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480 End of Conflic

    "Kiba was this strong?!"

    Carrie had a hard time believing the might she just witnessed. She has joined Sky Fiend Group years ago and was a part of the secret team nurtured by the group.

    While not overly powerful, she believed she was one of the strongest mutants in the city, just like Kiba. But after witnessing how easily he killed Kami, she lost her belief and self-confidence.

    ~step~

    The sound of his steps awakened her from thoughts.

    "Why are you tracking the Dark Beasts?" Kiba asked, his face expressionless. "And why exactly are they attacking important bases in the city?"

    He has a guess on why his house was attacked when he thought of how Dark Beasts reacted when he started transforming to his present form. But what he had was only a guess and not confirmation.

    "Like hell, we are going to answer you!"

    Tuffnut grunted and overpowered the pressure locking him.

    "I don't know about others, but I'm not a traitor!"

    He removed all his natural inhibitors, and his arm muscles expanded, growing as thick as a tree trunk.

    BANG

    The ground below him split apart and malevolent energy erupted. His muscles surged with malevolent energy, giving him a terrifying look.

    "You have been genetically enhanced," Kiba observed.

    Swish~!

    Tuffnut turned transparent and jumped ahead, crossing the sonic barrier in an instant. Hundreds of speed clones flashed all around, making it impossible to identify the real him.

    The speed fluctuations made Kiba's hair float in the air. He didn't change the direction of his head but his eyes moved to the extreme right and locked on a specific clone.

    He lifted a hand and stretched an index finger out.

    Multiple speed clones launched out punches so strong that the space distorted and all passed through him, but one.

    "No way!"

    Tuffnut gasped as the index finger pressed against his real fist. The malevolent energy burst out like an exploding volcano, emitting a force so strong that it could shatter through a mountain, but it couldn't stand an index finger!

    Tuffnut didn't let this setback cower him.

    He punched with another fist while retracing his earlier fist. Just as Kiba moved the finger to block the descending fist, the fist spilled out with blades of malevolent energy, tearing through space.

    Kiba's eyes narrowed. Two blades sliced through his shirt, ripping it to pieces, and exposing his awe-inspiring trunk.

    "Fuck! You are a monster!"

    Tuffnut's face cramped from shock. He expected the sneaky attack to cut through Kiba, making his blood splatter like a geyser, but all it did was fill the air with pieces of his shirt.

    "How could you have such strength and no one knows about it?!"

    Tuffnut retreated, using hundreds of speed clones to back away, though he no longer had any faith in the clones.

    Meanwhile, some distance away, as Lanky saw Kiba raising a hand to attack Tuffnut, he shouted, "Carrie! We need to act now!"

    "Ah!" Carrie got over her shock and nodded.

    From Kiba's hand, rays of golden light erupted and swept forward. The rays passed through the speed clones like a blade through butter, and the clones disappeared into a puff of smoke.

    Tuffnut's pupils widened to the limit as he felt the rays of golden light closing in. He has a feeling they could penetrate his enhanced body, and rupture him to shreds. Sadly, the rays of light caught him, bombarding his body.

    "Hmm?"

    Kiba's expression visibly changed. The rays of golden light touched Tuffunt but they passed right through him, without creating a scratch.

    Kiba's eyes moved to Carrie and noticed her pinning a hand on the ground while the other raised in the air.

    "Aversion Field!"

    Streams of intangible energy erupted from her and coursed through the ground and air, forming an incorporeal field for almost half an sq. mile.

    In this field, as long as she willed it, all forms of attack would avoid her and others.

    "A type of spatial ability," Kiba said, his voice filled with surprise. "I assumed you were an agility mutant."

    Carrie didn't reply to this, and instead, she said, "Kiba, we have no enmity. Leave us and we will let this matter past."

    "Tell me what I want to learn," Kiba said.

    "Why does it matter to you?!" Lanky asked, his body turning sandy.  Sand dripped out of his body and a vortex of sand surged out of his hand, ready to shoot at his command.

    "Those Dark Beasts are attacking my home," Kiba replied, his voice cold. "And you think it shouldn't matter?"

    "!" Carrie's pupils constricted while Tuffnut and Larry's faces turned ashen.

    Home?!

    He lives nearby?!

    Not much was known about Kiba despite his infamy and reputation that preceded him. No one knew where he lived or what he did when he wasn't doing things which gave him the reputation he carried.

