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527 Freedom From Self

    People often say when death approaches, the memories of the entire lifetime play before the eyes... No one knew if it was true or just another gibberish saying.

    ***

    When Zed closed his eyes and waited for the death to wrap her cold arms around him, the scenes of his life played before him.

    But unlike the popular saying, he didn't see the entire lifetime. All he watched was the moments he hated the most.

    The vague scene of him escaping Solitary Snow Island as a newborn with Red Fox.

    He saw the blurred face of the assassins and felt the fluctuations of their attacks. This aroused his murderous intent.

    The scene then changed to that of the slums.

    The days he begged for alms. The hours he desperately pleaded for food to survive the pangs of hunger. The minutes he pleaded for mercy from Red Fox. The seconds he barely escaped from starved dogs with a piece of bread... and the resounding laughter of the overlords who enjoyed his desperation.

    The momentary reminders from life that he was nothing but a discarded bastard. This flared up his fury.

    The scene then changed to that of BSE-79.

    He watched poor slum dwellers dying in the meteorite expedition. So many unnecessary deaths just so that Castor Damon and powerful men could reach closer to an infinite power source. This erupted a tempest of rage inside him.

    The final scene brought him to the death of Hope.

    Her little nascent eyes filled with confusion and sadness as she looked at his pained face. This exploded his soul with an infinite hatred.

    As the arms of death wrapped around him, he again wished for something that he used to do as a desperate slum dweller.

    "This world doesn't deserve to exist!"

    As he wished this, a snapping sound came from his brain. The cocoon of golden lightning ripped apart and the gray particle jumped out.

    ****

    At the same time.

    Hyperion shook his head and got over the feeling that gripped his heart.

    "What was that sense of crisis?"

    Hyperion wondered while stepping before the building ruins.

    "Perhaps it was due to the Anti-cosmic Field."

    Hyperion eyed the enormous pillar of light that has penetrated the skies. It continuously radiated energy that suppressed the Power Cosmic.

    "It doesn't matter. After absorbing this kid, I will recover by more than half! The Anti-cosmic Field wouldn't be able to restrict me then!"

    Hyperion brought his eyes back on the ground and looked at the corpse of Zed.

    "It is hard to believe he carries such boundless powers! Thankfully he is a human and can barely use a fraction of it!"

    During the clash, he barely sensed the power that was a drop in the true ocean of power Kiba carried. But even that one drop was more than shocking for Hyperion.

    "Kid, you should feel grateful that you got an opportunity to fight me!"

    Hyperion said as he grabbed the corpse and placing it in his other colossal hand.

    The spike-shard still pierced through Zed's chest, turning most of his body black from the toxins.

    Hyperion brought two fingers to pull the shard away when out of nowhere, a burst of chilling winds swept forth and brushed past Zed's face. His messy hair moved from his face and went up, revealing his blood-soaked face.

    "!" Hyperion was startled.

    Zed's eyes were open!

    What startled Hyperion was not this but the sense of enigma he felt from them. Even as he looked, a strand of chaotic gray burst from the pupils and lit the eyes with blazing grayness.

    "Surely this couldn't be... Genesis!!!!"

    Hyperion was shocked.

    Just like how humans react when they grab an object on fire by mistake, Hyperion did the same. He threw Zed away!

    Some distance away, Joshua was astonished.

    "Why would the great titan throwing the corpse away with such force! The corpse would turn into bloody paste!"

    This thought barely flashed in his mind when his eyes constricted.

    The "corpse" didn't smash into the ground! Instead, it floated in the air as if winds were gently holding it!

    "Great Titan... what's going on?" Joshua was alarmed.

    To his shock, Hyperion ignored the question and tapped a foot on the crater.

    Hyperion's weight was far more than a mountain and when he tapped on the crater, it tremored, and a massive clump of soil drew up.

    Using the resulting momentum, Hyperion jumped into the air and rushed away.

    "What?!"

    Joshua stared at Hyperion's retreating figure with eyes wide open.

    "I must be imagining things! The shockwaves from before have surely messed up mind otherwise how could this be real?!"

    For Joshua, Hyperion was the true god. Someone who could not only rule this tiny planet but the entire universe!

    Yet this mighty god was fleeing like a coward!

    And why?!

    Just because some corpse was floating!?

    "Perhaps Kiba smacked Great Titan with lightning on the head... and now the effect is showing up!?"

    Joshua tried to think rationally.

    If even the legendary Evolution Field and Kiba didn't make Hyperion cower, then the only explanation for him to flee was that his head has been injured!

    Meanwhile, the "corpse" of Zed placed his feet on the ground. He put a hand on the shard and pulled it out.

    Joshua held his breath tightly.

    The shard was enormous and heavy, and not to mention stuck in the body, and yet, Zed easily pulled it out.

    Puff!

    As black blood spilled outward, Zed placed a hand on the bloody hole that was once his chest. A sinister grayish glow spilled out and entered the hole.

    His bleeding stopped and the alien toxins inside his bloodstream vanished. Alongside this, new bones, flesh, and vessels emerged.

    "This has to be a dream!"

    Joshua thought as the rips and tears on Zed's chest closed up with new skin.

    Since he was the head of Sky Fiend Group, he has researched a lot on the body of Hyperion. Thanks to this, he knew how toxic the spikes were.

    If pierced with them, death was an obvious fate, even for a Level VII Alpha! As for recovering, that was impossible!

    Zed lifted his head up.

    The sky was covered with ripples of Anti-cosmic Field but to him, it was filled with clear clouds and warm sunlight.

    He spread his arms around and took a fresh intake of air.

    The grayness from his eyes swept out and wrapped his hair, face, neck, and then the rest of his body.

    ~crack~

    When the grayness spread on his arms, the silver bracelet on his right wrist flashed briefly before emitting crackling sounds. The inner circuits turned haywire and the bracelet exploded.

    The rings on his fingers behaved in a similar fashion, turning into dust.

    Swoosh~!

    After breaking through the restrictions, the grayness surged excitedly.

    Zed's face glowed brightly, and when the glow faded, his facial features changed completely. It was like he has transformed into a new person!

    RUMBLE~~

    Terrifying tremors ran through the ground and the sky vibrated.

    "!" Joshua's heart violently shrank.

    These rumblings were created by the transformation of the gray man and Joshua felt an incredible sense of danger.

    Whoosh!

    From the gray man, grayness gushed out.

    It emanated calm presence like that of a peaceful lake, but when it spread, it behaved like raging sea waves. Wherever it passed through, the colors there washed off, leaving behind an eerie gray.

    "Finally freedom from self."

    His lips curled up into a satisfactory smile.

    It was a smile that could be understood only by those who have suffered captivity and gained freedom after a long struggle.
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