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596 Art of Giving

    Painful cries rang out of Usman's mouth as the brutal whipping sent him rolling through the air, shooting him towards the force field.

    After completing its task, the whip vanished in thin air.

    "Thank you for letting me win."

    Zed bowed by placing his right fist on his left hand.

    The awe-struck audience cheered, whistled, and exclaimed. The debutantes cheered the loudest, gazing at him with admiration and desire.

    What type of person did they want as their man?

    The Zed type!

    Strong, smart, handsome, but also humble and kind.

    Even in impressive victory, gracious towards the opponent, with no sign of arrogance.

    The suitors in the audience acknowledged him for his humble and kind response. If the roles were reversed, they would have taken silly digs and laughed.

    While most of the audience was focused on admiring Zed, a man in late forties turned into a beam of light and shot at the arena. He was a beginning-stage Level V mutant, named Chinon - the father of Usman.

    Before his son could slam into the force field and further crush his body, Chinon grabbed him with his right hand.

    "Usman!" Chinon gasped.

    From face to the torso, every part of his son's body was burned, making him look incomparably hideous.

    Seeing his own flesh and blood in such a condition, murderous thoughts flooded into his consciousness.

    He glanced at Zed who was walking out of the arena.

    "You think you can leave after committing such brutality?!"

    Chinon swiftly shot down, instantly arriving before Zed.

    Everything happened in less than a second, and except for the extremely powerful people in the audience, none noticed.

    Ashlyn jumped to her feet and released the rotating discs. The old-timers also jumped in action, not daring to allow a son of House of Hestia murdered here.

    He might be a bastard son, but a son nevertheless! The blood of Hestia flew through him, and if the house knew, they would all pay the price.

    Sadly, by the time they started taking action, Chinon's left hand had transformed into a metallic claw, resembling a mutated eagle's. The claw thrust straight towards the heart of the one responsible for his son's state.

    "Damn! That kid is done for!" The old-timers' expressions turned ugly.

    Ashlyn's eyes constricted. She liked him, but most importantly if he died, how could she ever face Kiba?

    The discs slashed through the air, just two meters away from Chinon.

    Chinon smirked while bringing his gaze on the face of that damn bastard. He wanted to see the look of horror that would flash briefly when the claw bore a hole through the heart.

    What he noticed actually made his own heart pound in nervousness.

    Zed's face was serene, without a hint of panic. This wasn't what made Chinon nervous, rather it was the eyes.

    From the sky-blue color, they had turned the color of blood, crimson.

    They radiated an inviolable radiance, making him feel as if he was before the majestic king, in the midst of committing a capital crime.

    His claw was barely an inch away from the heart, and as this majestic sensation surged in his consciousness, the flesh inside his claw twisted.

    A scorching radiance erupted in his blood, but instead of vaporizing the blood, it made the blood burn.

    It was like every droplet of blood had turned into burning coal, making the veins seem as if they were braziers.

    "AHHHHH!" A miserable scream rang out of his mouth, startling both Ashlyn and the old-timers.

    Glowing flames drifted out of the braziers, igniting his flesh and the claw encasing it.

    He crashed on the floor, dropping his son alongside. Perhaps it was for good, as just as he crashed, the discs whistled through where his head and claw was.

    Ashlyn made a grasping motion and the discs returned back to her.

    By this time, most of the audience had noticed what was going on.

    And seeing Chinon's claw shaking amidst dancing crimson flames, their eyes widened and their jaw slacked.

    "What on Earth happened here?!"

    The debutantes and the suitor were shocked out of the wits.

    The flames made them feel as if they were pigs about to be roasted from inside out, causing their bodies to shake.

    Involuntarily, their vision sifted on the one who reduced them to a sorry state without doing anything.

    Zed.

    There was a veil of mystery around him, and they couldn't help but become fascinated with him, wondering what his capabilities were.

    The old-timers and other powerful people didn't feel the terror but they were equally fascinated.

    "What sort of attack did he used?" Stina asked.

    "Blood Ignition!" Hansen replied to his wife. "It isn't some ordinary technique that a Level IV mutant could use! Because it is a pseudo-Alpha level technique!"

    From what he knew, at an advanced stage, the caster of this technique could reduce one to ashes just from a single glance.

    "!!" Stina was amazed and she stared at Zed.

    Zed ignored the attention that was on him. With a look of regret, he quickly crouched before Chinon and waved his hand through the crimson flames.

    Puff~!

    The flames vanished, leaving behind badly melted flesh.

    "I'm really sorry.

    Zed apologized sincerely.

    "My instincts took over and I subconsciously used a forbidden technique."

    Chinon didn't say anything, or to be precise, he was incapable of saying anything. The flames might have extinguished, but a lot of his blood had burned.

    "Ah!"

    Realizing his mistake, Zed quickly pulled out a healing capsule and stuffed it in Chinon's mouth. The latter was shocked, believing it to be a poison capsule, but by the time he could do anything, the capsule melted, sending out streams of healing energy through his body.

