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402 Consider Yourself As Passed

    As the Legacy Orbs continued to rotate and swirl around him like planets around a star, Zed asked, "You haven't given up on trying to scam me, have you?"

    The serene and stunning glow from the orbs flashed on his face, as if inviting him to hold them. Radiating stardust swept from the glow and flew towards him like a magnet.

    This stardust resonated with the very depths of his existence. It made his soul explode with a desire and a temptation... an intense effect that not even the most beautiful woman could create.

    No matter how pleasurable sex was, in the end, it was nothing more than a desire created by body due to the need for reproduction. It was an instinctual need embedded in the genes to ensure the continuity of species.

    Legacy Orb, on the other hand, tempted the very soul instead of just flesh. It offered what a soul wanted... a chance to break from the cycle of life and death.

    Furthermore, for the body, it offered hope of acquiring a power of epic proportions by which one can do as one pleases.

    For the mind, it offered a well of knowledge that knew no depth...

    [[Why would you hurt my sentiments by calling a gift as a scam?]] Enchantia asked in return.

    "Enchantia, please don't insult both your and my intelligence," Zed replied with a frown. "We both know what you have in mind."

    He then recalled his experience in Hall of Legacies where he first met her. With a bitter smile, he further added, "And I'm sure you know last time was your best chance of getting me."

    [[You have always misunderstood my intent, even when all I wish is best for you.]] Enchantia's faint smile didn't waver as she continued, [[But since you have expressed your wish, I shall respect it.]]

    Swoosh~!

    The orbs broke into countless dots of light that drifted around him like autumn winds. It was an absolutely beautiful and dazzling sight as the dots of light faded into thin air.

    As soon as the orbs disappeared, the contestants in the palace broke out of their earlier trance-like state. They were startled to find themselves soaking in sweat and drooling.

    "What happened?"

    The contestants were shocked by their state of bodies which were in extreme excitement. They remembered the rush of adrenaline and a dose of strongest aphrodisiac known as power... something they were injected with as soon as they saw the glowing orbs.

    The geniuses quickly suppressed their shock and looked at Zed.

    ✢✢✣

    Enchantia's incorporeal figure floated further in front of him.

    [[I never expected you to arrive at another World Fragment]] Enchantia changed the topic. [[At least, not in this World Fragment that is pretty much useless for you.]]

    When the sole Chosen - Alistair- heard her words, he stumbled. His body turned stiff and rigid as her endings words repeatedly played in his mind.

    Pretty much useless to you...

    "Is my brain all right... or did I really heard her calling this meteorite as a waste?!"

    Alistair was in complete shock.

    The meteorite in the Desolate Blood Forest was something that even the elders of Nine Aristocrat Families were interested in! They found it invaluable, and its importance was more than words could describe!

    Every two years, not only those great families, but even many powerful organizations would send their members to this meteorite for training and resources. It contained incomparable good fortune!

    Power, knowledge, evolution, treasures, and even clues on immortality.

    This meteorite has pretty much everything that a living being could ever want.

    Yet, this reverend figure was saying it was useless to someone like Zed?!

    Zed!

    Someone who has lived at least half his life in slums! He was the poorest of the poor! He has no background, no foundation... he was practically nobody!

    Yet, this meteorite which great families found priceless was useless to someone like him?!

    Like hell!

    Alistair, Leonardo, Kieron, and everyone else refused to believe this was possible.

    If they believed her words then wouldn't it be accepting they belonged to a category even worse than beggars?!

    Jenina gulped down and looked at Zed. All she could see was his straight back, and now that she saw him, he seemed to be as tall as a mountain.

    Every time she thought she knew him, he would shock her outs of wits. Presently, she was in a situation where nothing more could shock her.

    "This World Fragment is far more precious than others... It has something I really want," Zed answered, his voice filled with traces of bitterness.

    Enchantia studied his face for a few seconds.

    [[Is it for that woman?]]

    As Sophia heard her question, her cute mouth turned agape. She recalled how Enchantia praised Zed for his performance till now... so she instantly thought of the first trial.

    The world of illusion.

    Sophia has a feeling Enchantia was referring to the woman from the illusion world. That stunning woman was sleeping, most likely in a medically induced slumber.

    Felicity.

    Sophia knew the name as she has witnessed the illusion he faced for ten seconds. He has a look of concern on his face as he stepped in front of Felicity with a container filled with medicinal liquid.

    There was something in his eyes as he looked at her... it was more than genuine concern.

    As Sophia thought of everything so far, she didn't know why but a strange feeling exploded in her heart...

    Zed nodded his head and answered, "Yes, it is for her."

    [[You have truly changed.]] Enchantia could feel his emotions.

    "Change? Well, my situation has changed, but I think I'm still the same," Zed disagreed with her assessment.

    "No, you have changed. Last time, you only lived for yourself and no one else.]] Enchantia explained.

    Zed couldn't help but grin at her remarks.

    "I'm still living for myself... What I'm doing is not some selfless act as you are trying to make it," Zed replied.

    He wanted to cure Felicity due to the importance she has in his life. She filled a gap he never knew existed before he met her.

