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Ascenders Rift 53 Devourer of Dreams? Departure!

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The day quickly shifted to the evening hours as most of the activities had faded, the streets and road now sparse of clustering crowds and vehicles. Evan was now seated on an outside bench before the EarlingStar Train Station. His feet crossed over as he leaned against the backrest with his eyes closed in contemplation. In his arms, were the few stacks of paper he had procured from Alan's table.

"Val Corps.... no, the Valentine Corporation. I truly wouldn't expect for you to have such deep ties with them even before the public reveal, going as far as to act as sponsors by engineering those HDP headgears. It should've been obvious as they were the first to show support upon RADA's revelation to the world. Yet, though it may have been such, many other corporations were similarly subject to such behavior. If anything, only the MSS and other few special military sectors and private groups from other major powers were not among this list."

As Evan thought to himself, his eyes couldn't help but open, revealing a cold set of brown eyes that stared towards the sky. He knitted his brows and spoke in a confused tone, "They have such a deep connection with them, but they still went ahead to aid the MSS in creating their secret weapons? I can only say that I am completely confused as to their actions; it's as if they are merely acting as a third party."

Evan pondered about the scenario some more, but no matter how much he thought about it, he couldn't find any clue. He shook his head and muttered, "I guess this is far I can glean, all will eventually reveal itself with time, I suppose."

As he said this, he was about to close his eyes and take a moment to rest his mind. However, a familiar voice soon woke him from his daze.

"Hey! You bastard! Why do you love to keep going off on your own?"

Evan, hearing this shook off his mood and got up, as he looked towards the location of the sound, he saw that not too far away were Fatty Joe, Emilia, Rick, Layla, and Breya. They had just gotten out of a cab and were making their way over towards him.

The one who spoke was Fatty Joe, who, of course, showed a teasing look on his face. Yet, if one paid closer attention, they would feel that this was only a facade as if he was hiding something deep down.

Not only him, the faces of Emilia, Rick, and Layla, were about forlorn as if something was eating away at their minds. The only person who seemed reasonable was the ever so calm and collected Breya, her palm was rested on Emilia's right shoulder as if she was consoling her.

Evan narrowed his eyes at this; he didn't think they would arrive in such a mood. He looked at Fatty Joe and Emilia first and spoke, "Fatty, you seem to be troubled. Did something happen to Emilia?"

As they heard this, the faces of everyone flashed for a bit as they looked at the someone sad Emilia. Rick tried to settle down his own mood as he looked at her with worrisome eyes.

When Emilia saw Rick's look, she lowered her head before she gripped her fist and made a slight smile as she spoke, "It's okay, I... I only had a nightmare, that's all."

Evan's complexion changed at those words, he spoke, "A nightmare, was it the kind that Layla had?"

Emilia gripped her fists tightly and didn't reply, Fatty Joe, seeing this gritted his teeth and spoke, "Brother Evan, it's strange, I think this nightmare is like Layla's, but it has differences. The strangest thing of it all is that I am also capable of sharing it with Emmy. Though it seems that I am not its intended target…"

Evan grew solemn; he thought for a bit, "How could this be? What are these nightmares? A dream that shares the same principles of Layla's but also capable of dragging in one's closest relatives. Have I seen something like this before?"

Evan pondered for a bit until his mind snapped as if he finally remembered something. His eyes flashed with realization as he thought, "Yes, there were rumors of a creature that devours a person in their dreams. This type of being was rumored by those world inhabitants to only exist in the realm beyond the Final Rift. What was its name again?"

As Evan asked this, a sound he hadn't heard for a while sounded in his mind.
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[Core has not fully charged, to answer the Inheritor's question, must consume all current energies as well as 90 percent of Inheritor's Spirit Power. Shall I commence?]

It was only now that Evan had finally remembered that the Void Blood Pendant could solve answers. It's not that he had completely forgotten about it, but rather his mind was too preoccupied with too many issues.

