Dimension Apocalypse

DA Chapter 10

The Sky Ridge Mountains, DRACO

Two days went by quickly as the electro train was nearing its destination, blurring across its tracks as it rapidly traversed the ranges. Soon, more buildings appeared, showing more of an urban setting rather than the previous ranges and hills. Evan now sat idle on his sofa, eating a snack as the speakers in his compartment room sounded with a woman’s voice.

“All passengers, please prepare. We will arrive at our destination in a few minutes!”

As he heard those words, Evan looked outside the window with bright eyes as he spoke, “Good, we’re almost there. Once I arrive, I only need to collect my backpack from the security group and be on my way.”

After a few minutes, the electro train came to a halt within a large train center. Evan promptly left his compartment, giving his neighbor’s door a good look before he carried onwards without care.

Seconds after, following a creak, the door opened as Raven walked out with his hands in his pocket. The glow from the surroundings hid his eyes behind his glasses frames.

Evan, who had been watching from a small shard, frowned as he thought, Odd, there’s only one. I could have sworn that it was two at most, could it have been my imagination?

He wanted to ponder more, but soon, he felt strange, a nauseating air as if something dangerous was lurking behind him. With his soul going through many battles, he was quite keen on such a sensation.

With stern eyes, he no longer looked at Raven, keeping his head straight as he thought, There’s no mistaking it. I can feel it, his raw unconsciously leaked Battle Intent, and murderous desire, almost as if he’d just committed a slaughter. I don’t know what’s going on, but I need to be careful with this man.

With his mind made up, Evan continued onwards, ignoring Raven completely. Soon, he had left the train station. After picking up his backpack at the security division, he made his way above an escalator, soon arriving within an area of tall buildings.

There, ahead was an open field that stretched towards a vast mountain range with a towering wall that acted as a divider. This was the Sky Ridge Mountains, a place with towering hills that grew well beyond one’s sight as if it vanished beyond the clouds.

A forest also grew beyond the ranges, filled with abundant greenery and plants. Just by looking at it, it would almost seem as if the towering wall was akin to a dividing line between man and nature.

Looking back onto the dividing wall, one would see multiple pathways that led into the cliffs, reaching out into the distance towards different sectors. A few individuals were also traversing these pathways, each dressed differently, some with large bags and tools as they ventured towards the mountain range with excitement.

Evan was amongst these groups, moving amongst the crowd in an inconspicuous manner. He originally wanted to carry on unseen, but sadly, he was the youngest, which naturally drew the attention of a few eyes.

“Young fellow, you must have come from quite far. Tell me, for what reason must you venture into these mountains at this time?” a strong man said as he sported a large backpack and mountain wears.

“Tim, you better leave the kid alone. He must have had reasons. He looks about the age of my son right now. He should be gearing up for college in a few days. Heck, I’d say this boy is looking for some thrill before a hectic semester,” another traveler said with a laugh.

“Hahaha!” the crowd laughed as they looked at Evan with smiles.

Evan chuckled. He shook his head and replied, “You guys are a bit wrong. I’m not seeking any thrill. I only came here to get some fresh air and find a good place for meditation. I need to clear my mind and spirit before I head back to my school life.”

“Ah…” The men and women exclaimed in surprise.

“That’s a good motive. You must be one of those high achievers,” Tim said in a bit more humbled tone.

Evan smiled at this and replied vaguely, “Something like that.”

The others nodded and no longer questioned him. Tim and the others had an unusual look as they glanced at each other, silently shaking their heads before moving onward.

While moving through the passage, they slowly ascended upwards, nearing the exit which led to the forest-filled mountains. Soon, they had started a strange conversation, one that caused even Evan to narrow his eyes.

“So, what do you think, Tim? Can we find some this time around?” a black-haired lady in a hiking suit asked with beaming eyes.

Tim knitted his brows with a pondering expression before he spoke, “Maybe, but it likely still depends on our luck. After all, it’s not every time these shards appear. It’s likely we’ll only find the ordinary ones.”

“Well, that’s better than nothing. We can trade them in for some good rewards,” the female said, causing everyone’s eyes to light up.

Evan made a contemplative look as he asked, “By chance, are you guys speaking of some black crystals?”

“Huh? So you do know about those things. Young man, is it that you actually came here for those as well?” Tim questioned in surprise. The others similarly exclaimed as they looked at him.

