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Ascenders Rift 56 Attack of the Swamp! The Fate of a Rare Breed

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The fabled monsters of Hell's Swamp were passed down throughout the ages, creatures of unknown biology that had somehow become deeply rooted in the waters of these lands. They each bore odd features, some having the appearance of crocodiles with sharp protrusions, extra limbs, and longer tails, while the others were spotted frogs that had grown to the size of a soccer ball. Their bodies had many eyes as a long and ghastly looking green tongue with bumps was hanging from their mouths.

Each of these monsters was slowly shuffling towards the floating artificial campsite that rested on the surface of a dark moor. Their eyes were shining in a reddish light giving off an ominous feeling, even more so at these dark hours.

At this moment, the Camping Cube had already activated its night-time lights. They were arranged at the four corners of the platform, lighting up a majority of its surroundings, leaving only a circular region of darkness for roughly 10 meters around it.

Evan and Rick were standing at the edge of the platform as they calmly gazed towards the glaring red eyes in the shadows. However, Fatty Joe started to tremble as he shouted, "Brother Evan, what the hell? These monsters are actually real?"

Evan remained silent for a while before he spoke while looking at Fatty Joe, "They aren't true monsters..."

Fatty Joe was a bit confused as he heard this, he asked, "What do you mean?"

Rick, who stood nearby, spoke, "What he means is that these creatures are not any rare beasts as the rumors claim."

"If these things aren't monsters, then what are they? Can't you see how different they are from the standard swamp life?" Fatty Joe asked in confusion while pointing towards the entities.

Rick was about to reply, but Evan tapped his shoulder. Rick seeing this remained silent as Evan walked over to Fatty Joe and spoke, "These are not monsters, but mutants,"

Fatty Joe was a bit surprised, but Evan then pointed towards the rift in the distance as he spoke, "Wherever there's a Lesser Space, depending on its grade, all creatures which have inhabited its domain would transform. You have seen this before in that video shown during the new year's greeting, and it is merely a phase of evolution for the common kind. If successful, these creatures will naturally break free from their limits and become true Level 1 Monster."

"Oh, so they were capable of doing that? How terrifying!" Fatty Joe thought to himself, he looked at Evan and spoke, "If that's so, then how long would it take for them to transform?"

Evan sighed as he looked at the starry night sky and replied, "They would generally require many months, even with the Lesser Spaces. However, all of this will change once the Ascenders Rift arrives; everything will be greatly accelerated."

Fatty's face sunk as he spoke, "This... then how do we deal with it?"

Evan shook his head and replied, "We can't; there are just too many rifts in the world, and even if we were to send out a warning, nothing good would happen. Not with that power having such deep claws into the world..."

Fatty Joe's eyes narrowed as he spoke, "That power? You mean those guys you were weary of that came to the campus?"

Evan was about to speak, but the mutated swamp life had begun to rush towards them in hordes. As he saw this, Evan sighed as he replied, "I'll speak about them later; we have to deal with these things. Rick!"

As Rick heard Evan's shout, he nodded and replied, "I got it."

Evan looked at the confused Fatty Joe and smiled when he spoke, "Can you handle yourself fatty?"

Fatty Joe thought Evan was mocking him, he gritted his teeth and took out a fairly large metal ax from his suitcase as he shouted, "Che! Even if I'm scared, I won't go down without a fight from these things."

Evan tapped Fatty Joe's shoulder and spoke, "Good, we'll leave here to you."

Evan turned and gave Rick a knowing look, as Rick's eyes flashed, remembering what Evan had discussed with him privately.

Quickly, both their bodies began to glow in bright lights as two unique armors appeared on them separately. Rick was wearing holy looking light armor with a sacred spear in his hand. Evan, however, was wearing simple leather armor and a unique brownish cape with strange runes.

Rick looked at Evan and smiled as he spoke, "So you really don't have a weapon, that's a bummer..."

"Well, my weapon is one with the universe, it will come when I need it," Evan replied mysteriously.

"Tsk! Whatever you say..." Rick said while rolling his eyes.

Fatty, on the other hand, was shocked. His mouth opened wide when he exclaimed, "What the hell, man? When did you guys get gear? Is this shit some kind of video game?"

Evan glanced at Fatty Joe as he spoke, "Fatty, watch us closely while you defend yourself; this is the power from the rifts. Begin!"

Roar! At Evan's shout, a massive mutant crocodile two times the size of a fully grown one had pushed its head out of the swamp waters. It jumped onto the platform and immediately bit towards Evan with its savage-looking mouth.

"A snappy one, aren't you..." Evan murmured as his body swayed to the side, easily avoiding its attack.

