Kyle waved at him and approached him in rapid steps. Varian stood stupefied as Kyle reached him and …
"What the fuck are you doing here?" they both yelled at the same time.
Varian glared at his friend "You are taking the entrance to Military Science Academy. So why are you in the fucking Abyss? You are a non-combatant for fuck's sake!"
Kyle glared back with equal intensity "And you never told us you were going to Defense Academies. Are you out of your mind? The minimum requirement is to kill Level 2 Abyssals! You're only a level 1. They'll rip you apart."
They both stared at each other and finally sighed in union.
Kyle confessed in distress, "The Management is nuts. We, the candidates for science academy, had a written test. The ones who passed the test are dropped in the Abyss. As long as we "survive", they'll take us in. We'll spend our lives in labs. Why test us with this goddamn Abyss?"
Varian patted Kyle's shoulder and said, "Just stay away from the city. There are villages a few kilometers from here."
He sighed at his own plight "I… might sound crazy, but I really, really need to get into Imperial Academy."
"They won't pick a Level 1. You must at least be Level 2." Kyle rebutted.
"So I have to breakthrough to Level 2 before the test ends." Varian shrugged.
Kyle looked at Varian like he was a madman. Varian awakened just a few days ago and now he wanted to break into Level 2.
He would've written it off as drivel if it was someone else, but looking at the burning fire in Varian's eyes, Kyle felt maybe his friend really believed he could do it or… that he must do it despite any price.
"Good luck, bro. I'm sorry I can't help you out." he smiled at Varian.
Varian nodded. He wasn't optimistic, nor was he too pessimistic. For him, this was an opportunity.
'I have a system. What's impossible for others is possible for me. But doing it in this constricted time frame is going to be challenging.'
He wanted to assess the situation and looked around. With his Great human eyesight, he could observe the situation in a vast range.
Like Kyle, many new students landed. They wasted no time and headed away from the city. Presumably, they'll be going to uninhabited places. It was a smart choice.
The combatants, however, were yet to take any action. Since they were a few kms from the city, they had some buffer. They grouped with their acquaintances and discussed their plans.
Varian divided the combatants into three groups. One was the normal group and the majority. They were geniuses of their schools and reached Level 2.
The other group was the unaffiliated elite. They had a strong air of strength. They reached Level 3. They were the cream of the crop. However, they had no expensive star treasures and hence must be unsolicited by any major powers.
The final group was the elite of major powers. They had a luxurious line up of star treasures. Weapon, body armor, accessories boosting their stats,… in other words and they were all level 3. These people had it all. Strength, wealth and background.
Varian saw many of them started to sweat and pale.
"Kyle, don't move." Varian suddenly said.
"Wh..at" Kyle frowned and suddenly his face paled.
Varian took a deep breath and calmed his racing heart. His mind started to get dreaded thoughts, visions of his own death. It told him to run away.
If he let it decide, he would have fled already.
'So this is Abyss's will.' Varian closed his eyes and faced the visions with tranquility.
In each of the vision, he could see himself getting killed by the Abyssals. Sometimes, by breaking his neck, the others by slicing him in two. It was truly a horrific experience for a normal person and would've broken them. Not him.
Varian didn't like what he was seeing, but he quickly adapted. He didn't fear death, but he had no plans to die. He had things to do.
These visions, however, took a toll on him. He wasn't sure if he would be able to give his 100% to the battles. At least, not yet.
"Abyss will… oh my god." Kyle slumped onto the ground. Sweat rolled down his face, and he was shivering slightly.
"Calm down. Abyss Will is not an intelligent thing." Varian tried to soothe Kyle. Not everyone was able to face Abyss Will like him.
Despite being attacked by Abyssals since their arrival, the only reason humanity just defended planets and never tried to attack Abysses was Abyss Will.
Eight Abysses had a will each. They served three purposes.
First, in Abyss, any Abyssal had their stats increase by 5%. It might be a small amount in comparison, but the outcome of many battles was reversed due to this one small increase.
