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409 You Had No Right!

    Some time ago, just as Enchantia predicted, the contestants of various ages and species entered into the palace. There were old-aged mutants, ferocious beasts, sly men, and so on.

    Everyone realized they would no longer be divided based on their age and race. Those from the older generation were pleased while the younger generation felt gloomy.

    The gloominess only increased when a short clarification rang through the palace.

    {{The rule of protection only applies to members of the same species.}}

    Everyone understood what it implied. Beasts, birds, and humans can attack anyone but members of their own species. So far, everyone was divided based on species so no one needed to know this.

    Still, despite the announcement, no one attacked. They didn't want to waste their energy in any unnecessary conflict.

    Humans and beasts might have frequent racial wars but this was not the time to think about that!

    And seeing there was no announcement on the next trial, the contestants began exploring the palace.

    Presently, one of the figures rushed through the palace at high speed.

    It was an enormous female tiger.

    If Ashlyn was here, she would have identified her as Red Tiger! The gracious host who has treated her and Zed well!

    Red Tiger sniffed through the palace to find any valuable treasure for herself and her children.

    Desolate Blood Forest was an ominous land where death could come at any time, in any form. Sometimes it was in the form of beasts while other times it was human hunters.

    The only way to increase the chance of survival and have a safe life was by evolving further. This was why Red Tiger entered the core region.

    Not only that, but the core region also had treasure items that could be used by not only by humans but also other races.

    As Red Tiger tried to discover any clues, suddenly, she found a special aroma. It was not a simple body smell, but an aroma... a scent of unique aura.

    Red Tiger's eyes brightened and she galloped towards the source of aroma.

    ...

    Meanwhile, inside the corridor.

    Zed stood on a swamp. Sticky paste glued on his feet and a tugging force came from the depthless swamp. It was just like quicksand, the more he tried to struggle, the faster pulling turned.

    The flames on his body rippled downward and slammed on the swamp.

    Sss

    The bottomless swamp emitted a devouring force and began sucking the flames, but the quantity of heat was too much.

    BANG

    The swamp below his feet exploded like a shattered mirror and threads of sticky swamp liquid rose up.

    Just as the swap exploded, Zed surged upward, wrapped with streams of fire. He landed a few meters away and looked at Alistair.

    At the same time, in a distance, Nur rushed forward.

    Nur didn't want Alistair to be the winner and since the rule of protection still applied, he wanted to be close so that Alistair would be forced to back away, or risk breaking the rule thanks to his swamp-like body.

    Nur was only some thirty meters away from Zed when he opened his mouth.

    "Get ready to die!" Nur thought with a hideous smirk.

    He knew even if Zed noticed him, it would be too late to dodge or retaliate against his sonic attack given the nature of his ability at such distance!

    Orange sonic ripples began emitting from the depths of his body and coursed through his neck before arriving in his mouth.

    Just as they were about to lash out, he felt Zed locking his eyes on him.

    Zed stood there without raising his hand or streaming out flames. He only eyed Nur without any expression on his face.

    Nur didn't know why but he felt horrified. His heart pounded loudly and he even forgot to breathe...

    It has been only a second since Zed locked his eyes on him and Nur felt nauseated like never before.

    He gulped down and closed his mouth.

    Once again he began echoing sonic ripples from the depth of his body. As he did, he wasn't sure if he was seeing it right, but he noticed a dazzling glow erupting in Zed's eyes.

    At the very same moment, Nur felt dazed and a cold sensation swept through his face. His lips have parted slightly to open his mouth fully when they were covered with frost. Alongside, sparkling ice fragments appeared on every portion of his face.

    In just a blink of an eye, his face has turned into a statute of ice!

    The internals of his face turned numb from the freezing temperature and the sonic ripples died.

    Some distance away, Leonardo and others were stunned.

    Ice?

    How was this even possible?!

    Zed is fire Elementalist!

    "Elemental balance!" Alistair muttered in surprise. "Using the contrasting nature of element to control the opposite element!"

    Aishah was dashing ahead with his blade-like hands stretched outward to slash Zed when he saw the scene.

