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346 Innocent Man!

    The man with metallic pincers enhancement collapsed on the ground, engulfed in flames. In just a minute, all that remained of him was a stainless skeleton. Even pincers showed signs of melting under the blistering heat.

    Zed tapped back on the ground. He observed the remnants of the three men he killed and let out a sigh.

    While the mercenaries weren't particularly strong by his standards, there were many of them. If in a group fight, he tried to hold back to not kill, then there might be unwanted consequences... something he couldn't afford in his current form.

    Killing was always easier than simply overpowering an opponent.

    TRINGGGG

    Zed turned around as he heard a sharp sound. He wasn't at all surprised by what he saw.

    The other mercenaries were on the ground with their heads severed from their bodies. Blood was gushing out of them, dyeing the emerald grass into a shade of crimson.

    Only two mercenaries remained, but not for long as two discs sliced through their necks, sending their heads flying into a distance.

    As the last two mercenaries fell, the blood-stained discs shot out and rushed at Ashlyn.

    By the time they clad back on her wrists, they were neat and clean, with not a single drop of blood.

    There was no expression on her poker face. She would have preferred to practice Nutcracking Art on the mercenaries, but the circumstances called for her to use a bit of effort.

    Not like she cared anyway.

    Ashlyn adjusted the discs on her wrists when she felt a pair of eyes on her. She raised her head and looked back at Zed.

    When she battled the seven mercenaries, her attention was still on him. Since she found he didn't need any help, she didn't intervene.

    While she considered it her mission to protect Kiba's younger brother, she didn't want to restrict his growth. Something she realized she has done yesterday.

    Ashlyn was a bit impressed by his conduct. Not because he was able to defeat the three mercenaries, but by the fact that he didn't hesitate in killing them.

    Earlier she was a bit afraid that since he was so different from Kiba, he might be reluctant to draw blood. After all, killing was easier said than done.

    Now the deaths of the three mercenaries relieved her of earlier apprehension.

    She did notice another difference between Zed and Kiba though. She was sure Kiba would have mocked the mercenaries before killing them in a sadistic manner.

    Zed, on the other hand, did no such thing. In a way, he was a gentleman, unlike Kiba.

    A few minutes later, they once again resumed their journey. The corpses behind would either become nourishment for hungry beasts and vultures, or, in the other scenario, they would become fertilizers for the flora.

    Everything was a cycle...

    Meanwhile, a mile away.

    A retinue of twenty people stood at the perimeter of a temporary camp. They were supported by a few drones which were mainly used for aerial survey.

    Inside the camp, a middle-aged woman carried a tray in her hands. She arrived before a chair and respectfully handed a glass of juice to a young miss.

    "No signs of him?"

    The absolutely attractive eighteen-years old teen asked. If the people from the auction house was here, they would identify her as the rich miss from Neville Family - Sophia!

    "No, miss," The middle-aged woman named Aileen Khalid replied.

    Aileen was given the task to accompany and protect Sophia by the latter's parents. She was a Beta-rank mutant but in front of Sophia, she was totally submissive.

    It was not due to strength but status!

    Most people would feel status was useless in front of strength, but they were people who had not seen the power of status!

    Only someone who has experience with Nine Aristocratic Families knew the true worth of status. Aileen has for a long time and was fully aware of the value of status.

    "That's disappointing," Sophia said, a bit frustrated.

    She stepped out of the camp and proceeded further ahead. The retinue stayed behind but Aileen walked behind her, mainting a distance.

    Dried leaves floated in the air as the morning wind swept through trees.

    Sophia leaped on a branch and felt the wind brushing past her face. Her eyes aimlessly scanned the area when she noticed something.

    There were obstacles in her path but she noticed a stunning woman. She was clad in a full-body black suit.

    Sophia instantly recognized her as that man's companion!

    Sure enough, she saw a man along with her. Branches, twigs, and leaves hindered her vision so she was not able to check his body above the neck.

    But from what she knew, that woman in the black suit was always in the company of that scoundrel!

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    Sophia charged through the air with astonishing momentum, straight at her enemy.

    Behind, Aileen was surprised by young miss' actions. She decided to follow from a distance.

    Sophia's aura billowed out, and she lifted her right hand forward, forming a fist. Her body was accompanied by fierce winds.

    The air currents streamed around her fist into a blinding flash of energy.

    Violent fluctuations swept forward, destroying the branches in her path. Even the air seemed to be on the verge of collapse.

    This time she was launching a powerful attack from the start!

    Sophia finally appeared above Ashlyn and the man accompanying her. Leaves were hovering in the air like a storm as she shouted.

    "Shameless villain! Get ready!"

    Her lips were curled up in a smile but then her pupils constricted as she registered the facial features of the man.

    "He is not the villain!!"

    Sophia's fist was closing into the man. She gritted her teeth and twisted her body to change the direction of attack.

    Sadly, this was more difficult than she thought and she faced dangerous recoil from forced change. Still, she didn't hesitate in her decision.

    BANG

    Her fist smashed into the ground next to her earlier target. Her fist was like a mountain and a booming sound rang out as soon as it made contact with the surface.

    The ground exploded into chunks, sending tiniest specks of soil and stones into the air. Almost a hundred meters of the land area was instantly toppled, forming a small crater.

    At the same time, Sophia received the backlash. She spat out a mouthful of blood and started falling into the crater.

    Just then, a hand gripped her arm and pulled her.

    Startled, she lifted her head up and noticed it was her earlier target. His one hand was pulling her while from his other hand, he was shooting a large amount of flame on the ground in order to propel himself into the air.

    "You alright, miss?" He asked.

    By now, she has regained clarity and the effects of backlash subsidized. She didn't reply but instead, pulled out her arm from his grasp like a slippery fish, and then somersaulted through the air.

    Her speed was such that all she left behind was a blur. She landed outside the crater, huffing. Even though the side effects have ended, she was a bit exhausted.

    She brought the back of a hand on her mouth to wipe blood.

    "Here,"

    The voice from before arrived. Surprised, she turned around and saw him offering her a water bottle.

    Sophia was stunned by his actions. A few moments ago, she almost smashed him if not for her last moment realization, and yet, he was helping her.

    She didn't speak anything but took the water bottle. She sniffed the water to check if there was poison or drugs.

    After confirming, she washed her mouth with the water.

    A few moments later, he introduced himself.

    "I'm Zed and she is Ashlyn," Zed pointed to Ashlyn who was standing on the edge of crater.

    Completing their introduction, he asked, "If you don't mind, can you tell me what just happened?"

    Zed's hint was obvious as his eyes moved on the crater behind her. He was looking at her with a bewildered expression; wondering why she almost slammed him with such terrifying force?

    Sophia listened to his question but didn't answer. She was far too embarrassed to respond.

    She couldn't believe she almost attacked an innocent man.

    If it was some other person, he would have taken her condition as a chance to retaliate or do something sinister, but this man, on the other hand, was kind and polite.

    "Everything is that scoundrel's fault!"
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