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264 No Need To Thank Me

    (A/N: Two chapters combined into one!)

    "I might be a bastard but you are the one who is going to get **ed," Zed's voice came as he jumped inside the hole behind a hypersleep chamber.

    "What?!"

    Castor Damon's pupils dilated to the size of a needle as the gravity of Zed's words struck him. Before he could even blink, the fireballs viciously slammed on the tubes and exhaust grills.

    At the same time, the sparks of fire in the oxygen tubes and power chords of other hypersleep chambers exploded.

    In the end, destruction was far easy than creation and protection. While the materials used for the chambers were of top quality, the fire sparks were strong enough to create a tiny bit of damage in the circuits.

    Castor Damon's speed amplified and he transformed into hundreds of his virtual self as he dashed at each hypersleep chamber to nullify the damage. His movements were lightning fast but alas not fast enough.

    Alarms beeped loudly while lights flashed in the hall. The self-defense mechanism of the hall activated and robots materialized in the hall out of nowhere.

    "That rotten kid!" Castor Damon cursed Zed nonstop.

    He has already given him the pills and yet the kid didn't follow his end of the bargain. He viciously created a mess and spoiled his well laid out plans.

    Castor Damon transformed into a stream of light and arrived at the hole where Zed has jumped in.

    "Bastard! Don't you dare escape!"

    He shot an energy beam in the hole. The walls of the pipe exploded as the energy beam rushed ahead with a screeching sound.

    Zed was already expecting this as he coursed through the pipe. He retaliated by surging out a column of fire.

    The energy beam ripped apart the column of fire as it dashed forward but by this time Zed has already arrived in a duct.

    He darted to a side, avoiding the attack as it brushed past him. The impact slammed him into a metallic wall and he coughed up blood.

    At the same time, inside the hall, robots attacked Castor Damon from all sides.

    "Get lost!" Castor Damon stretched out his palms. Energy waves erupted explosively into a turbulent mass that crashed into the incoming robots.

    With a loud bang sound, the robots snapped into pieces. Smoke and dust filled the air along with the fine splinters.

    Castor Damon has just lowered his hand when his eyes flickered in disbelief. He quickly rushed to the exit door but sadly he was far too late.

    The spark Zed left in the circuit responsible for the virtual interface exploded, destroying the internal wirings. He could no longer enter the next zone, not until he destroys the reinforced door of the spaceship.

    "I will kill you!"

    Castor Damon roared in grief. Even before he could fully express his sorrow, he spun around, looking at the oxygen tank.

    He now fully realized what Zed has planned. Everything so far was a distraction so that he never get time to focus on the oxygen tank as the spark inside it exploded.

    Castor Damon backed away, the liquid armor protecting him. Terrifying flames of explosion erupted from the oxygen tank which crashed on the hypersleep chambers.

    The octopus-like creatures, the humanoid beings, and jelly-like organisms inside the hypersleep chambers started shaking. The flames didn't even create a scratch on the chambers but their sleep was affected by the temporary disturbance in the mechanism.

    CRACK

    The hypersleep chambers split from inside as the beings inside them awakened. With a loud bang sound, one of the octopus-like creatures jumped out of the hypersleep chamber.

    Its body was crimson, covered with sticky white liquid. Its sharp tentacles waved in the air, covered with deadly thorns.

    The octopus-like creature opened its mouth and emitted circles of vibrations visible to the naked eye.

    RIPPPP

    More hypersleep chambers started cracking apart under the influence of strong vibrations in the air. Castor Damon gritted his teeth and disappeared from his place, leaving behind a shadow of himself.

    "Stop it!"

    He arrived in front of the octopus-like creature. He stretched out both his palms towards the opposite party.

    A large expanse of light beam concentrated on his palms as they crashed down on the octopus-like creature. The air trembled and let out a screeching sound as if the palms carried a pressure as enormous as a mountain.

    The octopus-like creature sensed the enemy was not to be underestimated so it retaliated. Two tentacles viciously whipped out, thrusting forward like sharp swords.

