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236 Snow

    Kiba waved his hand and a stream of energy rushed out of his palm. The energy stream enveloped the corpses and incinerated them to ashes.

    Ashlyn looked at him with a strange expression.

    "He has a sadistic side to his personality."

    Ashlyn reached this conclusion based on what she has observed in the recurrent battles. He would mock and thrash every opponent of his, regardless of their strength and background without caring about their personal feelings.

    What truly made her feel he was a sadist was the cheerful smile he would exhibit during battles. She has never seen any other person sporting such a smile in the middle of bloodshed.

    Then there was his aura whose characteristics would frequently change just like his behavior. Sometimes, it was fierce like wildfire while other times it was calm like the sea.

    And then there was finally his astuteness. She has never seen a man more devious than him at such a young age. This judgment was not based on how he played the two teams to kill each. No, it was rather based on the fraudulent scheme he designed to take the resources from the cave without any actual hard work.

    If Ashlyn was asked to define him now, she wouldn't be able to restrict him with a single word. She didn't know him well enough for that, but the one thing she knew for sure was that his personality multiple shades.

    And so far she has only seen two shades...

    Kiba flipped the vitality enhancing fruit between his hands before transferring it to his storage dimension. He didn't need the fruit, but now that he has spent some efforts, he felt it would be wrong to not take it.

    "Let's go," Kiba turned towards her and said.

    Ashlyn nodded, and the two resumed their journey. They leaped from trees to trees while occasionally tapping feet on the ground for a few moments of rest.

    During the journey, they meet a few wild beasts who attacked them after believing they were easy prey.  Sadly for the poor beasts, they couldn't be more wrong.

    Kiba killed them with a flick of his fingers without giving Ashlyn any chance to use her powers. He wanted her to regain her stamina so he handled every situation.

    They also met a group of seven members who wanted them to surrender every treasured resource they possessed. Kiba, with a kind smile, swiftly sent them to the underworld and wished them a safe voyage.

    Ashlyn was neither startled or shocked by the events that followed. She silently observed everything through her cold eyes.

    A few hours later.

    Evening.

    Kiba and Ashlyn landed on the ground and continued the journey by foot. The distance from their destination was hardly a mile away.

    "Iceblood Flower," Kiba thought of the flower and its importance as he continued walking ahead absentmindedly.

    Their path was among tall trees and emerald grass. The orange sky above formed a contrasting hue to the greenery below.

    Swoosh.

    Suddenly, a misty breeze flew past Kiba, carrying cold and refreshing air. Surprised, Kiba cleared his thoughts and looked ahead.

    As far as his eyes could see, everything was covered in a thick blanket of white.

    "Snow?" Kiba took another step and a crunching sound followed. The path was enveloped with snow, and as he took steps, the snow crunched under his feet.

    Kiba looked behind and he saw the everlasting greenery. But when he looked ahead, everything was covered with snow.

    A distance of few steps became a transition of summer and winter.

    "The Iceblood Flower should have evolved to another level," Ashlyn thought for a moment and said.

    "Seems so," Kiba nodded and agreed with her assessment. "Most likely a high-rank Beta."

    Just like humans and beasts, the flowers too have the ability to evolve. It was just that the difficulty faced by them was far too high.

    There was a high risk of being plucked before they could evolve further. Not to mention, the flowers needed a special environment along with a high concentration of particular energy to develop.

    If the flowers could perfectly evolve and thrive to high-rank, they could change the environment to their liking, almost like a domain where their rules overstepped those of nature. Obviously, such flowers were extremely difficult to pluck.

    ***

    The orange sky sparkled on the land of ice while chilling wind swept past, carrying snow. The snowflakes danced in the air as if under the instructions of mother nature.

    Snow rested upon the trees and ground as if it was a cushion, soft and warm, inviting one in its embrace.

    "Paradise on earth," Kiba was stunned by the beauty of this world of snow and ice.

    Delta City has a typical monsoon climate, with hot, rainy and cold weather seasons. There was no snow there, and he has never ventured far away to experience snow.

    Until now...

    Kiba took slow steps and watched the footprints he created on the snowy path. Another gentle breeze blew past his face, and this time, the delicate snowflakes landed on his face.

    The snowflakes absorbed the warmth from his skin and turned into beads of water. As the water beads streamed down his face, and more snow enveloped him, he stopped in his path.

    "How strange," Kiba muttered, his voice filled with bewilderment.

    "?" Ashlyn looked at him.

    "Nothing really," Kiba shook his head and said. "It is just that I feel this is not the first time I have felt snowflakes, and yet I'm sure I have never been in a snowy land."

    Kiba stretched his hand and opened his palm as snow sprinkled down. Pure white snow, without the slightest speck of sand or dust, floated on his palm.

    Kiba closed his palm and felt the snow as it slowly melted. A chill ran down his spine while a warm fire ignited in his heart. The feeling of the snow was just like the memory of his first kiss, forever engraved in his heart and soul.

    Kiba was further confused. He was sure he hasn't experienced such feeling before, and yet, his body disagreed.

    What he didn't know was that the first thing he ever saw in this world was snow...
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