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Ascenders Rift 37 A Bully Forever, Alton's Decision?

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Evan looked at Layla's stats with shock; he had no idea why her stats would be so strange. His expression sunk when he thought to himself, "Just what the hell is this? What kind of stats are these? Why does Layla have a type of Inherent Power, these aren't stats any human could have? And that bit about her race... are you telling me that Layla isn't fully human? Damn, this is just too much to take, I had even thought that she only had an absurd version of the typical stat booster, but in fact, she had somehow gained a unique booster that's not of the ordinary class either."

Evan's face soon turned serious as he made a thoughtful look, his thoughts even growing more solemn, "This doesn't make sense at all… if Layla had these stats... then why did RADA spare her? Could it be that she's connected to them?"

Evan was a bit lost when he thought to here, but it was at this time, the previously lowered head of Layla raised as she looked at him with an innocently cute look that few could resist. Just from a glance, one could easily see that Layla was clueless as to her powers, or at least for right now, she had no idea of such things.

Evan sighed and shook his head while thinking, "Who am I kidding? Though I'm not a master of psychology, it's not hard to see that she has no idea of this, and would certainly not be a part of RADA. If anything, this would have something to do with her parents. Now that I think of it, Layla didn't seem to like mentioning her past with her family back then, it could even be feasible that she had come to learn of these details and broken off relations."

"Valentine... Valentine... are there any noteworthy characters of this name, what is their family business?" Evan muttered as he started to think about Valentine's family.

Yet, despite thinking for a while, Evan soon realized that this was also something he didn't pay close attention to in his previous life.

"It seems that I'll need to contact Alan as soon as I get the next opportunity, once this heat has died down and I've faded from RADA's radar. I'll need to have him look into quite a few things..." As Evan said this, his eyes flashed as he knew things would be quite troubling in the future.

However, while he was busy in his head, Layla was curiously looking at him with her chin resting on her palms. Noticing his stern face, Layla thought that it was funny; she was still a bit worried about their surroundings, so she wanted to ease her fears.

She got up from the log and slowly throttled over to Evan's side by tipping on her toes. After arriving nearby, Layla leaned in close and tilted her head before she poked one of his cheeks as she spoke, "You look so sullen, maybe if I do this, you'll lighten up..."

Evan, who was now roused from his thoughts, looked at the wondrous sight before him in a daze before he shook his head and spoke, "Layla, that was not good behavior, you know? Maybe I should sue you for harassment?"

Layla blushed slightly, but her eyes grew firm when she balled up her slender fists and shook them as she spoke, "I-If you ever dare to... then I won't speak to you again!"

Evan seeing her cute antics sighed he knew what was happening, she was scared, he looked at her deeply before he made an exaggeratedly shocked look and spoke, "Eh? Really? P-Please forgive me, mam, I w-wont ever do it!"

Layla smiled and laughed as she saw his actions, he replied, "You're such a bad actor... you should learn to fix your facial expressions and word composition."

Evan scratched the back of his head as he awkwardly replied, "Haha, that bad, huh?"

Layla lifted her head as if making an appraisal and replied with a judgmental look while pointing her finger, "Yes, you most certainly are!"

Evan was a bit sad, but it was at this moment, he noticed that her eyes shifted to the side as she whispered, "But somewhat cute too..."

Evan's ears were keen; he then made a sly expression as he leaned his head over to her face. Layla was surprised; she grew even shyer as she didn't dare to meet his eyes.

Evan smiled and spoke, "Excuse me, did you say something?"
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Layla hearing his words, replied in a flustered tone, "I-I-It was n-n-nothing! Y-you are only hearing things."

Evan laughed at this sight as his eyes grew slightly recollective, he remembered her from his previous years, but at that time, Layla had already lost this innocence seeming as if she had a heavy burden on her heart.

His eyes grew slightly red as he thought, "Things of the heart that probably could never be expressed. Sigh, I know it will probably hinder you from becoming as strong as your previous self, but... after seeing you like this again... how could I stand to let you walk that same path? I might as well go through the difficulties of teaching you to adapt at your own pace, rather than through suffering and shock."