    As Carrie tried to make sense of the information she learned, a beeping sound interrupted her thoughts. She looked at the digital watch on her right wrist and her throat turned dry.

    The watch was also a tracking device, just like the tablet. Earlier, it showed dots signifying the location of Dark Beasts, but now, all dots disappeared.

    "All five of them are dead?!"

    Carrie uttered, her voice strained. She had great confidence in the beasts' ability to live... She lifted her head and focused on Kiba.

    "How can they die when you are here?!"

    Carrie asked.

    "Claudia doesn't like uninvited guests," Kiba answered with a faint smile. "Especially the ones who break her property."

    As he answered, power burst out of him. Rock, stone and wooden splinters rose up in the air, levitating high in the sky, far from the eyesight of everyone.

    "I answered your question, now your turn," Kiba said, his voice turning cold.

    Carrie turned silent, and her two companions didn't utter a single word.

    "If that's how it has to be, then sure."

    The moment his voice ringed, high in the sky, the fragments of rock, stone, and splinters plummet down. As they whistled down, they were like meteors, enveloped in flames, emitting a dreadful force.

    Carrie raised her head as she felt the force. Her face lost color as she saw hundreds of meteor-like fragments crashing downwards. It was literally a meteor shower but targetted at her and her companions.

    BANG

    The fragments slammed on the earth, making the ground sink. The presence of Aversion Field made Carrie and others avoid the fragments, unaffected by the devastating shockwaves.

    "Cough!" Carrie threw out a mouthful of blood, her face turning pale. She could avoid the damage from the attack, but stronger the attack, the more strength she had to use to avoid it.

    "He wants to make me exhausted!"

    Carrie said, her voice pained.

    Larry also realized it. His face fell and he snapped by shooting out a vortex of sand. It cut through everything in its path.

    At the same time, Tuffnut punched on the ground with both his fists. With explosive force, malevolent energy burst through the ground, rushing forward like an avalanche.

    Both Larry and Tuffnut then faded, charging at Kiba from another direction as the field protected them for the time being.

    "I also have a few spatial abilities... let me check if they work!" Kiba said as spatial power emanated out of him.

    Larry and Tuffnut's pupils dilated to the size of a needle. Much to their horror, the world turned upside down, or at least, from their perspective, it was upside down. The nature of gravitational pull changed and so did their sense of direction, making them confused.

    Furthermore, to their terror, the attacks they earlier launched rushed into their direction... it was like not only was the world changed upside down, even the directions changed.

    They tried to stop the attacks, but with sudden changes, their bodies were in a bewildered state. When Larry released power to summon a sand shield, it did appear, but behind him. Similarly, for Tuffnut, when he tried to punch in front, he inadvertently moved his arms back as if to elbow someone.

    By then, it was too late. The attacks were on them.

    "Damn!"

    Carrie cursed in her heart and used her field ability to keep them safe from their own attacks. Blood drained of her face and she coughed again.

    "Idiots!"

    Earlier, she has only managed her ability to ignore Kiba's attacks, never knowing she would have to save her companions from their own attacks.

    "Just what on Earth is he?!"

    Carrie glanced at Kiba and wondered. His spatial ability didn't affect her as she was at the center of her field, but on the rest of the field, it superimposed. Since his ability wasn't truly an attack, her field didn't resist it. Maybe if she was stronger, she could have, but not now.

    "It is stupid to waste your energy for their survival," Kiba said while raising a hand to the sky. "Regardless, let's see how many attacks your field could avoid."

    In the sky, multiple glowing portals opened, out of which, energy spikes descended.

    RUMBLE~!

    The spikes were more like potent beams, ready to tear through space as they shot down with explosive force.

    BOOM

    The ground further sank and crumbled, making earth fragments rise up.

    "Damn! I can't handle a battle of attrition!"

    She knew it was inevitable so she decided to cut her losses.

    "What?!"

    Tuffnut and Larry felt the reach of spatial field retracing from them.

    "No!"

    They both cried in unison as they realized the terrifying implication. They both tried to back away, but with the spatial energy used by Kiba, the world was still upside down for them.

    Their confused body states made them helpless as energy spikes shot out of the ground and cut through them, pinning their bodies to the sky... at least from their perspective before they closed their eyes for the final time.

    Their final thoughts were of resentment at gods for making their enemy far too overpowered...

    THUD~!

    Their corpses collapsed on the ground, dyeing the ground with blood.

    "Wow~ Carrie, you are cold!" Kiba said, his voice filled with amazement.

