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410 He Is Back!

    \"If I don't make you experience hell on Earth, then I'm not worthy of my dreams!\" Zed said as flames violently erupted on his body.

    \"What did you say?\" Leonardo chuckled coldly at his brazen comment.

    What could he do in his present state? He was barely standing on his feet!

    Kieron snorted in disdain and whipped the black thread in his hand.

    Whoosh~!

    The flames on Zed's body danced wildly. The blood inside his body turned hot, almost as if melting.

    \"Argh!\"

    Veins bulged out on his forehead and neck, and his skin turned pale. Alongside, the flames turned from orange to crimson, as if dyed with blood.

    \"What? Crimson flames?\" Alistair was startled. He has never seen crimson flames.

    Red Tiger was similarly shocked but for a different reason. Since she was near him, she could feel the deteriorating effect the new flames were having on his body. She wished she could stop him but darkness known as death was slowly engulfing her.

    Zed stood there with his body bathing in crimson flames. Crimson beams of heat splashed out of his orifices as the intensity of flames turned stronger.

    One after another, veins in his body snapped and wounds appeared throughout his body. Droplets of blood streamed downwards which caught fire and joined the seething flames.

    As the flames rapidly consumed his blood and vitality, he clenched his jaws tightly to suppress the pain.

    In his entire life, there was only one other time when he experienced such tormenting pain. That was in BSE-79 and now was the second time. The pain was such that even death seemed a far better option, but he gritted his teeth, and persisted in summoning more power.

    Swoosh~!

    Streams akin to solar flare wrapped on his arms and space flickered as if it was on verge of melting. The temperature was almost equal to a highly compressed supernova!

    This was a strength he summoned by melting his genetical potential and burning away his entire lifeforce.

    \"Everything or nothing!\" Zed stomped on the floor and shot into a distance.

    He resembled a crimson sun as he galloped forward, leaving behind a shining streak of crimson flame.

    The heat fluctuations were such that everyone was forced to shield themselves. There was no chance of chasing after him.

    \"He is escaping?\" Alistair turned anxious.

    Just then, as he looked ahead, he felt he was worried unnecessarily. In a blink of an eye, Zed has appeared a mile ahead, in front of a wall.

    Without saying anything, Zed punched his fists on the Sealstone.

    Over an hour ago, he has almost used 95% of all explosives he carried, something which can kill many Beta-rank mutants, and even blasted the high-tech hovercraft in a bid to destroy the Sealstone.

    But despite all his efforts, the Sealstone wasn't completely destroyed. Hundreds of cracks have appeared on its surface, and yet, it was joined together, continuing its duty from time unknown.

    Later, he got no further opportunity to destroy the Sealstone as other contestants attacked him.

    It wasn't like he could simply hand over the band and everything would be over. If he did such a thing, he would be repelled out of the central zone.

    The band was his authorization to stay in the central zone. Before it was the crystalline thread but it was replaced with the band. Giving it to someone or losing it would result in the loss of authorization.

    So, all he could do was try to overpower his opponents. The result of which brought him to the present. He was employing a skill he has never used...

    BANG

    As his fists crashed on the Sealstone, a tiny crack line appeared on his supernova-temperature arms, exposing flesh that looked like molten lava.

    \"What is he doing?\" Kieron was dumbfounded. No matter how he thought, his actions didn't make sense.

    Why would anyone combust entire lifeforce and use it as a fuel to attack a wall!?

    \"Nothing! He has just turned crazy!\" Aishah replied.

    What else could explain this insane behavior of punching a wall?!

    \"Fear and despair have made him fall badly... He no longer deserves my respect,\" Alistair added with a sigh.

    \"Right! He has completely lost it!\" Kieron smirked. \"Can't believe I lost to someone like him in the first trial.\"

    Meanwhile, Zed let out a scream as more crack lines branched throughout his arms from which heat beams radiated out. His arms crumbled into volcanic pieces that crashed into the Sealstone, resulting in a thunderous crimson blast.

    BOOM

    An explosion that rattled everyone's ears took place.

    Crimson ripples surged outward, carrying frightening destructive force.

    Leonardo and others backed away, covering their vitals from massive ripples. The distance of over a mile protected them from any bodily harm but this itself stunned them.

    \"Even I would have suffered serious injuries!\" Alistair thought with shock.

    The explosion was like a crimson star detonating into a destructive, crimson cloud. It disappeared just as quickly it appeared.

    As the crimson explosion faded, Zed was blasted away.

    The contestants were startled as they saw his body.

    He has lost all his limbs! What's more, there were hundreds of major injuries all over his body! He was completely listless!

