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288 Time - Poison & Nectar

    Due to the distance and their weakened state, neither Pythia or Kiba could see the gigantic figure rapidly fleeing in the sky. Their attention was focused solely on the enigmatic gray man.

    "Damn! If only I can see what is going to happen further," Pythia greeted her teeth and surrounded them both with temporal currents. She didn't want to take a risk and face unwanted consequences.

    Soon, both Kiba and Pythia were engulfed in the River of Time. Earlier, she has a few more events she wanted to see. They were connected to Kiba but now she was in no state to visit them after the corrosion by the grayness.

    ***

    The Fair, Desolate Blood Forest.

    The bazaar was active with a sea of people rushing from one shop to another. The Fair offered the visitors a safe haven to rest and enjoy despite the dangers lurking outside the boundaries.

    The streets were full of people chattering and discussing everything and nothing. Many people stopped in their path after seeing a large shop where there were no customers. The shop was vast and covered with big curtains upon which a fortune ball was inscribed.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click  for visiting.

    "Why is no one visiting this shop?" A woman asked a middle-aged man.

    She was aware that opening even a small shop in the bazaar was not something many could afford. Yet. such a large shop was built in an open area with no customers. There were no advertisements, no loudspeakers to promote the specialties of the shop...there was absolutely nothing done by the shopkeeper to run the shop in profit.

    Wouldn't the shopkeeper turn bankrupt by such conditions?!

    "Actually, everyone wants to visit the shop but sadly they lack the required status and wealth," The middle-aged man who seemed to be an expert answered. "Only those chosen by the shopkeeper can enter."

    "Oh!" The woman was intrigued by the description.

    "And the shopkeeper doesn't have to worry about money," The middle-aged expert continued. "From what I have heard, the area was given to the shopkeeper for free by The Five Dark Stars."

    "Are you kidding?!" Others in the group asked in disbelief.

    "Why would they give such a large area for free?!" A young man who wanted to open a weapon shop but lacked funds was angered. "Isn't this a sign of being unfair and partial?!"

    "The powerful have the strength to do as they please," The middle-aged expert said with a heavy sigh. "Rules don't mean a thing for the echelons of society no matter where you go."

    "But---"

    "There are no buts in life," The middle-aged man cut in between. "The Fair might have laws which govern it but in the end, the Five Dark Stars have the authority to change or revoke any rule. And if they are giving this shop for free, that would mean the shopkeeper is someone they either respect as a friend or fear as an opponent."

    The young man with the aspirations of running a shop was dejected. He looked at the large shop with envy and wondered what was taking place inside the shop.

    In a luxurious room, Ashlyn continued to sit in a chair next to Kiba. There was a round table in front of them. On the table, there was a vase holding a bouquet of roses.

    Pythia was sitting on a chair opposite to Kiba. Her hands were holding his and their eyes were shut tight. Both their bodies were covered with red currents of temporal power.

    Suddenly, they both jerked and opened their eyes. Kiba retraced his hands and placed them on either side of his head. He was having a terrible headache as if he awakened from a bad hangover.

    "Are you fine?" Ashlyn placed a hand over his arm and asked. Her cold voice was filled with traces of warmth.

    "I'm good," Kiba answered. The headache quickly subsidized thanks to his strength.

    He looked in front and observed the very youthful woman. With a tissue, Pythia wiped sweat from her olive skin and adjusted the rotating hourglass pendant tucked in her cleavage.

    "I'm fine as well, thanks for asking," Pythia said to Ashlyn with a smile. The latter didn't reply and Pythia thought her words were wasted. She recalled Ashlyn was not the right woman to comprehend a joke no matter how deadpan the humor was.

    "I'm afraid my offer to read your fortune would have to be postponed," Pythia said with a light cough. She was embarrassed for going back on her words despite her reputation and status as an oracle.

    Ashlyn just nodded her head in understanding. She turned towards Kiba and said, "Did you learned anything important?"

    Ashlyn remembered Pythia telling Kiba that there were things he must know.

    "Actually, I did," Kiba nodded and said. "A very important matter to be honest."

    Pythia's lips curled up into a smile. She was glad her efforts weren't wasted even though her plans were ruined by the grayness. She was smiling from her heart but then her smile turned stiff when she heard Kiba's next words.

    "I'm going to be a reputed doctor," Kiba said in a heavy tone. "I guess I know what I must do after I return back to the city."

    Pythia's cheeks twitched and her jaw dropped on the floor.

    You saw four events of future past and yet you only consider the least useful event as the most important?!

    Have you forgotten the mystic man whose figure we could not even see?! Don't you remember his conversation with the young girl whom he saved from those ominous skeletons?!

    Then there is that Red Fox guy who was fighting two powerful mutants to save a newborn! Doesn't the happenings in that snowy forest matter at all?!

    And then the scariest event where everything is haunted by grayness.

    Yet, despite such important events, all you think about is your career as a doctor?! You must get your priorities straight! And remember you were definitely not a reputed doctor! A reputed doctor doesn't conduct himself in the ways you did with Anne behind her husband's back! Her poor husband even kissed her after you unloaded in her mouth!!

    "I will have to select a university and apply for medical course," Kiba continued with a thoughtful expression. "Being a doctor is my calling in life and I have decided to dedicate my life to help patients from every race and ethnicity."

    Pythia: "................"

    #!%&@#

    Calling in life?! Dedicating life to help others?!

