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231 You Are Not One Of Us

    The sky was filled with a shade of orange as sunset arrived. Suddenly, the beautiful sky was engulfed with smoke and dust as an explosion spanning for two sq.miles occurred without any warning.

    Far away, on the limestone floor, the people who survived the expedition in the underground cave were greatly alarmed as the shockwaves of the explosion swept over them. The stone floor cracked apart while stalagmites-like rocks shattered to dust particles.

    Most of the adventurists were sent flying as the ripples struck them like hammers. Every one of them felt an intense sense of dread welling up within their hearts.

    Sophia narrowed her eyes and gazed in the direction of the explosion.

    "This aura of destruction...it is similar to what was inside the cave!"

    ---

    In another place, far away from the site of the explosion.

    Between long trees, Kiba and Ashlyn stood on the ground. A transparent golden barrier surrounded them.

    Kiba raised his head and looked towards the sky as he sensed something.

    "Get ready," Kiba said in a serious tone. "It is coming."

    Ashlyn took the discs in her hands before following his line of sight. A colossal mass of energy was shooting down like a broken star, engulfed in flame.

    The mass of energy crashed on the ground with an ear-numbing sound. Powerful ripples swept out and the trees collapsed before turning into fine particles.

    A giant crater was created, filling the area with dust clouds. A gale of cold air rushed out from the center of the crater, sweeping the dust away.

    Slowly an enormous serpent came in sight. Its body was like a leviathan with dark scales, golden slit pupils and pointed fangs. Venom dripped from its fangs as it hissed and released a "chi chi" sound.

    The cold pupils of the serpent locked on Ashlyn and Kiba. Ashlyn's face fell and her heart pounded with fear. She felt as if she was thrown into a pit of ice, sending a cold chill down her spine.

    The serpent continuously hissed as if speaking. Neither Kiba or Ashlyn understood whatever it wanted to convey.

    The serpent stopped after some time and stared at Kiba, waiting for him to reply.

    "Do you know English?" Kiba asked in an amicable tone.

    "...." Ashlyn's lips quivered. She was sure this was definitely not the reply the serpent was waiting for.

    The serpent observed Kiba for a few moments and the look in its pupils changed. If before its bearing was neutral, now it was aggressive.

    "I take that as a no," Kiba said with a pondering expression.

    "You are not one of us," The serpent suddenly spoke in a language known to men.

    Ashlyn was startled and confused, not by the serpent's ability to speak a human language but by the words it spoke.

    Obviously, as a human, Kiba was not of serpent's race. So why would it speak such words after learning the human language?

    She turned towards Kiba and was surprised. His expression has turned grave while his brows creased up.

    He closed his eyes and locked his senses on the serpent. The fluctuations of energy that emanated from its body were different from any other living creature he has met on Earth. The only time he has felt such energy fluctuations was four years when he -as Zed - was seeking Cosmic Spark inside the meteorite at Delta City!

    "Yet your entire existence bears our aura," The serpent continued in a hoarse voice. "What are you?"

    "Not sure, I'm still discovering myself," Kiba said as he opened his eyes. "Most likely a human with aspirations of grandeur."
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