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389 Dont Want To Change The Past!

    The lackeys of Alistair and Leonardo swallowed their tongues. Their faces were like they have seen a ghost as they counted the number of beads Zed has obtained.

    Just some time ago, they were calling Alistair and Leonardo as monsters - rare geniuses which the world has ever seen. Not only that, but they had used dozens of adjectives to flatter their bosses by also saying they have made a record along with Sophia.

    Now, after seeing Zed's performance, their faces turned unsightly.

    Weren't their earlier flattery and praises actually an insult?! Their bosses would now be only used to show just how badly they performed compared to Zed!

    When the lackeys thought of this, they began shaking.

    Alistair and Leonardo didn't care about the flattery or praises; they were used to such things. It was a different matter that they were proud of their achievements.

    Now, knowing Zed has gained over a hundred beads while they didn't even earn half... they were in a state of disbelief.  They refused to believe they were overshadowed to such an extent.

    If they were surpassed by a noble descendant, they could have barely accepted it just like they did with Sophia.

    Even Sophia has surpassed them by a very small number so it was something they could grudgingly acknowledge.

    But now they weren't defeated by a noble by such a huge margin.

    Based on what they had seen in the second part of trial, they knew Zed was a former slum dweller. He has no background to speak of. He was barely surviving for almost half his life...

    If their influential families learned of it, wouldn't they become a joke? An aristocrat offspring thrashed by a slum dweller. If such a thing happened, they would be in no position to show their faces to others.

    \"This is just the start!\"

    Alistair's eyes burned with fighting spirit. He was someone who had explored another meteorite before, and he refused to let this small setback hinder him.

    What the trial checked was only Will! Not personal strength, power of bloodline or lineage! They were the things that mattered the most.

    Leonardo was the same as he opened a packet of chips with his high-tech mechanical hand. He has full trust in his capabilities and was more than sure how he would fare in the later rounds.

    Solomon spun his sharp sword and glanced at Zed. He faintly smiled, as if of acknowledgment and praise.

    ...

    Zed stepped towards the sitting slab. He has crossed half the distance when Sophia appeared before him.

    Her eyes were misty and red... almost on brink of crying.

    \"Are you all right?\" Zed asked.

    \"Yes,\" Sophia replied, her voice choking. She looked at him for some time before continuing, \"I'm sorry.\"

    \"Sorry?\" Zed blinked in confusion.

    \"You have lived such a hard life... and people like me take everything for granted,\" Sophia said while recalling the lavish feasts she would have every day.

    He has to fight for just a piece of bread while she would waste food without any care.

    Due to her privileged upbringing, she has never faced any difficulty in her life. But seeing his memories, she could barely understand what pang of hunger and extreme poverty felt like. She was sorry that she had everything while he didn't have anything...

    Of course, she knew well that it was just his past, and the present him was completely different. That didn't stop her from feeling bad though.

    \"You are very kind, Sophia,\" Zed sported a sincere smile. \"But there is no reason for you to feel sorry or sad due to my past.\"

    \"No! You suffered so much and faced difficulties...\"

    Zed cut off her in middle by saying, \"I have neither suffered nor face many difficulties in my life. Yes, there were days of struggles... but who doesn't face struggles? Rich or poor, everyone has their version of struggles.\"

    Sophia was astonished by his words. She felt anyone in his place would be bitter and at least, self-pitying. He, on the other hand, was completely fine as if his days as a slum dweller were nothing worth mentioning.

    \"Besides, I have been extremely lucky and blessed,\" Zed said with the same smile as before.

    \"Lucky and blessed?\" Sophia couldn't believe her ears.

    How could someone in his position feel as such?

    \"Obviously,\" Zed said in a matter of fact tone. \"Despite the era of evolution and technology, every year, millions die due to extreme poverty... But unlike them, I'm not only alive but also living a good life. Even if you compare me to those from a privileged background, I don't think I'm lacking anything. You still think you have to feel sorry for me?\"

    Sophia shook her head and said, \"No.\"

    She said this but there was still a hint of sadness in her voice.

    \"Brighten up,\" Zed said as they began walking towards a nearby slab. \"Let me tell you something...If I could go back in time, I would not change anything.\"

    \"What?\" Sophia turned her head at him in shock.

    \"My past is what made me the man I'm now,\" Zed explained with a smile. \"If not for my past, I would have been different... Something I would never ever want. So if you think, I will ever exchange my past or relieve a different life, you are mistaken.\"

    Sophia stared at him for a long time. As she finally understood his words, every trace of sadness disappeared.

    In her heart, she was all praises for him.

    Despite his past where he has seen the worst of humanity, his character was so pure.

    He was kind, sincere, positive, and a very good human being.

    How many people in his shoes could be like him? Sophia knew the answer, and this made his impression even stronger in her heart.

    She then recalled her mother's moral stories on how nature bless such kind and sincere people... so far, she never believed in this, but after meeting Zed, she felt her mother was once again right.

    Sophia's eyes twinkled and she looked at him.

    A warm smile appeared on her face, as she finally replied, \"I'm glad.\"

    Zed sighed in relief as she stepped forward and sat on the slab. She has changed back to her normal self, the cute bossy miss, and this reduced the pressure he was feeling.

    He could understand why she felt those emotions before.

    It was mostly due to a combination of guarded lifestyle, her young age, and her innocent heart factored with the friendship she has with him.

    It was rare for him to meet a person like her who would display such emotions due to him. This was why he said what he said so that she would never feel guilty for her privileged background. He didn't want her to change and stop enjoying herself because of him.

    He was cynical and knew how the world functioned. It was not an ideal world where a rich person should feel sad for having wealth. People who cared about others without any hidden intent were rare, almost non-existent.

    There was only one life and no one had the time to waste it on others.

    Zed knew it far better than others.

    And when he got rich, he thought the same. He only cared about himself, and no one else, at least from his perspective.

    It was something natural despite what someone might find in fairy tales.

    He never felt sad about spending his wealth without any thoughts. While he did help others, it was only when he wanted to, and not due to some moral obligation.

    Everything he said to Sophia was true including about changing his past.

    The personality of an individual was based on events a person has experienced. Remove a single event and the person would change.

    It was his past that gave him his worldview, thought process, and dreams... something which ultimately combined to form Kiba.

    So by changing his past, wouldn't his very existence as Kiba affected?

    If that happened, who would help women around the globe?

    Who would share the burden of husbands?

    Who would turn unfilial sons into Good Sons?

    Who would guide beautiful maidens to womanhood?

    Millions of people were relying on Kiba's existence directly or indirectly. There was no way he could be cruel enough to disappoint everyone just for the well-being of his younger self.

    If Claudia was here, and she came to know about the questions running in his mind to justify Kiba's existence, she would have added another question:

    Who would help divorce lawyers in getting rich?
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