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341 Accompany Me

    The former lush greenery was now burning under wildfire. Small lifeforms in the vicinity ran for their lives.

    Trees emitted sizzling sound as flames engulfed them, turning them into ashes. Smoke and heatwaves scorched out high in the sky.

    On the ground, in the middle of wildfire, Ashlyn and Zed once again stood across each other. Even though she has retraced the discs, they continued to rotate, emitting blue radiance.

    Ashlyn's gaze swept by his bleeding shoulder and stomach before moving on his face.

    "You are Zed?" Ashlyn asked, her cold voice filled with doubts.

    "Yes," Zed answered.

    He was startled by her question which was anything but normal given the circumstances. But then again, by her reaction, he was sure she stopped her attack due to him mentioning his name. This puzzled him greatly.

    Ashlyn observed him for a moment before asking another question.

    "You are his brother?"

    Zed was taken aback by this strange question.

    'His brother?'

    He has no brother, or at least none he was aware of. He was thinking of answering as such when he recalled something from a week or so ago.

    The memory of that event resurfaced inside him like a bolt of lightning.

    Back then, Kiba and Ashlyn have gone to the ice dominion of Iceblood Flower. Due to some reasons, in the middle of night, he has a nightmare.

    A nightmare which was so realistic that he could the taste of blood in real life. This triggered his instincts and he unconsciously started using his powers while still sleeping.

    The triggered use of his abilities destroyed the portable house he owned, and forced Ashlyn to intervene.

    He didn't know the reason but while Ashlyn was trying to awaken him, he muttered Zed's name. He said things like:

    'Zed...are you fine?'

    'Zed...I'm so sorry...I will protect you till my final breath.'

    Later on, after Kiba awoke from his nightmare, Ashlyn was a bit curious. She secretly wondered why a sadist like him care so much about this guy named Zed. As such, she enquired with Kiba.

    Kiba answered by saying Zed was his younger brother. Back then, he was lying but now... the lie has brought him to some unexpected situation.

    "Yes," Zed nodded his head in acknowledgment.

    Ashlyn continued to lock her eyes on him, and said, "State your elder brother's name."

    "Kiba," Zed replied.

    Ashlyn brought her vision on his right wrist. In a chilling voice, she asked, "Why do you have his bracelet?"

    Zed wanted to cry but he has no tears to shed.

    After calming for a bit and thinking of her actions, it wasn't hard to realize why she attacked him. He was shocked by her murderous intent, and the injuries she implanted on him, but still, a part of him felt good. After all, she did what she did as she was worried his alter ego was harmed.

    He raised his bracelet hand in front and answered, "It isn't his... We both have similar bracelets."

    Ashlyn didn't reply in response but continued to stare at him.

    Zed showcased a black ring he was wearing in the same finger as storage ring. This black ring would turn to white when he was Kiba but otherwise, its design would remain same.

    "You would have seen a similar ring on his finger as well," Zed pointed out to her.

    Ashlyn did recall a white ring with this design. Yet she didn't speak anything and waited for him to continue.

    "I felt elder brother's aura so I came here, just minutes before you arrived," Zed explained since that was something she wanted. "But there were only corpses and wreckages, nothing else. Then you arrived..."

    Lying and acting were main skills of Kiba, but even Zed has minor accomplishments. At least, enough skill to lie about such a matter.

    "..............."

    "You know brother as well?" Zed asked with a straight face.

    As was his character, he was polite from the time he met her, even during their short fight.

    Ashlyn didn't answer. Instead, she asked, "State a few items he owns."

    The corners of his mouth twitched. She was asking far too many questions to ascertain his identity.

    "He should have a portable house," Zed described the features of the portable house.

    He knew she knew about the house being destroyed so mentioning the house was the best way to prove his identity.

    Ashlyn nodded in acknowledgment of his identity. The discs flew out and clad on her wrists.

    Earlier, she wouldn't have attacked Zed if not for the bracelet and him possibly harming Kiba.

    After fighting him, she concluded he was nowhere strong enough to fight someone of Kiba's caliber. She has witnessed Kiba facing strong enemies so she now realized he must be safe.

    Ashlyn opened her left hand. A flash of radiance conjured to transform into a recovery pill. It was a Grade III pill with strong regenerative abilities.

    She tossed this pill to him.

    Zed has just caught the pill when she did something which left him astonished.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    He looked in disbelief as she bowed down and said, "I apologize for my actions."

    "Please don't," Zed quickly stopped her. "There is no need for you to do such a thing."

    He has never seen her saying sorry to anyone much less bowing down with a sincere expression.

