Ascenders Rift Chapter 157: Body Shifters, Arriving at the City


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As Evan, Joe, and the others waited at the transport hub with Leo, Julie, and Razel. A cold feeling could be felt between them as if something uncanny was in the air.

Joe looked at Leo with a dark look as he asked, "A parasite? You mean much like those found on plants?"

Rick and the others also looked on with seriousness, as Evan remained silent.

Leo and his company looked at each other before a dark light shone in their eyes. Leo then replied as he stared at Joe, "They are different, creatures of a symbiotic nature that are native to this Hidden Realm. When our kind had opened this passageway, we initially thought we found a peaceful land, free from the dangers of our world that suddenly underwent an apocalyptic evolution phase. However, these parasites, or rather, what we've termed as BodyShifters, gave us a rude awakening."

When Evan heard this, his eyes changed when he thought, 'Now this is something new, you're telling me what destroyed this world was something far different from that which occurred to ours. Evolution? It is similar, but much different us awakening as Ascenders; it would be something akin to what the animals of our Earth Domain is currently undergoing. Since this is the case, could it be that those of the Insect Hive and the Mother Breed...?'

Evan was about to ponder something, but Breya had spoken out loud, "You say that these BodyShifters are symbiotic creatures; this means they will naturally be inclined to finding some kind of host. If so, how do you prevent them from entering your ranks? You've also mentioned that these creatures are small, how can you protect yourself with just these kinds of defenses?"

As Breya spoke, her eyes shifted towards the high walls and particle guns, Leo and the others shook their heads at those words.

Razel looked at her and replied, "We did mention that these parasites are small, but not in stature. We meant that their ability to reproduce is limited. As such, there aren't more than a thousand of them at most. They are roughly the same size as human beings, with the strongest amongst them being larger. Because of this, our current defenses from all checkpoints are more than enough to keep any attempts of invasion at bay."

When they heard those words, Evan and the others were surprised. Rick asked, "Such a small number; then, if there aren't so many of them, why is it so hard to destroy them? You did say that they aren't comparable to the Insect Hive or the Mother Breed, so why would these critters be so much of a nuisance?"

Julie looked at Leo and Razel before she gave an answer with a fearful look in her eyes, "Yes, they aren't as dangerous when compared to either. However, this is only because of their lack of numbers; when it comes to everything else, they if not similar, are slightly even more of a crisis. If they capture a living being, they will first deconstruct their material forms to merge with the host, easily merging with that being. What's even more terrifying is that because of this method, they will have access to the host's brain; thus, they can draw upon the memories and personalities of that lifeform. All of this plus the additional strength of their former bodies perfectly mending as one with the new host, becoming even stronger."

"You've got to be kidding me, is this world a curse or something? How can so many varieties of world-ending creatures exist?" Joe exclaimed with a look of horror, he thought that the previous monstrosities he came across were bad enough, but these parasites are worse.

Emilia also felt it was truly messed up, even the world they went to take refuge in had such dangers, she couldn't help but cast a look of pity towards them.

Layla and Breya felt the same, but Rick and Evan didn't seem to be too concerned about their monsters. Instead, they both seemed to be pondering something.

'BodyShifters? How troubling... but at the same time also useful. I was worried that they might not like my information, but even if they don't, I can also use their circumstances to our advantage. If my guess is correct, these parasites should have more or likely had something to do with why they weren't present during the final war back then. Hmm, if we can propose to deal with them, we can not only gain exp and level up with a suitable leveling ground. But also propel them into becoming a ready force that aids against the Mother Breed and Insect Hive. In fact, it should already be their main objective, but these parasites have obstructed them,' Evan thought as his eyes flashed, he couldn't help but look at Rick that seemed to be looking at him.

Rick had already come around to a similar idea; one mustn't forget that unlike Evan, he was of noble birth, born in the royal grounds. If anyone here were more versed than him in strategies, they would have had to be leaders of this world's government.

Rick gave him a nod as if he knew what he was thinking. Evan then looked at Leo and spoke, "How often do these creatures attack?"

Leo and the others were a bit surprised by Evan's words; they looked at him before Leo asked, "Huh? Why ask Sir Evan? Are you interested in doing battle against them?"

Evan chuckled and replied, "Well, if we do get to have a form of lodging here, we wouldn't mind lending out a helping hand when needed, you can even consider it an act of goodwill on our part."

"Hmm..." Leo's face turned stern as he heard those words, he had noticed that than Joe, none of the others showed signs of fear despite his description of the BodyShifters.

Not only, Leo, even Julie was also a bit conflicted. They knew Evan's party must be strong as they had somehow managed to bypass their securities and even venture across the land prowling with Flesh Mutators and those of the Insect Hive. 

After looking at them for a while, Leo made a warm smile once again as he spoke, "Haha, since if you are offering to help out, who am I to reject the timely assistance? Tell you what, we'll go over this again after meeting with City Head. For now, let's focus on resting and forgetting about these complex topics..."

Evan smiled and replied, "Fine, we'll do it your way."

As Evan finished his words, a resonant sound was heard from nearby, as a strange vehicle flew down from the sky and landed before them.

Leo's eyes beamed when he saw this, he spoke with a smile, "It looks like our ride is here; let's hurry on, you'll like the sights that come next."

As Leo spoke, he had already jumped onto the circular designed vehicle as its transparent hatch had opened. Razel and Julie also promptly followed.

Evan looked at Joe and the others who then glanced at him before entering. Soon, an unusual kind of energy was released from bellow it, propelling it into the sky, it suddenly sped off at speeds no inferior to an aircraft. 

In moments, they already left behind the transport hub from Checkpoint 05, soaring through the open sky amidst a bundle of sparse buildings constructed in open fields.

There were small hills scattered about as occasionally one would even see a few lakes that acted as a water source for nearby villages. The clear sky had unusual birds flying soaring its boundaries, as they frolicked about the white nimbuses, and dived into the lush fields.

"It's been a while since we've seen such a peaceful scene, I miss being free without worries," Layla said with eyes that carried a trace of sadness, she knew Earth wouldn't return to this and would only grow worse.

Joe and the others couldn't help but sigh as they heard this; they also felt the same way. Even Leo and his company had similar feelings, but they had been through much more than the rest; as such, they didn't reply.

Evan looked at her in silence before he closed his eyes, no one knew what he was thinking about, but his lips curved into a faint smile.

Layla was a bit lost while gazing at the sight, as was Emilia and Breya, but right at this time, a new scene had slowly begun to appear. 

If one looked into the distance, they would see the vague image of a massive city with tall buildings done in an angular shape. Vaguely, one could even notice that a few small dots were moving around; some were also growing larger as they veered towards this direction.

Evan opened his eyes to catch this scene, as Joe and the others began to speak with curious tones.

"So huge! You're telling me that a city can be this large?" Joe said in surprise.

"There are so many hovering cars, this place must have quite the population," Breya said while looking at a few cards that had only now become more visible due to their vehicles flying speed.

Leo smiled as he heard their words; he took this chance to point towards the city as he spoke in a welcoming tone, "Welcome to the last grounds of humanity, the cradle for our hopes and dreams..."

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