    He was dumbstruck as he thought, "He could govern fire to such an extent!?"

    He was sure Zed has absorbed the free heat around Nur. The air was filled with heat, or what people considered a part of normal temperature.

    What does the absence of heat mean?

    A quick drop in temperature!

    And when the temperature falls to a large extent, it results in freezing! This was something he obviously knew.

    As people thought about what Zed did, Zed was suffering from sharp pain.

    His body was already under great stress, and now using his ability to freeze Nur's face increased the physical toll.

    Using his ability to freeze was something he didn't prefer to use. It not only stressed the body but also used a great amount of energy.

    Sadly, he had no choice. Nur was about to shoot out sonic ripples and if he countered with fire to block the attack in such a short time, he would be the one to face defeat.

    After all, sonic ripples have great speed and they could result in an explosion next to him by the time he countered.

    So his only option was to stop Nur before he could even ripple out his sonic attack. This meant absorbing heat from such a distance in the shortest possible time.

    At the same time, suppressing the pain from his stressed body, he hurtled out a fireball which slammed against Nur's face.

    Brittle sound of ice cracking reverberated through the silent corridor as Nur's face exploded in chunks of ice fragments.

    "The surprise factor helped me yet again," Zed bitterly thought.

    Suddenly, he heard a sharp slicing sound from behind. It was as if the air was slashed apart and Zed knew what it implied.

    He quickly turned around and raised a hand to counter-attack. Fire boomed out of his palm but it faded, and Zed coughed out a mouthful of blood.

    "Side effects from those capsules!"

    Ever since he entered into the central zone, he has been regularly consuming the most precious pills he owned. They were the orange, hard-shelled capsules containing jelly-like pellets.

    In the first trial, Sophia was startled when he stuffed that capsule since it didn't result in anything.

    What she didn't know was that Zed was preparing for the future by trying to make his body ready.

    He wanted to fool the Royal Will of the World in due time, but sadly, his plans changed when Enchantia enticed everyone with Legacy Orbs...

    Zed jumped backward.

    Even though he retreated, the sharp end of Aishah's blade sliced through the front of Zed's chest.

    Blood splashed out and dyed his clothes into crimson.

    Hurriedly, Zed consumed a healing pill and the wound filled up. He opened his hand and fire once again burst in his palm.

    "Phew~ I can still summon power," Zed was a bit relieved.

    He could only hope the side-effects wouldn't show up again, at least not now.

    Just as he sighed in relief, he detected another blade light whistling forward. Annoyed, he crouched on the floor; and the blade light flew above his head. Just as quick, he emitted a powerful heat blast from both his hands.

    Aishah was astonished and he quickly crossed his blade-like hands.

    A loud explosion rumbled as the heat blast crashed on Aishah. Violent heatwaves swept outward along with fire and smoke.

    Aishah howled in pain as the raging heatwaves melted his blade-like hands and scorched the inner flesh.

    He fell back, his body charred black.

    "Cough!" Zed coughed up another mouthful of blood.

    Every cell of his body was filled with agony and no matter how many pills he consumed, he couldn't forever suppress the body strain.

    He has been fighting for too long, killing over ten mutants of similar strength. He was drained...

    "I can't fall now," Zed retreated as he saw Alistair once again making a move. His swamp-like body stretched out further to capture Zed.

    "I guess no choice," Zed decided to use more energy pills without thinking of strain.

    He raised his right hand and stretched out the index finger on which he was wearing the storage ring. The surface of the ring flashed as he passed a mental note to retrieve energy pills.

    Just then, Zed felt a numbing sensation throughout the body. He jumped backward and even as he was jumping, a sharp, almost invisible, thread swiped down.

    The thread pierced through his stretched index finger, severing it into two. Crimson blood streamed out and the sliced portion of the finger was sent flying.

    The storage ring crashed on the floor...

    Zed felt a tormenting sensation overpowering his senses.

    "I missed?" A new voice appeared in the corridor, startling everyone, including Alistair.

    They turned around and noticed a youth in a black robe just some hundred meters away. It was Kieron Doston!

