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246 Gentle

    The snow continued to pour but slowly, the intensity of cold reduced. The air no longer had any presence of ice shards or bone-chilling wind. With the disappearance of Iceblood Flower, the land of ice and snow was slowly reverting to its original state. In a month or so, the land would turn into emerald green just like the surrounding area.

    Kiba and others stood near a tree covered by a blanket of snow. Ashlyn was aloof as Baird expressed his gratitude to Kiba.

    Anya didn't know how to react. When she was making out with Kiba, a part of her was worried about Baird's reaction if he ever discovered she cheated on him. She was sure he would turn insane. After all, earlier when Jane suggested Kiba should share his warmth with Anya, he was furious.

    The suggestion was just for being in each other's arms without any sexual intimacy, and yet, his expression was like someone has slapped him.

    Now though, he was saying he knew what transpired between Kiba and Anya behind the doors. Instead of being angry for her cheating, he was happy and grateful! This truly confused Anya. She realized he was no longer the man she knew.

    "Kiba, if you ever visit Landmolrie City, please visit our home," Baird continued with a cheerful smile. "I would love to thank you for what you did for me."

    Anya looked at her husband in disbelief.  Her thoughts were taking her to an extreme point as she visualized how Baird would 'thank' Kiba by offering her for a night.

    "Could he be truly one of those men who invite their wife's lover home to see them in action?" Anya felt goosebumps. She imagined Baird sitting on a chair and observe them as they make out in bed.

    "Just what type of man I have married?!"

    A chill ran down her spine. She loved the sex with Kiba and if possible, she wanted to continue the affair with him. But not like this. She didn't want her husband to be a wimp who enjoyed seeing his wife **ed by another man!

    Depressed, she sat down on a wooden log. She was exhausted and the pain between her legs was far too intense.

    "I would definitely visit your home then," Kiba nodded and accepted Baird's offer. "You are truly a good husband."

    Kiba's voice contained sincere appreciation when he said a good husband. He has considered it as a mission of sort to ensure the world was filled with good husbands and good sons. This was why he established reputed Wife Pleasuring Service Ltd. to help achieve his mission.

    "Thanks," Baird smiled at the compliment after which he shared his contact details.

    Baird didn't like Kiba, but he was doing everything to get in the good grace of both Jane and Anya. Jane since she knew how he was kicked by Ashlyn on his balls for his 'smart' scheme. Anya so that if she ever learns the truth, she would be less furious due to his current behavior.

    Jane was silently listening to the conversation. She was rooted on the spot and didn't know how to intervene in the conversation without sounding suspicious.

    "Baird is inviting the man who slept with his wife even without realizing it!"

    She felt his behavior was akin to a shepherd inviting a wolf into his house without realizing the danger the wolf posed to his sheep.

    Jane felt bad for Baird. After all, it was her words to him that resulted in the present situation.

    "Hopefully Anya won't cheat when he comes to their home."

    Jane prayed in her heart. She wanted to be a good friend to Anya so she lied to save her marriage, but she didn't want Baird to suffer. While she hated Baird for trying to score with Ashlyn, he was still Anya's husband, and she wanted the best for both of them.

    Jane raised her head. The rays from the scorching sun sliced through the misty fog and fell on the snowy ground.

    "It is time for lunch," Jane changed the topic.

    "Yeap!" Morales also joined in the conversation. "We should have some food and leave this area."

    "Yeah," Jane agreed with her husband. "We lost Iceblood Flower so the trip was wasted."

    Her team members nodded. Professor Soln from Silvermoon University has given them the mission which they obviously failed. Not only that, but they even lost genetically created bees.

    "Do we know what happened to those bees?" Jane asked as she took out food cans from the cottage.

    The items were owned by Kiba but he didn't mind sharing. He felt this was the least he could do after the feast they have provided to him.

    "No idea," Morales answered with a sigh. "They just disappeared without any traces after coming in contact with Iceblood Flower."

    "Maybe the flower devoured them or something?" Baird wondered aloud.

    "We can't be sure," Morales replied with a thoughtful expression. "It is possible though."

    Ashlyn, who was standing against a tree, glanced at Kiba. Only she knew the flower was wrongly credited.

    "Bees?" Kiba interjected in their discussion.

    "You guys haven't arrived then," Anya explained. "They were our trump card prepared by Professor Soln."

    The information was nothing important now so she didn't mind sharing.

    "Soln!?" Ashlyn muttered. There were faint signs of anger on her cold, poker face.

    "You have heard of him? Well, you must have," Anya responded without noticing her expression. "He is famous throughout the world for his accomplishments in genetics."

    "He is?" Kiba asked with slight interest. He wasn't looking at Ashlyn so he failed to read her expression.

