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186 Share Everything!

    (A/N: Twice as long chapter!)

    Near the outskirts of Desolate Blood Forest.

    A temporary camp was enacted besides a flowing river stream. The camp was in the form of a large and wide tent; dark red fabric attached to a frame of poles.

    The fabric used for the camp was special, it could hinder the smelling ability of the wild beasts. Not only that but it also has a strong resistance to weather elements.

    The camp was divided into six rooms; one for storage of beast hides, another for food items and utensils, while the rest were reserved for the individual occupants.

    Each room was richly decorated in motifs and equipped with windows. There was a sense of luxury despite the dangerous location.

    Inside one of the rooms.

    Ruby and Xander were sitting on the bed while Kyron was standing opposite them. Their current expressions and attitude were far different from what Kiba witnessed earlier.

    "All men are the same." Ruby licked her lips like a hunter. "They would do anything as long as you give them a chance of getting close to a hole."

    Her voice didn't have a single trace of the former sweetness and innocence. if anything, her tone contained a bone-numbing chilliness.

    Xander and Kyron silently listened to her words without making any comments. They believed she was only stating a simple truth.

    "Let's proceed as we planned." Ruby put her glasses on a table. "We are going to get rich."

    The three talked for a few minutes to discuss important details before the two men left the room.

    Ruby lay on the bed and gazed at the ceiling. She was looking forward to the events to follow.

    "Oh, Kiba...you are a naive sheep in a forest full of wolves."

    ...

    A few hours later.

    Kiba walked out of his room and stretched out his arms.

    "A few hours of rest really do wonders," Kiba thought.

    He was unaffected by his confrontation with the wolves and Iron-scaled Fish. The only reason he rested in the afternoon was due to the jet-lag.

    In the Delta City it would be now morning, but here it was evening. The time zone difference was getting to him since it was his first day in the forest.

    "It's reassuring Cosmic Spark doesn't interfere with my body cycle." Kiba mused while moving around.

    It was the first time that he has taken such a long distance trip, so he wasn't aware of how his body would react to the changes. So he felt good to be not affected by his almost unrivaled powers. He never wanted his strength to interfere in his day to day functions.

    While most people in the world would give everything to have a body like him...a body which wasn't affected by a virus, poisons, diseases and so on; he didn't felt the same.

    He wanted his body to be immune but never to an extent that he might not be able to enjoy sleep, lovemaking, alcohol and other vices.

    Sleep meant a wastage of time, sexual desires were biological urges to ensure the reproduction cycle continues forever, alcohol affects thinking capabilities and so on.

    Those activities, from an evolution point of view, were things a supreme organism wouldn't like to be bound with. Theoretically speaking, given his current form's source of energy, his body shouldn't be bounded with such things either.

    "Maybe my powers know what I want so they don't interfere in things I love," Kiba thought as he stepped towards the river stream. He cleared a stone of the dust before sitting down on it.

    The sun was about to set with the orange-gold stretches of the sky reflected on the water. There were faint ripples on the surface, created by the small fishes.

    "You were here." Ruby's sweet voice came from behind. She was wearing a black trouser and violet jacket along with her glasses.

    "Y-yes." Kiba turned back and nodded.

    "Mind if I take a seat?" Ruby asked as she walked between the stones to walk towards him.

    "Of course not." Kiba provided half the stone for her.

    "Thanks." Ruby sat beside him. Intentionally or not, her legs touched his and Kiba tried to make some comfortable distance between them.

    "It is so beautiful," Ruby said in her charming and loving voice.

    "Indeed."

    Kiba looked on the sun dipped below the horizon, the fleeting colors of twilight beginning to fade away. The scene was magical and this was especially true when one was accompanied by a beautiful woman.

    What more can a man desire?

    "I'm glad you are with us," Ruby's cheeks were as red as beetroots as she said this.

    "Me as well." Kiba gave her face a quick glance and his heart started beating rapidly.

    There was no more conversation for a minute or two and the atmosphere turned awkward. The only sound was the faint sound of crickets and mosquitoes nearby.

    "We should make some preparations for dinner," Kiba said and he quickly stood up.

    Ruby didn't say anything but looked on as he rushed away from her.

    She has felt how tensed he was with their close contact earlier. She was sure he lacked experience and having a woman accompany him in such a location has made his heart stirring.

    "Innocent men are the easiest ones." Ruby thought with a smirk. "He has most likely let his guards down after the Iron-scaled Fish episode."

    She cleared her thoughts and joined Kiba as he chopped woods and started a fire.

    "Where are Xander and Kyron?" Kiba enquired.

    "They are hunting," Ruby answered. She prepared a teapot and put it on the burning wood.

    The bottom surface of the teapot soon turned red. Water bubbles started forming, with hot steam rising into the air.

