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385 Strike Him With Lightning!

    \"That guy is cheating! Someone stop him!\"

    Kieron shouted as rings of light flew towards Zed. Alas, no god heeded to his request.

    In the sky, as the ape began to descend, Zed was a bit surprised as the rings of light arrived in front of him.

    \"Amazing!\" Sophia marveled happily. \"You are being awarded as the best student despite being caught cheating!\"

    \".....\"

    Sophia covered her mouth with a hand and laughed softly as she saw a strange look on his face.

    \"Hehe, I'm kidding,\" Sophia said with a smile. \"If I'm not wrong, this is a reward for you being #1 on this bridge.\"

    \"Oh!\" Zed wasn't aware of this.

    The rings of lights clad on his right wrist, fusing with the crystalline thread from before. Now, on the crystalline thread, there was a colorful bead - the size of a pigeon's eye.

    \"What we can earn at the end depends on these beads,\" Sophia explained after realizing he was clueless.

    \"You can even use them for special chances available in trials.\"

    \"Special chances?\"

    \"Yes. Like protection from trial dangers, enlightenment of a specific skill, or even skipping a round... there are many features.\"

    Zed nodded and thanked her. BSE79 meteorite didn't have such a type of reward system nor there was any trial like this. There was only danger and death...

    \"Many would be envious of you,\" Aileen said, her voice filled with admiration. While she was shocked by his style and use of strange methods, she found him impressive nevertheless.

    Besides, she felt no matter what types of methods he employed, ultimately, he was a very good human being.

    He was kind, soft-spoken and well-mannered.  And even fierce & determined when a situation demanded. She recalled how he acted when perverted youths tried to invade privacy of women in the hot spring. He respected women, unlike most men who only think of females as sexual beings!

    Suddenly, a current passed through her spine as she thought of everything he has done so far, including on the bridge.

    \"This...!\"

    She didn't know why, but she has a feeling that young masters and geniuses from reputed organizations were going to have a very difficult time. She even felt many of them would cry themselves to death.

    \"Is this the legendary women's intuition?\" Aileen asked to herself.

    With a thud sound, the ape landed on solid landmass. Zed and others jumped from its shoulder and stepped on the ground.

    He stretched a hand to take out the triangular device from the ape, but before he could, its body started turning transparent. In just a few seconds, the ape's body faded, and the triangular device collapsed on the ground.

    \"Royal Will of World has designed a sophisticated system,\" Zed thought as the ape disappeared.

    Most likely, the ape was transported back to the bridge or perhaps sent for recovery. In either case, it didn't concern Zed any longer.

    \"Hmm?\"

    Zed turned around as he felt a pair of eyes on him. Those eyes belonged to Kieron whose expression was really ugly.

    \"I must control myself!\" Kieron took a deep breath and calmed himself. He stepped forward, no longer paying attention to Zed.

    \"What a strange guy,\" Sophia said as he moved past them.

    Zed didn't respond though he smiled a bit. Kieron has masked his killing intent but Zed was extremely sensitive to it, and as such, he felt it.

    \"Haah~ And yet Claudia says Kiba is a trouble magnet,\" Zed mused without any worry.

    \"Let's go to the next location,\" Sophia said to which others nodded.

    As they stepped forward and arrived in a cave, the space in front of them twisted, and by the time they regained clarity, Sophia and Zed found themselves in a grand hall.

    \"Where is Aileen?!\"

    Sophia was startled and she hurriedly looked around. The hall has no exit or entrance, and as far as her eyes could see, there was no trace of Aileen.

    There were other peoples including Kieron here. As she observed the others, she noticed something strange.

    The hall was only filled with youths!

    \"Are we separated based on age?\"

    Not only her, but others were thinking the same, especially those who have arrived with guardians and protectors.

    \"Most likely,\" Zed replied.

    \"But nothing like this has happened before!\" Sophia said based on the records she has studied.

    \"Oh?\" Zed's eyebrows furrowed. He then nodded and felt it made sense given the commotion in the hall.

    He lacked information about the trials but those from influential backgrounds didn't. For them to be this shocked and worried, it was obvious they didn't expect this development.

    \"Relax,\" Zed pointed to a slab for sitting. \"And have some rest. Aileen would be fine.\"

    \"You are right,\" Sophia's cute face visibly relaxed.

    She wasn't worried about her safety as she has confidence in her ability and the preparations made by her parents.

    Both of them sat on the slab.

    ...

    Every person knew others were competitors so there was very few discussion.

    Slowly, as more and more people appeared in the hall, those familiar with each other start talking. There was competition but that didn't stop them from having a chat or sharing points.

    \"Just how many more people would come?\"

    \"If they are coming this late...then doesn't it means they are useless?\"

    \"Not really,\" A strong youth with psychic ability said. \"Many people simply considered the first trial as a joy ride... there was no rule of coming first or anything. While there was a reward, it was never mentioned and it was only for one person per bridge... From the upcoming trials, this would be different.\"

    \"Right! Many talented geniuses would be trading those twelve bridges without any hurry!\"

    ...

    The geniuses were the centers of attention in the hall. This was especially true for fatty named Leonardo Benjamin, aloof Solomon Fuentes, talented Aishah Wells, claw-handed Nur Rahman, and so on.