    In a way, he needed her just as much as his alter ego wanted his dreams.

    As far as he was concerned, there were no selfless thoughts involved.

    [[If that's what you want to believe, believe it.]]

    Enchantia said while turning towards another part of the palace. Her vision has no hindrance as it passed through various walls before stopping on a few bridges tread by humans and beasts. The bridges were connected to the palace, and the living beings on it were all older than twenty-five years old.

    [[The next trial is going to start soon.]] Enchantia turned back towards him. [[And there would be no more age distinction.]]

    Zed didn't react in any manner but the other contestants in the palace were startled. So far, they were divided by age group so they only have to compete with people similar to their young age.

    Now, if what she said was true then...

    As they thought of this, they felt a heavy pressure. Except for a few top geniuses, no one has any confidence in performing well.

    [[Zed, this central zone has rules and regulations which I shouldn't break...]] Enchantia trailed off in between.

    "?" Zed blinked at her.

    [[But since you are here, I should make an exception.]]

    The moment she said this, the crystalline thread and the beads on his right wrist exploded into a flash of myriad colors. In the blink of an eye, all the merit he earned faded into oblivion.

    Shocked gasps came out from the contestants. They knew the importance of the thread and beads, and seeing how they were destroyed, they knew he has lost all chances of participating in future trials much less explore the treasure vault!

    He was basically ruined!

    Many geniuses had smug expressions and they scoffed at him.

    So what if she gave you special attention till now?! You have lost all your hard work in just a blink of an eye!

    Why don't you try to smile now?! Smile, if you dare!! Do it!!!

    "He tried to act smart and now he is paying for it!" Kieron grinned in contempt. "There was no way a reverend figure would let him thrive after he ignored her kind intentions!"

    Leonardo thought of how Zed refused her gift. He has never been respectful or polite so this was only natural!

    How dare he treat her like she was some acquaintance?! She was not someone a slum dweller could afford to offend!

    Kieron was grinning from ear to ear in extreme happiness but then the corners of his mouth turned stiff. His face lost all color and his pupils shrunk to the size of a needle as he looked in front.

    The air around Zed thundered with turbulent energy waves. It was like he was in the middle of a storm.

    Whoosh~!

    The storm-like turbulence flashed, and then like a bolt of thunder, rushed at his wrist, swirling around it.

    Zed raised his wrist as the turbulent energy waves transformed into a black band with two jewels - red and blue - embedded in it.

    [[You can skip the further trials and consider yourself passed.]] Enchantia informed him.

    The moment she said this, the entire palace turned silent like a graveyard.

    Those mocking Zed turned pale and collapsed on the floor. It was like a giant hammer has battered them out of senses.

    Skip further trials!?

    Consider yourself passed?!

    The contestants forgot to breathe as these words ringed in their ears.

    The central zone was a trial zone! Everyone has to pass many life and death crisis in every round! It was not some video game that one can skip the rounds!!

    The contestants wanted to shout and scream at this unfairness. They wanted to remind Enchantia of the rules and regulations.

    But no matter how angry they were, they didn't dare to!

    No one had the guts to complain or express unwillingness at this unfairness.

    [[The red jewel would allow you to choose any treasure from what you humans refer to as treasure vault.]] Enchantia further added.

    Zed listened to her words and just as he opened his mouth to speak, she continued.

    [[The blue jewel would allow you to enter Hall of Legacies as long as you are in the central zone. You can select any Legacy Orb of your desire.]]

    "I..."

    [[Let me complete. In case you don't want them, just give that band to someone else, sell it, or toss it in a garbage box. It is none of my concern on what happens with that band.]]

    "....."

    [[See you later, Zed.]]

    At lightning speed, her incorporeal figure rushed into the space portal at the end of palace. With screeching sound, the space crack disappeared and the portal faded.

    Zed shook his head and thought, "She hasn't given up."

    Meanwhile, the contestants were at a point that they couldn't even react any further. Their bodies had turned stiff and listless like zombies...

    Every contestant tried their best to perform well in trial and gain maximum beads to improve chances of acquiring a treasure from treasure vault! Now, Zed was getting ANY treasure he wanted unlike them! They might at best get some low-level item but he...

    Then there was the opportunity of getting a Legacy Orb! The priceless Good Fortune that only a selected few have received on Earth!

    Such unbelievable use of the two jewels should have shocked the contestants, but with all the shocks they have received so far, they had already grown numb.

    "This is wrong!"

    Alistair gripped his fists tightly.

    "How could she be so unfair?!"

    Veins bulged out of his forehead and neck as he recalled the struggles he has undergone to reach his current position.

    Alistair eyed Zed with intense hatred.

    He refused to accept a slum dweller could receive such welcome when even he wasn't getting... despite him belonging to an aristocrat family!

    "People would kill to have the opportunities that slum bastard is getting!"

    Alistair's eyes flashed with viciousness and a smile appeared on his face.

    "Right! That venerated figure said she wouldn't care about that band! Hahaha!"

    As he thought of this, he licked his lips. He wasn't the only one with such thoughts...
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