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449 Destruction of The Core Region Part III

    A minute has passed since the pinpoint crack appeared in the layer sealing nanite mountain. With the nanites turning violent and trying to escape, the crack now expanded to almost the size of an average human.

    The radius of thousands of miles was completely blinding blue; enveloped in an explosion cloud that was expanding.

    In the explosion cloud, there were two negligible spots where the nanites didn't pass through.

    In one spot, Kiba was standing, his body enveloped with a silver coating. The coating was made of a special material he and Claudia designed after studying the nanites under their possession. It can temporarily fool the nanites in believing he was a non-living being, and thus with no genes for them to target. Combined with his powers, he was able to survive the onslaught of explosive heatwaves. He knew it was just temporary protection... the layer wouldn't save him when he approaches the nanite mountain. Soon, the nanites would try to exploit his genetic potential.

    In the other spot, the twins were hugging each other. As a governor of blood, Madison almost halted all signs of living from both her and her sister. Lillian supported them further by manipulating destructive energy slamming into them to repel it back.

    "Sister! Daddy didn't disappoint us!"

    Madison remarked as she sensed more blood mixing in the explosion cloud.

    "Yes! Daddy is the best!"

    Lillian agreed with a sadistic smile. She could feel the energy disturbance in thousands of miles, and knew the addition of new energy denoted more and more people were being killed.

    "We hadn't had so much fun since the asylum!" Madison giggled happily like a child that was given her favorite candy.

    "But we didn't contribute anything!" Lillian's smile turned sad. "Daddy is doing all the hard work."

    Hundreds of meters away, Kiba didn't hear anything. His entire attention was locked on the mountain.

    "One more minute before I jump in."

    For him, the nanite mountain was like a dam. If the entire reserved water crashed out on him, he would be killed by the pressure alone even before being drowned. So, his scheme was simple... spread the water into streams, and divide the pressure.

    That's what was happening now. The mountain was like a hornet nest, and with the fracture in the seal, everyone in the core region became the target of nanites.

    While he has divided the pressure, he knew far well that it wasn't a dam. The pressure would ultimately combine to hunt him down... because he was the strongest person with the greatest potential! For the nanites, he was the ultimate delicacy! The best fuel that could evolve them to the next level!

    In the cities on Earth, there were special bunkers designed to stop the infiltration of nanites. That was why Felicity's father survived when the nanite explosion occurred in the city. But even those bunkers wouldn't stop the infiltration of these nanites. It was because the nanites owned by revolutionaries were weakened, and different from the original source.

    "No matter what happens, I won't summon my true strength!"

    Kiba reminded him of not giving in to pressure. As the second minute passed, the size of the crack turned double.

    "Everything or nothing!"

    With this thought, his terrifying aura as an Alpha erupted. In the explosive blue cloud, he dazzled like a golden beam, forming a shocking contrast.

    The explosive waves around him rolled out and turned golden, spreading out. His golden hair danced and his eyes flashed.

    ~tap~

    He tapped a foot on the combusting ground, and shot forward like a bolt of lightning. In less than a second, he appeared in front of the crack and flew right in.

    The insides of the mountain were like a honeycomb; everywhere there was hexagonal bright blue wax.

    His entry was like a flashing torch in the darkest night. The nanites trying to rush out slammed onto him.

    A horrifying surge of energy rippled out and the nanites were pushed back. But there were too many of them, and in a flicker of second, a crack line began to explode on the silver coating.

    The crack line excited the nanites into the deepest core of the mountain and they jumped out. They could feel the strong untapped potential.

    "Gravity Cage."

    Kiba turned the space in the range of hundred meters into Gravity Cage. The nano molecules found a terrifying gravitational force that pulled them from all sides. They began to tear apart and disintegrate.

    Kiba wasn't waiting for the nanites to die out. He was in an ocean of them... there was no way he could destroy everything.

    He just wanted to create a temporary safe. With him as the focal point of Gravity Cage, he flew above.

    Just as he crossed a hundred meters, he summoned another ability.

    "Purgatory - Eclipse."

    ***

    Meanwhile, in other parts of the core region.

    The entire fantasy land was swallowed by an explosive blue cloud. Pond, gardens, relics... nothing were spared.

    The spaceships were powerful enough to resist any damage, but living beings were not so lucky, especially humans and beasts.

