Seeing Kifo busy, Zilan decided to first finish his training before bothering him. Besides, they lived together so meeting him again was inevitable.
Currently, Zilan mainly wanted to work out in the gravity chamber since things like Illusions and the like were in a word, useless against him. As for combat training, surprisingly he was not lacking in that department due to some of his earlier actions.
Walking into the place housing the gravity chamber, Zilan couldn’t help but smile at its structure. Rather than it being a grand building with superb architecture, it was instead designed inside a cave, looking somewhat crude. There was no reception or anything of the like, only a long walkway with sealed chambers on each side.
To enter and use the establishment, Zilan of course needed to pay a fee of three mystic grains. He gave them to the only person he could find in the cave who wasn’t there to use its services. Shockingly, that person acted as the manager, guard and maintainer of the entire gravity cave.
He handed Zilan a small yellow token with the number sixty four written on it before completely ignoring him.
Unhappy, but still keeping his calm, Zilan quickly headed towards the chamber door with the number sixty four on it, before entering and locking himself inside.
There were no decorations in the room whatsoever. The only thing of note that he could see was a collection of blue light stones hanging on the ceiling, illuminating the chamber.
That being said, the room was quite spacious at about the size of a large garden. There was also a peculiar stone on each side of the four walls that surrounded the chamber giving off a blindingly red light.
“These should be what control the gravity of the chamber. Their power source must be somewhere underground.” Thought Zilan. He didn’t dare to use his ‘eyes’ in this place because according to the manager’s instructions, the performances in the gravity chamber were recorded so that the best performers names could be publicised and used to motivate others.
The manager also coldly informed him of how to operate the chamber as well as many other things including what to and what not to do.
After one more inspection of the chamber, Zilan began his training/testing.
He squeezed the token in his hands and immediately, the stones on the chamber walls turned light green. The air around the room grew heavy and Zilan felt a slight increase in weight on his body.
“This should be x2. Hmm, I can still move around relatively easily though..” noted Zilan.
He then squeezed the token once again,
X5… not so good but passable.
X6…I..I can still handle it..
X7…this is my limit, I can’t go any higher!”
Zilan’s body was slouched almost to the point that he looked like he was bending down. Green and blue veins could be seen pulsing around his neck, face and especially his legs as sweat poured down his body, soaking his clothes.
“x7, seems to be the most my current body can take. If I transform the results would probably be much better but my training will suffer. First I need to train this body to the limit of the [Tempering stage].”
With that, Zilan began with stretching, push ups, sit-ups, squats, then he moved onto a few hand to hand basic, fundamental combat techniques that were depicted in the Book of Path.
His training went on and on, each movement causing him more pain than the last but the thought of getting stronger drove him to push past his limits. It wasn’t until the two hour time limit had reached and the gravity chamber automatically turned off that Zilan finally stopped.
His worn out body collapsed onto the ground, as he panted with his mouth wide open and his tongue hanging out.
At the last minute, he could have sworn that he’d heard a few tearing and cracking sounds coming from his major joints.
“Luckily, my body is different and I can afford to sustain these injuries.”
Taking a flask of water from his voidless sack, Zilan swiftly poured the whole thing into his mouth. The drops that fell on his skin caused his body to transform but he couldn’t care less as the comfortable feeling of having his body seemingly cleansed or renewed made him forget everything else.
Ten minutes later, and Zilan came out of the Gravity cave feeling refreshed and energised.
He looked up at the cloudy sky and smiled as a thought dawned on him,
“A perfect day for that!”
He then made his way to a transportation platform. His intention was to travel towards the lake environment however, it was impossible to do that through voids as all the artificial environment areas were essentially ‘no-void’ zone. Thus his only choice was to use the platforms similar to the one he used to get to the ceremonial ground.
Standing on the platform, Zilan inserted his energy into it before picking out where he wanted to go, and in the next instant he’d arrived.
Just like that he had made it to his destination however, once he was in this area, Zilan knew that he needed to remain alert. There were no rules in this place other than train, survive and get out.
The creators of the environments had set up all kinds of traps and danger zones throughout the area with lures of rewards/treasure in order to entice members to take the challenge. There was also the fact that in this place all disputes were settled through strength, it doesn’t matter if it’s a sneak attack, a head on confrontation or even a complete annihilation, the higher-ups wouldn’t care!
In Zilan’s case this was a big red flag since him being a ‘Half Breed’ was more than enough of a reason for a more arrogant, violent Beast to come after him.
The lake region before him could be more accurately described as swampy. Closely packed low hanging trees whose roots penetrated deep into the water, countless vines spread across the area, various insects crawling and flying about as well as unique weather conditions were all part of the experience.