    But the only one getting attention of even these geniuses was a Chosen - Alistair Eleanor. He was surrounded by lackeys who were continuously flattering him.

    Alistar silently sat, with his eyes shut, not caring about anything.

    As more time went and more people arrived, a few people stepped towards the end of hall and noticed Sophia.

    \"Sophia!\"

    They exclaimed loudly as they confirmed it was her. Those from the State of Avalon were the most vocal and they quickly rushed towards her.

    Sophia felt a slight headache. She didn't want to be rude due to her upbringing but she was naturally fierce and bossy, so she didn't like to be annoyed as well.

    \"Please don't disturb her,\" Zed said, his voice polite. \"She is recovering.\"

    Sophia was startled but she quickly nodded and made a face as if suppressing pain. She internally thanked him for rescuing her.

    \"As expected! Mom always said a true friend would have each other's back!\" Sophia thought cheerfully.

    \"Who are you?\" A youth named Willard asked.

    He didn't like the way Zed was acting, especially with how close he was sitting with Sophia.

    \"Zed,\" Zed introduced himself respectfully. \"If you wouldn't mind, please maintain silence, and allow her to have proper rest.\"

    Willard's eyes flashed with anger.

    This punk...! Couldn't he understand my tone of question?!

    Willard thought with annoyance.

    Other people nearby him, even those acquainted with Sophia, didn't stay any longer. They understood Sophia's hidden wish so all they could do was take a step back.

    While many of them held grand dreams of dating her and becoming successful by becoming a son-in-law of Neville Family, they knew reality and their limitations.

    There were many, even talented geniuses, who haven't stepped forward to greet Sophia. They internally sighed in relief knowing they didn't make a joke of themselves like others. Perhaps, they felt there was still a chance! One can always dream!

    As time passed and more people arrived, Zed identified a few familiar faces.  Among the males were the 'eternal lovers' Carmen and Launcelot, Onur, and a few more who had previously accompanied Sophia.

    Zed was checking familiar faces and when he saw no sign of Ashlyn, he became lost in thoughts.

    \"Every human within the age limit of twenty-five years old is here... But Ashlyn is not here, and neither is that woman named Fiona.\"

    He has experienced both their strength so he was more than sure about their capabilities.

    \"Could it be they have different plans?\"

    Zed recalled there were other ways to enter the central zone. But they weren't preferred as they didn't lead to the 'treasure vault' due to lack of these trials.

    It wasn't like he was interested in treasures either, but his destination was nearby, and he decided to take the easy way.

    Of course, those other ways must be leading to something valuable as well otherwise there was no reason for them to be used.

    \"I guess I can find out later...\"

    Zed sighed as he thought of Fiona.

    Kiba has fought Fiona to protect Red Tiger, and at the end of conflict, they have made a deal. As far as he could tell, she has done her part, and now it was time for Kiba to hold his part of deal by helping her once.

    \"What does she want?\" Zed was a bit curious about her.

    \"Then there is my slave Ruby...\"

    Zed thought of Kiba's first slave. She was a part of a human-trafficking group that fooled humans by using psychological schemes. Sadly, she met Kiba, and to save herself, she swore to become his devoted slave.

    He was thinking of the time he spent with her when he heard surprised gasps from ahead.

    \"Zed!\"

    \"He does look like Zed!\"

    \"But is it really him?!\"

    \"Didn't he say he has no interest in the core region?!\"

    \"Sophia is next to him...so it must be Zed!\"

    Zed lifted his head as he heard multiple female voices. Before he could see the owners of the soft voices, he found his vision obstructed by body of a woman.

    \"You are really here!\"

    A sweet voice entered his ears as a woman hugged him tightly. Since he was sitting and she was standing, so when she wrapped her arms around him for a hug, his face was pressed against her glistening cleavage.

    An irresistible sensation greeted his body. Even though she was smothering him with her tempting breasts, he wasn't the type of man who would refuse a woman when she wished to express her emotions.

    The resplendent lilly perfume and enticing glistering skin, he instantly identified her as Jenina. As she opened her arms and ended the hug, and before he could take a breath, another set of breasts filled his face.

    This time, from the other side, another woman also hugged him. He was not able to identify the attractive smell and gorgeous skin tone of these women.

    These two women were none other than Rita and Divya. He might not remember them as he didn't speak with them, but they had a profound impression of him due to the hot spring event. Then there was the way he acted when Demonic White Phantom Snakes attacked!

    Obviously, after seeing him again, they greeted him with a hug to express their deep emotions. Besides, knowing his holy character, every woman felt safe in his arms.

    Some distance away, Willard, and dozens of young geniuses were dumbfounded. They looked with eyes wide and jaw slacked open as one tempting woman after another hugged Zed.

    What the hell is going on?!

    Neither Willard nor others could believe the scene in front of their eyes.

    Many of them were single and at an age where hormones were raging inside them. It was males who have to do all the hard work in finding a girlfriend and the courting process... even a hug would take a lot of effort.

    But now?!

    One woman after another was taking a turn to hug him! They weren't even giving him a chance to breathe or speak as they stuffed their breasts on his face while wrapping their arms around him!

    It was like he was a magnet attracting stunning beauties!

    God!

    Strike him with lightning!
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