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284 Events of Future Past Part II

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

    The incorporeal Kiba and Pythia were left speechless when they heard the 14-15 years old girl saying, "You will have to clean your room though."

    Miss, the mystic man next to you is so damn powerful that his very presence is interfering with temporal flow. We can't even see the outline of his figure properly despite our strength and you, an unawakened mutant, is giving him cleaning responsibilities?!

    The mystic man clad in the robe of darkness was silent. Some distance away, the enormous skeletons no longer dared emit their sinister auras. They were cowering from the presence of the mystic man and when the young girl bombarded him with questions and suggestions, they started trembling.

    You are going to offer a place to live for someone who can have anything he wishes in life?! And that too in exchange for cleaning responsibility?! Human girl, you don't know what you are saying!

    "Your offer is interesting," The mystic man said. "But are you sure about the rent part?"

    "Yeap, no rent," The girl nodded with a smile. "Of course, if you make a mess then I would have no choice but to ask you to leave."

    "Fair enough," The mystic man said in understanding. "I will think about it."

    Incorporeal Kiba, Pythia, and the skeletons: "......................"

    The girl looked around in the dark space. She no longer felt despair and the helplessness after his arrival.

    "I must thank you for saving my life," The girl remembered her manners to express her gratitude.

    "I didn't really save your life," The mystic man said with a sigh. "I just interfered a moment before The Fate could activate its mechanism."

    "?" The girl looked at him in bewilderment.

    "Your time for death is very far away so you would have survived one way or the other," He explained in details despite his habit of not speaking much. "As such, I can't accept your gratitude."

    Far away, Kiba and Pythia were startled by the conversation.

    "Interfere a moment before The Fate could activate its mechanism... Does it means he is interfering with the timeline?!" Pythia wondered in her heart.

    "I don't really understand," The girl said. She hasn't even awakened her innate abilities, and she was at an age where she played around so his words went past her level of understanding.

    "I know," The mystic man said.  He took another step forward and the girl followed.

    "I'm lost so I arrived here but what about you?" She asked as they walked ahead.

    "To ensure I can keep the promise I broke," The man answered with another sigh while brushing dark black hairs away from his face.

    "Promise?" The girl was intrigued. "To whom?"

    "A long time ago, a friend gave me her everything without expecting anything in return," The man replied, his emotionless voice filled with slight sadness as he recalled his memories. "She shared her greatest joy with me despite my faults and knowing I didn't deserve it. I gave her a promise to live up to the honor she has given me but I failed."

    "A female friend? Girlfriend?" The girl asked in a teasing tone.

    "I guess so," The man said after some thinking. "She was never restricted to one role so it is hard to say."

    "She must be great for you to hold her in such high regard," The girl said.

    "Yes, she was a great teacher of life" The man nodded with a bit of melancholy in his voice. "She taught me to believe I was suitable for a role I was most afraid of. And she gave me the freedom to pursue my dreams by never finding any faults."

    "..."

    "I remember her saying the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams," The man said with an obvious smile.

    "Wow~ You must be in love if you remember every small detail," The girl teased him again.

    ".........." The mystic man turned silent while the giant skeletons from the destroyed world wished they could hide.

    Human girl, you are courting death!

    The young girl remained oblivious to the stares of the skeletons.

    "She used to tease as well," The man muttered.

    The girl smiled and she followed him as he walked ahead.

    As she did, she noticed a flashing orb of light near a skeleton. The orb was as small as a particle, emitting powerful fluctuations.

    Her eyes were glued on the particle. Her every cell was attracted to the particle and she felt a strong urge to touch it.

    "The mechanism Fate left for you," The man said in a barely audible voice.

    The girl was oblivious to his words, and on her own, she stepped towards the orb. As she did, the man raised a finger and pointed to the orb.

    In the bright radiating particle, a faint tint of darkness flashed. The tint was visible for a time which could not even be registered by the eyes. The particle was the same as before; its composition and aura unstained.

    Some distance away, the temporal currents engulfed Pythia and Kiba. They disappeared in the River of Time.

    "What The Fate wants, it shall have," The man closed his eyes. "But so would I... no matter the cost."

    He silently opened his eyes and observed as the young girl fused with the radiating particle. As soon as she touched it, she was wrapped in cosmic rays. Soon, her body faded from this space.

