Genetic Ascension - C.78 Range


This was the only thought that Sylas could have before Zurog was already upon him, or rather
 his bloody scythe was.

Sylas barely managed to lean back, dodging out of the way, but a swing came instantaneously.

Zurog was fast. His legs were like their own pumping engines. Just to make it to Sylas so fast, he had to cross over a dozen meters in what felt like a single blink.

Much like Cassarae, he seemed to treat the ground as though it was air, slicing through it with the same ease as the wind. The difference was that he didn't seem to need to use Aether at all.

Sylas was immediately at a disadvantage. The polearm of the scythe was at least two meters from end to end, and the blade itself had an exaggerated bend, along with a ghastly serrated edge. Compared to Sylas' arms and even legs, the difference was too large.

Luckily, Sylas had already shored up this weakness.

A dagger glistened through the night, appearing within Zurog's guard and at his throat in an instant. Beneath the amplification of Madness, Sylas' telekinesis imposed a Strength and Speed of 75 while its acceleration was near instant.

Zurog leaned back, slamming the butt of his scythe into the ground in an attempt to keep his balance and dodge that at the same time. He had obviously been observing the battles from earlier in the day and knew of Sylas' telekinesis. He had been waiting for it the entire time.

His mouth suddenly opened and Sylas barely had time to sense a rush of Aether before Zurog unleashed a puff of black smoke from his lips just as the dagger floated above his nose.

The dagger was under Sylas' control the entire time. He had been ready to pull it back like it was a jab, but Zurog's reaction was quick, too quick.

The dagger suddenly crumbled to ash, the corrosive black fog wilting it and crushing it like dried leaves.

Sylas rushed forward, trying to take advantage of the gnoll elite's imbalance, but the latter shot out a kick that nearly caught him in his chest.

Sylas crossed his arms to block, feeling a tremendous force push him backward. He gritted his teeth, holding it in and digging his heels into the ground. He knew that he couldn't retreat too far. If he did, he would be forced to release his Madness and his ability to control the flow of battle would plummet.

Zurog recovered in an instant, a crooked grin twisting his snout as he followed up, pulling his scythe out from the ground and plunging into another assault.

Sylas dodged one way, then the other. Every time he tried to close the gap, Zurog had a perfect counter waiting for him, the latter's skill in battle clearly on a tier higher than his own.

Suddenly, Sylas sensed Aether circulating again, and he immediately went on high alert.

Zurog opened his mouth again and Sylas immediately dove to the side. If that caustic fog could do what it had done to his dagger, he didn't want it to touch even an inch of him.

But it was a feint.

The butt of Zurog's scythe drove into Sylas' side just as he dove.

Sylas coughed out a breath, feeling his Constitution almost giving way beneath the Strength of the strike.

He sprawled across the ground, gliding across the earth on a knee and elbow before he barely managed to stand to his feet, rolling out of the way of another strike.

Black fog oozed off the scythe, leaving trails in its wake.

"Sylas!" Olivia called out and threw a dagger toward the battlefield as hard as she could.

Sylas barely registered it. It was impossible to visualize without eyes on the weapon, and in the darkness, it was even harder. However, he heard the whistle and the THWACK as it pierced into the ground not far away.

He dodged out of the way of another strike and looked in the direction of the sound. He didn't spot it immediately and was forced to dodge again.

Zurog was absolutely relentless, his attacks flowing freely from one to another. The drawback of only being able to use his fists as weapons was biting back hard right at this moment.

'No, it's because I lack the skill.'

Sylas' green irises oozed an eerie light as he timed his movement.

He dodged another strike and suddenly planted his leg hard.

Sudden Burst.

He immediately closed the distance, entering the range of Zurog's scythe and striking out with a fist that carried everything he had.

A mad cackle came from Zurog.

"You fool! My scythe is the strongest in this range!"

The voice was unexpected. Filled with gravel and malice, it rumbled beneath the night sky, spreading out almost like the very same caustic black fog.

The concave side of the blade glistened behind Sylas' neck and Zurog suddenly took a step back, pulling his scythe back and toward it. Even if Sylas punched him now, he would only be helping his momentum.

Signals of danger seemed to flood Sylas' body. He could almost feel the whistling wind as the gnoll elite moved to take his head, as though chopping tall grass.

There was no other choice.

<Madness Control>.

The world slowed around Sylas, and he seemed to gain an extra second to react to the world around him.

His fist landed with a dull boom. He could feel Zurog's flesh distort beneath his knuckles and the whistling of the scythe behind him coming with an even faster Speed.

All at once Sylas ducked, using his telekinesis to press up on the scythe and push himself down even faster.

A whistling wind caught his hair and just barely missed his scalp.

He suddenly released the pressure on Zurog's scythe and the latter stumbled only just a bit, but it was enough for Sylas to regain his bearings.

'That's right, my telekinesis doesn't just have to be used on myself or my items.'