    "Of course! He is a genius!" Anya has a look of worship on her face. "He has dedicated his entire life in using science for the betterment of the world!"

    "Betterment of the world?" Kiba looked at her.

    "Yeap! His research has benefited the poor who couldn't afford quality food and nutrients before!" Anya shared the details. "Not only that, he provides free medical care through his non-profit hospitals among many other things."

    "He sure is a generous man," Kiba said with a smile.

    Anya and her team members fully agreed. They then started eating their food.

    Half an hour later.

    Everyone started the journey to leave the snow land.

    "Do you guys wish to join us?" Morales asked as they walked.  In normal times, he wouldn't ask strangers to join but since he has received Kiba and Ashlyn's help, he reconsidered. He felt they would be an asset to the group.

    "No," Kiba shook his head. "Thanks for asking though."

    Morales smiled. He was expecting the answer to be in negative but he was disappointed nevertheless. He could only sigh in disappointment.

    Sometime later, their eyes finally saw greenery and felt the warmth from the sun.

    "It seems we must take our separate paths," Morales said now that the time for separation has come.

    He wanted to ask for their contact details but then thought better of it. If they wanted to share details, they would have done when Baird shared his contact details.

    "Till next time," Morales added.

    Ashlyn didn't reply while Kiba nodded. He then shook hand with everyone, including Anya. The two pretended nothing happened between them.

    Biard looked at Ashlyn, and when she looked back, he felt cold between his legs. He started trembling and turned away.

    "Goodbye," Morales and others bid farewell. "Take care."

    The group turned towards the south and started walking away. Kiba and Ashlyn stepped towards the north.

    "Where to?" Ashlyn asked.

    "Well, there are a few things I want," Kiba recalled the items which would form a part of the cure for Felicity.

    Behind.

    A few minutes later, Jane was dashing through the path Kiba and Ashlyn have taken.

    "What's wrong?" Kiba noticed her presence so he stopped and walked towards her. "Everything is fine, right?"

    "Yes, there is no problem," Jane nodded while eyeing Ashlyn who was standing some distance away.

    Ashlyn realized Jane wanted to speak with Kibaa alone so she created more distance. She has no interest in their conversation so she ignored them and stood in an aloof fashion.

    "Then why are you here all of a sudden?" Kiba curiously asked.

    "To thank you for saving me from the storm," Jane said in a grateful voice. "Forgive me for delaying it so long."

    "You didn't need to thank me," Kiba said with a smile. "I only did what any human should do."

    Jane turned silent. She recalled how he barged inside the storm and protected her from the attack of ice shards. Back then, he has noticed traces of blood on her lips, and he wiped them with his tongue! She has felt a tingling sensation throughout her body by his unexpected move. And she was shocked further when he asked if he was gentle enough.

    He was audacious but she didn't think much as he came out sincere and kind especially when he expressed his views on his responsibility as a human.

    "Is there something you wish to discuss?" Kiba noticed she wanted to speak further but she lacked nerves to proceed.

    "Yes."

    "Feel free to speak."

    "Earlier, it was me who checked on you and Anya in the cottage," Jane's cheeks were slightly flushed as she spoke. "I reported to Baird after changing some details."

    "Hmm?" Kiba was surprised. He didn't sense her presence back then since he was fully engrossed at the moment.

    Kiba's lips curved up in a smile as he said, "Well, I was gentle with your friend."

    Jane's eyes turned wide and her face turned crimson. One of her main reasons to come meet him again was to tell him to not continue his affair with Anya. But now, she was caught off-guard by his 'gentle' remark.

    After making sure no one from her group was observing them, he took her chin in his hand. Jane flinched and a current passed through her as his fingertips traced her soft skin.

    "Just relax and don't overthink," Kiba's voice entered her ears.

    She raised her head and noticed he was leaning on her. His lips were so close she could feel his breath.

    "I'm always gentle with women," Kiba's spellbinding eyes were focused on hers. "You can trust me on that."

    Anya opened her mouth to speak, but before she could reply, his lips zoomed into hers. His warmth spread through her with the added passion from his lips. The kiss continued for almost a minute before he parted his lips with hers.

    Jane looked at him disbelief. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest and could feel the hot flush of her face.

    Jane didn't know how to respond to the liberty he has taken. She thought she should berate him, but just as she was about to, his hand went on the small of her back to pull her into him.

    "That kiss was payment for saving you," Kiba said this while his hand traced her spine. "Now, you don't have to feel you owe me."

    Jane was dumbfounded. She couldn't speak for a long time.

    How could she chide him if he was associating the kiss in such a way?!

    "But I do owe you what I'm about to do," Kiba's fingers caressed the back of her neck.