    "He appeared so near us and yet I missed his presence?" Alistair was amazed. "Wait, based on the memories from the first trial, he is an assassin from Mystic Dark Hands! No wonder!"

    Kieron licked his lips while bringing his vision on Zed.

    "I thought I would sever your wrist and free the band, but it looks like I truly missed," Kieron playfully smiled.

    Kieron has been waiting for the right time to grab the black band. He masked his presence till now and when he saw Zed was on verge of defeat, he made his move. After all, he couldn't delay any longer and let someone else take the band.

    As Kieron appeared, Aishah charged at Zed. He knew this was his last opportunity.

    Not only him, but even Leonardo who has been inactive for some time, jumped in action. He has been secretly preparing for his most powerful attack.

    Clang.

    He aimed his mechanical hand at Zed. The center of his palm opened up into a muzzle-like shape.

    Swoosh~!

    The energy protons inside his hand compressed and boomed out through the palm. Bright glow splashed out and a twenty-centimeters thick laser beam shot out.

    The laser beam was dazzling, almost blinding, as it swept forward. Billowing energy ripples coursed in all directions, a testimony to its destructive might.

    "This is so **ed up that it's not even funny anymore," Zed muttered.

    By now, Aishah has closed the distance with Zed. His scorched blade-hand sliced downward.

    Just then, a roaring sound came from the distance. An enormous silhouette rapidly beelined forward and in just a blink of an eye, arrived next to Zed.

    Crystalline claws thrust into Aishah's body, ripping him to pieces...

    At the same time, as the terrifying laser beam rushed forward, Zed was taken aback to see a familiar figure covering his body, almost like a shield.

    "No!" Zed shouted.

    BANG

    The laser pierced through Red Tiger's abdomen and she collapsed in front of him. A large hole ripped open, from which blood dripped down like a waterfall.

    Stains of her blood splashed on Zed's crestfallen face. It took him a few seconds to realize what has happened.

    Shielding me with your life?!

    He wanted to laugh and scorn at her... but he couldn't...

    As far as he could remember, no one has ever done such a thing for him.

    But instead of happiness, his heart was filled with shock, anger, and unspeakable agony. Her out of blue appearance and shocking actions shook him to the very core...

    "How dare you do this to me!?" Zed asked angrily, his voice hoarse as he checked her wound. "You had no right! No right!"

    In response, Red Tiger opened her mouth and rolled her tongue outwards to lick his face. She was trembling by the time her tongue licked him.

    "You shouldn't have come here!" Zed gritted his teeth in frustration.

    He knew the seriousness of her injury and has no doubt she would die if she was left untreated. The laser particles were corroding her internals with every passing second.

    Controlling his anger, he looked into a distance where his storage ring was lying. He suppressed his own pain and tried to stand up with his exhausted body.

    The ring contained medicines that could at least stop her injuries from getting worse... It could buy her some time.

    "You were saved?"

    Leonardo was shocked. He has bet everything on this attack and yet, it failed.

    At the same time, as Zed took a step towards his storage ring, Alistair elongated his swamp hand and absorbed the ring.

    "I can't just let you revitalize yourself again and again," Alistair said, his voice cold. "Time has come to end this, and for me to get what I desire.'

    Ever since Alistair saw Legacy Orbs, all he wanted was a chance to acquire them. Perhaps it was his own desire, or perhaps his original desire was amplified countless times by the special properties of orbs which makes one drool after them, but whatever the reason, he wanted to own an orb. He wanted to experience the serenity that comes from possessing a Legacy Orb! He wanted to acquire the infinite possibilities that Legacy Orbs offered!

    Zed stopped in his place as the ring disappeared. He lowered his head and examined his worn-out body, and then glanced at Red Tiger. She was helplessly lying on the floor, in a pool of her own blood.

    He then looked in front and saw the greedy eyes of Alistair, Leonardo, and Kieron. They were fixated on his black band and the alluring possibilities it held.

    Zed then lifted his head and started laughing madly.

    "Hahahaha! This is crazy!"

    His eyes flashed with insanity.

    "If I don't make you all experience hell on Earth, then I'm not worthy of my dreams!"Chapter 390
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