This was Zilan’s fifth time coming to this place since he’d started training in the technique left behind by the Rain Dragon on the second level of the Cloud Inheritance Palace. He’d wanted to use the environment on the second level to train however, Hihi advised against it, informing him that it would be best to first break into the [soul-compression] stage before heading in there.
Luckily he still had the basic information for the first level of the technique he obtained from the shadow coach. After all, Hihi only said that it was the best environment not the only environment.
Therefore after giving it a few tries, Zilan had started practicing the technique or rather techniques to varying effects.
Infinite Rain was the name of the technique and it was actually further divided into three separate techniques,
– Rain Storm
– Rain Drizzle
– Rain Shower
These three on their own each represented one aspect of combat, storm for attack, drizzle for movement and shower for defence.
Zilan took a deep breath before slowly taking a step forward into the lake. Using his glove he turned the water much thicker to the point that everywhere he stood was close to solid ground. This way he could stand on water, or as he liked to think of it, cheat the system.
Of course, the effects would be different than if he followed the right way but Zilan in the end just wanted to learn the basics and also not waste too much time.
Standing on the viscous liquid of the lake, Zilan closed his eyes as he tried to resonate with the laws of water.
A few seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to hours but the person in the middle of the lake remained motionless. Eyes closed, breath steady, heart calm.
Meanwhile, in another area of the swamp, a few people were heading towards Zilan’s direction.
“Hey, you said you saw him come through this way right?” shouted a rather buff chimp-like man whose left hand was wrapped around a young human man of about twenty years old. His body was bloodied and his eyes exhausted but he still put on a smile as he begged for mercy.
“Shut up and answer the question!” barked a surprisingly posh looking green tiger. From his eyes one could already tell that he was not a kind person but one needn’t go that far since his actions spoke plenty of his character. Behind and beside him were around ten other Beasts, lackeys there to follow orders.
“Yes, yes,…I saw him…I promise, I saw him…just through there. *sob* please let me go!”
“Haha…Big bro, this time we’ll finally get this motherfu**ing Half-Breed. The only reason he’s been able to stay alive so far is because we didn’t want to get our hands dirty and the people we sent were also useless trash however, now that he’s made us personally come out, he better not have any thoughts of leaving here again.” The chimp laughed.
“Mm, to make me personally come out, he won’t die in peace.” Nodded the tiger.
“Oh! What should we do with the human?”
“Huh? Kill it and collect the token on its body, once we’re done here we’ll go and collect the reward. What? Were you thinking of showing it sympathy?” spat Big Bro tiger.
“No, but wasn’t it you who promised…never mind, I understand!” laughed the chimp in a moment if realisation. He then applied a little more strength to his arm and the next moment a crisp snapping sound was heard followed quickly by the thud of a lifeless body filled with resentment falling to the floor.
The death of a human in the Beast world let alone the Alchemy Association was fairly common. In fact this custom of using humans in large Horde’s and other influential institutions for the purposes of training was unsurprisingly copied from the Humans who use both evolved and unevolved Beasts as training tools. The only difference is that the Beasts don’t steal the human young and breed them till their grown only to have them killed by an up and coming genius. The Beasts believe in the survival of the fittest not a world where there was no hope for their kind to live at all. Besides all the humans the Alchemy Association used were those who’d committed crimes against Beast kind. The same applied for the other up-standing organisations but of course, there existed darker institutions who played by different rules.
Zilan frowned and was stuck at a point of confusion when he first heard of this situation. He tried extremely hard to find where exactly he stood but in the end he could not even figure out who was right and who was wrong. Once he consulted Kifo about it and heard his point of view, it got even harder to think clearly, thus he just decided to put it at the back of his mind. Maybe this was why he didn’t have many Beast friends.
Also do not forget that he already had enough problems, maybe in the future he would be able to solve some of these issues with his plan but to be honest he didn’t even really know what the repercussions of putting his grand plan into action would be.
Important announcement ;
I will continue to release a chapter a day for a while as we get back into the groove of things. If you would like to read chapters in advance without having to wait days, then please feel free to check out my patreon page. (https://www.patreon.com/emeraldragon)
Finally, I would like to announce the launching of my twitter account. I’ve been using social media for a while for personal use but I’ve always shied away from using it as a platform to communicate with my readers…(don’t really know why) However, that has now changed! I will be using twitter to interact with my followers on a daily basis and not just have the usual, “chapter updates and then silence”. No! Through memes, gifs and well tweets I will strive to not only entertain but actually interact and converse…but as you know, one can’t talk to themselves at least not without having a mental problem so please follow me as we move on with our journey.
Your humble author,