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505 End of Goten Whiteskins! Part I

    The next day.

    Zed couldn't make more excuses to delay leaving the house and meeting Felicity, Jessica, and others.

    \"Go and have some personal time!\"

    Agatha pushed him away when he thought of calling Felicity again to skip the promised meeting.

    Zed bitterly nodded before stepping in front of the cradle. He kissed Hope goodbye, and the latter excitedly waved at him.

    Zed smiled.

    He could feel the unconditional love she has for him. Something that remained unchanged, no matter if he was Kiba or Zed.

    She would always know who he was, regardless of what outer shell he wears...

    \"I will return soon,\" Zed assured her.

    ...

    An hour later.

    The cafeteria, Royal Heart Academy.

    Zed sat across Felicity, joined by Jessica and Loren.

    \"You are always absent,\" Felicity said, bored. \"Are you tired of studying?\"

    \"Well, a bit,\" Zed nodded. \"But mainly I'm busy.\"

    \"Because of what happened back then?\" Jessica asked, hinting of the Dark Beasts' attack on the villa.

    Zed silently nodded. He wouldn't mind them misunderstanding he was making preparations to avoid another attack.

    \"Oh!\" Jessica gasped in understanding.

    Felicity eyed him suspiciously but didn't say anything more on the matter. She then glanced at Loren who has been silent from the start.

    \"What's wrong with you?\" Felicity asked.

    \"Nothing wrong with me, but everything is wrong with my family,\" Loren answered with a sigh. \"They are behaving strangely again.\"

    \"Strangely again?\" Jessica asked.

    \"Yes,\" Loren started. \"Remember the two months when Zed was outside the city and Felicity in hibernation?\"

    Jessica nodded, bewildered.

    \"During that entire time, mom was pissed for some reason. Her mood affected dad's as well... though Olly was very happy, don't ask me why because I also don't know. Then, around the time Zed returned, mom regained her cheerful personality and dad was on clouds nine... but Olly became depressed!\"

    \"That's indeed strange!\" Jessica found Olly's behavior as strange.

    What type of son feels happy from his parents' sadness? Definitely a bad son! He needed to learn manners!

    \"Well, that's not the strange part.\" Loren shook her head. \"From a week ago, around the time Zed stopped attending classes, mom's mood gradually changed for worse, which in turn affected dad... and Olly as well. In fact, Olly is now very cheerful!\"

    She glanced at Zed and wondered how the timing of her family's strange condition always related to Zed's absence.

    She then noticed his pure, serene expression and remembered his honest persona. It was obvious he wasn't connected, and all resemblances were plain coincidences.

    \"I think everything is Olly's fault!\" Jessica remarked after deep contemplation.

    \"I agree with Jessica,\" Felicity added in agreement. \"His cheerful behavior is far too suspicious.\"

    \"I'm thinking the same,\" Loren shared her thoughts. \"And I also think the fault is of the lipstick mom loves!\"

    \"Lipstick?\"

    Jessica was startled. The mystery of Loren's family was getting too complex.

    \"Yes! Dad always appreciate the flavor of that lipstick on mom's lips!\" Loren said with some embarrassment. \"And now mom is out of stock again!\"

    \"Ah!\" Jessica gasped. \"Your mom must truly love that lipstick for her mood to be affected by it!\"

    \"Yeah, though I never applied it so don't ask me why,\" Loren said with a sigh.

    Zed didn't participate in solving the mystery. He silently grabbed the glass of orange juice.

    Suddenly, ripples emerged on the juice's calm surface and every utensil in the cafeteria shook. A menacing presence shrouded the chatty students.

    BANG

    A loud bang sound erupted from the outside and simultaneously, the glass door of the cafeteria collapsed.

    \"My my, so many young skins here.\"

    Goten Whiteskins, donning the military guard's skin, remarked while stepping in.

    \"Who would have known that completing my job would bring me in the sea of fresh skins?\"

    Goten Whiteskins dropped a few old skins on the floor.

    Zed's eyes constricted as he looked at the dropped skins.

    Slum-dwellers!

    He knew them, but not enough to be acquainted. He has seen them when he used to live in the slums. They were few of the lucky ones in the area he used to live, the ones who managed to avoid participating in the BSE-79 expedition.