    \"He is dead!\"

    Alistair said while rushing forward. He noticed the black band spinning through the air and landing on the floor.

    It was without any owner!

    Leonardo and Kieron also charged forward. They didn't even bother to see where Zed fell as they dashed ahead to capture the treasure band.

    Alistair stretched out his swamp hand to capture the band. His eyes glittered brightly as his hand approached the band.

    Kieron whipped his band outward to grab the band while Leonardo emitted an attractive force from his mechanical hand.

    Now was the time to get what they have wanted for so long! The answer to all their prayers was waiting in that band!

    So how could they let others take this priceless treasure?!

    \"Dream on!\"

    Alistair snorted coldly as his fingers closed to the band.

    \"It is mine!\"

    Alistair laughed heartily.

    Just then, time seems to stand still and a deathly silence filled the corridor. The lights dimmed and the space flickered.

    Everything was just like the calm before the storm...

    The very next moment, a terrifying aura exploded out. Shockwaves, visible to the naked eye, spread out in all directions.

    Rumble~

    The shockwaves were so strong that the entire corridor trembled violently.

    \"What's going on?!\"

    Everyone felt a chill running down their spines.

    Alistair was just about to grab the band when a shockwave ruthlessly slammed on his back.

    Much to his horror, his intangible swamp body didn't offer the least bit of resistance or protection against the shockwave.

    His body solidified into his human form and the blood in his body roiled.

    \"Aaaah!\"

    He cried miserably, and alongside, Leonardo and Kieron followed with blood-wrenching screams.

    Like a kite with its string cut, they flopped forward and crashed on the nearby walls.

    \"What was that?!\" Alistair felt suffocated as he collapsed down on the floor.

    He unconsciously turned back to discover the source of alarming aura.

    All he saw was a golden-haired man, shrouded in a dazzling mass of chaotic energy!

    \"Who is he!?\"

    Alistair was dumbstruck by the raging power.

    And how could just a burst of aura alone pass through all defenses of body and injure me?!

    Alistair's mind shook with fear.

    He suppressed the sense of dread and started standing up. But much to his shock, his knees refused to listen up. He couldn't even buckle a bit.

    It was like the cells inside his body didn't dare make any unnecessary movements!

    \"How is this even possible?! That man isn't even using any power and yet my body refuses to listen!\"

    Alistair's face turned pale from trepidation. He couldn't imagine what sort of power one must possess to invoke such fear.

    He looked at the golden-haired man with pure horror in his eyes.

    \"Just who on Earth is he?!\"

    Who could he be if not for Kiba!?

    He was back!

    Kiba raised a foot forward and lowered it on the floor.

    The moment he took his first step, Alistair felt his heart palpitate and blood sprayed out of his mouth. Not only him, but other contestants were in a similar situation.

    ~step~

    Every step Kiba took seemed to be stepping on their hearts. They could do nothing but suffer chilling agony that wracked their bodies.

    Even the entire corridor felt a stifling pressure.

    The walls - which have not shown the faintest sign of crack from the battles so far - began cracking apart. Crevices snaked out over the floor and fissures sprang out on the wall.

    Dust particles and metallic fragments drifted out of the fissures, and just as they left the cracks, they froze in mid-air.

    It was like even the non-living didn't dare make any further movement.

    By the time Kiba took fifth step, the ceiling has completely crumbled to pieces and the walls toppled.

    Kieron's internals twist in despair.

    \"There is no way this could be true!\"

    Droplets of sweat dripped from his forehead and fell into his eyes. This resulted in a tingling sensation in his eyes, but it was nothing compared to what the rest of his body was feeling.

    It was like with every step, hundreds of needles were stabbing into his heart, making him cough up blood.

    ~crack~

    His pupils constricted to the size of a needle as he heard shattering sound from his protective amulet. It was a life-saving treasure given to him by the elders of Mystic Dark Hands, and yet, just from the pressure of steps alone, it disintegrated into pieces, without helping him at all!

    \"Impossible!\"

    Leonardo's complexion paled and his hairs stood on end.

    His mechanical arm short-circuited as unbearable pressure rattled through it. The advanced gadgets inside it imploded, completely disintegrating.

    \"How can such a powerful person even exists?!\"

    Leonardo wet his pants. He has never thought an aura alone could be so terrifying...

    Meanwhile, Red Tiger's vision blurred from heavy blood loss. As her eyelids began shutting down, she noticed a familiar silhouette, in the form she met first.

    Her savior.

    The protector of her family.

    She was dying but she knew she has done the right thing. She was sure her children would support her decision...

