2 Eclipse

There was only one way to become a Phantom, in fact, a superior being compared to ordinary humans, and that was to awaken a natural talent or Spark. At least that was what every resident of Citadel F1 knew.

However, there was another way, which was carefully concealed, because it would cause chaos - thousands of people would die in the hope of becoming one of the Phantoms, which would soon lead to the Citadel's downfall.

Killing the monster - this was the second way, but the killing had to happen in a 1 vs 1 battle, no one had to help the person, and no one had to be around, otherwise, the monster's initial gene would destabilize, and would not be able to awaken the Evolution Tree in the person.

Good or not, the fact that the man in front of Adam died gave him the opportunity to become a Phantom, even though he was on the verge of death every second of this short battle.

"I... I could do it...? I killed the monster...? Wait... I awakened the Evolution Tree? Did I really have the Spark all this time?" Adam smiled madly as a rush of adrenaline and a hurricane of emotions went through his body.

Becoming a Phantom was the dream of every resident of the Citadel, because it was the only possibility for a bright future, for not being afraid of death from monsters.

[Warning!]

[Hurry up and use Revolve while the monster gene can still become the initial gene!]

The messages like a cold shower brought Adam back to normal as he quickly crawled over to the Silver Weaver.

Adam had never used Revolve before, but something inside him was trying to break free, and he just let the feeling come out.

At the same moment, a white vortex appeared in front of Adam's palm. The Silver Weaver's body trembled slightly as a multitude of runes began to emerge, tending to the center of the vortex and entering Adam.

[You have obtained the Silver Weaver Gene!]

[Since this is your first gene it becomes your initial gene!]

[Your Evolution Tree began growth!]

Adam's eyes grew deeper, while his mind plunged into the depths of the abyss, finding itself in a starry space where it seemed the entire universe could fit.

However, none of the millions of stars caught Adam's attention, for his gaze was focused on only one - a white seed sprouting rapidly, becoming a young tree with only a few branches.

A stream of runes swept by Adam's side, turning into a ball of thread that took its place in the center of the Evolution Tree.

The Evolution Tree shuddered, releasing ripples outward, making space shake. Around the ball of thread, a carved circle appeared on the tree trunk, emitting white energy, light and free.

[You have reached the First Circle of Evolution!]

Then, as if in response, a star flew out from the ball of thread, piercing into Adam's glabella. His blue eyes shone brightly, revealing a new world to him.

[You have received the Order of your Initial Gene - Silver Weaver]

[Weaver's Needle

Make thread become an original tool that can be used to both kill and sew fabric, even if it is reality itself].

Naturally, Adam had many questions, for as a person from the slums, he had little to no knowledge of the power of Phantoms. However, there was no one to help him, he had to find out for himself.

His mind returned to the real world, where there was nothing but a ruptured metal container and corpses.

'Think... think... How do I get out of here...?!' Adam inwardly shouted, trying to remember everything he knew about the Dead Lands.

'Caravans... Right... There's definitely still a few days until the next Eclipse, so it should be pretty safe here now, right? At least there are definitely Phantoms here!" Adam exclaimed happily, walking over to the man and stripping him of his clothes.

Not that he wanted to do it, but he had no other choice. Without these things, he would just suffocate in the sandstorm, and the goggles would be a great defense.

Eclipse was both a feast and a plague. It happened about once a week, not during the day, but at night, causing the moon to practically disappear and plunge the entire world into darkness. For these twelve hours, the Citadel, all the military, and the Phantoms prepare for a whole week - to survive the waves of monsters.

Eclipses have been happening for as long as the fall of the Last Star, an event that descended as long ago as this world has existed.

After the fall of the Last Star, the brightest and largest of all, the world was forever changed. Much of the planet became an uninhabited wasteland, monsters appeared, and people with superpowers arose.

It is said that Eclipses are happening to bring back the light of the Last Star, but these are nothing more than rumors.

Step. Step. Another Step.

