Ascenders Rift Chapter 87: Departing Hell's Swamp, An Eternal Promise


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The scene within Hell's Swamp was like any other day, as despite the brightly shining sun of mid-noon, the swamp carried a different mood as its waters remained one of darkness. Curiously, one or two odd creatures in the shapes of crocodiles would appear above its surface before diving back into the lake's depths, their eyes gleaming in a sinister light that could be noticeable even on the surface.

At the very depths of this region, a glowing red portal had transitioned to a bright blue hue. Soon, the lake around it began to turn a shade brighter as the darkness had a faded by a point. Even the amphibious creatures that swam below the lakes had begun to recede towards distant darker areas of the lake.

When this happened, a bright ray of light shone from the blue rift sending six different beams into the air, reforming into six young humans that were now falling towards the swamp waters.

Although it was a bit alarming at first, the group didn't seem to show much panic as one of them tossed an object onto the ground, which then rapidly expanded into a portable camping site. They soon after adeptly landed onto this platform, regaining their balance with ease, except for the largest one amongst them who fell and roll over like a ball as he shouted.

\"Damn! That frigging portal, couldn't it have spat us out a little better?\" Fatty Joe said while rubbing his sides.

\"I think the portal was kind; if anything, it would be that it probably didn't know that there would be an expert with your reflexes coming out after awakening,\" Breya said with a teasing look.

\"Like hell it did!\" Joe cursed in a snappy manner, as he seemed to be having trouble picking himself up from the ground, looking to be somewhat pitiful.

Breya seeing this smirked, she lowered her body and reached her slender arm out and spoke, \"Come, I'll help you up, you see to be having trouble.\"

When Joe heard this, he made an innocent and happy look as he spoke, \"Realy?\"

Though he acted like such; however, his inner self was sneering as he thought, 'Ha, I didn't think it would be this easy, look, she's so easily showing affection. I knew my charms would stand out with such a simple method. A woman is but a simple creature driven by her emotions after all,'

As if she didn't know his thoughts, Breya walked over and grasped his brought hands with her slender palm that was less than double his own as she spoke while gazing into his eyes with hers, \"Of course I do.\"

Joe blushed as he saw this, he felt his heart rate increase like a shy little girl, he was going to say something, but at this time, Breya smiled slyly and tossed him into the lake.

Splash! As if a large boulder had crashed into it, the water splashed up high before Joe lifted his head and glared while shouting, \"Breya, how dare you trick me?\"

Breya scoffed at those words, \"Trick you? I only said I was going to help you up; I didn't say where, hmph! That's what you get for trying to get my attention.\"

As Breya said this, she sauntered off to one of the private rooms casually.

\"You bitch!\" Joe cursed he then swam back onto the camping platform and shook his wet body.

Evan and Rick looked at him with a hint of pity in their eyes, while Emilia and Layla giggled at his state. Not long after, everyone had arranged themselves and sat around a table in the central area of the Camping Platform.

Evan looked at them and spoke, \"Well, we've completed our temporary goals, for now, let's get moving. When we arrive back in Earling Star, there will, or rather, there should already be a lot of stuff that's already changed.\"

\"Changes? What kind of changes?\" Joe asked with puzzlement on his face.

Emilia and Layla also had a hint of curiosity in their eyes when they looked at Evan, while Rick and Breya seemed to know what might be happening at this very moment.

Evan shook his head and replied, \"It wouldn't be anything too drastic, but as history has proven, through every pandemic or disaster. We, as humans, tend to create disorder in society. Right now, the cities and towns of each empire should already be in this kind of state. Still, this might be more prominent in those areas which are less controlled and developed. For places like Earling Star, they should be more than able to keep the peace with the deterrent of the mechanized infantry. At least, for now, that is...\"

\"You're not serious are you, haha, you're telling us that in some places, it's already turned out just like those movies?\" Joe said with a tone of disbelief and a hint of fear.

Evan merely nodded and answered, \"It should be so,\"

\"Well, shit, I need to warn my old man, at least,\" Joe said with a flurried look as he took out his phone and head to a room.

\"Brother, wait for me, I want to speak to father too,\" Emilia added as she followed him.

Breya looked at this in silence, as only Rick and Layla had complicated looks on their faces when they heard the term father.

Evan glanced at Rick and Breya before he spoke, \"You guys, I also need to hold an official discussion with everyone, can you try contacting Alan and Angeline. Tell them that I'd like to have a meeting with them on the 29th. We need to let everyone else know of the dangers we are facing, separate from the calamity that will arrive at the end of this month.\"

Rick and Breya glanced at each other before they looked at Evan and nodded while replying, \"Sure.\"

As they said this, the two then got up and walked towards separate areas to make some calls. When Evan saw this, he then took out a remote control and pressed a button, causing the Camping Platform to propel itself towards the exit of Hell's Swamp.

