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361 Snakes!

    Jenina and others prepared a light breakfast with help from Sophia's retinues and had it with Ashlyn and rest. After which they packed the camp house and left.

    An hour later.

    Zed and Ashlyn proceeded alongside Sophia, Jenina, and Aileen. Onur and other men were with them as well but just at the end.

    Even though what they did was immoral, the women didn't throw them out. They had a partnership that couldn't be destroyed due to a small conflict.

    Verna was in the front along with Divya and other women.

    Zed absentmindedly looked at the path while thinking of a plausible excuse to part off with Ashlyn. In just 4-5 hours, they would reach Guardian Spirit Village, where Kiba would be ready to welcome them.

    Something he knew that was impossible.

    As he walked forward, Sophia's unclear words entered his ears, and brought him from thoughts.

    "So have you heard?" Sophia asked while reducing the gap between them.

    "I'm sorry but I was distracted so I didn't hear your earlier words," Zed said with a polite smile.

    "It is fine," Sophia didn't mind and repeated her words. "A few days ago, there was a robbery in the auction at The Fair. In fact, it was carried out by the most shameless guy in existence. Have you heard of it?"

    Sophia has met Ashlyn twice before meeting with her and Zed. In those earlier times, she was with Kiba.

    She didn't know his relationship with this cold and silent woman. So she mentioned about the robbery in a round way to know if he was also aware of that villain.

    "There was a robbery?" Zed asked, his face filled with surprise.

    "Yes! As I said, the culprit was the most shameless guy---" Sophia was saying when a cold voice cut her sentence.

    "He is not shameless," Ashlyn said.

    She was aware Sophia was referring to Kiba but she also knew that Zed was in dark spot.

    She reasoned he might learn about his elder brother's role in the future, but wouldn't it hurt him to know that Kiba was called shameless?

    Given his pure character, he most likely seemed ignorant of his elder brother's personality.

    Ashlyn recalled reading about how family love makes one ignore the negative in the loved ones. It was like how a mother could never find fault in the behavior of her child.

    Besides, Ashlyn didn't think Kiba was shameless. He was smart, yes, and even sadist, but not shameless.

    "No! He is shameless!" Sophia disliked Ashlyn's defense.

    Ashlyn shook her head in obvious denial.

    Zed has a smile on his face. He was happy to see there was at least someone to defend his alter ego's honor and reputation.

    Sophia explained her reasons but Ashyn didn't agree.

    "Ok, then what do you think of that scoundrel?" Sophia was frustrated in trying to reason with this unreasonable woman.

    "He is a borderline villain with sadist tendencies but not shameless," Ashlyn has never lied and she wouldn't do it now either. Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    "..."

    The corners of Zed's mouth twitched and his smile turned stiff.

    Ashlyn!

    You are supposed to defend Kiba!

    Calling him sadist and a borderline villain is actually ruining his reputation!

    Zed couldn't believe she would think about Kiba in such a manner.

    Kiba has always taken extra steps to hide his nature from her, and ensure she has a positive image, and yet she reached such a conclusion about him?!

    "I will disagree with your last part of the sentence," Sophia's reply broke Zed's thoughts. She then appeared beside him and said, "That scoundrel has a habit of stealing and creating trouble."

    "Really?"

    "Yes, let's forget the auction robbery. The second time I met him, it was outside a cave formed from some debris. Instead of adventuring in the cave like others to seek resources, he stood outside, and waited for adventurists to step out. The adventurists were already tired and exhausted after the ordeal they faced in cave, and when they came out, they were in no state to do anything... Yet, he took advantage of their state, and robbed them clean! Tell me, isn't that shameless?"

    Zed placed a hand over his chin and thought, "No! That's just being smart. Why spend so many efforts when you can enjoy the fruits of other's labor?"

    Of course, he couldn't answer in this manner. He sighed and said, "It is rather hard to judge that person you mentioned."

    "Huh?" Sophia was surprised. She was sure he would agree with her.

    And yet, shockingly, he was neutral?!

    "The entire forest is a gray area where morals are twisted," Zed referred to the law of the jungle before continuing.

    "When you kill someone from the front or from behind, it is still murder. You are taking a life in both cases... so why is the former considered as brave and honorable while the latter is considered as a cowardly and dishonorable? The result of both cases is the same... death of an individual," Zed explained, his voice as calm as the ocean.

    "Now, in the forest, no one really owns anything. Everything belongs to mother earth. So a person grabbing resources from a cave, or the individual taking away from that person... they both are stealing. Not to mention, the former person who stepped inside the cave would also have been violent (fighting other adventurists for resources in the cave)... the same as the individual outside the cave.

