Genetic Ascension - C.9 A Patient Stalker

Genetic Ascension

C.9 A Patient Stalker
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Sylas felt his vision blur once again, and soon the world took shape around him.

It was a forest, dense and humid. Overgrown vegetation was ubiquitous, and the sun had a hard time penetrating the ground from the high skies above.

Sylas took this in with no small bit of satisfaction. If he had spawned in an area without cover, his odds of dying would be much higher.

He looked down at himself and found that he was wearing a cheap set of light-brown clothing, made of a thin cotton. There was a distinct lack of shoes on his feet which made the moist soil particularly grating on his psyche, and he wasn't adorned with anything else special.

According to his grandfather, the spawn point shouldn't have any significant predators within about a kilometer or so. Of course, the moment you touched down, these predators would no longer be restricted by such rules. So, caution was the name of the game.

'Weapon.'

This was the first thing Sylas' mind went to.

His grandfather hadn't told him which of the three options to pick. It was only after much deliberation that he made the choice he had. It was the riskiest, but it was also the one with the greatest growth potential.

If he had chosen the City Stele, he would have been given free warriors to fight on his behalf. The benefit of a weapon was obvious as well. It could be said that this was the only option that didn't really give him any method of protecting himself.

Sylas began to move, getting a lay of the land. He had to take advantage of this buffer to try to see if he could find any usable landmarks.

Water, shelter, a natural fort potentially, all of these were things on his mind as he continued to move.

In addition, though, he was also paying attention to potential markers that denoted territory. Claw marks, footprints, dung, anything he could take note of.

On the way, Sylas picked up two stones. He flexed his arms and bashed them together with his greatest strength, ignoring the aching in his wrist until they broke into pieces.

He let them drop to the floor and picked out the one that both fit nicely in his palm and had a decent edge to it.

He was lucky that there were no beasts around and this rain forest was an excellent muffler of noise, or else he would likely not dare to do this.

'Running water.'

Sylas' ears picked it up, and he looked in that direction.

He crouched down and leaned over a thick bush to take a look at the clearing. He had traveled about 200 or so meters.

There were no creatures in sight, at least not immediately.

A few seconds later, Sylas felt his heartbeat slow as a large elk came into view.

'That elk… it's at least two meters tall. It should be an extinct species.'

---

[Mental Surpasses Target]

[Analysis Successful]

---

[Irish Elk (F)]

[Level: 0]

[Physical: 14]

[Mental: 0]

[Will: 3]

---

Sylas was a biochemist with a doctorate, but he wasn't well informed on every extinct species to ever live. What he did know was that elk didn't come with bodies that large and antlers so expansive.

Even so, this was something he had expected.

According to his grandfather, the Trial Ascension wouldn't spawn creatures of other worlds, but rather ones pooled from Earth itself, extinct or otherwise.

Considering there was a large number more of species that had gone extinct versus ones that were still among the living now, almost all the creatures that Sylas met should be among the first number.

'A Mental of zero…'

Sylas remained hidden and continued to observe.

The body of water before him was a lake about 30 or so meters across. There was a stream that connected to it, expanding into a river that ran through the forest, but this should be the main body of water these creatures used to hydrate themselves.

Sylas made a mental note of it and made a move to follow the elk as it finished up.

A Mental of 0 meant that the elk should be unable to use Aether. As they continued through the Trial Ascension, this would change and these creatures would become more dangerous.

Its physical was unsurprisingly far ahead of Sylas'. Double, in fact.

The stats were scaled to human levels, so it was easy to tell just how much more powerful even an un-enhanced creature was compared to the average human.

Sylas was patient. Although the looming deadline of a week was practically ticking above his head, he knew that being rash would just get him killed.

He followed a long way behind the elk and often couldn't see it in his line of sight. He focused instead on its hoof prints, maintaining caution as his number one priority.

Elks were creatures he vaguely understood. Since this one was a male, it would likely sleep alone. All he had to do was wait for the opportunity and hope another creature didn't interfere with him.

Luckily, it seemed that this elk had a strong dominion over the immediate area. It meandered about, eating vegetation here and there, marking its territory with its dung from time to time, and all-around asserting itself.

Sylas should have been bored to death. Having been born and raised in a world of smartphones and social media, following a creature without cognition strong enough for even this system to register should have been draining. Even so, in a place where slacking off even once could cost him his life, he somehow managed to remain completely focused.

Not only did he follow the elk as it moved about, he kept a constant vigilance of his surroundings, even carefully avoiding any creatures unlucky enough to appear close enough to the elk.

The hours ticked by and his patience never wavered, even as the sun began to set and darkness descended.

---

[Title Unlocked]

[Title: A Patient Stalker]

[You have displayed astonishing Will and tenacity]

[+1 Will]

[+1 Dexterity]

[+10% success in absorbing related Genes]

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