    "What do you mean?" Jane was bewildered.

    Kiba's mouth leaned onto her right ear. He took her soft earlobe between his lips and sucked on it.

    Jane's head began to spin. She felt an electric current was charging through her and she tingled from head to toe.

    "I meant this," Kiba answered as he left her ear and created a safe distance from her.

    Jane was rooted in her spot. Not even in her wildest dreams, she could imagine he would take another liberty so quickly.

    He was nothing like the impression he gave before. His movements were fluid and natural as if he has countless experience in this.

    "You...!" Jane was fuming red.

    "I owe you one," Kiba put a hand in a pocket and retrieved a crystal card. "Take this as a repayment."

    Jane was confused but she took the card. She identified the card as a specially manufactured business card.  Such cards were capable of storing data, including videos in the form of holographic projection, and could also be used to directly establish contact with the concerned business.

    Jane tapped a finger on the card. The sensors in the card detected her heat movement, and a line of text appeared on the surface.

    Mistress' Massage Centre.

    "Mistress massage?" Jane muttered in confusion.

    "Yeap," Kiba appeared in front of her.

    "What is it for?" Jane asked.

    "Massage obviously," Kiba answered as to be brushed her caramel hairs. "100% discount for you."

    As he said this, he closed his lips with her again. The kiss was short, and before she could retaliate, he has leaped back.

    "You did this again!" Jane has a hard time believing he has kissed her twice.

    "I guess I owe you two," Kiba turned around and walked towards Ashlyn. The two started walking forward.

    Jane stood in her place and gripped the card. She looked on as Kiba and Ashlyn became indistinct images on the path.

    Jane shook her head and turned around. She checked the information on the card as she walked towards her team members.

    Firstly, she opened a projection which showcased the infrastructure of Mistress Massage Centre. She was awe-struck by the ambiance and the varieties of the oils used during the massage. From what she knew, each oil was created from evolved mutated plants which would cost a fortune.

    The card also has various holographic testimonies of female customers. There were more than a hundred testimonies, and every customer was all praise for Mistress Massage Centre. They commended the quality and service offered, though there were occasional complains of the sky-high price of the massage.

    Curious, Jane checked the pricing details, and she was stupified by the cost. It was daylight robbery!

    How can a woman even afford such service at such rate?!

    "Must be some massage service if it cost this much," Jane wondered in her heart.

    She then placed the card in her jacket pocket.

    A few minutes later, she regrouped with her group, and they resumed their journey.

    "You thanked Kiba and Ashlyn?" Morales asked.

    "I did," Jane nodded. Her heart fluttered when she thought of the way Kiba responded to her thanks.

    "We should treat them well if we meet again," Baird, who was walking ahead, said. "We owe them after all."

    "Of course," Morales obviously knew they owed them a favor.

    "I don't owe him any longer," Jane mused bitterly in her heart. "He owes me now."

    They crossed a mile, and in between, they met minor beasts whom they easily defeated. As Jane walked along with her husband, she suddenly heard a familiar sound in her ears.

    "Do visit my massage center," The familiar voice said. "I promise to be gentle."

    Jane was taking a step, and when she heard the 'gentle' word, she lost balance. Morales was next to her, and he quickly bent forward to prevent her from falling.

    "Are you alright, love?" Morales asked in a concerned voice.

    "Yes, honey," Jane answered while looking around. After confirming there was no one, she said, "I'm fine."

    "You scared me for a second," Morales put an arm around her as they stepped ahead. "You know how much I love you."

    "I know," Jane replied lovingly. "I love you as well."

    Arya looked at them with amusement. She shook her head and brought her eyes back on the track.

    A minute later, Jane traced the card in her pocket.  Morales glanced at her and noticed a look of contemplation on her face.

    "What are you thinking?" Morales enquired.

    "I think I need a massage after we leave the forest," Jane answered while stretching her hands. "I'm too stressed out."

    "Oh? Sure, love," Morales nodded in understanding. "There are many massage service in our city."

    Morales then listed out the names he knew.

    "No, I want the best of the best," Jane said with a faint smile. "And the best is in Delta City."

    "Delta City?" Morales thought for a bit, and said, "I have heard of that city but it would take a day even by flight."

    "The service in the best massage center would make up for it," Jane said confidently. "And trust me, they have a world famous masseur there."

    "Well, you must have heard of it from your reliable sources if you are this confident," Morales looked at her, and asked," What's so special about the service though?"

    "There are many great qualities," Jane answered as her smile bloomed further. "But there is one quality which make the masseur there different from others."

    "Oh? What is it?" Morales was curious.

    "The masseur is gentle... very gentle."
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