    ***

    When Kiba opened his eyes again, he found himself in a forest covered with a white blanket. Snow continuously poured from clouds and wrapped the ground with more snow. The air was filled with mist and cold winds.

    The trees were gigantic with dry leaves floating in the air. Far away, black smoke was sweeping towards the clouds along with columns of blue fire.

    Kiba was rather far away but he could smell the scent of charred flesh here.

    "This place is just like the one I saw in my nightmare," Kiba recalled the nightmare he had a few days ago when he was seeking Iceblood Flower. Back then, he has lost control of his powers due to the nightmare but thankfully Ashlyn helped him.

    Kiba and Pythia looked around more carefully.

    "There!" Pythia pointed out.

    A tall, muscular, brown-haired man was running ahead, leaving behind a trail of blood in the snowy path. His face was covered with streams of blood and as he ran forward, blood drops fell on a newborn in his arms.

    The newborn was crying but the brown-haired man has no time or patience to care.

    "The chopper should be hidden inside that location," He muttered while increasing his speed. "I have to get out of the island before they catch up."

    As he dashed forward, out of nowhere, hundreds of bone spikes shot out of the snow. The razor-sharp spikes rushed at the child in the man's arms.

    The brown-haired man's eyes turned cold. He leaped in the air, and his body morphed into a gigantic fox spanning for ten meters. The newborn was on his back as he retaliated by swiping his gigantic tail.

    Like pieces of glass, the bone spikes shattered into fragments and dispersed in the cold air. The wolf landed on the ground and transformed back into the brown-haired man.

    "Red Fox, why don't you leave the child here and flee?" A voice came from the sky.

    A tall mall clad in a red t-shirt with black stripes was flying through the air. He has short black hairs which were swept back, creating peaks at either side of the head. On his back, wings made from hollow bones were flapping as hovered above.

    "Galvan Cidre," The Red Wolf called out. "They must have to spend a large price to hire you."

    "Yeap," Galvan Cidre nodded his head in confirmation. "The birth of that bastard has brought good business for people like us."

    Galvan Cidre stretched his right hand to his side. A long bone sword materialized in his hand which he pointed at Red Wolf.

    At the same time, another man appeared behind Red Wolf. He has spiky red hair and yellow eyes with slightly pale skin. Below his eyes, there were black-discolored marks that gave him a strange look.

    "Goten Whiteskins," The Red Fox said without turning around. "They must be crazy to hire a psycho like you."

    "Good to see you as well, Red Fox," Goten Whiteskins said with a smirk. "Are you going to leave the child or face both of us at the same time?"

    Goten Whiteskins raised an arm towards the sky. The skin on his hand swept out into a blanket that shrouded an area of hundred meters.

    Kiba's eyes were fixed on the man known as Red Wolf. He observed his face for a long time before muttering, "The caretaker."

    The caretaker of the past looked young and powerful, unlike the one he remembered. The one in his memories was a broken man who devoured his sorrow in alcohol after losing his powers.

    For him, it has been almost a decade since he last saw the caretaker in a room in the slums. He still recalled the scene perfectly when he - as Zed - pierced a knife through caretaker's heart.

    The caretaker's parting words were still fresh in his mind, and despite the passing of a long time, he continued to hold influence over him till a month ago. It was only thanks to the help from Eva and Claudia that he was able to move on his past and shatter the bindings the caretaker cast on him.

    "So he wasn't lying when he said he saved my life," Kiba thought while looking at Goten Whiteskins and Galvan Cidre.

    Kiba's heart was filled with rage. In his life, he followed one rule no matter what: Never spare anyone with murderous intent towards him. He might show mercy but never to those who try to kill him.

    "You two better be dead by now unless you want to regret being born," Kiba's lips curved into a sadistic smile.

    Kiba looked on as Red Wolf transformed into his battle form and started facing his two opponents. He could not look at the conclusion of the battle as the scene faded before his eyes and his consciousness once again entered the currents of time.

    ***

    When they regained their senses back, they were in a new location at a different time.

    Kiba checked his surroundings and realized he was inside the waiting room of a private clinic. The walls were embedded with virtual screens displaying medical diagrams and health tips. The air has a fragrant scent thanks to the inbuilt filters inside the ceiling which ensured quality oxygen.

    The waiting room was more like a high-class lounge with sofas and chairs surrounded by tables filled with magazines, fruits, and juices.

    On the walls, there were many paintings of newborn and young children in the arms of their parents. The smile on their faces was so heart-warming that it could melt the hearts of the cruelest man.

