they were just as content to murder and maim each other as the rest of creation.”

“After some time, they ceased fighting each other, and turned to the rest of us.”

“One in particular saw fit to attack the lands where humanity was struggling to eke out an existence. For what purpose, I have never found out. Perhaps it simply enjoyed sowing mayhem and chaos, reveling in destruction, at watching all of creation flee before it, groveling before its might.”

“There was nothing we could do but pray and supplicate ourselves before the overlord, who didn’t care for us in the slightest. No, if anything, us calling to it and offering sacrifices seemed to offend it, speaking its name seemed to enrage it. It is why the name, and the knowledge, is taboo, although informing new team leaders once every two years or more doesn’t seem to be enough to provoke its wrath, and let us clamp down on any idiots who find ancient records and get ideas.”

“We could be wrong about it hearing us when we speak its name. I am unwilling to risk it or test it.”

Night paused, collecting his thoughts.

“What I am about to tell you is speculation from me, only some of which I have seen.”

“I believe, as they continued to oppress all of creation, a number of beasts, monsters, and beings from around the planet decided to fight back. I only know of one, but as Etalix engaged with the annihilator, none of his kind came to assist. Etalix summoned storms, throwing massive bolts of lightning at the destructor. Great blasts of ice and acid came from the ocean, spatial tears ripping the very fabric of the world, skills of a level I can’t begin to dream of assisted him.”

“The fight was, at best, a draw. At worst, a loss for Etalix, but either way, they were no longer an omni-present feature in the sky.”

Night reverentially bowed his head.

“I do not believe he was fighting for us. Nevertheless, he is our Guardian, the reason we still exist today. That fight is the reason we venerate him, place a statue of him before every temple.”

“At this time, yet another band of humans left, to follow and praise Etalix. Among their number, just another face in the crowd, was Herculix. I do not know what transpired, only that many decades later, there was great rejoicing from all humans, as he accomplished some great feat that even the System recognized, permanently making him a part of humanity’s record.”

Wow. That’s why we worshipped Etalix.

Yup, I was going to offer more than a few prayers to him, giving thanks, even though prayers to him didn’t drain mana the same way praying to the gods drained mana.

“Anyways. The great battle carved out two more sections of the Nostrum, nearly connecting it to the Ocean in some places, a permanent scar of the battle. It wasn’t even an aim of the winged being to do so, they were simply missed shots. That is the scale of the power of those beings, rearranging the surface we live on with little more than an idle thought. The landscape was scarred in many other ways.”

“Time passed, humanity recovered, and began to expand. Many times, humanity has decided to do something dumb. Often, I’ve been tempted to intervene, to correct them and set them on the right path.”

“I have refrained. I have seen too many warlords, too many powerful humans who thought they knew better, crushing the rest under their heel. At times, choices I believe were wrong turned out to be right. It forced me to face the truth – I am a warrior, not a leader. I would end up being nothing more than a petty warlord, and I have seen the fate of every petty warlord.”

“As such, I took the role of guardian. After Gideon founded the Sentinels and Rangers, I took my place with them, and have stayed here since then, providing a guiding hand, remembrance of fatal mistakes so they are not made again – at least, not made without several words of caution in the ears of those who would make them.”

“Eventually, the edge of humanity’s expansion reached the edge of the Formorian expansion, and we began to skirmish, then battle, then war. One day, like an Inscription activated, they went from a stream to an inexhaustible tide, seemingly throwing every body they have at us.”

“We have tried all sorts of manner to slay them, but they are unending, unceasing. Many times, people have gotten the brilliant idea to cast some large-scale skill. Usually, it works the first time, so they attempt it a second time, a third. Inevitably, one of the skills hits our lines, breaks our walls, and they flood in. I stop potentially species-ending stupidity like that, along with any Classer too powerful for another Sentinel – or occasionally a Sentinel himself who’s gone rogue.” Night said.

“But that gets off track. Know this. I have an unending, undying debt of gratitude towards humanity, and consider myself one of their guardians – as well as you. If a conflict should emerge between my kind and humanity, between vampires and Sentinels, I shall always be on the side of Sentinels.”

He stopped, the massive flood of words over. I was still soaking in them, trying to remember and process everything he said.

No wonder he took so long before saying anything. Anything he heard, anything he did, had to be catalogued, processed, checked against nearly five millennia of knowledge and experience.

And bless his habit. It let me do a boatload of processing.

I’d never thought that creation was, well, creation. I’d been told it, but it never really processed, never really hit. I’d never thought what it’d be like to be one of the beings created, suddenly placed upon the planet with no frame of reference.

And creating! Gods weren’t perfect, and their early creations were clearly subpar. Given what I’d seen, given what I knew, I strongly suspected after some time they decided to just plagiarize successful models from Earth, and possibly from other locations.

Made sense why so many things were humanoid though, just the gods saying “well this seems to work, let’s keep trying!”

But that casual cruelty, of creating and forgetting, of throwing a bunch of beings into the pit and seeing how it shook out for their own amusement jived exactly with what I’d felt from Papilion, who’d happily stripped my memories and threw me into the world.

I must’ve spent an hour or more processing, thinking, going through everything Night said. He waited. He was patient.

