22. Evolution of the Awakened Rank
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The lightning pushed down [Destructive Beam] in a short time. It tore layers of [Dark Web] and destroyed [Black Rose Barrier] with [Moon Rune’s] defense enchantment.

Ryan’s body jolted, but he withstood it. He crowed to the sky victorious, but the clouds channeled a lightning ball once again. He became alarmed and immediately repeated using almost all abilities.

“Withstand it for 4 more turns, Ryan,” Thanatos shouted.

Ryan launched the beam. He felt the lightning would get stronger if he let it channel more. The lightning struck again, collided against the beam, and pushed it back. He was wrong. The lightning was the same. It was just waiting for him to complete his preparation. He dealt more damage than the first attack.

“Once again!” Ryan shouted.

Ryan channeled the [Destructive Beam] longer on the third time and launched it when his [MP] was almost empty. The lightning pushed down the beam again, but this time Ryan dealt less damage. He repeated the process for the fourth time.

Ryan was about to do the same on the fifth turn, but the lightning’s color turned from red to black. He glanced at Thanatos, hoping the old man gave him advice, but the latter just shrugged.

“I guess I just have to withstand this.”

Ryan summoned as many as [Shadow Clone] as possible. He used every defense mean in his arsenal. Some clones helped to pile up layers of [Dark Web] above him, and the rest channeled [Destructive Beam].

The black lightning collided against the clones’ beams, but the lighting pushed them back eventually. It tore all webs and destroyed the [Black Rose Barrier].

The lightning killed all clones, and Ryan’s [HP] decreased to 1%. This was the first time he was on the brink of death. Ryan collapsed and was about to pass away, but before that, messages appeared one by one. Many sounds rang in his mind, too.

You have successfully passed the test of becoming an Awakened Rank in the ultimate path.

Upgrading all abilities to the Awakened Rank.

You have Ace Title. You acquire [Ultimate] grade in all stats, multiplying stats by 5 times. You have ranked up, leveling up every stat by 1.

[Strength] (Ultimate): Mortal 5

[Vitality] (Ultimate): Mortal 5

[Agility] (Ultimate): Mortal 5

[Mana] (Ultimate): Mortal 5

[Spirituality] (Ultimate): Mortal 5

Ryan passed away. The last thing he saw was the figure of Thanatos running towards him. When he blinked his eyes, he was in the space where rainbow mist surrounded him. A familiar cocoon stood in front of him. It was the Attendant of Destiny.

“You have completed my quest, Ryan Alfa Edison. You may not be the first otherworlder to reach Awakened Rank, but you are the fastest.”

“I have completed your quest. Is that mean, I can come back to my human form?” Ryan’s eyes beamed.

“Do you want to become a human again?”

“Of course!”

“I understand, but this will cost you your [Shadow Clone] ability.”

“I am fine.”

“Deal. Before I send you back, I hope you keep using Destiny as your patron.”

“I will consider.”

“Very well. This is where we depart again. Until the next time, Ryan Alfa Edison.”

Attendant of Destiny spread out threads and wrapped Ryan, turning him into a cocoon. Ryan fell asleep again.

Ryan didn’t immediately wake up yet. He faced a system message first. It seemed he needed to choose a race to evolve first, even though the Attendant of Destiny promised to change him into a human.

  1. Dark World Rooster

A monster of the Dark World. Excels in dark elemental abilities. Gains an innate ability called [Dark World Citizen] with these following effects:

  • Dark elemental property applies to every manner of your attack
  • Increases the resistance of darkness elemental
  • Increases the damage of darkness elemental abilities
  1. Eldritch Abomination

A monster ball with many racial traits, excluding the dragon. It has a vast amount of [HP] and [MP]. Gains an innate ability called [Void Armageddon] with these following effects:

  • Shoots a void beam, creating an explosion that erases everything in a certain radius.
  • Channeling
  1. Vector Cockatrice

A dragonkin of the chicken species. This monster is the personification of Yin and Yang and space. It has balance built in every aspect. Gains an innate ability called [Vector Compass] with these following effects:

  • North Trigger: Switch. Increases your damages by 300% for 3 minutes. Cooldown: 3 hours.
  • South Trigger: Switch. Reduces damages by 70% and deals 30% of the reduced damage to the enemies.
  1. Great White Cockatrice

A dragonkin of the chicken species. Excels in lightning and wind elemental abilities. Gains an innate ability called [Call the Storm] with these following effects:

  • Emanates tornado of wind and lightning
  • Channeling

Ryan refused every choice but that one and clicked it. He woke up to the real world and immediately checked his body. His body was still a monster, but major things changed. His feathers were a mix of black and white, his feet were silvery-white, silvery-white spikes grew on his back, and there were also a pair of horns on his head.

Name: Ryan Alfa Edison

Race: Ace Vector Cockatrice

Type: Physical, Elemental, and Spirit

Rank: Awakened

Progress: Level (0/10) Early Phase

[KP]: 200/200

[HP]: 19.500 (100%)

[MP]: 19.500 (100%)

[Attack]: 2910

[Defense]: 978.75

You have completed quests and a quest piece.

-Reaches [Spirituality] Mortal 5 (complete)

-[Ultimate Path] mission (complete)

-[Dragonkin] mission (complete)

You have acquired the Knowledge of Dragons in your [Inventory].

There were so many things that happened at once. Ryan couldn’t grasp them all yet. First, he focused on his body. A rooster, still. He sighed and looked for Thanatos.