Evan remained silent as he thought, They are definitely talking about those Dimension Shards, the very crystals found only in areas with dormant Dimension Rifts and Fragmented Rift. Last I recall, they had unusual properties and no major usage. For what reason would they collect them?

Thinking for a short while, he couldn’t find an answer. He saw the look of expectancy in the eyes of Tim and the others and spoke with a feigned expression of sadness, “No, I didn’t come here for them, but I did hear rumors of people finding similar stones. I had no idea they were profitable. You guys sure are lucky. It must be quite the big business, sigh.”

“Hahaha!” Tim and the others laughed at his reply. Tim looked at Evan and spoke, “Kid, don’t be so depressed. The truth is we only learned about it recently. You see, some groups have been—”

Tim was about to say something, but a familiar voice sounded from behind before he could even finish his word.

“Oh, look at that. We’ve arrived at the exit. Huhu … I can’t wait to try my luck at those crystals.”

Tim and the others soon noticed that they had arrived at the exit. Their eyes beamed as they lost track of their conversation. On the other hand, Evan had a dark look on his face, even more so when he glanced at the person behind them, noticing that it was none other than Raven, his stalker.

“This guy,” Evan muttered in an annoyed tone. He saw that Raven was still following behind him, and most surprising was the fact that he didn’t try to hide his intention.

Seeing Evan’s gaze, Raven fixed his glasses and smiled. Evan gave him a cold stare before he turned away once more, keeping his attention forward. By now, everyone had already left the passage, reaching a dividing path leading to different parts of the mountain range.

“Haha, looks like we won’t be able to finish our conversation … Oh well. Let’s go, guys!” Tim said with a smile.

“Heck yeah!” the others replied.

The others moved on a predefined route, but Tim halted as he reached in his pocket and threw a black card towards Evan.

As Evan caught the card, he looked at Tim, who spoke while walking off into the mountains with his group, “Kid, that’s the card of that group I was talking about. Give them a call if you’re interested in making some extra bucks. You’ll be sure to find some good profits. Take care now.”

Raven, who trailed Evan, now looked at Tim in a cold light, his glasses shimmering in an odd ray as his fingers cracked.

Evan inspected the card, noticing that a logo with the title DRACO was on its surface. As Evan saw the title, he was stunned. With a stern expression, he thought, The Dimension Rift Administration Corp. What’s going on here? I could have sworn that they only made an appearance after the arrival of the Dimension Calamities. Something isn’t right. If they’re acting like this already, then wouldn’t it mean that they’ve been amongst us for an even longer period. Wait … if it’s like this, then certain rumors I’ve heard will make more sense. For instance, someone like Alan, Felix, and those other forerunners would to be able to grow so strong so quickly. Could they have earned some benefits from this very group from much early on?

With such thoughts in mind, Evan couldn’t help but grow more solemn as he concluded, ‘There are far too many things that I don’t know, and too many unknown variances. Even those odd events that led up to the very end. From all this, I feel that my last life was far from what I’d expected.’

Upon reaching this realization, Evan shook his head, clearing his thoughts as he eyed his surroundings and muttered, “Tsk, right now isn’t the time. I must leave right now and think more on these later.”

Now that he looked around, he noticed that Tim’s group had long since vanished. But what struck him as odd was that his stalker similarly disappeared along with them.

“That bastard, where did he go?” Evan muttered as a wary look came on his face, but he couldn’t find any trace of his presence even after inspecting the area.

Hmph! I don’t know his goal, but it’s certainly not a good one. The fact that I don’t see his partner is even more worrying. Maybe I was foolish to assume that they were connected to Alan Lawson. Regardless of the purposes, what I do know is that fellow has a strong murderous desire, and I can’t take any chances, Evan shook his head and moved forward, crossing the path into the mountains. He moved onwards for a good distance, reaching an area with towering trees and plants.

Here, he finally sighed in relief as he didn’t feel as if he was being traced. He smirked while muttering, “If there is anything I can be pleased about is that I always kept my body in good shape.”

With those words said, he looked down his body, inspecting his T-shirt, which seemed to have become a size smaller as his previously slim body became a bit bulky. Evan nodded upon seeing his frame as he inwardly concluded, Good, my current fitness is more than enough to handle most dangers. I just need to keep my tracks covered in the case that darn stalker follows me again.

