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552 A Proper Meeting II

    Zed grabbed the crystal and closed his eyes. He felt a warm, jovial sensation from it, just like he always felt when he held Hope in his Kiba form.

    Rebecca didn't say anything more. She came here to give him what was his.

    Of course, she desired more, much more, but she knew her desires didn't hold any value, at least not for him. Perhaps rightfully so...

    But she knew he didn't wish to meet her, maybe never did.

    So she left the chair and rose to her feet to leave.

    Zed placed the crystal on the table and spoke.

    "Except for the last six months... I always wished I could meet you."

    "!" Rebecca stopped and looked at him.

    Zed gazed at dreamy lighting on the ceiling, the waterfall that created a calm, soothing atmosphere, and the fireplace that emanated a royal feel. The entire hall was a display of sinful vanity, with money poured like water to build it, for no other purpose than to look really good.

    "And for the last few years of my life... I wanted our meeting to happen in this hall."

    Rebecca remained silent, letting him speak.

    Zed ruefully smiled and shut his eyes.

    "I think... I was around three years old when I first actually desired to meet you. No, desire would be an understatement. Back then, I begged and prayed.

    "Whenever the caretaker whipped with me his belt, I prayed you will show up and save me. When he trampled me under his feet for not getting alcohol, I begged to every god that I knew... to please send you to rescue me. And when he kicked me... I was ready to apologize to you for any sin I have committed and beg for mercy."

    "!!!" Rebecca was stunned.

    Caretaker?!

    Can he be talking about Red Fox!?

    Did he abuse Zed!?

    Her body turned icy cold as she imagined the scenes her son spoke of.

    Him getting whipped, trampled, and kicked by Red Fox.

    Despite her extraordinary powers, she felt her stomach twist with a terrible sensation.

    "Even though you never came... I still waited. Then again, what else I was capable of? I believed a day will come when you shall forgive me for whatever wrong I might have done.

    "Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and months turned to years... but you still didn't appear! I then realized my fate: rotting in the slums, getting abused by those powerful than me, and dying in some unknown street.

    "And all these times I thought of you.

    "Caretaker... I guess for you he must be Red Fox... well, he never revealed your name or background... but he always told me about how rich and powerful you were.

    "He assured me if I have to blame someone for my fate, it has to be you... sometimes it was also my father, but most times, it was only you!

    "Whenever I thought of that, I wondered how someone so rich can let her child starve, force him to seek food from trash bins... while herself enjoying the most lavish meals the world has to offer.

    "When I turned nine... I let go of the illusions.

    "Maybe it was some enlightenment or just a moment of clarity. But I learned something very important.

    "The only person who can help me... the only person who can save me from my fate!

    "And that person was... I!

    "So I stopped apologizing and praying!"

    A burst of wild flames erupted in his eyes as he took a short pause and continued.

    "And the first thing I did after that... was murder!"

    "!!!"

    Rebecca tensed up. She stared at him, perceiving how the flames in his eyes were tainted with the aura of murder.

    "Red Fox! It was him I murdered!"

    As he said this, he broke into laughter. His face was pale and his body weak, but his laughter was maddening and powerful.

    The guards were dumbstruck. They didn't know why but they felt dread from that laughter... that despite him being weaker than an ordinary human!

    "Oh god! Even now it feels so liberating! You should have seen his face when I ripped his throat and stabbed holes into his heart!"

    Rebecca clenched her hands tightly. Not because Red Fox was murdered, but because at an age where her son should have a happy, carefree life, he murdered to escape from abuse.

    "And that day I decided!

    "I don't need a mother or a father for a set of warm clothes... a two-time meal...and a roof over my head!

    "It wasn't a fairy tale I wanted, but I survived... and finally years later, I became capable enough to never worry for anything!"

    Zed looked at Rebecca and paused.

    "And can you guess what I secretly wanted when I became capable enough?!"

    Rebecca gazed at him for a moment before shaking her head.

    "You! I wanted to meet you!" Zed answered. "I wanted to show you... that you might be rich and powerful, but even without you... I lived! I achieved everything you refused me!

    "So I built this villa... Don't misunderstand, I always wanted to have my home! But never this grand and luxurious! I only made it like this so I can throw it on your face!"

    Rebecca lowered her head. She never knew what he had suffered nor the amount of resentment he carried.

    "I did fool myself by believing I was doing everything for my sake... while secretly hoping to meet you and show-off!" Zed took a deep breath. "But then six months ago, I realized something far more important! There was no reason for me to hate or resent you!

    "You didn't owe me anything so why do I have to be angry at you for not giving me a life I felt entitled?

    "I was wrong and I realized that.

    "Even this doesn't matter. Why should I care about someone who was never a part of my life, to begin with?

    "Everyone has their own life, their own reasons... why waste it on past or thoughts of others?

    "Life is far too precious to waste it on anyone else!

    "And that day... six months ago, along with my past of being a discarded bastard, I became free of my wish to meet you!"
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