    His burned flesh started brightening, regaining its former vitality, and soon skin formed over it.

    "I apologize for my conduct," Zed said to dumbstruck Chinon. "What I did was unforgivable but I hope you can forgive me."

    "!!" Chinon's jaw dropped.

    What's wrong with this kid?! He's apologizing?!

    The old-timers were similarly stunned though Ashlyn wasn't at all surprised. Even if she was, her poker face wouldn't show.

    She had seen him in the forest, helping those having antagonistic thoughts towards him. So his conduct didn't surprise her at all.

    After apologizing, Zed rose to his feet and stepped towards Ashlyn.

    "What the hell! Not only he showed mercy to someone who tried to murder him, but he even asked for forgiveness!"

    "The rumors about his kindness weren't overexaggerated, but understated!"

    The old-timers who have read about him exclaimed. Despite their old age, they were shocked to see good-hearted people like Zed existed.

    "No wonder he isn't with House of Hestia! That house is full of ruthless, cold-blooded people!"

    "Right! He would be a misfit!"

    As people discussed him, Zed joined Ashlyn. She looked at him, examining his body.

    "I'm fine," Zed replied to her unasked question. "Though very exhausted."

    Ashlyn nodded.

    A technique like Blood Ignition consumed a lot of strength. This was only natural as he would have to inject fire energy directly into the opponent's blood, without any medium.

    And like Ashlyn's father believed, this wasn't a technique suitable for an ordinary Beta.

    Of course, Zed wasn't ordinary.

    In his alter ego's form, he could create flame abilities he liked, and knowing their functioning in both body and soul, he could replicate in his Zed form.

    It could be said he has a cheat.

    ...

    The debutantes were far too stunned to remember that they have to tell Zed about Ashlyn's existence as a Cursed One.

    By the time they regained their sensed, Zed and Ashlyn were nowhere to be seen.

    "I have to marry him!"

    This thought flashed through their minds.

    Their young admirers couldn't read their thoughts, but they could see the dreamy looks.

    "Damn!" A young suitor swore. "Instead of one, he got them all!"

    "That too without trying!"

    "And he's supposed to be kind! Can't he be magnanimous and leave a few for us?!"

    "Our luck is too bad!"

    Sadly, they didn't know their luck was far too good.

    If not, they would have met Kiba, and if that had happened, not only would they lose these the debutantes, but also their sisters and mothers.

    The citizens of Delta City would have died to get their bad luck.

    ...

    ...

    A few minutes later.

    Outside the party.

    Stina and Hansen exchanged glances before focusing back on Ashlyn. She didn't say anything, but her silence spoke volumes.

    She wanted Zed to live with her.

    "Of course, my love! You don't even need to ask for such a thing!" Stina broke into a warm smile and said, "I'm glad you are finally bringing a friend to our home!"

    "We are very pleased!" Hansen beamed at her like a happy father.

    Ashlyn silently thanked her mom and dad. She was very happy with their decision and was grateful to them.

    Naturally, she couldn't know that they were agreeing to her because they had no choice. If they disagreed and her mood soured, it might affect their plans.

    So, with a welcoming smile, they turned towards Zed.

    Stina walked to him and hugged him, "Welcome to The Ivies!"

    "Thank you!" Zed thanked her.

    She broke the hug and examined his body language. With her skills in psychology, she could easily conclude he was nervous and somewhat resistant to the idea.

    "No need to be so rigid!" Stina took his face between her hands and kissed him on the forehead. "You are one of us and everything is yours!"

    "She's right," Hansen seconded her.

    "Everything?" Zed muttered in disbelief.

    "Of course! We believe in the art of giving!" Stina and Hansen said in unison.

    Zed was surprised but he nodded in understanding.

    "You also believe in it, right?" Stina asked with a radiant smile.

    "Yes, I do!" Zed answered before hugging her.

    Stina was a bit surprised by his hug, but she accepted it. She could understand that he was overwhelmed with emotions.

    Zed, on the other hand, thought of everything she said and his mind flashed with the scenario of her "giving" him all her holes.

    Her husband has also said that everything was his. And if he didn't take everything, wouldn't that hurt them for they were philanthropists?

    "Soon, I would show you just how much I believe in the art of giving!" Zed promised as his hug tightened.

    "Good child!" Stina rubbed his back. "I can't wait!"

    "Me as well!" Zed echoed her sentiments.

    He couldn't wait to give her a heavy load deep in all her holes, and show the extent he was ready to go.

    The hug ended and Zed scratched the back of his head.

    "What's wrong?" Stina asked as she noticed him redden, as if embarrassed.

    With her skills in psychology, she easily deduced that losing control of his emotions and hugging her would have embarrassed him.

    Zed blushed as he replied, "I had a moment of identity crisis!"
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