    On a sofa, a couple in mid-thirties were sitting. The man was healthy built with dark hair, yellow pupils and healthy white skin. There were black spots under his eyes as if he hasn't slept well in the last few days due to nervousness and worry.

    The woman was good-looking like a top fashion model with silver-blonde hair, porcelain skin tone, green eyes, a short nose, and a slender figure. Her curves were a sight to behold and it went without saying she could attract the attention of a crowd by her mere presence.  Yet her expression was filled with worry just like her husband.

    "Annie, cheer up," the man took the hands of his wife in his. "We are in the best clinic in the city."

    "Gomez, you should cheer up as well," Annie replied nervously. "Hopefully the doctor here is as good as everyone claims."

    "He is godly," Gomez said with awe. "Mr. Gibbson, Mrs. Charles, and even my boss Mr. Solkiu have taken the help of the doctor to experience the joys of a happy family."

    "Then we would also experience the same joy no matter what," Annie's voice turned cheerful.

    Kiba listened to the conversation in confusion. What type of ailment this couple was suffering from for them to be so nervous and worried?

    Most importantly, why was Pythia showing him this event?! Can it be that the treatment of this unhappy couple one of the events he must know?!

    Kiba was contemplating this with a thoughtful expression.

    [[Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell, please enter the patient room.]] A soft, sweet, feminine but mechanical voice ringed inside the room. [[Doctor is ready for you.]]

    Kiba was now an incorporeal mass of temporal energy with no form to speak of. But when he heard this voice, he froze in disbelief. If his body was here, his eyes would have jumped out of the socket.

    "Claudia?!" Kiba tried to make a sense of things. The glass door connected to the patient room opened up and the couple stepped in.

    Kiba and Pythia followed from behind. As soon as the incorporeal Kiba entered the room, he almost died out of shock even though he was expecting the sight.

    Across a table, a golden-haired man was sitting in a chair. He was clad in a standard doctor white coat with a stethoscope around his neck.

    The man was handsome, actually devilishly handsome. If he was on a beach, most women would enter a trance at the sight of his body. They would collide into each other at the sight of him and would not even notice any obstacle in between.

    The man has a professional expression on his face. He adjusted the specs on his eyes as he welcomed the couple into the room.

    "Thank you for giving us an appointment," Gomez said in a voice filled with gratitude. "My wife and I are eternally grateful, Dr. Kiba."

    "Please don't be so polite, Mr. Ferrell" Dr. Kiba replied with a charming smile that flashed his white teeth. "Ever since I was a kid, it has been my dream to serve society and help those in need. Helping those I can is a matter of honor for me so it is me who should be grateful."

    "Dr. Kiba is so humble and grounded!" Gomez muttered to himself.

    Incorporeal Kiba: "........"

    Dr. Kiba tapped a finger on the glass table and a virtual screen popped in the air. He read medical files of the couple with a serious expression.

    Annie's hands were cold as she observed the expression of the famous doctor. Her happiness depended on the divine doctor and she prayed to the gods that his talent was as great as the fables claimed.

    "Dr, we have been trying to complete our family for years but without any success," Gomez said, his shame evident in his shaky voice. "We see couples of our age celebrating with their kids and we feel emptiness."

    Dr. Kiba listened to his words with full attention after which he said, "There is no reason for either of you to feel ashamed. There are countless couples suffering from fertility issues with no fault of theirs but that doesn't mean they should become depressed and blame themselves. After all, we living beings have no say on how we are born so why should we feel incompetent due to natural issues?"

    "Dr...." Gomez was pleasantly surprised to hear these words.

    "Not everyone is blessed with beauty so does that mean those who are not equipped with gorgeous features should ulk and feel ashamed? A good part of the population lives in poverty so should they forever live in depression and curse themselves?!" Dr. Kiba continued in a professional tone. "The era has changed but our society is still corrupted with dark thoughts on fertility issues. It is not you or your wife who should feel ashamed, but the society who made you feel bad."

    Annie was stunned by the words and she felt her eyes filled with tears. For years, she has heard whispers from other wives who secretly made fun of her for not having children. In an era, where fertility was at an all-time high, she felt cursed for not conceiving a child.

    Now, the kind doctor shattered through her dark thoughts and made her feel good. She understood she has no reason to fault herself or her husband. She knew this before as well but no one said it like Dr. Kiba.