Adam stepped out of the container, passing over the corpse of the Silver Weaver to see the Dead Lands he had heard about all his childhood. It was impossible for the citizens of the city to survive in the Dead Lands, only the Phantoms could fight the monsters.

"What the hell...?" Adam gulped, as his eyes went wide at the sight of hundreds of monster corpses, some of which were already covered in sand.

Adam turned around, looking at the decapitated man, "Did he do it or that monster? Wait, I've never heard of a Silver Weaver... Is this really a monster from the Red Book?"

There were countless monsters in the Dead Lands, each one had its own abilities, strength, and unique appearance.

Monsters were the main enemies of mankind, so a single directory was created to record every monster, all possible information, and photos. The main directory was called - White Book and its copies were distributed even to the inhabitants of slums since everyone had to understand what were capable of ordinary monsters.

There was also a Red Book - for especially dangerous and quite rare monsters. The information about most of them was not complete, a small part of them didn't even have photos, also only nobles and Phantoms had access to the Red Book.

"Well, I won't get excited ahead of time. After all, I only know about 1/5 of the monsters in the White Book, so the chances of such luck are too slim..." Adam muttered before heading further, pacing amongst the monsters.

Usually, dead carcasses attracted other monsters who wanted to fill up on free food, but when there were so many corpses, it started to scare them away.

Naturally, Adam wasn't the one who killed these monsters, but anyone who looked at him from afar walking among dozens of corpses wouldn't risk it and would just move away.

Adam's eyes widened as he realized he had forgotten something important, then he pointed his hand at the nearest monster and summoned Revolve.

However, the vortex was unable to pull any genes out of the monsters.

"Agh... I was hoping it would work. This is disappointing..." Adam frowned, moving towards the high sand hill.

In order to get genes from a monster, one had to participate in its kill, so Revolve would have some connection to the monster to get the genes. The conditions weren't as strict as for igniting Spark, but it was an important rule affecting the entire world.

Only Phantoms or, at the very least, the latest weapons could eventually obtain new genes, though no weapons could help against strong monsters. There was simply no way the scientists could manage without the Phantoms because, without the monsters' genes, humanity would have perished long ago.

'Well, not that I want to face the monsters, what I need now is to find a way back to the Citadel...' Adam muttered inwardly, climbing to the top of the hill.

The vast expanse of land opened up before him, but he saw nothing but dunes, lonely sandy slopes, and a brutal wind blowing everything in its path.

Unfortunately, even though Adam had climbed to a high point, he hadn't come across a caravan. Something like that he would have noticed.

'Shit... I'm definitely not going to make it to the Citadel alone. I need to think of something, if I don't find the caravan I'll certainly end up in some monster's jaws sooner or later.'' Adan pondered with a frown, scratching his chin.

Suddenly, the clouds thickened over the desert, and electrical discharges sparked among them. Everything happened very quickly, and in a few seconds, a cascade of powerful lightning bolts struck the ground.

The lightning cascade disappeared, but not the thunder clouds, they only expanded, covering a larger and larger area.

At the same moment, hovering electric discharges appeared among the sand, which from time to time abruptly changed their position like ball lightning.

"That's..." Adam muttered, staring at a small object that appeared in the same place where the lightning cascade had struck.

A round blue stone with protruding crystalline rods spaced equally apart, the ends of which were flattened like disks, but they didn't touch each other. From time to time, electrical discharges passed among them, running from one rod to another.

"False Orb... Na way... Am I really that lucky...? I found an Artifact...?"

Adam couldn't believe it, because it wasn't even that each Artifact had unique abilities and were extremely rare, but that the Artifacts were worth a fortune! One Artifact was more than enough to lift his family out of poverty!

At the same moment, a long eel, normally floating on the bottom of the river jumped out of the sand. Electric shocks traveled all over its body, causing it to sound like thunder.

Then, the eel sank into the sand only to jump out in another part of the anomaly.

Adam gulped, his face pale, and doubts began to brew within him.

However, very soon all his uncertainty was washed away by an unshakeable determination to change his life once and for all.

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