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381 He Is...!!

    "Get in!"

    A familiar voice came from the hovercraft. Not only Sophia, but even Aileen felt the same about the voice.

    But before she could contemplate the identity of the owner of the voice, the two Beta-rank scorpions went berserk.

    After seeing so many members of their species dying, all they want was to turn the humans into meat pieces.

    Both Sophia and Aileen realized the danger they were in. Without thinking anything further, they ran towards the hovercraft.

    A vortex-like door was the entrance and both of them jumped into it. The next moment, the vortex-like entrance closed up.

    The hovercraft moved up, but by then, one of the scorpions landed on the back of the hovercraft. The moment the scorpion touched the surface of the hovercraft, filaments of blue current flashed.

    BANG

    The scorpion exploded like a broken mirror.

    Blue light splashed out of the turbo boosts of the hovercraft, and it instantly rushed into the sky... leaving behind one poor scorpion.

    Inside the hovercraft, as Aileen swept her glance and observed the high-tech controls, she was shocked.

    "This is not from Earth!"

    Aileen concluded in no time. She was a servant from an aristocrat family so she was aware of a lot of things.

    Sophia, in the meantime, was similarly shocked. But unlike Aileen, her shock was not due to the high-tech hovercraft.

    Instead, the reason was a living being sitting on the pilot seat.

    "We meet again."

    As she heard the words, Sophia broke out of the trance. She regained clarity and looked at the person on the pilot seat.

    This person was not something she could easily forget. It was someone who has made a profound impression on her.

    A kind, loving, well-mannered and intelligent person. The type of person her mother said was a rare breed.

    "Zed!"

    Sophia couldn't believe he was here. It was just a day ago when she saw him last, and she could fully recall how he said he has no plans of entering the core region.

    Yet, not only was he inside the core region, but he was also riding an alien hovercraft.

    "Please have a seat," Zed politely said.

    Sophia stared at him for a long time as she concluded even his tone was the same. There was the same politeness and respectfulness that was unique to him.

    She nodded and sat on a chair next to him. Behind, Aileen also took a seat but she was on guards. If she felt anything amiss, she was ready to attack and kill the person next to her young miss.

    She was doubtful if he was really the kind man she saw yesterday. And even if he was, she would show no mercy if he has nefarious intentions.

    Zed turned his chair towards the control panel. Without saying anything, he tapped on the virtual screens, and the hovercraft headed straight.

    "Are you really Zed?"

    Sophia asked after a few moments.

    "Hmm?" Zed chose auto-pilot mode and turned towards her.

    He was a bit surprised to see her misty blue eyes scrutinizing him closely. They were gleaming with an innocence that could instantly melt anyone's heart.

    "I believe so," Zed answered her question with a smile.

    Sophia brushed away a strand of shiny black hair from her face and continue to observe him for a few more seconds.

    Sophia then nodded her head as she felt no reason to doubt him. She has checked the language on the virtual screens, and from her memories, she knew it was similar to the one translated by Zed a few days ago.

    This left no doubts...

    "You weren't going to enter into the core region, right?" Sophia asked out of curiosity.

    She wasn't that familiar with him as they didn't even stay together for two days, but still, she felt close to him.

    Whether it was the first meeting where she almost attacked him due to a misunderstanding or the way he rescued Verna... Those short encounters have already closed the distance between strangers and made her feel he was a friend.

    Not any type of friend, but the type her mother would appreciate.

    Sophia's mother has warned about arrogant, shameless, perverted, and villainous type of people. As far as Sophia was concerned, there was only one person who has those four qualities: the golden-haired scoundrel named Kiba.

    Zed, on the other hand, has every perfect quality... totally opposite to that shameless villain. The type of person her mother felt was no danger at all.

    "Well, till today morning, I didn't really plan to enter the core region," Zed answered with a soft sigh. "But things happened and I had no choice..."

    "Oh!" Sophia thought for a moment before saying, "Do you plan to enter the central zone?"

    Her destination was the central zone and the same went for many inside the core region. This was especially true for the younger generation.

    After all, in the central zone, there was the epitome of good fortune.

    A treasure vault!

    The entire Desolate Blood Forest didn't even deserve a mention compared to even the lowest-rank item inside the treasure vault.

    Powerful weapons, secrets of evolution and the universe, a gateway to new life, and so on.

    But the treasure vault was not something that could be accessed by anyone. Even to close into the area where it was located, one must undergo countless trials of blood and fire.

    From the records of influential organizations, those trials were tailor-made for the progress of young people. The dangerous trials were no less than rewards if one could pass through them.

    "Yes, my destination is the same," Zed replied.

    He knew about the trials and the treasure vault but he has no interest in them. All he wanted was to find the area where the nanites existed so he could complete his mission.

    But as per the information he has, the location was most likely in the central zone.

    "Great!" Sophia rejoiced and her lips curled up in a wonderful smile.

    Her smile was infectious and he could do nothing but smile.

    A few minutes later.

    "The core region is changing," Aileen remarked out of blue.

    "What?" Sophia looked back.

    "Those scorpions should only exist in the central zone...and even there, they rarely come out," Aileen explained the strange happenings.

    "Right! Then there were those White Phantom Snakes which appeared outside the core region!" Sophia recalled those snakes with a frown.

    Back then, if not for Zed's help, Verna would have absolutely died.

    "What is happening here?" Aileen wondered aloud.

    "Migration," Zed answered with his eyes on the control panels. "When environment changes and a species can't adapt, it has no choice but to migrate."

    "!!"

    ....

    In a land far away that was referred to as the central zone.

    There were countless relics, bridges, statues, wreckages, and fragments of unknown. But that was only on the surface.

    Deep into the land, there were things that could both terrify and entice even the most powerful.

    Presently, in an area opposite to what humans generally call as the treasure vault.

    The area was strange for it has no physical dimensions, at least none that humans could understand.  If one steps into this area, they would feel it was infinite with no definite start or end.

    The ground was more like a pool, filled with a transparent but crystalline liquid. Every single drop of liquid was glistening like a bright sky.

    The liquid radiated tranquility and serenity that was hard to describe.

    Above the crystalline liquid pool, there were countless orbs of light. The orbs were dazzling and mesmerizing, enveloped with glow of various colors.

    These orbs continuously floated; casting flashes of myriad colors on the pool below.

    Suddenly, the liquid rose above like waves. A blinding radiance surged out, and the next moment, an enormous, feminine face appeared.

    The feminine face floated above the pool. Its facial characteristics could be best described as strange.

    Half of the face was black while the other half was white. Throughout the face, there were tiny star-like points flashing.

    From the forehead of this face, three incorporeal horns protruded out. Even though they were horns, they resembled antennas.

    As the face appeared, on the surface of the crystalline pool, ripples swept out. Through the ripples, the scene above a dessert was visible.

    The scene on the ripples changed, and now, it showed the insides of a hovercraft. The ripples stopped moving after they focused on the image of a young man with black hair.

    As the feminine face observed the image, the orbs flashed with vibrating glow, as if responding to its emotions.

    [[He is... that kid!! Why would he come here?!]]
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