    A smile appeared on her face.

    Just as she began losing the last trace of life, a voice entered her mind.

    \"You think you have the right to die after the stunt you pulled? And leave behind your children orphans!?\"

    Alongside the voice, a stream of energy coursed through her body, revitalizing her. She was jolted awake and all signs of laser particles disappeared.

    Her corroded internal organs recovered in just an instant, almost as if she hasn't suffered any harm, to begin with!

    The large hole in her abdomen rapidly filled up with new flesh and skin.

    Red Tiger let out a roar as she gained her strength back. She opened her eyes and found her savior crouching in front of her.

    \"I hate sacrifices... just the thought of sacrificing for someone makes me vomit.\"

    Kiba communicated to her telepathically.

    \"Your life is your own. Don't ever waste it on anyone.\"

    Red Tiger responded by hugging him. She wrapped her legs around him and then licked his face.

    \"Don't think acting cute would work!\"

    Kiba snapped his teeth but he was helpless as she licked him further. The corners of his lips curved up into a sincere smile and he put his hands on the back of her head.

    He might be cynical and devilish but his heart completely melted under her embrace.

    \"Please... don't ever do such a crazy thing again,\" Kiba requested.

    Red Tiger gazed into his eyes and nodded.

    \"Don't lie!\"

    Kiba could feel she didn't really mean it. So, all he could do was bitterly accept that she was beyond reasoning.

    \"Sighs~ Even if she hasn't interfered, I would have survived,\" Kiba thought ruefully. \"My survival instincts would have taken over and summoned my entire strength for transformation... leading to consequences I was trying to avoid so far.\"

    Kiba was obviously thankful to her for helping him avoid that. But most importantly, he was happy!

    He couldn't describe just how good it felt for someone doing so much for him!

    \"We would continue our discussion later,\" Kiba said before rising up. \"Have some rest.\"

    Red Tiger nodded and stepped behind him.

    Kiba swept a glance at the so-called geniuses before fixing his eyes on the black band.

    The central zone has tried to repel him after he lost the band and started transforming into Kiba, but given his power Cosmic, it didn't try again.

    His pupils flashed brightly as he eyed the blue jewel.

    The jewel quivered as his vision bored right through the fabric of space and entered into a dimension known as Hall of Legacies.

    \"Enchantia, you must have enjoyed the brazen display of greed,\" Kiba said, his voice calm.

    After transforming into Kiba, he felt powerful senses locked into the corridor. Based on the aura and nature of energy he sensed, he knew whom it belonged to. So, all he has to do was to connect with the blue jewel embedded in the band she gave.

    The crystalline pool trembled with ripples and the orbs glowed brightly. Enchantia's face appeared in the dimension.

    [[You misunderstood me again.]] Enchantia replied. [[I was indeed observing you but not for the purpose you are implying.]]

    \"I owed you gratitude for what you did years ago,\" Kiba said, his voice icy cold. \"But I repaid back then... Or have you forgotten?\"

    [[Of course not.]] Enchantia didn't want to think about the matters he spoke.

    \"Then you owe him for the mess you created,\" Kiba said with a sinister smile. \"And if you don't want to acknowledge this as a debt... well, I recall she is still with me, using a part of my home as her eternal shrine...\"

    Kiba trailed off in between.

    Enchantia's incorporeal face shook and large waves surged out of the crystalline pool, almost as if the entire dimension was exploding with anger.

    [[Don't bring Her Highness into this!]] Enchantia warned.

    \"Awww... you are misunderstanding me,\" Kiba said, his lips curved up into a mocking smile. \"Seems like both of us are prone to misunderstanding.\"

    [[....]]

    \"Tell me something though,\" Kiba said while taking a step forward. \"Don't you ever get tired of seeing human conflicts?\"

    [[...No.]]

    \"Were you a sexual being, I would have believed you get your rocks off from human conflicts,\" Kiba remarked as he walked towards Alistair and others.

    [[...]]

    Enchantia was left speechless.

    \"Trust me, I'm not judging you,\" Kiba assured her. \"You like what you like... we all get off on something.\"

    [[.....]]

    Kiba brought his attention to Leonardo, Alistair, and others.

    \"I promised something to you guys,\" Kiba pointed a finger towards them. \"So please cooperate.\"

    The moment he said this, on the tip of his finger, streams of energy concentrated.

    Enchantia was surprised when she studied the nature of energy streams. 99.99% of it wasn't any special by her standards, but the remaining portion contained a power that was rarest of rare.

    [[Reality warping!]]

    The ability to manipulate reality!

    [[What is he doing?!]]
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