As Evan thought to here, he looked at the adorable Layla and smiled as if he made up his mind when he thought, "This time... I'll at least try to preserve your current self, as there is no need to become that ice-cold Layla."

Upon thinking here, he stretched his hand out and poked her cheek, causing Layla to look at him in bewilderment as she cursed, "Y-You, that's harassment!"

Evan smirked and replied, "No, it's called tit for tat... now come on, let's get going."

As he said this, he didn't even give Layla a chance to react as he grabbed her slender arm and pull her towards a different area. Right now, his mind was filled with protecting her and everyone; he also wanted to find Emilia to see her stats.

"You! Let go!" Layla said with a bit of struggle, but if one looked at her, one would find it hard to believe she wanted to be freed as her other arm had wrapped around Evan's.

"I would, but I don't think I'll be able to do so when you're like that..." Evan said while nudging his head towards her direction.

Layla lowered her head yet again, but this time she said nothing, Evan thought she was mad, but after a while, he heard her soft voice, "You... bully..."

Evan smirked at these words; the two then continued to move towards the outskirts of the woods as he spoke, "Is that so? Since you think of me as such, then let's exchange roles, I'll let you be my bully from now onwards."

Layla's ears turned red at this, but after a short moment, her soft voice sounded the depths of the woods, "B-Bastard... you better not regret it, for I... I might just bully you for life."

"..." Evan remained silent at this; he calmly walked at her side before he firmly grasped her slender palm and replied, "Haha, then I'll be counting on you, mam."

Soon, the duo had vanished into the depths of these wilds, leaving behind the strange and unusual safety zone. Yet, it was at the moment they left this region, scores of monsters had begun appearing as if what repelled them had left. A few of them cast their sights towards the direction Evan and Layla went, as their eyes glowed coldly. The sun soon after fell as it shrouded their figures into the dark of night, leaving only the sharp cries and noises of wildlife in this field.

***

In the Morning Star Academy, within a private room akin to a laboratory. A group of scientists was now observing a series of complex data on their holographic display screens. Some wore glasses while others had tablets in their hands as they jotted down notes and checked off marks on various lists.

Looking on the screen before them, one would notice that the scene shown was that of the current night cycle in the Training Zone. A few screens had sights of some of the students bundled together in a cavern, while only a few were roaming about to find shelter from this dark night. Two of these groups were none other than Fatty Joe with Breya, along with Evan and Layla.

At this moment, Alton had appeared within this laboratory, looking at Marcus and Donna, who were busy at work with their other scientist.

As they saw him appeared, everyone promptly halted their tasks and spoke, "Greetings, Section Head!"

Alton nodded and waved his arm as he spoke, "Continue with your work."

The scientists then continued their respective tasks as Alton walked over to Marcus and spoke, "How is it so far, Marcus? Have you inspected that brat and anyone else on the list?"

Marcus placed down the tablet he was holding as he fixed his ponytail and spoke with a yawn, "Alton, I've been fully focused on that brat, as for the others those guys over there are inspecting them. After watching him I found that he was nothing special. I had tossed him into a bundle of animals, and all he did was run; he didn't even try to fight back. Still, he isn't totally without praise as his body is well built, and he was able to outpace them managing to escape. After inspecting his stats, I've found them to be quite intriguing for a boy his age without special training. I did some research and found that this kid had only recently left prison, that in itself is another miracle, for I don't see how he could train to the standard of an elite soldier from that place. Though he doesn't have any unique gifts and talents, he would still make for a find grunt if needed."

Alton then scratched his chin before replying, "I see... then, in that case, you can terminate any further inspections with regards to him. We don't need grunts anymore, we have a stable supply, don't forget that our group's purpose is only to collect suitable o..."

Alton was about to say something, but it was at this time one of the scientists inspecting a few others had run over as he spoke, "Section Head! Come take a look at this!"

Alton frowned as he asked, "What is it?"

The scientist quickly brought the tablet to Alton's face as she spoke, "Sir, it's these three, they each have a distinct talent compared to the rest."

Alton's eyes beamed as he shifted his eyes to the screen, there the faces of three familiar-looking individuals apart. Alton's lips curved into a smile as he spoke in a tone that resounded throughout the room, "Bring me the Coded List..."

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