    "Thank you," Annie said with tears streaming past her cheeks. Dr. Kiba handed her a tissue and she thanked him again.

    "The Novas City is lucky that you decided to establish your clinic here," Gomez said after his wife regained control over her emotions. "You have made it possible for even less fortunate to experience joy and happiness."

    "Please, you are overpraising me again for doing my job," Dr. Kiba said in a polite tone. "And I feel bad when I haven't even helped you."

    He then brought his eyes on Annie and said, "Please change into a gown in the changing room."

    Dr. Kiba pointed to the changing section at the end of the large room.

    Annie nodded her head and rose to her feet. She walked towards the changing section which was a short opaque-glass wall room.

    At the same time, Gomez took a deep breath and said, "Dr, we followed the steps my friends and boss followed."

    "Steps?" Dr. Kiba looked at him.

    "Yes," Gomez nodded and said. "My wife and I have not engaged in any form of sexual activity from last week."

    "Ah! Good," Dr. Kiba said in praise. "It would help me better in my checkups and treatment."

    Gomez smiled at his preparedness. He has enquired a lot about this clinic and knew its 100% success record. As such, he followed every form of guidance originating from this clinic strictly.

    There were many means of pregnancy in the current era but his wife and he wanted to have a baby by natural means. Not by test tube or surrogate.

    Many clinics took huge money for treatment with no guarantees of success.  While this clinic also didn't offer any guarantee, the records said success here was guaranteed. Not to mention, the price here was high but still less than the top clinics despite the proven track record.

    "Dr. Kiba is almost working for free," Gomez thought with admiration when he recalled the price and quality offered here.

    By now, Annie has picked a gown. The gown was somewhat tight, her curves highlighted but this was the only one close to her sizes.  The other gowns were either too small or too large for her so she wore this.

    "It is not like Dr. Kiba could have known my size so obviously he would not have a fitting gown," Annie thought as she donned the gown.

    She returned to her husband and the reputed doctor.

    "Mr. Ferrell, please wait outside while I examine your wife," Dr. Kiba said in a strictly professional tone. "Your presence would make your wife nervous and uncomfortable so I pray for your understanding."

    "Dr, please call me Gomez," Gomez said as he left his chair. "And I obviously understand the need for patient-doctor privacy. My wife is a bit naive so please don't take offense if she acts slow."

    "Honey!" Annie called out loudly.

    "I'm kidding," Gomez laughed and said. He pecked her on her cheeks and left the room by saying, "I love you, babe. I'm sure we will be able to have a child after Dr. Kiba completes the treatment."

    Incorporeal Kiba and Pythia: "............"

    Pythia thought the scene in the room was the classic example of a farmer asking a wolf to guard his chicken.

    ...

    The door closed and Dr. Kiba rose to his feet.

    "Please make yourself comfortable in the examination chair," Dr. Kiba pointed to the chair used in most gynecologist clinics.

    The chair was equipped with integral elevating function and thus it could be operated conveniently and easily. The position of the patients can be adjusted according to the practical situation.

    The seat section can up-warp and down-lean together with the back section. This can stop the patient from sliding down. Two lateral brackets can be regulated up and down, also can swing toward two sides to regulate the height and expansion rate of the patient's legs.

    Annie made herself comfortable in the examination chair. She stepped her feet on the leg supports; the rest of her body resting against the chair. As such, her hips were at the end of the chair.

    Kiba took out a pair of latex gloves from a drawer. He clad it on his hands and turned towards Annie.

    He sat down on a rolling chair and adjusted the height of the examination chair for easy access.

    "Mrs. Ferrell, please relax," Dr. Kiba said in a sweet voice. "What takes place in the room is protected by the doctor-patient confidentiality privilege."

    "Yes," Annie nodded, her face flushed red as she thought of the examination about to follow. She knew it would be a standard procedure but since her doctor was a male she felt more nervous. "Please call me Annie."

    "Ok, Annie, relieve yourself of all your worries" Kiba smiled and said, "I promise by the time this examination is over, your face would be sporting a bright smile."

    "I believe you, doctor," Annie relaxed a bit.

    Just like her husband, she also has heard about this clinic from her friends. In her case, it was from female friends who assured the methods employed by Dr. Kiba were perfectly natural and necesary for her happiness.

    "Dr Kiba must be in the prayers of countless couples," Annie thought as he pushed the fabric of her gown from her hips to start examination...
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