After doing this, he noticed that Layla was still seated, her eyes carried a somewhat dazed look as she stared off into the distance.

Evan promptly sat himself down near her and stared at her deeply, as he recalled the words said before he spoke, \"Thinking about your father?\"

Layla hearing this looked at him with a somewhat sad look as she spoke, \"Yes,\"

When she replied, her eyes then shifted from Evan onto her palms as if she was confused about something. Evan, noticing this, then leaned his cheek against his knuckles as he looked at her with a gentle look and spoke again, \"You're thinking about him and something else, aren't you? Why not share it with me?\"

As Layla saw his look, her heartfelt a little warmth, her eyes grow misty as she clenched her fists tightly, causing them to tremble as she replied, \"I... I'm not human, aren't I? I've noticed my stats strangeness and that odd race's indication. When we fought against those two bosses, I even began to feel a slight feeling of comfort from the golden portal as if it was a part of my soul. I can sense strange things and have always been protected in unusual environments. Evan, tell me, is it because I'm so strange that my father told me that I'm a burden? Am I only a cursed life, meant to walk alone in this world, abandoned by everyone and all things.\"

Evan paused as he looked at her face, he saw the tears falling down her soft cheeks as it seemed as if she was now in a state of existential crisis. He gently used one hand to wipe her tears and replied with a smile, \"If you are one who's strange, then what about the rest of us? Look at Emilia, who suffers from like yourself odd dreams, with power through similar is much more unique than yours. Look at Fatty, who is unusually sturdy and flexible for a man of his size, look at Rick, who is... um... who is, a bit more normal, I guess. Then Breya, the soldier trained from childhood. Even I have my places of strangeness, so you need not worry yourself about whether you're human or not, you need to know that you are one of us, a person beyond a typical person, and odd number.\"

Layla looked at Evan deeply as she heard those words, her chaotic mind easing to an extent she grasped the hand that held her face with her slender palm.

Evan seeing her reaction, felt that she was feeling a little better, he smiled before he decided to hit the nail with the hammer, \"Besides, no matter how strange you may be or become, or who in this world might reject you. You just need to know that not just everyone else, I myself will always be by your side. If you were to fall into the pits of hell, I would fall with you; if you were to rise to the summits of the heavens, I will climb the highest mountains to accompany you. So long as you exist, then no matter what, I will always open my arms for you.\"

As Evan said this, he closed his eyes and revealed a brilliant smile like never shown before to anyone else, his teeth shining like an innocent child's. Layla hearing these words, felt a heat inside her body, her mind when blank as she no longer cared about her father's words or the fact that she might not be human.

At this moment, the only thing in her life was the young man that smiled before her. She firmly gripped his palm and grabbed his collar with force as she pulled the now stunned Evan in and locked his lips into a deep kiss.

Rick and Breya were about to head towards Evan with their reports, but as they saw this scene around the table, they were both shocked. They halted for a moment before turning around and fading away.

A while past and the kiss ended, Evan looked at the flushed expression on Layla's face with shock as his mind thought, 'Never would I have imagined that she would be the first to do this, she didn't take direct action's like this until much later in that last life.'

At this time, Layla, whose face red stared at Evan's shocked expression with a hint of shyness but delight as she spoke, \"Since you have the guts to say such words, then you better not abandon me later.\"

As Evan heard this, he smirked and placed his arm above his chest, copying a noble salute as he replied, \"Haha, as the princess wishes, I do so solemnly swear to you on this day, that I Evan, will never abandon you.\"

\"Hehe, you better,\" As Layla said this, she rose from her seat like a quick little rabbit and ran off to Emilia's room with a blushing expression.

Evan licked his lips as he saw this, but he didn't chase, he knew there were more important things to do right now. His eyes shifted towards the corners as he spoke, \"You can come out now,\"

\"I couldn't help but notice that you two were having quite the atmosphere, you've seemed to have progressed well despite it being such a short amount of time,\" Rick said with a hint of envy in his voice as he looked at Evan.

\"Well, that's just life, everything we do is dependent on one's own effort,\" Evan replied with a smile as if he didn't notice his mood.

\"One's own effort... one's own effort... yes, I suppose you are right,\" Rick said while mumbling something, seeming a bit distracted.

Evan seeing this, shook his head, and looked at Breya when he spoke, \"So, how was it?\"

Breya seemed to be more on point; she spoke directly, \"I had called my sister, but I'm afraid that we have some terrible news.\"

Evan was surprised by this; even Rick had awoken to recall his previous concerns as he spoke, \"What problems? Does it have something to do with Alan? I can't seem to reach him on either of his lines?\"

Breya, hearing this nodded and replied, \"That's right, he's been gravely injured, and is now lying in a Recover Pod for treatment.\"

\"What?\" Both Evan and Rick exclaimed as their voices sounded across the area, while the camping platform made its way from this region towards the distant end of Hell's Swamp.

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