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206 Ashlyn Garcia

    "Shameless villain! You better hope I don't catch you!" Sophia's eyes were burning with rage.

    She already disliked him when he called her pervert, but now he went overboard by asking her to show the recording to her mother.

    She knew she was innocent for she was anything but a pervert. But the recording caught her in embarrassing moments which would show her in a bad light.

    She was worried her mom would misunderstand so she destroyed the bead. The frail pieces of the shattered bead floated in the air before turning into powder.

    Sophia's sudden outburst surprised the female servant and men in black. They wondered just what was recorded in the bead for her to get so angry.

    While they were curious, they didn't dare enquire. They have failed their earlier duty so they were in no state to ask.

    The only reassuring point for them was that they wouldn't be killed by her. They were sure she knew they have tried their best but failed due to extraordinary circumstances.

    "Haah," Sophia took a long breath and let out a long sigh. She looked at her servants and understood their worry.

    She obviously knew they weren't laidback in their duty of guarding the area for they were oath-bound. The oath was not mere words, but rather a contract enforced by a nanochip.

    The chips were implanted in their heads. If a servant goes against the order then the chip would explode, thereby killing the individual.

    Such types of nanochip implants were very costly. Not to mention, they were not allowed in the civil society due to the government regulations, but the nine aristocrat families were an exception since they pretty much ran the government from the shadows.

    As a member of the Neville family, Sophia enjoyed the perks of having such loyal followers.

    ...

    A mile away, Ruby was sitting on the ground behind a thick tree.

    The space beside her twisted and Kiba appeared.

    "Have you taken the treasure?" Ruby jumped on her feet and asked.

    She didn't try to fake sweetness or respect since she has already learned her lesson. Her breasts and neck were still swollen from the branding. It has been hours but the pain was still raw and fresh.

    "Nope," Kiba shook his head.

    "What?!" Ruby was startled.

    She has felt the shockwaves from the battle and when she saw the men in black rushing away, she believed he must have grasped the precious treasure he mentioned.

    "Life doesn't always give us what we want," Kiba said as they left the area. "We can only move on if we don't get what our heart desire."

    Ruby felt bitterness and sadness from his voice.  The grief in his tone was no less than that of a starved man who couldn't take the food right in front of him.

    "That treasure must be amazing for him to be so melancholic," Ruby contemplated as they continued their journey.

    Twenty minutes later.

    The long trees shrouded the sun, making the ground covered with darkness.

    Shua.

    Ruby waved her hand and sharp nails flew out from her pocket. They shot down on a low-level black panther, killing it.

    "So far so good," Ruby thought as tore some wild vines in her path and stepped forward.  She took another step when she felt Kiba placing a hand on her shoulder, stopping her from moving forward.

    "What's wrong?" Ruby turned around and asked.

    "Nothing much. Just some uninvited guests waiting to welcome us in a trap," Kiba answered in a low voice, his eyes on thick foilage some hundred meters away. "If you continue straight, there are strong chances that you will be going directly to the underworld."

    "!" Ruby was alarmed.

    She quickly calmed herself, before following his line of sight. She didn't see or feel anything but she fully trusted him.

    "Shouldn't we express our gratitude for making them wait for so long?" Kiba said as he rested his head on her left shoulder.

    "We should," Ruby's lips curved up into a cruel smile.

    She raised her right hand and the thorns from nearby flora hovered in the air.  Kiba's eyes focused on the thorns and soon they flashed with a golden current.

    Ruby lowered her hand in a striking motion and the thorns, covered with golden current, hit the foliage from all around.

    "Fuck!"

    "They know about us!"

    "Dodge!"

    "AHH!"

    Four panicked male voices came from the foliage, but in just seconds, there was only the sound of screams.  The green leaves were dyed with blood as thorns pierced the bodies of four men.

    Every part of their bodies, including eyes, was struck with thorn, piercing right through the body armor. Their deaths were quick but painful.

    They felt something amiss earlier when they noticed Kiba and Ruby stopping in the path, but they remained in their position since they didn't wish to alert them.

    When they saw the thorns hovering in the air, they didn't panic and waited, for the thorns were not powerful enough to harm them. But they never thought that the next moment they would die after the thorns were reinforced with a foreign power.

    Kiba and Ruby arrived in front of the dead bodies. She noticed a thin wire stretching out from the hand of the four bodies to the path she was earlier above to take. She observed the path properly and noticed minute differences in the soil layer which she theorized were done by the four men.

    "Ground filled with explosives," Ruby felt a chill down her spines at the close encounter with death if not for Kiba's warning.

    She checked the dead bodies to see if they were carrying any resources. She found some low-level fruits and herbs along with guns and explosives, but nothing truly precious.

    "They were broke," Ruby sighed in disappointment.

    "Obviously," Kiba turned his head towards far north. "They were mere scouts to welcome us in the first trap."

    "You mean there are more?!" Ruby looked in surprise.

    She then thought about how people were investigating the explosions created from the battle between Fiona and Kiba. She wondered if the main party was one of those search teams.

    "Yeap," Kiba nodded his head. "Let's see if the main party is good enough to entertain us."

    Without saying anything, Ruby leaned up to kiss his lips, much to his amazement.

    "I would entertain you even if they don't," Ruby said as her lips parted with his.

    "That was bold and smart," Kiba said in an appreciative tone. "Guess my morning efforts were not wasted."

    Ruby's cheeks flushed and her heart thumped loudly as she recalled the 'efforts'.

    "We should continue," Ruby said as she walked forward.

    She wanted to impress him, but she was not in a state to handle his 'efforts'. Even now she was having a hard time walking straight.