His army soldiers crowded something in a circle, and it seemed Thanatos was in the middle of them. “Hey, what are you all doing?” Ryan asked.

A rat looked back and screeched in surprise when it saw him. It slapped other rats with its tail. They turned back and screeched too at the sight of Ryan.

Ryan got annoyed and stood up. He approached them and ordered them to make a way. When they parted away, Thanatos looked at him in surprise too. The old man was kneeling while clutching an unconscious, naked man.

Ryan’s jaws dropped when he saw the naked man. Black hair, fair complexion, and a shredded lean body. That man was none other than his human form. He could read his information, too.

Name: Ryan Alfa Edison

Race: Cloned Human

Class: Fate-defying Clone (2nd Step)

Essence: 17 innate abilities.

[HP]: 9750 (100%)

[MP]: 9750 (100%)

[Attack]: 1455

[Defense]: 489, 38

[KP]: 100

“This is not what I had in my mind.” Ryan wondered why the human clone didn’t wake up, so he tickled him with his wing, and he suddenly laughed because of the tingle. “Wait, this differs from [Shadow Clones’] shared sense.”

Ryan pecked the clone lightly on the arm, and his main body felt the ache in his wing. “[Shadow Clones] share sense with me too, but I don’t feel their pain. It seems I feel everything the human clone feels. Hm, I better look at the ability first.”

Ryan opened the [Ability List]. His abilities ranked up to Awakened, and they experienced change too, but he didn’t have time to check them all at the moment. His [Shadow Clones] ability changed into [Fate-defying Clones].

[Fate-defying Clones]

Rank: Awakened (00%)

  • Human clone: can only be used once in a lifetime. 50% weaker than the main body. The dual connection where the main body and the human clone feel everything each other feels. If the clone dies, the main body dies, and vice versa.
  • Shadow Clones: Creates shadow clones that are 70% weaker than the caster. They shared sense with the caster.

“Old man, you have an idea why this clone of mine hasn’t woken up yet?”

“So, this is really your human clone? Really curious. You always bring me a surprise, Ryan. Even this old man knows nothing about this.”

Ryan caressed his comb under the beak, and he suddenly got an idea. He poured his mana into the clone. The clone opened his eyes, and Ryan’s main body felt weird. He saw his human form and the rooster form at the same time. Unlike normal clones’ shared sense, where he needed a little focus to see on another side clearer. This time, it felt natural. I am you, and you are me.

“This is kind of weird,” Ryan and the clone said at the same time. “We are the same.”

“How are you feeling after ranking up to Awakened?” Thanatos asked.

“I still can’t assess many things.”

“Well, I will explain it to you, but before that, what is your plan now?”

“I want to pack things from the basement. It is time to move on from this Beginner Hunting Ground. Do you have a recommendation where to go?”

“Sky Cave is vast. There is a path to the lower layer where Awakened and higher-rank monsters live. The lowest path of this place will lead us to Purgatory. That is why this place is called Sky Cave. It is literally above Purgatory.”

Exploring the Sky Cave excited him. However, he hesitated about this a little. His main purpose was to find his wife and family. He had a feeling he could only find them above there. Even Lewis left this place.

Ryan was about to ask Thanatos for advice, but the man’s complexion was a little gloomy. A text appeared above the old man.

Name: Thanatos

Status: Sad; melancholy.

The new feature of an unknown ability surprised Ryan. He didn’t have time to check. The old man was sad, and he felt concerned for him. “You alright, old man?”

“Haha, I want to see my son. It seems he lives above here. However, I am hesitating too at the same time. Will he be happy if he finds out I am still alive?”

Ryan’s human body looked up to the artificial sun. “Today was a long day. I am tired. Let’s go to the base.”

“I agree.”

……

In the base, Ryan’s human body and Thanatos sat by sides against the wall. They grilled a [Cowaroo] on the fire. As an otherworlder, he had a perk to survive without water and food because the system recomposed his body, but he still could eat.

This was the first time he ate a monster. Seeing Thanatos greedily gobbled a mouthful of meat, Ryan gulped and tore a small piece of meat. The meat actually melted in his mouth like butter on a hot pan. Savory taste danced through his throat.

“Delicious! I never had thought monster meats are delicious.”

Thanatos laughed. “Well, humans hunt monsters not only for decreasing threats, but they are all taste delicious. The uglier their form, the tastier they are. I even had tasted [Shadow Rat] in the past. They have juicy meat.” All rats gave him icy glares after saying that.

“Master, if I have a child, you can kill and eat it, too. Spiders have big nutritional value and crisp texture too,” Kitty said.

Ryan imagined eating spiders, and he didn’t have an appetite anymore. “Please don’t say a disgusting thing like that. Anyway, old man, can you explain more about Awakened Rank?”

“Sure. Before that, don’t you want to see the innate ability you have got from [Ace Stamp] when you have reached Awakened? I am kind of curious about it.”

“Sure thing.”

Ryan opened his ability list. Most abilities had changed for sure. He planned to understand them by practice later, not through remembering. He clicked [Ace Stamp]. Thanatos was right. The locked feature got unlocked after he reached the Awakened Rank.

Ryan’s eyes widened as he read the unlocked feature’s effect. “This is really an exceptional ability.”

[Ace Stamp]

Rank: Awakened (00%)

Usage: Passive

  • Increases your [MP] and [HP] by 200%.

There was another ability below. It was the unlocked feature of [Ace Stamp], a bonus ability like his [Demonic Wings] and [Barrage of Dark Feathers].

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