    The tentacles came down with an unstoppable force no less than the palms. Energy waves exploded out from the crash of two attacks.

    The reinforced metallic white floor started quaking and a crevice emerged from the impact. Castor Damon was alarmed by the power of the alien creature.

    He was weakened due to the projection of darkness he saw earlier but even then he was a Level VII mutant, a low-rank Alpha. He could easily have achieved Level VIII with genetic experiments but he didn't since he didn't want to have a weak foundation.

    Yet the alien who is still suffering from the side effects of a long slumber is showing equal power. He now realized he has to go all out otherwise he might lose all chances of Cosmic Spark.

    Substance-like waves rippled from his liquid armor and bound the alien creature from all sides. The tentacles thrust out to nullify the waves but this gave Castor Damon to lift his fists high in the air before bringing them down.

    A terrifying energy blast boomed out as the fists landed on the alien. Energy tempest swept out, smashing everything in its path.

    The octopus-like creature released a loud grunt before its body disintegrated into a mass of sticky liquid and collapsed on the floor.

    "I have to get out of this hall and plan further," Castor Damon has just taken a step when he heard a gurgling sound.

    Much to his horror, the sticky liquid on the ground started concentrating. In less than a second, the liquid transformed into the alien creature from before.

    "High-speed regeneration and recovery," Castor Damon cursed. "Fuck! It is a part of immortal species!"

    At the same time, in a duct pipe below the floor.

    Zed took out a blue pill from the glass bottle and stuffed it in his mouth. The pill melted the moment it touched his tongue and transformed into a blue mist. The mist merged with his bloodstream and overpowered the poison inside him.

    "Phew."

    Zed released a heavy sigh. He has never been so tensed in his over 17 years of life.

    "I need to escape from this meteorite and ensure I never come close to that Cosmic Spark."

    Zed decided as he opened a grill at the end of the duct and jumped in a new section.

    As soon as he arrived in the new room, he was stunned by what he saw. A smile appeared on his pale face and he closed his eyes.

    "If there is no road, make one."

    Zed opened his eyes with a new determination. He started his journey ahead, unaware where it would lead him.

    Unlike the past, the outcome this time would be due to a choice of his own. Maybe death or maybe life, but he would be happy with either outcome.

    "It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

    *-*-*-*

    Present.

    Year 2025.

    Desolate Blood Forest.

    The night sky was filled with an ethereal melody as Count Viper continued to play the ancient flute. In the sky, the projection of the archaic snake looked at Kiba from the space gate.

    Kiba opened his eyes and cleared his thoughts. He was not in the mood to recall further events from his past.

    He didn't want to remember the events that transpired further and made him the man he was now, at least not for the time being.

    "Just like Claudia said, I should only reminisce those events when I need a dose of reality," Kiba thought with a faint smile. "After all, can anything be better than those scenes of despair and agony to keep me grounded?"

    Whenever he went down the memory lane and recalled Princess Scarlet Leila De Rose's message, he wondered if her warning about power was aimed at him.

    "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the mind of the one who possesses it."

    Sometimes he thought the warning was for him given he has fused with Cosmic Spark - The cosmic treasure embedded in her casket, something the spaceship tried to destroy.

    If the warning was truly for him, he didn't really think much of it.

    He couldn't deny that his powers have influenced him. He knew they had...much more than he dared to admit.

    The cosmic power coursing through his veins gave him extreme comfort, making him feel he was the ruler of this world. It made him dislike humans whose very presence reminded him of annoying insects who needed to be exterminated.

    But he didn't hate his powers nor he regretted fusing with Cosmic Spark.

    He couldn't refute that every minute in Kiba form was a struggle as he continuously overpowered his instincts which wanted him to carry out a genocide.

    Yes, it was a neverending battle with his own primal desires but he loved every moment of being Kiba.

    He never thought the influence of his powers as corruption. If anything, he thought this influence as natural as an evolved being.