    A few of them were spread out in the fantasy land, trying to find opportunities for advancement. Sadly, the endless blue waves swallowed them in. It wasn't like they didn't try to resist. They did.

    All types of attacks were used to push back the explosive nanites rushing at them. Elemental force, plasma beams, rockets, energy shields, and so on. But nothing succeeded under the raging nanites that were hungry for genes...

    ***

    A few minutes earlier, in the trial zone area - the palace.

    Sophia smiled as she walked further.

    "I have succeeded!"

    The trials have finally ended, and in the last round, she was one of the forty winners which even consisted of beasts.

    The other contestants - even those who failed - were standing at the back of the palace. The trial zone gave them new opportunities, though not as great as the ones given to those at inner area of the palace.

    Sophia was accompanied by her middle-aged servant - Aileen. In the starting trials, they were separated as the trial was based on age and species. Now though, there was no such division.

    With her background, Aileen also succeeded. She looked at her right hand and counted the number of beads. They were around 100.

    She then eyed her young miss and a proud smile formed on her lips. Sophia has over four hundred beads.

    "Miss, you will definitely get a chance to acquire a great treasure," Aileen happily said while looking in the front.

    Some nine hundred meters away, two gigantic doors were open, leading to the legendary treasure vault!

    The ultimate desire of everyone here!

    "I hope so," Sophia replied.

    Nearby, there were many familiar acquaintances. Verna, Jenina, Divya, Rita, Alistair, and many more.

    "Zed wouldn't appear even now?" Verna asked by walking next to Sophia.

    She has heard Zed was here in the earlier trials, but since she was 25 years old, she wasn't with Zed and others. She was in a separate trial for those aged between 25-35.

    "I don't think so," Sophia answered, her voice low. She glanced at Verna and was sure the latter wanted to meet Zed. After all, it was he who saved her in the forest after she was poisoned. Back then, she never got the chance to thank him as he has left soon.

    Aileen heard the conversations, and complex emotions surged in her heart.

    She learned about what Zed has done, and despite her woman's intuition telling her from the start that he would outperform everyone, she was terrified by his performance.

    And when she learned his meeting with Enchantia, she almost fainted.

    She has read the secret files from Eleanor Family, and knowing someone of that caliber came to gift Zed made her tremble in fear. She was sure the elders of her family would right away lose consciousness when they learn about this meeting.

    "How would young miss' father react though?" Aileen wondered as she thought of the encounter between young miss and Zed.

    Sophia joyfully stepped ahead.

    Humans and beasts around her also discussed Zed. Many of them were jealous and voiced offensive thoughts.

    "Mom said kindness is always rewarded!" Sophia said with a smile. "The more good you do, the better you are rewarded. Zed always helped others, including those who tried to harm him! And seeing the opportunities Zed got, mom was once again right!"

    Sophia's eyes glittered. She internally praised her all-knowing mother.

    Some distance away, Carmen heard her words.

    He also won, more due to luck. He thought his luck was bad, but after having the ancient tablet stolen by some unknown entity, the Lady Luck blessed him.

    Now, hearing about Zed's kindness - the man he blamed for his bad luck- his expression sank.

    "Some **ing kindness!" Carmen cursed.

    The only bright thing for him other than winning was that his "lover" Launcelot has lost. He was thankful for this small mercy. Otherwise, they both would constantly get reassurance and encouragement from others to be not shy in their love.

    RUMBLE~!

    Suddenly, the palace began to shake heavily, shocking everyone. The vibrations were so strong and sudden that almost everyone lost balance.

    "What the hell is going on?!"

    Aileen quickly jumped on her feet. Her eyes flickered and she hurriedly turned around.

    The palace was as big as a town. At the end of the palace, she was endless blue, shrouding everything.

    Over two thousand humans and beasts standing there were enveloped by the endless blue.

    "Ahhhh!"

    Agile beasts and humans rapidly retreated with everything they got. Many of them released all their trump cards to stop the explosive nanites approaching them.

    Multiple lights flashed out like firecrackers, but in front of the dazzling blue cloud, they were nothing.

    A humongous lion roared pitifully as the nanite burst through him. Its genetic potential combusted like a volatile fuel, and the lion blasted into pieces.

    Many people wanted to scream but they never got the chance. With every organism killed, the might of the explosion turned stronger and the same went for the rate nanites devoured genetic potential.

    This was one of the most terrifying aspects of the nanites.

