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458 Awakening Felicity I/II

    There was some time for the dawn to break the night sky and fill it with an orange glow signifying the perfect sunrise.

    In the living hall of Dream Rise House, Kiba waited for the morning light. In front of him, water continuously tumbled down the dark rocks, almost forming a tranquil, white stream. This was the waterfall upon which the villa was partly built.

    Kiba observed his reflection on the curtain of white water. It was hazy and unclear.

    Behind, a robotic droid entered into the hall. It silently moved past the tables and stopped after stepping some distance away from him, holding a tray on which a cup of hot coffee was placed.

    The fresh breeze from the waterfall became mixed with a thick scent of coffee.

    Kiba gave a slight nod. The droid got the clue and walked towards him. The droid lifted the cup and handed it to him.

    Completing its duty, the droid left without creating any noise.

    Kiba gripped the cup and glanced at the lustrous texture above the coffee. It was formed with cream to form a smile.

    "Thanks, Claudia."

    He savored the vibrant aroma and sipped the coffee.

    [[You didn't sleep at all.]]

    Claudia spoke as he completed half the coffee.

    Kiba lowered the cup and looked at the waterfall just as the sun rose. The orange hue reflected on the waterfall and a smile appeared on his lips as the day finally began.

    "I have been looking for this day from almost three months," Kiba said, trying to suppress excitement.

    It has been two days since he returned and everything was finally ready. Today was the day he would see the fruits of his efforts.

    [[I know, sir.]] Claudia replied. [[We will succeed.]]

    "Yes, we will," Kiba placed down the cup on a table and walked to the end of the hall. "I'm sure of that."

    In front of him was a fireplace, and on it was a shelf upon which ancient relics were placed. The relics were extraordinary and awe-inspiring, but they were only for show, matching the status of such a luxurious villa.

    He tapped his right index finger on a relic resembling a lamp, and a creaking sound came out. The fireplace split apart and moved to either side, while the fire inside it faded.

    A few seconds later, a glass lift appeared. The lift's door opened with a tring sound and Kiba stepped inside. The door closed and the lift descended swiftly.

    Not even in half a minute, the lift brought him to the lab. As he stepped out, his body radiated a blinding golden glow and he transformed into Zed.

    He walked to the end of the lab where the sole surviving revolutionary was cuffed to a chair. The revolutionary was the woman named Yuzi.

    She noticed Zed and was shocked. Ever since she was caught, the only living person she met was a golden-haired man named Kiba.

    Other times, she conversed with Artificial Intelligence known as Claudia. Lately, there was hardly any conversation.

    The medical droids would torture her with brutal experiments after creating a vacuum cage.

    They would inject an isolated nanite particle in her bloodstream, and just as her genes were about to completely explode, the droids would inject a serum that would completely nullify the nanite and revert her condition to her healthy state. The process was repeated five times with minor changes, and now, she was on the verge of mental collapse.

    Still, she was happy that she has survived. Her other companions have died in tragic ways from those experiments. And based on what Claudia said, the experiments were over. So, she was relieved and a bit hopeful for the future.

    "Yuzi, I'm thankful for your valuable contributions," Zed said as he arrived in front of her. "A guinea pig like you is in every researcher's wish list."

    A digital screen floated above the chair, projecting her body condition. He gave it a glance and then at her as he concluded, "You can now join your companions."

    Yuzi was dumbstruck. She has barely gotten over the shock of his arrival, and now, he was giving her death sentence.

    "W-wait! That AI and Kiba promised they wouldn't kill me if I cooperate!"

    Yuzi desperately tried to break free of her restrictions without any success. The cuffs locked her mutant abilities and she was no more powerful than an ordinary human.

    "Did they?" Zed asked and then shook his head. "Well, they are not the ones going to kill you, so it doesn't matter."

    He placed a hand on her struggling head. Her eyes constricted and darkened as his hand gripped her, and erupted with volcanic flames.

    "AHHHHH!"

    Heart-wrenching screams rang in the lab as the flames burned every fiber of her existence.

    "I told you back then, you have done something I could never forgive."

    These were the last words she ever heard in her life as her ears melted to oblivion. The pain made it impossible for her to contemplate what he meant...

    Zed didn't wait to see her burn to ashes. He stepped into another part of the lab and looked at an open suitcase.

    It contained injections and two serums.

    He smiled and closed the suitcase.

    "Claudia, I would like to have breakfast before I leave."

    [[It is ready, sir.]]

    Soon, he feasted on fresh bread, a variety of hard and soft cheeses, juice, olives, jam, butter, and a handful of fruits.

    ***

    An hour later.

    Zed stepped outside the villa and looked at the lush vegetation. The cubs were jumping around, playing with each other. Red Tiger overlooked at them from above the villa, a pleased look on her face.

    "At least, they are getting used to the environment," Zed thought as a brand new, luxury car arrived in front of him.

    Its door opened and he sat inside after placing the suitcase in a rear seat. The engine fired up and the car left the villa premises in a series of blurs.

    From the balcony of a room, Agatha looked at the dashing car.

    "Good luck."

    Later in the evening, she would return back to her apartment in the city. Now that he was back, she felt no need to be in the safe confines of the villa. Something he agreed with for he didn't want her to be confined and restricted...

    ***

    Weisz House.

    Senator Patrick and his wife Kyla stood outside their home. Despite the influence and power that came from being a Senator of World Senate, Patrick was extremely nervous.

    "Calm down," Kyla rubbed his shoulder. "Everything would work out."

    She was also nervous with butterflies running in her stomach. She tried to not show it.

    "That's what I'm praying for."

    Patrick glanced at the window of a room on the first floor. After learning of his son's role in the tragedy that struck the family, he felt extremely guilty whenever he looked at his daughter.

    As guilt swelled in his heart, he heard a vroom sound and looked in distance. A white car was rapidly approaching the house.

    The car stopped in front of the couple and Zed stepped out. He grabbed the suitcase before turning towards the couple.

    "Lady Kyla."

    Zed greeted her respectfully. She has always treated him like a part of her family, which was why his respect for her was genuine and from his heart.

    "Zed!"

    Kyla teared up and closed her arms around him for a hug. She has been waiting for his arrival for months and now that he was here, she could no longer suppress her emotions.

    "Don't worry. She will be up in two hours at most..."

    Zed hugged her back and did his best to calm her down.

    "So you should start thinking of an excuse before she tries to take us to Thrill Park."

    Kyla chuckled at this remark.

    "You are the son I wish I had."

    She kissed him on his forehead and smiled.

    ***

    A few minutes later.

    Zed stepped into the room followed by Kyla and Patrick. His steps slowed down as he walked further, towards a bed enveloped by a transparent energy shell, providing medically induced slumber to the woman he cared the most about.

    "Felicity."

    She looked the same as she had when he saw her in the first trial of the core region. That Felicity was an illusion, based on his memories, but the one in front of him was real.

    A calm smile on her beautiful face.

    Zed looked at her for a long time. He leaned down on her, his body passing through the energy shell.

    A strand of hair was on her face and he tucked it behind her ear.

    "I missed you."
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