    After all, the consciousness of every being, weak or strong, was molded by the environment. The society served as an influence which shaped thoughts and views. Personality was created from one's self-worth in society and the impact of the events in the surrounding.

    For a rich business tycoon, wasting millions in parties or throwing away nutritious food was nothing. Yet, from the perspective of a poor or those from middle-class, such actions were despicable and cold.

    Similarly, in a war-torn area, the moral compass of those impacted was far different than those in peaceful regions.

    In the end, everyone was influenced by both internal and external factors. Whether those influences were good or bad, that depended on perspective.

    In his case, his powers served the role of society. He believed what his powers made him feel was perfectly natural and healthy.

    Just like how humans didn't care when it came to exploiting farm animals or killing other lower forms of life, his powers wanted him to be the same. There was nothing good or evil.

    The thoughts of a commoner and a king couldn't be the same. Their actions could not be judged from the same angle.

    While he felt this, he didn't want to carry out a slaughter or kill humans unnecessarily. After all, regardless of his strength, he was still a human.

    He was a devilish rake but he still has seven emotions and six desires.

    Those who pretend to know him might consider him immoral and deviant. They would think he was arrogant, cold and calculative, with only one aim in life: bed as many women as he can.

    Yet those who truly know him well were aware of his soft side. He was warm, polite and even empathetic when he liked someone.

    The woman from the slum whom Kiba helped was the prime example. Her sacrifice as a mother melted his cold heart and he helped her by not only giving food but also by exterminating overlords. Then there was the red tiger and her two cubs.

    He was empathetic but only when his heart truly wanted to. He has always believed empathy for the sake of empathy was no empathy at all.

    Perhaps those who know the true extent of his powers would say he was irresponsible by not using his powers for the greater good and betterment of the world.

    To him, such views were nonsense.

    What was the use of having such power if he can't use it as per as his own wishes?

    Maybe such thoughts were corrupted but then again, they were his own. Corruption by his own desires was far better than being brainwashed by others.

    "Princess Scarlet Leila De Rose, maybe my mind is already corrupted which is why I don't believe in your warning," Kiba muttered in his heart. "But regardless, these powers have made it possible for me to live my life to the fullest. Just for this very reason, I have to disagree with you..."

    The biggest adventure one can take is to live the life of dreams.

    His powers ensured he could continue his adventure and by calling them as bad influence would mean he was being ungrateful.

    "Time to end this."

    Kiba opened his eyes and looked at Count Viper.

    He transformed into a beam of light and rushed forward. From the sky, poisonous shards shot down explosively at him like broken stars, leaving behind trails of green blaze.

    Kiba remained unfazed as he dashed towards Viper. He stretched his left hand above and made a gentle tapping motion in thin air.

    Swoosh~!

    A loud vibrating sound reverberated while the air mass turned chaotic. Kiba made a swapping motion above, and the air mass rushed at the incoming shards.

    The sound of glass shattering into pieces ringed out as the shards collided against the chaotic air mass. The resulting fragments of poisonous shards struck at trees, blasting hundreds of holes in them before the trees melted into brown mist.

    Kiba has already arrived in front of the transparent energy barrier surrounding Viper. He raised the end of his palm in the air before bringing it down in a slashing motion.

    SCREEECH

    An ear-piercing sound crashed out as a gigantic wind blade pierced through the barrier like a hot knife penetrating through butter.

    The barrier collapsed into brittle energy pieces like a broken mirror. Viper reflexively leaped backward, avoiding an energy fragment as it brushed through the scales on his left cheek, creating a shallow wound.

    Blood splattered from his cheek which quickly stopped as his enhanced healing ability took over.

    At the same time, the air above Kiba concentrated into a gigantic tail before it slammed down. The tail was just a mass of air, carrying a terrifying corrosive force that locked the space, confining his movements.

    Meanwhile, a spatial force enveloped Viper that made him transform into a column of light. He was soaring into the skies, rushing at the space gate where the enormous mouth of the snake was projected out.