    Ruby put tea leaves, resembling flower petals, into the pot. Kiba could smell the fresh aroma from the pot.

    In no time, the tea was ready, and Kiba placed two teacups in front of Ruby.

    She nodded and poured an almost transparent tea into the cups.  They both picked up their cups and drank the content in almost one gulp.

    "So comfortable."

    The warm flow gushed in their bodies, rejuvenating them with a relaxing sensation.

    "No tea for us?"

    A voice came from the behind.

    Kiba turned back and saw Xander and Kyron walking out of the bushes. They were carrying two rabbits and some wild fruits.

    "Of course there is tea for you," Ruby answered in her innocent voice.  The two put the rabbits and a knife in front of Kiba after which they sat on the grass.

    Kiba helped with skinning the rabbits while Ruby treated the newcomers with tea.

    "Kiba, what do you plan to do?" Kyron asked.

    "I didn't really have any plans," Kiba answered, "But after the close encounter with the fish, I would like to be with you guys."

    "A wise choice," Xander added in a sarcastic tone, "After all, you barely survived from Iron-scaled Fish. Who knows what would have happened to you, if not for us."

    "..." Kiba has a downcast expression.

    His expression clearly denoted how ashamed he was, but deep in his eyes, there was just plain ridicule. It was like he was watching ants acting as if they were the savior of a giant.

    "Xander, stop," Ruby gave him a stern look before continuing, "He is one of us and we need to be united."

    "I just spoke the truth," Xander shrugged his shoulders.

    "It is fine." Kiba continued with a stiff smile. "He helped me back then so he isn't wrong. I just overestimated myself when I came here alone."

    Xander gave a scoff.

    He has checked the reports from the sensors and knew while Kiba has great potential, he still hasn't tapped in. Of course, he believed Kiba was not weak either but just not strong enough to tread a dangerous place like this.

    Xander wasn't surprised by Kiba's words either. There were far too many people who would overestimate themselves and arrive in Desolate Blood Forest for adventure.

    These people would either become food to the beasts or fertilizers to the savage plants.

    "Or help people like us by giving us a jackpot," Xander thought with a grin.

    Kiba and Ruby grilled the rabbits while Kyron brought plates. Xander prepared the salad and adjusted them on the plates.

    After ten long minutes, the meal was ready to be served. Ruby brought the stream water and poured them on four glasses.

    "Where does this stream originate from?" Kiba pointed to the river stream.

    "There is a river in the south-west end of the forest," Ruby answered as she placed a leg piece in his plate, "That river is the source for all the streams."

    "Oh." Kiba thought of the first stream he encountered, which was almost lifeless with a low water level. "Is the river facing some issues?"

    "Yeap," Ruby nodded her head, "For reasons unknown, the river is drying up."

    "That's a bad sign," Kiba said.

    The plants can survive and thrive on rainwater and groundwater storage but what about the beasts?

    If a day arrives when the river dries entirely then the forest would become a forest of death.

    "Well, not for us," Kyron interjected in between, "Only for the beasts and the villagers."

    "Villagers?" Kiba was startled.

    "I don't know much, but I have heard there is a village somewhere in the forest," Kyron explained what he knew, "The beasts never target this village due to some Guardian Spirit."

    Kiba was intrigued by the details but he didn't really care.

    "Do you know why the government doesn't forbid entry to the forest?" Kiba asked another question. When he entered the forest, he was startled by lack of any barrier or security forces.

    While it could be argued the forest was far too vast for the government to barricade, Kiba believed there should be at least some surveillance in the usual entry points. So far he has sensed none, not even from a satellite.

    "Isn't it obvious?" Xander looked at him like he was an idiot, "The government doesn't wish to anger the mutant population by imposing too many regulations."

    "Right! It was really obvious," Kiba smiled awkwardly but inwardly, he wanted to facepalm.

    Has the World Government ever cared about the restrictions it has put on mutants in the civil society?  The answer was a big no.

    The government was more than capable enough to handle rogue mutants in cities so it shouldn't be impossible to impose the same rules here.

    Not to mention, why would the government let so many treasure hunters take the resources? After all, who doesn't wants to have a monopoly in such a treasure mine?

    ...

    Kiba and others completed their dinner after which they chewed some mint leaves. Each of them washed their plates and then helped in ensuring the camp's defense system was active. They didn't need to take turns to guard the camp either since they were not deep in the forest.

    "Good night," Ruby waved her hands towards Kiba before entering her room.

    Kiba also waved his hands in return like a lovestruck idiot, much to the annoyance of Xander.

    "You are going to have very sweet dreams tonight," Kyron said with an eyewink.

    "...." Kiba scratched his head and walked towards his room.

    After seeing Kiba entering the room, the expression of Kyron and Xander changed. They both had a cruel smile on their faces.