    As far as he could recall, all he saw was a breath-taking, cold poker face. Only twice did he saw her smiling.

    Even her tone never carried warmth, or at least none he noticed.

    Now, due to a misunderstanding, not only was she apologizing sincerely but showing a new expression.

    Guilt.

    Zed didn't know how to react. A part of him felt bad for tricking her in such a manner.

    "Your actions had no malice so please don't apologize," Zed said with a polite smile. "And thank you for the pill."

    His smile and tone were as sincere as her apology.

    Ashlyn could feel from his demeanor that he meant what he said. She nodded and her face turned to her usual self.

    Zed stuffed the pill in his mouth and the pill melted into streams of healing energy that coursed throughout his body. The bleeding instantly stopped and even his wounds filled up in no time, leaving no trace.

    The nanofibers in his clothing self-cleansed the bloodstains. His appearance was now same as before he fought her.

    If not for the wildfire around them, it would have seemed they didn't even fight each other.

    Zed focused on the fire and with a mental command, the wildfire extinguished.

    "I shall be taking my leave," Zed waved her goodbye and turned around.

    He decided to quickly transform back into Kiba and meet her again.

    He took a step ahead and just then, the space in front of him flickered and Ashlyn arrived.

    "?" Zed gave a questioning look.

    "Kiba will be meeting me at Guardian Spirit Village," Ashlyn said, her voice as cold as ever.

    The village was just a mile away from the entrance of the core region. It was a place visited by most people visiting core region.

    "Oh! Brother would be at that village!" Zed pretended to be surprised. "Thanks! I know where to meet him."

    Ashlyn continued to stand in front of him, not allowing him to leave.

    "I'm leaving for the village and you can join me," Ashlyn stated her intentions.

    The village would take a day or two to reach on foot. Normally, she wouldn't invite even her acquaintance to accompany her, much less a stranger she met minutes ago.

    But Zed was different.

    He was Kiba's brother!

    The same brother whom Kiba swore to protect till his final breath.

    The brother whom he cared so much that he even has a horrifying nightmare.

    Ashlyn has fought Zed and found him rather weak. She didn't know why the brothers were separated, but she was sure Kiba wouldn't want Zed to be unprotected in this dangerous land.

    If something happened to Zed, then would Kiba be able to cope up with the loss and guilt?

    Given the circumstances, she felt she should accompany Zed and protect him till they reached the village. From then on, he would be Kiba's responsibility.

    Zed smiled wryly as her words registered in his mind.

    He didn't know the full reasons why she wanted him to accompany but he has a faint idea. It was either for Kiba, or out of guilt, or a combination of both.

    Either way, her offer was not something he wanted to take. It would result in complications he didn't want, so he decided to politely refuse her.

    With a smile, he said, "I don't want to trouble you."

    Ashlyn didn't say anything, but just the fact she didn't speak stated her intentions.

    "..." Zed realized she meant to say there was no trouble at all.

    He wondered if he should make an excuse of being a member of a team but then thought not to take chances. He has a feeling she would stay just to confirm if his so-called team was any good given how he faced her alone without any help.

    A minute later, Zed bitterly nodded.

    Ashlyn responded with a barely noticeable smile. She began her mission of protecting Kiba's family...

    ***

    Meanwhile, in the place where Kiba used Purgatory - Eclipse.

    It was a pool of pure blood. The blood was still warm and fresh with no signs of clotting.

    The smell and sight of pure blood were not something even killer mutants could handle without any discomfort. A few curious mutants checked the pool from distance but left just as quickly. They saw no reason to be in this desolate land where there were no lifeforms.

    Others might have left from a distance, but there were two who stepped into the pool of blood. It was none other than Madison and Lillian!

    "There is daddy's aura!"

    Lillian twirled in the middle of pool like a ballerina. Her movements were fluid and the blood didn't prove any hindrance, not even touching her. If anything, the blood in background complimented her, adding charm to her movements.

    "Yes! I can feel it as well!"

    Madison jumped into the pool. She was a queen of blood and the pool treated her with the respect she commanded.

    "This blood is truly pure!"

    Madison raised a finger and the blood rose high up into waves. She curled her finger, and with a whooshing sound, the blood waves compressed into a small ring.

    Lillian sat behind her twin. She wrapped her arms around Madison and rested her head on her back.

    "I can no longer sense daddy's presence," Lillian said in a sad voice.

    The corners of her mouth turned down.

    "Don't' worry," Madison patted her twin's arms, and then continued, "Nothing would happen to our daddy!"

    "Right!"
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