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398 He Has Suffered A Loss?!

    The second trial zone seemed easier than the first as the contestants only have to cross the trial region. There was no cringy illusion or pain-inducing memories, unlike the first trial. Furthermore, there was no life and death crisis as long as one doesn't confront the alien inhabitants.

    Despite such lucrative features of the trial, almost fifty have contestants died so far.

    The alien inhabitants in the area refused to give up without going all out. After all, losing Life Source Shard would not only result in their own death but also reduce the chances of having any future posterity. This was a fight to save themselves from extinction! Naturally, it resulted in the brutal deaths of their opponents.

    In various areas of the crystal world, as contestants saw fellow companions dying, their desire for shards didn't reduce. And neither did they back away in fright!

    The path of evolution was fraught with risks. Death was possible at every step. This was especially true for meteorites that offered priceless good fortune!

    When the contestants arrived in the core region, they had already shown their determination to face the risks and advance further. The world of crystals was only a mean of proving it.

    ...

    Throughout the trial zone, many geniuses showed their potential as they collected Life Source Shards. Given their young age, their performance was truly extraordinary.

    But if the geniuses have to pick one member out of them for top performance, they would grudgingly pick Alistair - A Chosen!

    Yes, he performed a bit lower than Sophia and Zed in the first trial, but the confidence people held on him didn't waver. After all, the first round was strange and didn't really check strength.

    Presently, Alistair was literally in the form of a bottomless swamp as he faced five aliens. Misty liquid dripped off him as he expanded his swamp-like body to envelop the aliens.

    The aliens retaliated with fierce attacks, but sadly, those attacks proved useless.

    As his body was made of a swamp, the attacks either passed right through him, or, they didn't create any damage as he could recover with new portions. The few wounds the aliens created were quickly filled with more swamp liquid.

    It was a truly desperate situation for them!

    The aliens let out miserable screams as the swamp enveloped them with terrifying devouring force. The more they tried to resist, the further they sank into the swamp.

    In less than a minute, they died from choking on the poisonous swamp liquid. The moment they died, crimson shards stabbed out of their chests.

    Behind Alistair, three mutants looked at him with awe and respect.

    "So powerful!"

    "The aliens were completely defenseless against him!"

    "Combined with the previous shards he gained, he has over forty of them!"

    The three mutants were all praises for their idol with no traces of greed or envy.

    Alistair ignored their praises and moved to another area to find more shards. He was a Chosen and using the time to its full potential was his motto.

    "He isn't even taking a moment's rest!"

    The three mutants muttered to each other while following Alistair.

    "As expected of Chosen!"

    "No wonder! Only someone like him could explore SA-102 meteorite!"

    SA-102 meteorite was a fragment of Celestial Elysian Plane.

    SA-102 was only a classification name given by the government just like BSE79 in Delta City. Most people called SA-102 as Primordial Enchantress Realm.

    It was situated outside the State of Avalon.

    ...

    In another part of the trial zone.

    Leonardo aimed his mechanical arm at a crystalline tower-like structure. With a muffled sound, the mechanical palm opened to reveal a nuzzle.

    Swoosh~!

    Red light splashed out of the nuzzle and boomed into a distance, leaving behind ripples of destruction.

    An alien inside the crystalline tower cried as the red light slammed forward. With cracking sounds, the alien exploded into pieces of crystals.

    Leonardo slowly arrived in front of those pieces. As he arrived, the hand portion of the mechanical portion transformed. Instead of fingers, there were wires that stretched to the ground and grabbed a red shard.

    "31 shards!"

    Leonardo laughed while patting his belly with another hand.

    ...

    In another region.

    Kieron masked his presence and arrived behind an alien without making any sound. Black thread whipped out of his sleeves which quickly wrapped around the neck of the alien. The moment the alien realized the crisis and began to resist, Kieron pulled the threads tightly, strangling the alien.

    "These aliens are so weak!" Kieron snorted coldly before grabbing the crimson shard.

    As the black threads retraced back to his sleeve, he wondered about the cheating punk named Zed. A sinister smile appeared on his face as he imagined how Zed would struggle when the threads strangle him.