    At the end of the palace, Sophia and everyone else was terrified out of their wits. The sudden appearance of the violent explosion cloud and the palace tumbling was more than just bewildering... it dazzled their senses!

    "RUN!" Aileen shouted.

    Quickly, everyone broke out of their trance and raced towards the treasure vault.

    The raging explosive waves furiously swept throughout the palace. With the might of nanites turning stronger from every kill, the explosion waves dissipated every obstacle in their path. They tear through beasts, humans, insects, and robots alike.

    The precious jewels embedded in the walls began to split apart and dents formed on the walls.

    Sophia ran forward. Every cell in her body warned her of an unprecedented crisis, so, her feet boomed out energy currents, and she shot ahead.

    The shockwaves made her body shook vigorously, but she didn't stop.

    The rest of the forty winners were like hers. The incoming explosive waves were like a sharp sword above their necks, ready to behead them at any moment. The force surging out of them was fearsome beyond measure. The deafening noise overpowered their ears.

    From the time they saw the endless blue to now, only three seconds have passed. And in such a small time, the nanites caught with them.

    A bright glow erupted from the jade pendant around Sophia's neck. The glow enveloped her into a protective barrier, and it enhanced her speed multiple folds.

    Sophia was startled. Not by the pendant activating on its own, but by the rapidly depleting energy from the pendant.

    Aileen - her trusting servant- was not so trustworthy in this crisis. She has turned into a column of water and rushed into the treasure vault.

    Just as Sophia stepped in, accompanied by a few others, the doors automatically shut down.

    "Wait!"

    Around thirty people were still outside. One of them was Rita and a few acquaintances of Sophia. Sadly, the doors shut, and they were swallowed by the explosion cloud.

    Everything was happening so quickly that one could barely register it with their senses.

    BANG

    As the doors shut, like tidal waves, the nanites crashed onto it. Shocking vibrations spread out, but the door didn't shake the latest bit.

    Inside the treasure vault, the surviving winners sank to their knees.

    "It is definitely nanites!" Aileen thought, her face deathly pale. "Those bastard revolutionaries! They even attacked the core region!"

    Aileen cursed the revolutionaries while looking at the door. She prayed the nanites wouldn't pass through the door and enter here.

    "This is the treasure vault...surely, it is the most secure place in the core region!"

    Aileen prayed for the best.

    Next to her, Sophia wiped the cold sweat from her forehead. She swept a glance at Aileen and then sighed.

    "Mom was right... in disasters, even the loved ones would abandon each other."

    Sophia was angry at Aileen for breaking her oath, but she also understood her reason. In front of survival, nothing mattered.

    "Only Zed is different... he would have protected his friends!"

    Sophia looked at the survivors. There were Alistair, Verna, Jenina, and shockingly even Carmen! Unknown to everyone, the lantern he acquired boosted his speed and he survived.

    Sophia was further startled when she saw Carmen. He was crying... no, weeping!

    "It must be due to fear!"

    The next moment, another thought flashed in her mind and her eyes turned wide. She realised something, and quickly, she approached him.

    "Carmen, don't worry!" She hugged him. "You can shed all your tears!"

    Carmen was dumbstruck by her hug and words. He was weeping because he thought he was going to die, but after surviving, he continued to weep out of disbelief.

    Still, he was pleasantly surprised. He never knew weeping would result him in a hug. He thanked the nanites in his heart!

    "I'm so sorry for your loss!" Sophia's eyes were moist. "But don't worry, I'm here to support you."

    Loss?!

    Carmen was at a loss by her strange words! But then, he instantly thought of Launcelot!! The latter was outside the palace... and there was no doubt he was brutally killed by the nanites!

    "Don't tell me... she thinks I'm weeping for Launcelot?! So, she is here to console me?!"

    Carmen broke down completely.

    In response, Sophia patted his back and consoled him.

    "Don't cry... Launcelot would want you to be strong!"

    Sophia has seen her mother consoling a relative in a similar fashion after the relative lost her husband.

    ".................."

    "Mom always said star-cross lovers are never separated...not even in death! He is forever with you, in your heart!" Sophia assured him.

    "....................."

    Carmen was depressed. In his heart, he cursed her mom.

    Just what type of things has she taught Sophia?!

    ***

    At the same time.

    Inside the mountain-like structure, Kiba rapidly flew up. A few seconds after his arrival, the silver layer on his body completely crumbled into pieces...
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