Ascenders Rift Chapter 97: A Prideful Man's Tears, Day of the Briefing

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 The night was cold as the moon shone with its icy light illuminating the world below it, the city was now one of silence as no cars could even be noticed on the roads. Rick stood on a balcony, gazing at the various streets in the distance that were lit by the lamp posts. His hair was flowing behind him due to the slight breeze as his expression was one of grief, he gripped his fists tightly as his eyes shifted from the streets towards the distance. There, as if he could bypass a myriad of buildings, he had zoned in on a distant palace surrounded by high walls.

'Elumar... why did you do this? Why did you aid these outsiders and even kill our father? What could you possibly hope to achieve by doing something like this? Is this the path you chose to kinghood?' Rick asked in his mind while gazing at the distance, but no matter which question he asked, the wind gave him no answers.

Rick thought back to the days of his childhood, envisioning scenes of him and Elumar. A time when both played frequently, but all of that changed after the year Rick turned nine.

Elumar became different, more silent, and withdrawn as he assumed his responsibilities as a crowned prince. The eyes he used to look at him, no longer filled with gentleness, but a cold icy feeling as if everything in the world was beneath his feet, subject to his rule.

When Rick thought to here, he bit his lip, causing blood to flow down his chin as his eyes shone in a red light. He then screamed, "Ahhhhhh!"

After his scream, Rick then shouted his mind, 'I don't care! I don't give a hell why you did it anymore! Elumar, from this day forth I will no longer view you as my brother. I will one day seek you out to get my revenge! You hear me! I WILL KILL YOU!'

Not too far away from this scene, from the door, Emilia stood silently while watching Rick experience his breakdown. Her eyes flashed with pity when she thought to herself, 'Why am I even here? Did I come to watch him suffer?'

As Emilia thought to this, she shook her head as she continued to stare at him. Due to her current acute senses, she could only sense baleful energies from his body as if he was transforming into a devil.

When she saw him in this state, Emilia couldn't help but clench her chest tightly as if she was feeling his pain. She pondered while staring at his back with a strange look in her eyes, 'If I didn't come here to watch you as you suffer, then why did I come? Why do I feel this pain when I watch you from afar? Is this pity, or is it something else...?'

As Emilia said this, her eyes flashed as she recalled a few scenes, the scene of him stalking her and patiently watching over her, Joe, and Layla as they trained in the harsh wilds by themselves.

Scenes of him helping in the dark, unnoticed by anyone else but her. The fire in his eyes unshielded, untamed, as if trying to scorch her very being when it gazed at her from a distance.

Previously, Emilia didn't know why, as rather than feeling disgusted, her body only became heated under such circumstances. Each time, she would only recall the act of him treating the poison from her legs in the virtual training world, a scene that had in her mind eclipsed the memory of being rescued by Evan, the slight sense of touch on her skin causing her to feel shivered in her body.


Even now as she looked at the wounded man on the balcony, she still didn't understand it in full but had mistaken it for another reason. A habit she only showed to her brother, a trait she had since childhood.

The strong desire to possess that which she sees and adores, much like when she's eating food, and around people, she can consider as close friends; a fundamental instinct she kept suppressed subconsciously.

Still, in this instance, her desire for possession towards Rick is far more complicated than that of wanting to eat food. It is something she has yet to truly grasp for herself.

'Yes... that's why, that's why I'm here, I only,' As Emilia thought here, her eyes went blank as she began to move forwards.

As if guided by her instincts, she soon arrived at the back of Rick before wrapping her arms around him. When she grasped him firmly, she rested her head against his back while finishing her thoughts with a smile, 'I only want to hold you...'

Rick, who was descending into a state of madness, was alarmed to sanity; never in his life would he dream such a thing would happen. As he felt the warm embrace around his being, he couldn't help but recall his days with his mother and the warmth of his father, who often patted his head as a child.

Suddenly, a clear crystal stream of tears began to fall down his cheeks as he finally stopped cursing and did what he needed to do the most. He cried, a silent tear without any utterance, the tears that could only be shed by strong and a prideful man.

Unknown to the pair, a fat figure looked at this scene, he stared at them deeply for a moment before he shook his head and walked away.

Not far off Evan, looked at this before shifting his sights to the hanging moon as he thought with a bright glint in his eyes, "As the night fades, a new dawn shall rise..."

Upon saying this, Evan then headed towards his room, as the night pressed on towards its end.

***

Time passed, and the day rose quickly, carrying with it a strange kind of tension. The streets seemed less congested, and no sights of anyone traveling was even remotely visible.

Though it was rather quite early, if one looked within the various homes and apartments, they would notice everyone had awoken quite early. Each person held before them or sat directly before a device or TV of various sizes that were showing the ESN channel.

Not much different from them, Evan, Layla, Joe, Breya, as well as Rick and Emilia had gathered within the resting hall of the Dyothia Corporation. They each sat on different chairs, and sofas as the TV before them showed the text, the conference will start in one minute.