    "Everything is a part of the natural cycle... Can we really judge one act as moral while other as shameless?"

    Sophia's eyes turned wide. Even Ashlyn and Jenina beside them were startled.

    "As expected of him! He would always try to find positive even in the negative actions of others! This can explain why he defended me despite my earlier actions!"

    Jeinia's eyes sparkled as she reached the above conclusion. Some hundred meters ahead, Verna heard his words, and she flinched.

    "How can such a man even exist?" Verna wondered. Her prejudice against men was seriously affected by his words.

    As for what he said, she didn't really agree. She found flaws in his argument, but she didn't bother stating them.

    "Let me describe the facial features of that scoundrel so that you aren't schemed by him."

    Sophia didn't want Zed to suffer. If she warned him in advance, at least he would be on guards and somewhat prepared.

    "Sure," Zed tried to say this with a straight face.

    Sophia opened her lips to speak when, suddenly, his pupils constricted and his expression changed.

    Before she could even say a single word, he grabbed her right shoulder, and tapped a foot on the ground. Flame exploded under his foot and using its force, he jumped back.

    Sophia was stunned by his actions. He has pulled her so strongly that marks were imprinted on her soft skin.

    Just then, she heard tragic screams from behind. She turned around and her pupils dilated.

    Two of her servants- who were near Zed and Sophia just a few moments ago- were now rolling on the ground. Their faces were ashen and foam was splitting out of their lips.

    At the same time, from the corner of her eyes, she detected a faint line in the air. Startled but prepared, she arched her body back, and the line shot past her, striking on a tree.

    Only now she realized what was that line.

    It was a snake!

    Its thickness was even smaller than a twig of a tree, and its body was almost transparent like a whip of smoke. Such characteristics ensured that it could whistle through the air without making any noticeable movement or noise.

    "Demonic White Phantom Snake?" Sophia wondered aloud when she heard more screams. She quickly looked around and saw dozens of snakes.

    Many of them have impaled their fangs in the necks of Sophia's servants and a few others.

    Aileen has jumped into action and protected three servants before rapidly arriving next to Sophia.

    "Miss, there was just no warning!" Aileen activated an energy barrier around them. "If we had known, we wouldn't have suffered so many casualties."

    The snakes were dangerous due to their surprise element and the toxic they carried, but once people know in advance, the snakes could be avoided.

    Sadly, most people were caught off guard. The snakes might be weak physically but their toxic was dangerous. Not even a Beta-rank could survive.

    While Aileen felt sad by the loss of so many servants, she wasn't overly concerned. Servants wouldn't be accompanying her miss after the village.

    "How could these snakes even exist here? Their habitat is that serpent land in the core region! And core region hasn't even opened!!"

    Onur cursed while protecting his body with a shield and killing a snake with an energy chain. Next to him, Launcelot created a corrosive cocoon around him.

    Some distance away, Zed wrapped his entire body with streams of flames.

    Even he felt danger from the existence of these snakes and didn't let them close.

    A minute ago, his premonition ability warned him, and this was the only reason he could save himself and Sophia.

    Had he not avoided the snake flying at him, his bloodstream would be filled with deathly toxic, and in such a moment, his instincts would have automatically activated to save his life... by transforming him into Kiba!

    This would be similar to how he transformed into Kiba when Akshobhya has sealed his consciousness. At that time, Claudia created a life and death crisis so that his instincts would be forced to take over...

    "It wasn't really life and death crisis for me... this was why I wasn't warned in advance, but only at the final moment," Zed thought with a sigh.

    "Thank you," Sophia's soft voice entered his ears.

    He looked at her and said, "I don't think I really saved you so no need to thank me."

    Sophia responded with a smile. Her pendant was glinting with a soft radiance, and he only noticed it when he left her shoulder.

    If not for him, the pendant would have protected her. He was now sure he didn't need to intervene when Launcelot and Carmen planned to drug her.

    "It is the thought that counts," Sophia said in a soft voice.

    Zed didn't reply but instead brought his eyes on Ashlyn. As he expected, she was safe, and her discs were cutting through snakes rushing at her.

    The blue discs rotated around her, creating currents of blue ripples, ensuring no snake could pass through.

    Zed's expression turned serious as he noticed more snakes coming towards him. He didn't fear them, but they carried a risk of transforming him into Kiba.

    The streams of fire expanded further and crashed into the incoming snakes. Grilling sound ringed out as the snakes' bodies charred into black ashes.

    "How could they be here though?"

    He was also aware that Demonic White Phantom Snake didn't exist in the forest but only in the core region.

    Zed's eyes brightened as he thought of something. He has a good guess on what happened...
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