Second, upon entering the Abyss, any non-Abyssal would face a psychological pressure in the form of fears, visions among other things. It suppresses them and prevents them from exerting their full strength.
Stacking these two effects, unless the power differential tilts heavily in humanity's favor, Abysses would be safe from invasions.
'Thank Heavens we have the Heaven's will.' Varian sighed in emotion. Abyssals weren't the only one with this blessing.
Humans found out in their first war against Abyssals in 400 YAB that whenever Abyssals entered a planet or moons of the solar system, their stats would be suppressed by at least 10%.
They didn't know the reason for it and thought it was the blessings of Heaven. Thus, it was named 'Heaven's will'.
It was the reason that humanity wasn't destroyed by Abyssals in their first war. humanity waged a protracted war against Abyssals from 400 to 430 YAB and finally pushed them back.
Subsequently, when humanity first ventured into the Abysses in 470 YAB, they experienced the Abyss Will and named it as such.
"You sure adapt to things quickly." Kyle stood up and looked at a group of top elites near them.
"Even if I'm Level 1, I guess I'm mentally strong." Varian glanced at a group of elites still struggling with Abyss will.
"I'm sure if you had resources like those rich kids, you'd have awakened much earlier and be much stronger. It's a pity, resources wasted on unworthy kids." Kyle said in a low voice, making sure only Varian could hear it.
They were at least a hundred feet away from the top elites and with Kyle's volume, it wouldn't be audible even for a Level 3.
However, Varian felt his hair stand up. He turned to the side and saw a pair of eyes lock Kyle.
The air in front of Kyle exploded, and Varian grabbed Kyle in the nick of time.
"Do you want to kill him just for some words?" Varian yelled at the teenager, who punched at Kyle's previous position.
He was clad in luxurious dress and equipped star treasure rings on all his fingers. Even the belt was a star treasure, and Varian estimated it must at least be a Level 2. The most troublesome of all — he was a Level 3.
The teenager looked at them in disdain "Do you think I should just swallow my pride when a commoner insults me? His death will serve as an example."
Varian felt immense pressure from the teenager and gritted his teeth.
With a cocky face and an arrogant look, he smiled at them. A blue light shone from his heart's location and wrapped his entire body.
'So he's a Morpher. No wonder he was able to hear.' Varian concluded.
Morpher Path belonged to Divergent Group or Avenue. They were Awakeners who transformed into either plants or beasts based on their path.
The transformation only started from Level 4. From level 1 to level 3, Morphers drew power from the entity they would transform into.
During Level 1-3, how much each stat increased was dependent on the entity they would transform into.
Generally, like in all paths, any entity would've a few advantages and a few disadvantages.
If the entity they were going to transform was a titan which had high offense and defense but less speed, their stats would follow the same pattern. So, in Level 1-3, they'd gain more attack and defense stats, but less in speed.
Only a few morphers seemed to break the norm and were insanely strong.
Varian knew, on instinct, he was facing such an insanely strong enemy. They were really, really unlucky.
Kyle raised his hands and said, "I'm a Science candidate, and I'll be among the top 10 this year. I'll work for 5 years for you after I graduate. How about you let it go?"
Researchers were valuable assets to any major power. Kyle hoped to leverage this, however unfair it was to him, to salvage the situation. It was his mistake to begin with. Otherwise, he'd even be dragging Varian into peril.
Even though military didn't encourage killing among students, it wouldn't stop these top elites. Especially since this was still an entrance. Even though Varian was ready to fight, he knew Varian wouldn't be able to win against a level 3 with his current strength.
"Tch. Level 1 Trashes, do you think you can bargain with me, Young Master of Xander Family?"
'Xander! One of three prime families. Part of big two. We're fucked.'
Varian gritted his teeth and stepped forward. He knew the true perpetrator.
It was neither this young master nor Kyle.
'Fuck You System!' he cursed from the bottom of his heart.
"Let's fight!" Varian looked at his opponent, a Level 3.
He must pass the entrance.
The prerequisite: Survive!