Everyone now carried a serious expression on their faces; after hearing last night's news report, they knew that the future ahead of them wouldn't be as simple as one and two.

Evan watched as the timer slowly countdown to zero as he thought, 'I wonder, just how will this one play out, will it follow the last route or shall it take a different approach.'

As Evan's eye's flashed, the screen finally changed as it began to show a scene of an island that was surrounded by a vast array of blue waters. The scene on this island was a wonder as there were tall palm trees neatly growing from the sides of the well-maintained pathways that ran from four different angles of the island, leading to a single large central building.

At the end of each path, there were wide paved areas that looked like landing zones. Many kinds of airplanes were now parked in these locations, each of a myriad of classy designs.

Following the path of the central area, one would come across a wide fountain that was surrounded by large sculptures of men wearing different outfits doing salutes. Behind it was a building that had no doors as if it was entirely open from all sides. Looking within, one would see a large congregation of differently dressed individuals seated around a large table, with a few individuals standing at their side.

On the side of the Allied Eastern Union was a group of people with different features who wore unique clothing. Some were of dark skin, with fairly robust features, wearing unique suits with no sleeves, as their arm had golden rings around them with stripped badges on their chest and tattoos of different beasts on their arms. They even wore dark gloves that had a unique emblem of a tiger roaring.

At their lead, seated around the table, was a bald-headed man in his early forties, garbed in colorful robes that wrapped around a portion of the waist to one shoulder, as its sleeve covered one arm. He wore a crown on his forehead, with beads and necklaces made of gold around their neck as if he were royalty.

These were the forces of Ugandia Nation, the origin grounds from most black men and women in this world; it was a major power that was in no way inferior to the others.

The next group wore colorful military uniforms, some of which even seemed no different from coats with straps connect to their buttons. They wore wide and tall military hats on their head.

Seated before them, was a slim, middle-aged man with a dense beard that was neatly lined, he wore a tall black hat with the emblem of their country at its center, along with red vest and black trousers. His vest had gold shoulder pads as a long blue pattern ribbon wrapped around his chest in a slanted angle.

This batch was from the Russian Union, another powerful group that existed in this world as a part of the Allied Eastern Union.

The final two groups from the Allied Eastern Union were none other than those of the Arabia Empire and the Asian Empire.

Those from the Arabia Empire wore standard military uniforms; the only exception was the man who wore robes that seemed to be made of silk with his face covered by colorful cloth and headband.

The Asian Empire was a tad bit different; some wore typical military wear for high elites, while others dressed rather strangely.

One man wore a business suit with his hair caught up in a ponytail and a single samurai sword on his waist. Nearby was a female that wore clothing akin to that of a modern ninja suit with her mouth covered by a black cloth and her palms placed in her dress. The final one amongst them was a bald-headed man with a red pole, dressed in a Shaolin uniform as he sat crossed legged.

These individuals stood behind a callous looking woman; she wore a beautiful dress with intricate markings; her hair was bundled together and bounded by two golden rings with wings engraved on their surface.

Looking over on the sides of the United Western Nations and the Southern Arctic Society, one would only see three groups in total.

The single group from the Southern Arctic Society wore thick clothing with furs at their corners, at their lead was another thirty-plus woman with cold and icy air. She wore a crystal headband along with a blue dress that seemed to be of royal design.

As for the United Western Nations, the two groups here belonged to non-other than the Cold Moon Empire and Morning Star Empire.

The Cold Moon Empire officials wore standard military wear with a bluish tint, a symbol of a half-moon was decorated on their chests along with other badges. They were led by a young woman in her late twenties, with long brown hair and a marking of a moon on her forehead that wore similar royal garments.

Finally, those of the Morning Star Empire had officials dressed in military suits with similar emblems and stripes to show achievements. The person in the lead was a handsome dark blue-haired man who was tall and had a broad forehead and straight nose. He wore a white and blue, royal suit, and even while he sat in silence, he gave off an air of mystery as his hair shrouded his eyes from all sights, giving him a shady look.

Behind each of these individuals were those from other major associations and private groups, there were those from the MSS, even a familiar red-haired man in a red suit that sat on the side of the Val Corps, amongst them, one could even see a few strange individuals dressed in robes.

Layla who saw this man trembled but said nothing, as Evan who looked at the man narrowed his eyes whiling thinking, 'So he did come, after all, the Val Corp's chief…'

At this very moment, the reporter who had been capturing all the scenery spoke, "Good day everyone, my name is Ashely Kelson, and I am here at the scene of the soon to start briefing. As you can see behind me, the royal clansmen and their guards of each power are already seated and prepared for the meeting. We expect that after today, we'll not only be given clear explanations but a direct solution to the looming threat our world is facing."

When the reporter spoke to here, the scene shifted back to the main camera's in the briefing room, as Elumar, who was seated, made a smile and spoke in a cool tone, "Well then gentlemen and ladies, we should get started..."


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