    "I can't kill that golden-haired kid otherwise Genesis Matter would try to use me as its new host," The snake was in dilemma. It could only rely on energy attacks as using a physical attack on Kiba meant a risk of contamination.

    "Esteemed sir?" Viper was shocked by what was going on.

    Why was he being sucked into the space gate?

    "You are getting an opportunity to explore the core region before others so why are you complaining?" The old snake said in an annoyed tone.

    Since Viper possessed the ancient flute of its master, the snake was obliged to help him.

    "Thank you, sir," Viper quickly expressed his gratitude.

    On the ground, Kiba destroyed the illusory tail. He raised his head and looked at the fleeing Viper.

    "Oh well, I knew there was a chance I would fail but it still sucks," Kiba let out a low sigh. He said this but the next moment, rays of white light enveloped him and he teleported away.

    He appeared in the sky, just some two hundred meters away from the space gate.

    The snake looked at him in surprise. Not knowing what the human might have in plan, the snake created a force field around the space gate.

    Kiba didn't attack nor speak a single word. He just silently opened his left hand.

    Droplets of light concentrated on his palm into a blinding flash. As the flash disappeared, a test tube size glass container appeared in his hand.

    The container was half filled with a shiny blue liquid that emitted a seething sound. The liquid droplets were maliciously attacking the glass boundary, trying to set themselves free.

    Count Viper's eyes were on Kiba as he just entered the space gate. His heart skipped a beat while his heart thumped violently in shock and disbelief at the contents of the glass container.

    Nanites!

    "H-how could you have it?!" Viper's voice was hoarse.

    The nature of nanites was such that they first struck on nucleotides. They tapped on the potential stored in the genes to fuel them before they exploded the individual into a blue mushroom cloud.

    This virus from the destroyed world targetted the genetic matter of an individual. The stronger a being, the more powerful would be the resulting blast. This made them almost impossible to guard against.

    Months ago, when the nanite explosion occurred in the mayor's building, Felicity was also one of the victims. To protect her, Kiba has arrived in that building. The nanites sensed his existence and targetted him due to his far higher potential than Felicity.

    That time, the nanites passed through his defense and entered in his bloodstream before strucking on his very genes. He had no choice but to teleport to the wasteland outside Delta City and summon his full powers to destroy the nanites glued on his genes. He was the only person on Earth who came unscathed after being attacked by nanites.

    "This?" Kiba clutched the glass container tightly as streams of golden energy enveloped its seal. "I got it from the revolutionaries you send to the city."

    "What?!" Viper was terrified. He instantly thought of Rufus, Yuizi, Simon and others whom he sent to Delta City on a mission to destroy the government forces.

    Back then, the government forces have entered the city to investigate the golden lightning phenomenon in the wasteland along with the disappearance of Lisa Ray. Lizenea believed it was a perfect opportunity to punch the government in the guts and give them an injury they will forever remember.

    Rufus and the others succeeded by using sleeper cells who were injected with nanites. The sleeper cell members went to locations with a high concentration of government officers before they exploded. Sure, thousands of innocents died in the process, but Lizenea was fine with the cost.

    As for Rufus and others, the higherups in Lizenea believed they died in a confrontation with the police force. Lizenea expected such outcome from the start so there were no detailed investigations.

    "Could it be that they were killed by this golden-haired man to avenge his sister?!"

    While Viper contemplated this, the projection of the snake started fading. Viper was exhausted and he has stopped playing the flute since there was no need.

    The space gate starting closing up and Viper finally breathe out in relief. As the snake projection finally dissapeared, the force field also dissipated.

    "Count Viper, I believe this is your property so please take it," Kiba said with a kind smile as he threw the glass container. The container rushed like a bolt of lightning, entering through the faint gap of the closing space gate.

    The moment the container entered the space gate, its seal started melting. Viper was horrified, his face turning deathly white in absolute terror.

    "No need to thank me."

    Kiba's parting words entered his ears as the gate closed...
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