    "Sure," Kiba followed from behind with his eyes feasting on her firm ass. "The forest is definitely filled with delicious sweets."

    He hoped the main party would relieve him of his boredom before he fully feasts on Ruby.

    ----

    Meanwhile, some ten miles away. An event unrelated to Kiba and Ruby was taking place.

    BANG

    A female in early thirties collided against a tree, her head dripping with blood. Some distance away from her, five hyenas were moving towards her.

    "Mina!" A male in mid-thirties called out. His arms stretched out like rubber and he brought his fist down on two hyenas.

    Mina aimed a hand towards one of the remaining two hyenas and a column of sandy liquid flew out. The liquid was like concrete and as soon as it struck on the hyena, it solidified.

    "Amir, watch out!" Mina shouted as she saw an elephant waving its trunk.

    Amir's body turned as thick as a layer of glass and he evaded the attack of the elephant. His body then flew above in the air like a balloon and he stretched his limbs to envelope the elephant into a net.

    Just then the remaining hyena pouched on Amir. Mina leaped up and her palms spew out more sandy liquid to overpower the hyena.

    "Damn," Amir broke free after defeating the elephant. "This is the 17th beast I have fought today. They might be low level but I'm exhausted."

    "More are coming," Mina looked in the distance to observe a herd of wild beasts.

    In ordinary times, they could easily handle a group of such weak beasts but horde was an entirely different story. The chances of being cornered from all around were high and a single strike might prove fatal. So if possible, they wanted to avoid the fight and save their energy for future battles.

    "Which bastard incited this beast riot?" Amir mumbled as he gasped for air.

    A few hours ago, the low-level beasts ran away from the outskirts to the inner areas. They did so to protect themselves from the energy explosion created by the battle between Kiba and Fiona.

    Alas, this resulted in a beast tide as the territories were fixed. Lower level beasts could not freely barge in an area marked by a higher-level beast.

    This, in turn, resulted in the current situation where many hunters and adventurists found themselves to be the unlucky victims of the beast horde.

    "Let's get out of here," Mina said as she dashed towards another direction. Amir followed alongside her, and in the same direction, four more team members were speeding through.

    Much to their horror, more beasts scuttled out from the trees and sprinted towards their direction.

    "Shit!" Mina cursed as she evaded the claws of a wolf and counter-attacked with her ability. "We will die out of exhaustion if this continues."

    "We have to open a path if have to escape with our lives," A male colleague said as he spat out black mist from his mouth.

    The mist enveloped a  Level I cheetah and its body corroded at a rate visible to the naked eye.

    Amir looked around and his eyes brightened up as he saw a feminine figure some two hundred meters away, surrounded by beasts from all sides.

    The girl was about twenty-one years old, clad in a black suit, marking a striking difference with her creamy-white skin.  Blessed with a fit little frame, long legs, and gorgeous face; her body was as perfect as a human could ever get.

    Her eyes were entrancing emerald-green while her hairs were crystalline dark. Her beauty was truly breathtaking.

    Any man who sees her face even once would want to keep her for himself. But if they see her mesmerizing eyes, they would feel as if they were stuck in an ice cave. Her eyes were devoid of any warmth, all they had was incomparable coldness.

    "Ashlyn!" Amir loudly shouted to bring her attention. "Please cut a path for us!"

    Ashlyn brought her vision on him and then nodded. She was surrounded by elephants, wolves, and panthers, but there was no trace of worry on her face.

    On both her wrists, blue discs were floating. The discs resembled chakram with their sharpened outer edge.

    The discs moved above her hand as she opened her palm. She gripped them tightly and closed her eyes.

    The beasts pounced towards her, their claws and jaws moving ahead to rip her to shreds.

    The discs started spinning in a chopping manner, their sharp edges gleaming like a blade.

    Ashlyn opened her eyes and leaped high in the air before throwing the discs with powerful force.

    Swoosh.

    The discs penetrated the air and transformed into blurry streams of light as they shot explosively towards the beasts.

    As the discs moved forward, they created an ear-piercing sound, making the eardrums of everyone in the vicinity to tremble.

    Slash

    A giant elephant, whose trunk was twisting towards Ashlyn's leg, fell on the ground. Its neck was pierced through by a disc, tearing its body into two.

    The discs continued to rush ahead, cutting through every beast in its path. The beasts resentfully growled as their bodies ripped apart by the discs.

    Tap.

    Just as Ashlyn landed back on the ground, there was not a single sign of any living beast near her.

    The discs moved back in her hands as she turned towards Amir and others who were surrounded by beasts. She speeded towards them and the sharp edges on the discs rotated.

    The discs shot out from her hands. Terrifying blue ripples emanated out of the discs and struck at the beasts. Blood and gore spurted out of the beasts as the ripples and discs swept right through them.

    "Yes! Finally!" Amir and others were pleasantly surprised as more beasts died and the path opened up.

    They couldn't help but marvel at her might. The males gave her quick glances as they dashed ahead, despite it being a battlefield.

    Her expression was cold, just like her eyes and the way she killed the beasts. But this didn't stop the male members from desiring her, even though the desire was suppressed after witnessing the battle.

    A few minutes later, the seven members escaped the assault of the beasts.

    "Ashlyn, thanks," Amir said as her discs killed a final group of beasts. "We will add your help as contribution points."

    Ashlyn ignored him and made a grasping motion in the air.

    The discs made a curve in the air and flew back towards her. She clenched her fists and the discs moved through them, without harming her the least bit, and cladding themselves on her wrists.
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