    "Sweet dreams after which his life would turn into a nightmare," Xander laughed in a sinister fashion, "I just couldn't wait to see his reaction after he wakes up."

    They both entered their rooms to complete the preparations.

    ...

    After half an hour~

    Kiba was lying on the bed, with his eyes on his phone. The room was lightened by the inbuilt lights in the fabric.

    "As expected no signal," Kiba put back his phone, "Most likely only satellite communication would work."

    "Kiba." A voice came from outside along with the sound of fabric rustling.

    "Hmm?" Kiba walked to the entrance and opened the door.

    Outside, Ruby was standing. In her hand, there was a glass of saffron milk.

    When Ruby saw Kiba, she was surprised. He was shirtless, exposing his chiseled six-pack abs and powerful shoulders.

    "Ruby?" Kiba's voice contained a trace of shock by her unexpected visit.

    "I hope I didn't wake you up," Ruby lowered her head and said.

    "No, of course not," Kiba shook his head, "You can visit me anytime."

    He then signaled her to come inside.

    There was only a bed in the room with no chairs, so Ruby and Kiba both sat down on the bed.

    Kiba took a few quick glances at her but otherwise remained silent. Ruby noticed his gazes but pretended to not notice them.

    "I brought milk for you," Ruby gave him the glass.

    She could hear his heartbeats and knew how excited he was by her presence. After all, what type of man wouldn't be touched by her actions this late in the night.

    "It would be hard to find milk in the forest, but yet you brought for me..." Kiba looked at the glass like it was a treasure.

    "It is nothing," Ruby said in her sweet voice, "Drink before it turns cold."

    "Yes!" Kiba brought the glass to his lips.

    Ruby's eyes were filled with sinisterness as she witnessed his actions.

    "This saffron milk can make even Nine-headed Demonic Bull fall asleep for days. Much less a human mutant. " Ruby wanted to laugh at the ease by which the mission has gone.

    Earlier, she couldn't use the sedatives since he might not accept food items which were not prepared in front of him. He would be on guards and would ensure the meal was prepared in his presence.

    But now?

    Xander has helped him against Iron-scaled Fish so why would he doubt them? Not to mention, the relationship with the group has improved after lunch and dinner. Then there were the special touches she has taken to make him relax his guards.

    Kiba drank the entire glass of milk. He wiped his mouth and placed the glass on the floor.

    "The milk was really sweet and fragrant," Kiba looked at her before continuing, "Just like you."

    Ruby lowered her head, her cheeks flushed by the words.

    Inside her heart, she was laughing with happiness. She was sure the sedatives were taking over his mind. Otherwise, in normal times, he wouldn't make such comments.

    "Just a few more minutes and I would have the jackpot," Ruby mused with joy, "Oh god! Thank you for making men so weak in their minds when they are close to a woman!"

    "Would you mind closing your eyes?" Kiba asked, much to the surprise of Ruby.

    "Huh? Why?" Ruby looked at him in confusion.

    "You brought milk for me." Kiba was blushing as he continued, "I want to reciprocate by giving you something special."

    "Oh?" Ruby was intrigued. She wondered just how he would react when he realizes the truth behind the milk.

    But she did as he asked. She slowly shut her eyes, looking forward to knowing what he has in mind before he fell asleep.

    Ruby felt him taking her left hand in his hand.

    "Just what he has in mind?" Ruby was really curious. She then felt something around her fourth finger.

    Surprised, she opened her eyes. When she saw the object on her finger, she was shocked out of her wits. Her eyes turned wide in disbelief and her jaws almost dropped to the floor.

    Not even in her wildest dreams, she ever expected this was what he had in mind when he said he wishes to reciprocate her gesture.

    She once again looked at her finger to ensure her senses weren't playing a trick on them.

    "This is true?" Ruby ran her other hand on her finger and felt the round object.

    The object was absolutely dazzling and soothing, made from diamond and gold.

    It was a solitaire ring!

    Ruby's stomach was fluttering with butterflies. She turned her head and noticed Kiba was on his knees.

    "W-what is this?" Ruby asked, trying to sound composed. She has a feeling she knew the answer, but she didn't dare believe it.

    "My mother often used to say this finger had a vein that runs directly to the heart, the Vena Amoris," Kiba traced her ring finger, "Vein of love."

    "...What do you mean?" Ruby was shrewd but no matter, she was still a female. Such words and actions were reserved for her one true love.  As a maiden, the present situation has made her beyond shocked.

    "This ring was given to my mother by my father," Kiba said in a low voice, filled with extreme emotions, "Before my mother died...she gave me this ring..."

    Kiba stopped in between as tears flooded his eyes.

    "She told me to give it to a woman who can make me flustered and loved," Kiba continued in a passionate voice, "A woman with whom I can share everything."
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