He literally had all the time in the world. No wonder he was so unconcerned with the passage of time.

“Thank you.” I finally said, having wrapped my head around most of it.

“Now that you have a light background of me and mine, we can hopefully address last night’s unpleasantness.” Night said. “Generally speaking, we can feed on blood in one of a few different ways.”

‘Light background’ my ass.

“The first and most common are slaves, who get their debt paid off exceedingly quickly in exchange for not asking too many questions as to what’s going on.”

“The second are animals, foul, not particularly tasty, the experience is so tiny even against our vast needs as to be ignored, but we can survive consuming them.”

“The third, sadly, are people like you. People who appear weak physically, but have a high level. Strong vitality makes feeding harder, while higher levels are, somehow, tastier.”

“I strongly discourage this practice, and Jaclyn will be experiencing my extreme displeasure later on for trying.”

I did not want to think of what creative tortures a nearly 5,000 year old vampire could come up with.

“When a vampire feeds, they can do it in one of a few different ways.”

“The first is to inject a substance that causes – or maintains – sleep. This is how we feed on our slaves without them knowing, being able to return them back to civilization proper once we are through with them without them spreading the word about us.”

“The second is to attempt to turn the person we are feeding upon, and this is how more of us are created. I carefully limit who can turn, and when we turn more to our kind, and I make sure the person is always, always willing. More than a few Vampires have seen fit to challenge me on this. They do not survive the challenge.”

Yeah, pissing off the 5,000 year old vampire who survived creation is a good one way ticket to the afterlife.

“If we expand too much, too far, it is inevitable that humanity will see fit to exterminate us, for you do not have the same memory that we do, you do not remember us guarding the fire at night, all those millennia ago, nor do you remember my – our – years of service defending Remus against all threats.”

Night shrugged.

“Before I ask my next question, a few more points.”

“First off, Jaclyn will be made to apologize to you, in-person.” He thought a moment. “If she hasn’t been tended to by a healer by then, I’d be eternally grateful if you fixed her up.”

I rolled my eyes. I’d have to once she was in front of me anyways.

“Sure, can do.”

“Second off, I’ve heard that your parents plan on moving to the capital, to be closer to you. As recompense, I’d like to offer them a house in the central district.”

I blinked. Wow. That was- wow, that was a lot of money to throw around.

I suppose when you were around when the city was founded, you had a lot of assets from centuries of accumulation.

“Um. You’d have to ask them. Um. I think they’d love that though!” I said.

Night nodded.

“Very good. And now, to my question.”

I saw him hesitate, then maybe, possibly, change his mind with lightning speed.

“Would you be willing to heal my brethren when the need arises?”

[*ding!* Congratulations! [Learning] has reached level 240!]


[Name: Elaine]

[Race: Human]

[Age: 18]

[Mana: 50400/50400]

[Mana Regen: 44496 (+3360.72)]


[Free Stats: 8]

[Strength: 236]

[Dexterity: 203]

[Vitality: 560]

[Speed: 480]

[Mana: 5040]

[Mana Regeneration: 5092 (+1435.944)]

[Magic Power: 4636 (+46591.8)]

[Magic Control: 4636 (+46591.8)]

[Class 1: [Constellation of the Healer - Celestial: Lv 240]]

[Celestial Affinity: 240]

[Warmth of the sun: 198]

[Medicine: 202]

[Center of the Galaxy: 235]

[Phases of the Moon: 240]

[Moonlight: 240]

[Veil of the Aurora: 212]

[Vastness of the Stars: 139]

[Class 2: [Ranger-Mage - Radiance: Lv 180]]

[Radiance Affinity: 180]

[Radiance Resistance: 180]

[Radiance Conjuration: 180]

[Radiance Manipulation: 180]

[Sun-Kissed: 141]

[Blaze: 180]

[Talaria: 160]

[Nova: 180]

[Class 3: Locked]

General Skills

[Identify: 136]

[Recollection of a Distant Life: 159]

[Pretty: 134]

[Bullet Time: 189]

[Oath of Elaine to Lyra: 201]

[Sentinel's Superiority: 190]

[: ]

[Learning: 240]

A note from Selkie

The final epic chapter! Creation! I'm not sure how many first-hand accounts of creation from the POV of someone being created I've ever read. 

If you could give me an advanced review, that'd be great. They're weighted more heavily than anything else, and I've been looking carefully at trending - it's clear that the rating the novel has is super important. Hence, advanced reviews help me go up in the trending list. They help more people see it, which gets more people rating and following it, which has a synergistic effect that hopefully turns into a runaway effect, which gets enough people interested that I get to do this full-time. Seriously, it matters, and it helps.

BTDEM is bog standard in many ways. However, I'm willing to do things that turn some readers off - and so far, more of my reviews have been from people that I make mad more than people who are happy. Just how the internet works. I'm hoping some of you that are enjoying things are willing to leave reviews or advanced reviews. They matter. You matter.

Help keep BTDEM going - it's as simple as rating, as easy as reviewing.

Or you can help pay my rent, which is a MUCH more direct way of keeping things going! Sign up for Patreon! Buy a book!

PS: Signing up for Patreon gets access to all book ePubs.

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