    Carrie didn't reply. She could feel her energy rapidly depleting as he continued to bombard with multiple attacks.

    "We have no enmity!" Carrie shouted.

    "I agree," Kiba said while stepping towards her. "Tell me what I want to know, and you can avoid their fates."

    By now, the field was on the brink of explosion. She knew if the field shattered due to outer attacks, it would lead to a heavy backlash.

    She snapped her teeth and made her field disappear.

    ~step~

    Kiba continued to walk towards her. Afraid, she took a few steps back and stopping as she arrived before a broken tree.

    "Well?" Kiba pinned her against the broken tree, his face close to hers.

    Carrie trembled, her blood cold. She no longer dared to not disclose what she knew.

    "The leader of Sky Fiend Group... Joshua... he sent us to BSE79 to find some mystic item that carried something called Power Cosmic. The Dark Beasts in my team were supposed to help us with that... but they turned berserk and disappeared... you know where. We have to track them down and offer them support..."

    Kiba nodded. He has guessed this much, and the explanation made sense to him with the behavior of the beasts when he began transforming.

    "They could somehow sense the moment I transform between two forms... it would make sense as for only a brief moment, I make direct contact with Cosmic Spark to erupt its power."

    Kiba thought.

    "I usually transform at the villa... so there should be some energy traces only they could sense. Still, not even my lab detectors could sense Cosmic Spark even when I transform but the beasts could... they are most likely enhanced for this task."

    His eyes flickered as he realized what it implied.

    "Is there an alien being guiding you?" Kiba asked.

    Shock erupted over Carrie's face.

    "How did you know?" Carrie asked.

    Kiba stared at her, and she swallowed. Knowing she misspoke, she answered, "Yes, there is an alien being though I don't know anything else... I have only heard rumors of a giant being locked underground or something like that."

    Kiba nodded. Information on an alien being would be top secret, something that wouldn't be disclosed to more people than necessary.

    "Why attack multiple places in the city?" Kiba further asked.

    Based on the report he has seen, the attack of the beasts wouldn't be powerful enough to obliterate the factions.

    "I don't know," Carrie replied.

    Kiba's eyes narrowed and she squealed. Not taking any chances, she shared her theories, "Maybe Joshua wants to set fear in the powerful few of the city, or perhaps he wants to attract the attention of powerful mutants from the world government and other organizations."

    Kiba thought for a moment before nodding. The second theory made more sense, but then again, it was possible there might be another reason.

    "You promised you will let me live!" Carrie reminded as he didn't ask anything further. "Please, I will leave the city and never disclose anything."

    "Relax, you held your part of the deal so there is no reason to back on my words," Kiba traced a finger down her face, and said, "Besides, I wouldn't want a gorgeous woman to die."

    She relaxed and her face brightened.

    "You can leave after a minute," Kiba said, his voice filled with warmth as he leaned his face close to hers, looking into her eyes. "And don't worry, you can do as you please after you leave... even report to Sky Fiend Group."

    Carrie was startled and her expression turned into that of bewilderment.

    "Y-you don't care about Sky Fiend Group learning of this?!" Carrie asked.

    "Learn what?" Kiba put his lips on hers for a tight kiss.

    Carrie was dumbstruck. Not by the kiss, but by what happened. Strands of psychic energy erupted from his lips, and coursed through hers, sending a chill down her spine. She felt sleep overpowering her and she collapsed in his arms.

    Kiba placed her down. After doing that, he wiped specific traces of battle that could lead to him and implanted other evidence.

    Completing the task, he teleported back to his home...

    Exactly a minute later, Carrie awakened with a slight headache. She looked around to see craters and destruction. She shut her eyes and tried to recall details.

    "Kami and others were with me, tracking the beasts. Then multiple enemies attacked and I lost consciousness in the ensuring fight..."

    Carrie remembered the details.

    "Hmm?"

    She placed a finger on her lips and felt a lingering warmth.

    "Why do I feel I was kissed?"

    ***

    Dream Rise House.

    Kiba teleported inside a bedroom on the second floor. Rays of golden light enveloped him and he started transforming into Zed.

    He didn't kill Carrie not because she was a woman. Nor because he gave her words.

    Rather, he let her because her survival would help him fool the Sky Fiend Group, even if it was by little.

    "I would have liked to taste more than just her lips... but I couldn't bring myself to do that."

    He knew he was just too much of a good guy to take advantage of a desperate woman...
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