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593 Live With Me

    Even though emotions rarely affected her, seeing Zed made her poker expression slightly change.

    The memories she shared with him were far less than the one she had with elder brother - Kiba. But very often, when she would look at the moon and remember the adventures she had with Kiba, she would compare it with the ones she shared with his younger brother.

    The comparison would bring a rare smile on her face and brighten her mood.

    Kiba was brazen, sadistic, and shameless. He loved to kill enemies with style after toying with them.

    But Zed was different. He was innocent, kind, and sincere, to such an extent that he would even help people who were malicious towards him.

    Ashlyn's lips slightly curved up as she recalled the differences. She looked behind Zed to check if Kiba was also coming.

    A minute passed, and by then, Zed was inside the hall. Yet there was no sign of his elder brother.

    Suddenly, she thought of Zed's visit to the forest. He had arrived there in secret, without letting his brother know, and when they were about to meet Kiba at the destined point, he had fleed!

    He had made sure Kiba never knew he was there!

    She realized he must have run from the home again, or at least left without informing his brother.

    Her heart sank with disappointment, but she didn't let it affect her.

    Stepping down from the balcony, she walked towards Zed, ignoring the stares and comments her steps brought.

    Many young and old gazed at her, wondering where the cursed beauty was going.

    The females who felt jealous and inferior due to her awe-inspiring beauty sneered, believing she was leaving. They thought she finally realized someone like her wasn't welcome among humans, no matter how great her beauty was!

    ...

    ...

    Zed's arrival barely attracted attention as everyone was engaged in conversations with friends and acquaintances.

    The debutantes were surrounded by the young admirers, making it impossible for them to notice the arrival of the handsome youngster radiating an aura of innocence and kindness.

    Zed thanked the waiter for the glass of water and took a sip. Just then, a figure moved past him and stood in front of him.

    His eyes turned wide in surprise as enchanting emerald-green eyes locked on him. He stepped back a few paces, as he looked at the creamy-white face and realized who it was.

    "Lady Ashlyn!" Zed got over his surprise and bowed before her. "How have you been?"

    Ashlyn looked at him for a few seconds before nodding.

    "That's good to know," Zed replied politely.

    He had long learned she didn't speak through words but rather motions of her head.

    Ashlyn nodded again.

    She thought of his elder brother, someone who really cared about Zed.

    Feeling Kiba might be worried, she spoke far more words than she had in weeks to ask, "Why aren't you at home?"

    Zed scratched the back of his head in embarrassment before answering, "It got destroyed, so I'm kinda homeless."

    "!" Ashlyn's eyes flashed with shock.

    She thought of Kiba and her heart twisted with worries.

    Given Kiba's strength, how was it possible for their home to be destroyed?

    Indeed, a calamity must have fallen on him!

    This made her twisting heart erupt with fear, making her remember the last few minutes she shared with him. (Chapter 446)

    ✻✻✻✻

    Attacking Kiba as he tried to stop her taking from the virus, and warning her of the danger it carried. And when he realized she was burning her life-force to fight him, with a look of resignation, he stopped.

    The sadness with which he looked at her had stabbed her heart.

    But she forcefully turned around and left the spaceship, while making a promise to herself:

    After everything was over, she would reunite with him. And then she would live her life instead of merely existing!

    She would love, grow, explore, make mistakes, and, most importantly, have fun.

    ✻✻✻✻

    Now though, the promise held no value, just like life. A gloomy mist erupted in her eyes.

    "Though everyone is safe, so no worries!" Zed said as he noticed gloom in her eyes. "But if you see brother, don't let him know I'm here!"

    The gloom in her eyes instantly vanished, replaced with joy. Soon it was replaced by the usual coldness.

    Knowing Kiba was safe and realizing Zed might be troubling him, she smiled.

    ...

    By now, almost half the guests at the party had shifted their gazes on Ashlyn and Zed, especially Zed.

    "He is very handsome, so why is he with that bitch?" A female in mid-twenties wondered.

    "Who is he?" A middle-aged man in the distance asked. "He looks a bit familiar."

    "Isn't he The Zed?!" A stunning debutante gasped as she ignored her suitors and stared at the blue-eyed youth.

    "The Zed!?"

    The two words rang through the hall like claps of thunder, instantly bringing the spotlight on Zed.

    He might have never been to the State of Eaakins before, but he was renowned here, especially among the high society.

    "The one who contributed over a billion dollars to help Delta City?!"

    "A son of House of Hestia!"

    Many old men and women muttered in disbelief.

    "Restricting his identity to House of Hestia would be an insult, no matter how glorious that identity is!"

    "For least we forget he has been to the core region of Desolate Blood Fores!"

    "And if those rumors have even a little bit of substance, he had achieved what not even the Chosen of Nine Great Aristocrat Families could!"

    The old codgers wielding the greatest influence in the city rose to their feet and stepped in his direction.

    After the events in Delta City, his name has spread throughout the globe. And anyone who knew him from Desolate Blood Forest, or even saw him there, shared details about him, indirectly increasing his fame.

    As the old codgers approached him, their eyes brightened as if they were approaching a gold mine.

    This party was just a distraction, serving no real purpose for people of their standing, despite what the younger generation might feel.

    Though after seeing Zed, not only were they happy, but also excited. They already decided to gift him their granddaughters.

    Ashlyn was a bit startled to see the spotlight Zed had attracted. Unlike most people here, she was disconnected from society and knew nothing of the news.

    In the distance, her adopted parents were stunned. Just like others here, they learned of Zed after the tragedy struck Delta City.

    Though even they were unaware that he was an acquaintance of Ashlyn.

    As they saw the old codgers rushing towards Zed like thieves to a treasure chest, they continued to sit where they were. It wouldn't suit their image as generous philanthropists to join the old codgers in what they wanted to.

    Besides, there was no real need.

    What they wanted would soon be within their grasp... and then, nothing in this world would matter!

    Neither the World Government nor the nine families, much less a youngster, no matter how special he was!

    "All we need is to find a way to stop Ashlyn's condition from deteriorating!" Hansen and Stina thought. "Then everything would be ours! Even Dharma Chakra would bend before us!"

    ...

    As the old men and women approached Zed, the debutantes left their suitors.

    The party acted as a sort of debutante ball, and it was natural for them to socialize with someone who was cut above the rest. If there was to be a prospective relationship, it obviously would be with the prince!

    So they left the commoners, no matter how deluded they were their image of grandeur!

    ...

    The old and the debutantes encircled Zed and Ashlyn just when Ashlyn told him, "You can live with me."

    "What?!" Everyone around her gasped with wide eyes.

    Even those sitting at the tables and in the distance were dumbstruck.

    Ashlyn's voice was low and soft, sweet like an angel, but the words she spoke were heard by all as if it was an explosion.

    As she felt the countless stares on her and heard the gasps, Ashlyn was confused.

    Knowing Zed was homeless and thinking how worried sick Kiba would be, she did what natural -- Inviting him to live with her.

    It wasn't like it was the first time.

    They had share camp houses in the forest.

    So why was everyone staring at her like fools?

    She naturally didn't understand her simple words could be perceived in an entirely different manner.

    Most of the debutantes stared at Ashlyn with disdain. They opened their mouths to tell her that she was mas making a joke of herself with her outlandish statement!

    Before the angry words could leave their mouths, Zed bowed towards Ashlyn and said, "Thank you. I will pay the rent as soon as I'm able to."

    Ashlyn nodded, though she signaled him he didn't need to pay.

    "Thanks again," Zed politely expressed his gratitude once again.

    "!!!!"

    The jaw of debutantes slacked, and their silly expressions shocked their forgotten admirers.
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