    Damn!

    Can you be any more shameless than this?! Why can't you be honest for once and actually say that you want your patients from every race and ethnicity to help you!

    What you did as a doctor in the future was not something taught in universities! You broke every rule and ethical guidelines as a doctor! If any of those damn patients have any consciene, they will report you to the medical council!

    Pythia was in the middle of cursing him inside when she noticed Ashlyn nodding her head at Kiba's words.

    Don't tell me that girl believed in his words?! Shit! Surely that girl can't be this naive and actually belive his bold lies! Well, technically he didn't lie but his intentions are anything but good!

    What Pythia didn't know was that Ashlyn only nodded at him for being a doctor and not at the other parts. Not even for a second Ashlyn thought he was a good guy who wanted to help the world.

    As far as she was concerned, good guy and Kiba were on opposite extremities. She fully believed he was a sadist so there were no chances he can be a true doctor. After all, how can a villain like him follow the Hippocratic Oath?!

    If Kiba knew Ashlyn's views on him, he would definitely weep and shed bitter tears. He has gone to a great extent to deceive her.

    "Kiba, I will like to believe you learned more than just your future profession," Pythia said while sweeping the curls of her dirty blonde hair from her ears. "Maybe not now but in the future, the knowledge you gained today would definitely come in handy."

    Kiba silently listened to her remarks. He wasn't really sure of her claims of the events he saw proving any usefulness. Except for Red Fox part, he wasn't able to make even the faintest connection to other events and comprehend them in the slightest.

    Kiba didn't reply negatively though. He felt the resources he spent were useful thanks to what he learned about Red Fox. Now he knew his caretaker wasn't lying about saving his life. He also knew the names and faces of two people who wanted to kill him after he was born. Someday, he would definitely return the favors.

    Just then, the young boy from before entered the room with three glasses of yellow juices. The drinks were created from Level V mutated fruits and their health benefits were exceptional. Most people in their lives could not even see a Level II fruit, much less taste the juices of Level V fruits.

    If the treasure hunters and scientists came to know about this, then they would definitely shout and complain about the wasting of heavenly treasures. These fruits could be used to treat ailments, extend vitality, cure illness and so on. Yet they were used as complimentary drinks in a shop.

    The boy handed the drinks to his mistress and two guests. He then made a bowing gesture and left the room.

    "You are not a miser like I originally thought," Kiba said as he seeped juice from his glass.

    "But you are more shameless than I originally thought," Pythia retorted. "I only charge enough to bring food on my table."

    "Tell it to someone who believes your white lie," Kiba replied after placing the empty glass on the table. "You basically carry out daylight robbery."

    Kiba did say this but he felt the cost was justified. She most likely ran the shop to relieve boredom but even then she couldn't charge less. As an Alpha, she has a reputation so she has to charge her services suiting her status.

    Ashlyn silently enjoyed her drink and ignored the retorts between the two. She placed down the glass after emptying the drink.

    The young boy once again entered the room and took the empty glasses away. Kiba looked at the kid and then at Pythia. He admired her for employing a kid and taking care of him.

    The boy would die without her support in this forest. Kiba shook his head and cleared his thoughts. His mind wandered over other important stuff.

    His first thought was about the divine assets Pythia was hiding behind her robe. He was really curious and he wished there were ways by which he could find for himself.

    "Chances are slim though," Kiba smiled when she recalled her earlier reactions.

    ***

    A few minutes later.

    Pythia's demeanor turned serious. She stretched the index finger of her right hand and tapped it on the bouquet of roses. From her fingertip, ripples of temporal energy swept out and wrapped the roses in the vase.

    "Time is the most powerful poison," Pythia stated in a matter of factly tone.

    The fresh, young rose petals were filled with vitality and life. Suddenly, they started losing their charm and youthfulness.

    Kiba silently observed as the red petals dried, crunched, and aged. In just seconds, the petals and stems turned black and listless before disintegrating into fine particles. The particles floated in the air after which they too disappeared from existence.

    "Time is the true nectar of life and immortality," Pythia rotated her hand into anti-clockwise movement.

    In the air above the table, fine particles conjured out of nowhere. They swept into the empty vase and concentrated together in the shape of stems and petals. Like water freezing under the naked eye, the particles solidified into a listless bouquet of roses. The dried stems and petals were enveloped with a glistening layer and in just a second, they were filled with vitality and charm.

    Once again, the fresh, sweet smell of roses greeted the senses of everyone in the room.

    "Kiba," Pythia looked at him and said. "Rich or poor, strong or weak, ant or human, everyone in this universe shares one common fate - Death. It is the most powerful enemy of us living beings. No matter what you accomplish despite countless struggles and sufferings, they are worth nothing when the darkness of death engulfs you."

    Kiba silently listened to her words without any emotions.

    "We are not even worth dust after our deaths. Every accomplishment is laughable in the face of death," Pythia continued with a bitter smile. "So it is nothing surprising that we humans have been searching for ways of immortality and everlasting youth from ages unknown. We obviously have failed despite our technological advancement and evolution."

    "....."

    "Not only us humans but even the supreme beings from the destroyed Celestial Elysium Plane also failed to achieve immortality," Pythia gripped the hourglass pendant before resuming her words. "They might have failed but they came close to immortality. Those powerful beings have left behind legacies so that their successors can achieve what they failed to accomplish."
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