"I'm so foolish at times..." Evan thought as he then gave it a response with his mind, "Proceed."

[Request acknowledged, this creature is not one, but a part of many. They are known as… Dream Eaters.]

Evan felt a chill as he heard this, he wanted to ask more, but he knew that at this time, the pendant wouldn't be able to answer, not until it's swallowed some more energies from the world.

Everyone who saw Evan's dull look was a bit surprised; he went silent and started to stare in space like a fool. Layla showed a concerned look on her face as she walked up and asked, "Evan? Are you okay?"

Evan, having just cleared his thoughts, looked at them in embarrassment as he coughed and spoke, "Ahem! I am sorry about that; I was trying to find a solution. You know, I think these dreams aren't so simple; they may just be related to creatures we don't know about in full. For now, we should find ways to mitigate these dreams and their effects on your well beings."

Emilia's face changed for the better as she asked with beaming eyes, "Brother Evan, is there a way to solve it?"

Layla also looked on curious as she wanted to know what he meant. Evan nodded with a strange smile and replied, "Indeed, don't worry, I am sure we will find a way in the coming days..."

As Evan said this, he made a mysterious grin as his finger rubbed the Void Blood Pendant under his shirt. Fatty Joe, who seemed to have been in distress moments now, finally showed a happier look as he slapped Evan on his shoulder and spoke, "Haha, Brother Evan, I know I could count on you. If you say it's so, then I guess I'll take your word for it, you shall always have my gratitude."

No one knew how much he was worried about his sister's safety, only Evan knew just how much of a sister con he was, and that's why Evan understood that this was far more than just pure, heartfelt gratitude.

Evan smirked and slapped his back as he replied, "Che! What's all this sweet talk? We're men, not women, so let's get going!"

Rick showed a somewhat relief expression as he heard Evan's words, he looked at Emilia with a slight smile as his mood slightly increased, though he was still a bit troubled.

After Evan finished his previous words, he turned and walked towards the interior of the train station, while everyone else followed. However, while walking, he still saw that Layla and Rick's expression was somewhat unusual.

He asked, "Layla... Rick? Is something also bothering you?"

Rick and Layla's eyes flashed before they replied in unison, "It's nothing..."

Evan frowned as he thought, "Could it be related to their trips home?"

He had recalled that Alan said Rick went to see the king, and he already knew Layla had gone to see her father. He wanted to ask them about their problems, but at this time, he knew that its best to let them have a bit of space, eventually, they'll come around and open up.

"I understand," Evan replied, he then took a step forward and entered the station.

Fatty Joe, Emilia, and the others promptly followed, along with Layla and Rick. Once they entered, they found that it wasn't as crowded as they'd thought, and the ticket counter was rather sparse.

Evan and the others headed over the counter to buy the tickets, but it was at this moment, Fatty Joe looked at Evan and asked, "I didn't ponder before, but where are you planning on taking us? Is this Rift so far that we have to the train to reach it?"

Breya also made a puzzled look as she thought, "That's right; he never did tell us which area we were going."

"I wonder, will it be as dangerous as the place I awakened?" Rick pondered, having pulled himself out of the bad mood.

"Hmph! Always so mysterious..." Layla muttered under her breath as she glanced at him keenly.

"I hope it won't be too dangerous," Emilia thought as her eyes flashed with a tinge of fear.

Evan smirked as he heard Fatty Joe's words, he looked at their expressions and showed a sly look as he replied, "Oh, I had forgotten to tell you, It's a unique place at the north-eastern edge of our UWN. I think you all know it quite well, the Wetlands of the East."

As they heard this, the faces of everyone sunk as they opened their mouths and shouted in a voice that sounded across the train station, "The dangerous Hell's Swamp!"

The evening wind seemed frightened as it blew harder after those words, shuffling not only their clothes but the very spirits of those who heard those words. As if it knew, a perilous journey was about to begin…

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