    \"Why would that serial killer hunt some innocent slum-dwellers?!\" Zed wondered, in shock.

    Goten Whiteskins stepped forward as the cafeteria erupted into chaos.

    \"A pity these rotten skins are as useless as they were before death, not knowing anything those bastards want to know!\"

    Goten Whiteskins rubbed his hands and stepped on the skins.

    \"Thankfully, I could feel it here, the scent from the slums. Perhaps this skin would be different!\"

    He licked his lips while scanning the terrified students. The looks of horror on their faces excited him.

    \"How strange!\"

    Goten Whiteskins thought as he found the source of the scent he felt from the slums.

    Felicity's heart sank when she noticed Goten Whiteskins locking his eyes on Zed. She could feel the terrifying power of the enemy and sense how academy guards were lying outside, their skins shredded.

    \"He is stronger than the assimilated Dark Beasts!\"

    Felicity has become more sensitive to life energy as her ability with plant manipulation evolved.

    While she loved risking her life but that didn't mean she wanted Zed to die, nor the other students. And she could feel, the enemy carried the strength to risk everyone's life.

    The thoughts quickly flashed through her mind, and even before she completed, she felt her skin swirling as suddenly Goten Whiteskins appeared before Zed.

    Felicity stretched out her hands and they glowed with emerald radiance as vines emerged. But before they could whip, a smashing force hit her on the chest and she crashed against the wall. Jessica, Loren, and others in the vicinity found themselves in similar conditions.

    \"Don't you worry, girls,\" Goten Whiteskins grinned and said. \"I would give you special attention, but first, I have to do my job. And frankly, I'm tired of being told I'm wasting time on my hobbies!\"

    He then focused on Zed who was still sitting on the chair with a look of shock.

    Goten Whiteskins felt pleased to see him so terrified that he wasn't even moving. He grinned further and observed Zed's skin.

    \"How surprising!\"

    Goten Whiteskins' eyes flashed viciously.

    \"Your skin carries so much similarity with that annoying bitch! But how could that be?!\"

    Zed's expression changed and he looked at Goten Whiteskins in confusion.

    Bitch? Who was he talking about?!

    \"Wait! Now that I think about it, your scent also seemed familiar! Don't tell me!\"

    Goten Whiteskins grabbed Zed by his shoulders and grinned murderously. Zed was astonished because he was sure Goten Whiteskins wouldn't be able to smell Kiba's scent on him.

    \"You are that lucky baby from back then!\" Goten Whiteskins's eyes glinted in realization. \"So Red Fox really managed to save you!\"

    Zed's pupils dilated.

    Red Fox?!

    That was a name he has never personally heard or used, but knew from months to whom it belonged.

    The caretaker!

    Someone who has been dead for over a decade!

    Goten Whiteskins put a hand on Zed's face and said, \"It would be so much fun to kill you!\"

    Just then, a blast of hot air exploded before Goten Whiteskin's eyes. Even before he could feel the impact and remove his hand from Zed's face, columns of flames erupted from Zed's hands and viciously landed on Goten Whiteskin's chest. There was no scope of avoiding them, not at such a dead-close range.

    \"Argh!\"

    Goten Whiteskins was blown back, smashing through chairs and tables before crashing on the crushed door.

    Zed tapped his feet back on the floor while looking in front. A sea of flames wrapped the cafeteria thanks to the explosive attacks he launched.

    Fortunately, the students managed to avoid damage and escape. Felicity wrapped herself and others with a cocoon of vines and tree trunks to lower the impact.

    \"I spent too much energy but that was the only way to push someone like him.\"

    Zed thought as Goten Whiteskins jumped on his feet and stepped through the sea of flames.

    \"You are that bitch's child! I should not have expected any less!\" Goten Whiteskins said while extinguishing the flames with a flick of his hand.

    \"What are you talking about?\" Zed asked as flames erupted below his feet and wrapped him like an armor.

    \"Ah~ You don't know?\" Goten Whiteskins' eyes flashed with surprise but then understanding. \"Red Fox didn't tell you about her, did he?\"
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