Not wasting another moment, Evan dashed forward with full force, nimbly traversing the ranges. Though he wasn’t overly fast, he was still comparable to an athletic runner. Yet, the oddest thing was that despite moving at such a speed, the ground remained the same, there were no traces of footprints, and even twigs he stepped on remained unbroken. As if his body had become weightless as he darted through the forest like a leaf floating on wind.

✽✽✽

The sun faded beyond the horizon as daytime shifted to the dark of night in a distant area of the Sky Ridge Mountain range. A large corpse of a wild boar rested on the ground as a party of hikers sat around a bonfire, eating away at skewers of meat as they drank liquor.

Naturally, this was the party led by Tim, which Evan had encountered early as he entered the mountain range. Currently, they sat idly in laughter and conversation.

“Wooh! There’s nothing that can ever beat a fresh outdoor meal!” Tim said as he bit a piece of meat and chugged down liquor like juice.

“You’re right, Tim, but don’t you know that they’re better things when experienced in the wild,” the pretty woman from early said with a suggestive tone, a racy glint in her eyes.

The other men chuckled at this as they stared her up and down, one even saying, “Haha, well, it would be good for you to teach us later.”

Tim smiled knowingly as he spoke, “You fellas, listen, just make sure not to go overboard. We’re still on dangerous ground, after all. In fact, I’m a bit worried about that brat from before.”

One of the guys shook their head and spoke, “Tim, don’t be bothered by it, that guy was quite knowledgeable, heck, a young lad like that is in better shape than us middle-agers. Haha, he can take care of himself.”

“That’s right, he seemed pretty smart, so I can assume that he knows what to do,” the female said with a smile.

After saying those words, the female had a look of realization as she then paused and looked at Tim spoke, “Um … Tim, did you think you should have given him that card? Didn’t that group say we shouldn’t share their information?”

Tim was a bit surprised. He made a pensive expression before he replied, “Well… yeah, but don’t worry about it. Look, there was no one else around us, so, what could possibly go wrong?”

The female wiped the sweat on her face and spoke, “Ah, yes. I guess you’re right. I’m just overthinking.”

Tim glanced at the female with a fire in his eyes much like the other, causing her face to turn slightly red as she licked her lips. He was about to do something, but suddenly, the sounds of twigs breaking sounded from behind them, startling them.

“Who goes there?” Tim shouted, grabbing a pistol from his side, aiming it towards the dark. Everyone else also acted, hoisting their weapons as they looked in the same direction with a sharp glint in their eyes.

Moments after, two glowing red lights appeared, forming an outline around what seemed like the frames of an eyeglass. Soon, Raven had appeared from the dark, his tall figure standing silently in his refined suit as an ominous will emitted from his being.

“You are that—” Tim was about to say something, but Raven smirked and spoke to cut off his words.

“Ah, pardon my intrusion… my name is Raven,” he said as he looked at the group, making a slight bow of courtesy.

Tim knitted his brows as he felt something odd about Raven. He asked, “Mr. Raven, I believe we’ve only just met. It’s a bit dangerous in these mountains, sneaking up on us like this would give us the wrong impression. Might I ask what you’ve come for?”

The female and the others also gave Raven a deep look, but oddly enough, the latter only started to chuckle, giving them a dark feeling as he spoke, “It’s a beautiful night to die, don’t you think so?”

Tim and the others frowned. The female trembled as she took a step behind Tim, holding onto his shirt corners. The others gave Raven a cold look as Tim cocked his gun, aiming it at Raven as he spoke, “Listen here, fellow, we don’t want any trouble, so I’d suggest you take this chance to leave before you say something foolish.”

As if in agreement with Tim’s words, the others also cocked their guns as they aimed Raven down, each having a menacing light in their eyes.

Raven pretended as if he didn’t see their actions. He lifted his head, staring at the rising moon as he spoke, “Such a pity. You’ve left me no choice. You see, I’ve been given strict orders to forgo any mission or task and ‘handle’ any potential informants. Tonight, you’ll all have to take a step to a new dimension.”

“Oh no! You can’t possibly be related to them?” Tim exclaimed in horror, as the others had similar reactions.

Not replying to him, Raven’s figure began to change, his muscles increasing as a strange pressure filled the air. Soon, his enlarged silhouette shrouded itself into the night as Tim and his party opened their eyes wide in shock. They wanted to flee, but before they could even properly react, it was too late.

” Soon, the pitiful cry of an individual from their group sounded across this region, along with sounds of gunfire, acting as a precursor to a hell-like scene in this desolate mountain and the darkness that consumed all.

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