Genetic Ascension - C.77 Decisive

Genetic Ascension

C.77 Decisive
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[1200 PS bonus]

A group of ten stormed out from the forest line, their sickly yellow eyes glowing in the dark. Nine of them rode upon Rotten Wolves, but in the center of those rampaging, two-meter-tall beasts, there was a monstrosity that stood at three.

It had two heads, each fighting over supremacy over which was the rottener of the bunch.

---

[Twin-Headed Rotten Wolf (F+)]

[Level: 6]

[Physical: 65]

[Mental: 0]

[Will: 0]

---

Even with this being the case, Sylas' focus was on the man… or thing, riding its back.

---

[Zurog (FF-)]

[Level: 1]

[Physical: 52]

[Mental: 42]

[Will: 56]

---

Zurog wielded a bloody scythe, and he exuded something that seemed thicker and beyond anything that Sylas had ever experienced before, something that reminded him a lot of himself.

'A Comprehension? No, it feels slightly different…'

Sylas looked around, and he saw the despair coloring everyone's face. Olivia especially looked as though her body had been completely drained of all its blood. Sylas understood that this was likely because of her Skill. Even if she couldn't see Zurog's stats, she could still see his grade. Before, she had said that she had never even seen an F+ before, but it seemed that this was something even worse than that.

Morgan gripped his sword hilt hard, his knuckles having gone completely white.

Alex's breathing was ragged and his pupils were completely dilated, likely as a result of a Skill. He barely managed to be the best of them due to it, his adrenaline roaring through his veins.

Lauren held her sword tightly to herself, fear radiating from her in palpable waves. Sylas didn't quite understand why he felt it so clearly, but he was certain it was there.

And then there was Cassarae.

Her pale blue eyes, almost like a stroke of grey-silver in the night, carried a fierceness within it. She looked like she was only one moment away from baring her teeth and growling, herself. And for some reason, Sylas wanted to laugh at that sight.

"Marcus!" Cassarae barked.

"Lord!" One of the militiamen stood at the ready.

"You five will protect the villagers with your lives. Let not a single one of these fuckers through."

"Yes!"

The militiamen were nothing if not courageous. They didn't even blink at the order, forming a line of five as they blocked the path to the center of the village.

Cassarae looked at the others. "I'm not certain why it is you three… four," she corrected herself, "haven't run yet, but I have a good idea."

Morgan, Alex, and Lauren gripped their weapons tightly, but they didn't respond.

"I hope that we can all survive and see those thoughts of yours come to fruition."

Her eyes landed on Sylas and when she saw the amused light in his eyes, as though he was trying to hold back a laugh, she too seemed to relax. For some reason, she felt that so long as Sylas wasn't panicking, maybe things would be fine…

"Everyone," Sylas suddenly said. "Trail me by 20 meters. Don't step into that range until I tell you it's alright."

After saying these words, Sylas shot off.

His Speed was fast, but not as fast as the oncoming troop of Rotten Wolves and gnolls. However, it was just enough to get 20 meters away from the group and clear the broken fences of the village.

Madness.

It rolled out from Sylas like a tide. The Madness Key danced around his neck and his green eyes glowed in the night.

Almost immediately, the Rotten Wolves lost their minds and Sylas' gaze sharpened.

It was just as he thought. The control these gnolls had over these Rotten Wolves was incredibly limited. If they could truly control so much, then why only send six at a time? And if they could control more than six, why only charge forward with ten now?

All but the Twin-Headed Rotten Wolf bucked their riders off, but that wasn't to say that the Twin-Headed Rotten Wolf escaped the fate of Madness. Its Mental and Will were zero, it had no capacity to resist Sylas at all. Instead, Zurog was able to maintain his balance even with the wolf going wild beneath him.

Confusion coloured the yellow eyes of the gnolls as the Rotten Wolves actually began to attack one another and their riders.

Then the Madness hit Zurog. He felt like his mind was being slowly corrupted and his eyes even began to go red for a moment before he managed to shake himself free, the shock even more evident in his eyes now.

A maddened brawl broke out as Sylas kept his distance. There was no use in getting close now and maybe causing one of them to take out their rage on him.

He realized that even when his Madness wasn't strong enough to make people completely lose their minds, it did make it hard for them to focus, and it enhanced their deepest emotions.

Back when his Madness enveloped the group, Alex had just gotten the bone ax from him and his emotions spilled over as though he was ready to anthropomorphize it. Lauren was the most jittery of the group, and she completely shut down.

The more intelligent a creature was, the more specific and unique their reaction to Madness would be—so long as they couldn't resist the effects, that is.

For Rotten Wolves who had no resistance at all, the result was obvious. They didn't even fight as hard as Little and Middle Madness had. They immediately lost what small bits of rationality they had, lashing out at everything that was close to them, even the riders they had only just been allowing to use them.

Zurog realized that it had to be Sylas who was doing this. It was unbelievable to him, but he was intelligent enough to know what he had to do.

Sylas' gaze sharpened as Zurog suddenly swung his battle ax down, severing both heads of his Rotten Wolf and leaping toward his direction.

'Decisive.'

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