Before the mutant crocodile could even have a chance of reacting, Evan had already acted. He casually moved forwards and kicked the crocodile, hurling its body far into the air as a few bone snapping noises sounded.

Much like Evan, Rick had similarly finished off his opponent in a flash. He jumped into the air and launched a flurry of rapid spear strikes towards a group of the mutant frogs, causing them to sink into the swamp waters as muddled corpses with bloody holes.

Evan glanced at the deck and saw Fatty Joe was still in awe; he turned and looked at Rick and saw that the latter was looking over.

As he saw this, Evan spoke, "Rick, allow me to teach you something about Battle Energy. If you channel it into your feet, you will be able to use it to bounce on the surface of a lake, but it must be done with precise control, follow my lead."

Upon saying this, Evan exhaled as a vague reddish breath came out of his mouth. His body began to emit with crimson lights, which soon after faded as they gathered around his feet.

After doing this, Evan jumped from the Camping Cube onto the swamp waters, his feet touched the lake as if it was land as he bounced from location to the next like a blurry shade.

In moments, Evan had arrived a few meters away from the platform, but if one were to look carefully around him, they would see that all the mutant swamp life in his path were now corpses.

Fatty Joe looked at this in shock, but before he could say anything, Rick seemed to have done the same thing. His body glowed in a white light, which soon gathered at his feet as he jumped onto the waters and started attacking the swamp life. Though it was a bit unsteady, his movements were well-practiced.

As Rick did this, he looked at Evan and spoke with a smile, "Evan, I didn't need you to teach me for I had learned this on my own a few days ago..."

Judging by his tone, it seemed that Rick was still someone bitter about his previous losses. His eyes flashed with competitiveness as if he wasn't going to lose forever.

Evan looked at how easily Rick accomplished this task with shock as he cursed inwardly, "What the hell? Do you know how long it took me to learn this trick back then? Che! So much for wanting him to learn through a bit of hardship..."

Evan watched as how Rick was battling the swamp life wildly before he shook his head and no longer paid him any mind, he turned and glanced at Fatty Joe, noticing his dazed appearance as he thought, "Now then, I want to see if you'll be able to handle yourself. It would be nice if those girls could wake up and join in as well..."

As Evan said this, a pair of cold eyes were looking at him from below the swamp waters. It seemed to belong to an even more massive crocodile, three or four times larger than the one which had attacked him previously, having razor-sharp protrusions on the back of its body and even fatter limbs. Quickly, it tore through the water at unparalleled speeds as it opened its mouth, ready to swallow him in one big gulp.

Evan's eyes narrowed as he sensed the murderous will coming from below him, he muttered, "So I was wrong, it turned out that one had managed to evolve into a Level 1 Razer Back Crocodile. That's good; I can solve you here before you turn into something far more dangerous."

"Inspect!" As Evan commanded in his mind, the details of the beast had appeared before his eyes.
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[Razer Back Crocodile - Level 1]

[An evolved crocodile of the Earth World, a truly rare species among the rest of its counterparts, falling among the first of its kind to truly transcend its limits. Although it lacks spiritual awareness, it is most certainly a beast with unlimited potential.]

[Health - 210]

[Strength - 10]

[Vitality - 10]

[Agility - 10]

[Skills:]

[Razer Tail – A single lash can send you to meet your maker.]

[Razer Claws - ...]

As Evan quickly glossed over the details, he pushed his feet against the water surface, causing his body to jump a few meters into the air. Moments after, the water surface broke as a mouth more prominent than his body had arisen from it.

It promptly eclipsed Evan's vision as the crocodile had used the momentum from its upward charge to arrive at Evan's location. Its eyes sinisterly shone as it prepared to chomp down and end the life before it, but sadly, its wish would never come true.

Evan raised his arm and shouted, "Void Blade!"

As this happened, a semi-transparent blade formed from all things had appeared in his hands. Evan shifted his body's weight downwards as he fell headfirst when he swung the sword in a straightforward chopping motion.

Shing! With a sharp cry, the blade left a semi-transparent light in its path as it furiously sliced down. In moments, both Evan and the Level 1 Razer Back Crocodile had crossed positions, one going up and the other going down.

Splash! The water rippled as Evan stood atop of its surface with the Void Blade held down, he then slowly stood up and waved his hand, causing the sword to vanish into nothingness.

[4 Exp Gained.]

Moments after, the Razer Back Crocodile had fallen into the swamp, its body cut apart into two neat halves as it faded into the depths, its legend ending before it could even begin.

Rick, who was fighting, had noticed this, he looked at Evan in alarm, but at this moment, Evan's eyes shifted towards the Camping Cube. He smirked and spoke in a voice only he could hear, "Well then fatty, show me how you'll adapt..."

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