    ...

    Almost every contestant, either in group or solo, was fighting for shards. The only exception to this was Zed and his companions. Their aim was only to cross the region and pass the trial.

    Sophia glanced at Zed as they speeded on the frosty ground. He was enveloped into a column of fire as he ran alongside her and others.

    "You are truly different," Sophia's body was wrapped in energy streams as she dashed forward. "No one could have done what you did."

    Zed listened to her words without saying anything.

    Jenina nodded in agreement and added, "To even give your rewards for saving some aliens... calling you strange and kind would be an understatement!"

    "Kind?" Zed couldn't help but smile. "You use that word rather freely."

    "What do you mean?" Jenina asked in puzzlement.

    "I believe a kind person is someone who can be generous even at own cost," Zed replied with a smile. "So, how can giving away my rewards or saving those aliens be considered an act of kindness when it didn't cost me anything?"

    Was there anything he lacked after doing the things he has done?

    No.

    It might have resulted in a loss of some resources, but for him, that was nothing. He neither lacked resources nor money so giving away a few explosives was nothing.

    As for rewards beads... they existed for selecting items from the treasury vault located at the end of central zone.

    But did he really want those beads to get some priceless treasures?

    No.

    He has pretty much every materialistic treasure he ever needed or wanted thanks to BSE79. Dream Rise House and the underground sections didn't lack anything.

    Besides, if he truly lacked anything, his alter ego could always 'borrow' from kind patrons. That's how he met his demand whenever he wanted drugs and high-tech gadgets for research.

    Sophia listened to his answer and a radiant smile blossomed on her cute face.

    "Mom was right! A truly kind person neither advertise nor seek praises for acts of kindness!" Sophia thought with veneration.

    "And there is that shameless villain... he committed immoral acts while acting as if he was kind and generous!"

    Sophia recalled the robbery carried out by Kiba outside a cave in Desolate Blood Forest.

    He has pretended to be a part of some fictional department of the World Government known as Anti-theft Department.

    He basically carried out a daylight robbery by stealing everything from the people. Furthermore, he labeled the robbery as protecting innocent people from the eyes of thieves!!

    After all, if the people lacked any valuables then criminal elements would have no reason to act. He even declared that he was ready to take all risks if it meant protecting innocents!

    "That villain would label even his shameless acts as something moralistic! Then there is Zed... he doesn't take credit for real good acts!"

    Sophia clenched her fists tightly as she compared extreme evil with extreme good. Her desire to teach that scoundrel a lesson amplified.

    ...

    Two hours later.

    Zed and others reached the end of trial zone. In front of them was a wall of crystals, stretching right up to the sky.

    Zed touched the surface of the wall. A cold sensation engulfed his body and he was sucked right into the wall. The moment he disappeared, the only Life Source Shard he found faded, and a small bead appeared on his right wrist.

    Sophia and others also pressed on the wall to leave the trial zone.

    In just a blink of an eye, they arrived back into the hall.

    "Isn't that the number one guy from the first trial?"

    A young mutant pointed to Zed just as he appeared. This youth has quickly crossed the trial zone as he didn't have any confidence in winning against those aliens.

    "Yes! It is him!" Another person identified.

    There were many youths who have left the trial zone sooner as they didn't want to suffer under the hands of those aliens. Very few of them actually got a bead or two from the trial.

    "How many beads he got?"

    Every pair of eyes in the hall locked onto his wrist. As they counted the beads, they were shell-shocked. Not believing the number of beads, they rubbed their eyes to see again but the number remained same.

    "His beads have reduced!?"

    "Yes! I'm seeing that as well!"

    "Earlier he has over a hundred beads but now only about fifty!"

    "Instead of increasing beads... his beads reduced?!"

    "How is this possible!?"

    "That could only mean one thing!"

    "What?"

    "He used the special function of the beads to protect himself!"

    "Right! You can use beads to avoid danger as well!"

    "But he lost so many!"

    Everyone in the hall broke out into discussions. The discussions were not only loud but also rude and abusive. Everyone began taking pleasure at Zed's plight.

    This was especially true when the geniuses with great achievements arrived in the hall.
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