Genetic Ascension - C.68 City Lady

Genetic Ascension

C.68 City Lady

The first thing Sylas did after giving the two women a nod was take a glance around. The shack was simple, just a desk, a bed, and what looked like a barrel used for simple baths. It was all completely normal except for one object.

A floating cube glowed a dull grey color, hovering above an altar in the corner of the small shack. It could only be one thing.

'City Stele…' Sylas thought to himself.

His brows raised. This was definitely not an area you should casually allow anyone to enter. These two were probably the only ones who knew that the City Stele was located here. Technically speaking, Sylas only had to put his hands on it to trigger a conquer sequence.

Sylas' brows lowered, and he looked toward Cassarae.

Olivia's jaw almost hit the floor. 'Is that a smile?'

It definitely was. She hadn't known Sylas for long, but even Morgan cracked a quirk of the lip or two at Alex's antics. Sylas himself almost pretended as though he hadn't heard anything at all.

Well, calling it a smile was probably pushing it. Sylas' expression just seemed to be a hint warmer than the stone cold she had become used to.

"Sylas, you're here," Cassarae nodded, "that's good. I heard from Olivia that you helped us gather up some very important strategic resources, so I wanted to make sure that you were properly compensated for your efforts."

"Oh?" Sylas didn't seem too surprised by this. He felt that this was an expected outcome.

Cassarae rolled her eyes. "Can't you react with some gratitude? Maybe an: 'oh my, City Lady, you're so generous.'"

Same Sylas, pretending as if he knew everything.

Sylas gave an exaggerated formal bow. "You're right, the esteemed City Lord has done me a great service."

"City Lady," Cassarae corrected.

"There's no such term in history," Sylas stood to his full height again and replied without missing a beat. Well, City Lord wasn't an official historical title either, but she didn't need to know that.

"Who cares? My city, my rules."

"Your Rudimentary Village, you mean."

"You trying to pick a fight, Sylas?"

"If you want one."

Cassarae looked both irritated and amused at the same time. She never understood people who said Sylas wasn't funny, his words themselves were, it was just that delivery was almost too quick and lacked flare.

Olivia looked back and forth between the two and suddenly let out a sigh.

"Holy shit, I completely misread this situation."

Sylas and Cassarae looked at her at the same time with accusatory glances that seemed to say: "What's that supposed to mean?"

Olivia held up her hands in surrender, not even quite knowing what she was apologizing for.

Cassarae cleared her throat. "Anyway, like I was saying, we appreciate your efforts. We spoke about it and think that a good reward is giving you access to the Nexus."

"Nexus?" Sylas asked. fr𝐞𝐞𝚠e𝗯𝗻ovel.c𝐨m

"It's a hub you can access through a City Stele or during Quick-time Events in the wilderness. It's essentially a place you can pay for information, form connections and, maybe most importantly, access the system store. One of the perks of being a budding City Lady."

Sylas' brows raised again.

"What are these Quick-time Events?"

"Has your head been buried in the sand for the last three months?"

Sylas spread out his hands. "I've been occupied by some things."

"Not occupied by getting armor or better weapons than…" she looked toward the dirtied and bloody wraps still tightly wound around his hands, wrists, and forearms, "… whatever those are.

"Anyway, Quick-time Events are like open-air Dungeons. In this region, they basically happen once a month. Leveled beasts are usually hard to find outside of those events, unless you're risking your life and adventuring particularly deep into the forest. Those that reach a certain threshold during the event can usually access a Nexus afterward."

"But you have perpetual access to one," Sylas said as less of a question and more of a statement.

"Yes, and no—" Cassarae started before being interrupted.


Cassarae waved a hand and told Olivia not to mind it.

"Not all City Ladies have access to a Nexus, and the one we have access to is gated. Technically, the Quick-time Event Nexuses are gated as well, depending on the difficulty and your performance, but they tend to be less so than ours.

"This is all to say that what you can buy through our Nexus is very limited."

"Okay, I understand."

"Then feel free," Cassarae pointed a finger toward the City Stele. "So long as you help us to gather more intact beast furs, you can use it whenever you need it. Just keep it under 500 coins."

Sylas nodded and didn't say anything as he made it to the City Stele, sinking his mind into it.

He immediately saw several options.


[View City Status]

[Conquer City Stele?]

[Enter Nexus]


He chose the last option, and his mind was warped into a white space.

On the outside, Olivia sighed. "Tell me the truth, 'Lady,' what elixir did he force-feed you?"


"You're a little too trusting, don't you think? He feels more powerful than us all and that's without all the easy access you're giving him."

"I know him," Cassarae said, somewhat defensively.

Olivia raised an eyebrow as though she were looking at a crazy person. She really wanted to say: "No, you know the Sylas of ten years ago, not this one," but she bit back her statement. It was hard not to feel like a third party getting in the way of a love affair right now. All things considered, she had only known Cassarae for three months.

However, in that time, they had truly had each other's backs. They had gone through true life-or-death events when either one of them would have already had the opportunity to backstab or betray the other. Olivia, likely rightfully so, felt that that was worth far more than whatever childhood love Cassarae had experienced.