Bk 2 Chapter 105 – Kifo’s Boss

“Pfft…Hahaha!” Grabbing his belly, Zilan suddenly burst into laughter as he pointed at Kifo. “You should see the look on your face. Priceless..Hahaha..”

Being the victim of a joke, instead of getting angry Kifo joined in, laughing to his heart’s content. The pressure Zilan gave off was enormous, thus he’d been taking his training too seriously even avoiding Zilan when he could. Only now did he realise that he may have been taking the wrong approach.

“Hehehe, so you were joking after all?” Kifo smiled as he asked.

“No, you still have to call me Boss if you want me to help you.” Replied Zilan as he wiped a tear from his left eye.

Kifo, “………” Speechless!

“What about the arm?” He asked. A trace of fear could be detected within his voice.

“What about it? I told you my conditions. Ah! Why is your face suddenly so pale? I was just laughing at your facial expression, what kind of conclusions did you jump to?”

Kifo,“………..”

Zilan silently stared at the dumbstruck Kifo who also met his gaze.

“Pfft…Haha, it’s really too funny!” This time Zilan even went as far as to slap his thigh as he cackled.

“You can’t be serious…you can’t right?” Seeing him laugh, Kifo wanted to try one more time. He refused to believe that this wasn’t a prank.

“Of course, I’m joking!” mocked Zilan.

“Phew…” Breathing out a sigh of relief, Kifo slumped onto his chair. If one were to look at his back they’d find it to be soaked with sweat. Giving up a body part was a notion that was tough to swallow.

“Hehe, Zilan you…”

“Hold on. I wasn’t joking about you calling me Boss though.”

Kifo, “………”

He was on the verge of crying when he suddenly heard someone rushing towards the room. Straightening his face and correcting his posture, he completely transformed his image.

Witnessing this Zilan’s mouth curved into an “O” and he was just about to start clapping but the pleading look Kifo gave him stopped him from doing so.

Like the saying goes, “You can kick a man below the belt but you have to be careful of the jewels.”

This was a saying taught to him by Fujo and speak of the devil, the person rushing up the stairs was none other than the playboy demon himself.

He casually walked into the room with an excited smile on his face,

“Oh! Kifo, you’re here as well?”

“Tch! It’s just you.” Saying that, Kifo went back to his distressed mood.

“Hmm, is something wrong?”

“Forget him, is there something you want? Don’t think I’ve forgotten about last time.”

“Eih, why is brother Zilan still caught up on small things? Ehem, Anyway, there’s something I want to show you.”

“What is it?”

“Something good, knowing you, you’ll definitely appreciate it.”

Zilan frowned as he looked at Fujo’s anxious and agitated expression.

Suddenly, a light went off in Fujo’s mind when he noticed his brother’s hesitation.

“It’s not women.”

“Great! When do we leave?” Zilan replied immediately, getting on his feet and stretching a bit. The sun was about to set and he might as well go for a stroll to get rid of some of the lingering thoughts he’d be better off without.

“I’m coming too.” Said the curious Kifo, he didn’t want to be left out.

“Perfect. Let’s head out then.” Declared Fujo.

………………….

The trio walked side by side towards the Central regions no-conflict zone.

Apparently, the interesting thing was located there.

On the way, Zilan and Kifo conversed while restraining their voices.

“Psst..”

“What?”

“If I call you Boss, will you truly help me get stronger?”

Zilan wanted nothing more than to continue teasing Kifo however, the straight, unwavering look of hope and conviction that he used to stare at him caused him to turn serious.

“How strong do you want to become?”

“Strong enough to achieve my goals.”

“I don’t know much but your goals are probably not as easy to accomplish as you imagine. Do you trust me enough to train you to that level?” Zilan couldn’t help but look up at the sky as he spoke.

“I trust you.” There was no hesitation in Kifo’s voice when he spoke.

“Fine, then before anything else, I want you to tell me what your thoughts are on this place’s cultivation system?”

“Hmm, what do you mean? There’s so many ways to cultivate but for us Beasts it all comes to body strength, comprehension and enlightenment in order to evolve. So..”

“Exactly.” Interrupted Zilan. “So what do you think about the methods the Association has put in place for you to comprehend and eventually attain some enlightenment on the ways of the Universe?”

“Eh..umm…” Kifo looked away as he racked his brain.

“Ok, how about this? What are your opinions on the enlightenment enclosure?”

“Ah! Isn’t it fantastic? I would have never thought that such a convenient way to breakthrough to the next stage existed and we actually get two tries at it.” Clearly, Fujo was confident in his comprehension abilities if he was viewing the two tries as a generous amount of chances. And in truth, he was right to be proud of his accomplishment, after all with his resources and considering his age, his current cultivation level was already in, if not above, the realm of genius.

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For example look at Fujo, he was not much better in terms of cultivation yet his resources and raw tools were many times more than what Kifo had. Zilan obviously could not be judged, his progress could not be measured by others standards since from the very beginning, he had made his own rules to play by.

“Easy? Convenient? Let me ask you, have you ever heard of someone attaining true strength or better yet enlightenment easily or conveniently? The moment you associated those words with the Enlightenment enclosure should have been the moment you made the decision to stay away from it. Luckily you have me. I’ll help you with your breakthrough when your body is ready.” Explained Zilan as he patted Kifo on the shoulder.

Kifo was happy hearing his broth..no, Boss’s words but he also couldn’t help but furrow his brows in confusion.

“Is the enclosure bad? Why would the Association use it then?”

“Haha, it’s not bad per se, in fact I would say it’s a system that’s perfectly suited to this world’s current make up. You should remember, Beasts are still fighting for survival, in the end this is Man’s world and in such a situation the more easily, cost-efficiently and quickly, strong soldiers can be manufactured, the better. Quality takes time, patience, care and a lot of unnecessary effort to produce. The only way for someone to get taught the ‘right way’ would be if he/she piqued the interest of a powerful Master. But then again, the percentage of people with such luck is not only too low but in the end they’d come to understand that it was already too late. At most they’d reach the level of their Master but to strive for the pinnacle? Impossible!”

“For the unambitious, congratulations you were born in the right era but for the true cultivators, it’s a pity.” Zilan frowned as he spoke. He turned to look at Kifo only to see him with eyes wide open, engulfed in shock.

“Why the Hell didn’t I notice this sooner?” He wondered.

To be honest, this could not be blamed on him being slow or dumb, it was just the way young Beasts were conditioned to behave. The people in power created an atmosphere and a culture where the strong were rewarded and the weak looked down on or outright stepped on. No one had time to think about the working of the world when you were basically threatened to progress quickly. In such an environment making enemies or having rivals was basically guaranteed to occur therefore speed became the name of the game. You needed to progress just as fast as your rival in order to avoid being treated like well, sh*t.

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All of this was crafted by the people in power in order to produce fierce people, strong and ready to fight to not only make a name for themselves but to also survive.

“Don’t worry.” Zilan chuckled. “I’m not a powerful Master yet, but your new Boss’s knowledge is something no one can contend with.”

Kifo smiled back but he was still troubled. When he got back home, he’d have to practice calling Zilan Boss a few times since currently his mouth refused to do it.

“Hey, what are you guys talking about? We’re here!” questioned Fujo. All that whispering behind his back made him feel uncomfortable.

If he could share all his fantasies with Zilan why did the other party shy away from doing the same?

“I’ve already become sworn brothers with him but it looks like there’s still a big gap between Kifo and I. I have to open up more.”

If Zilan knew Fujo’s thoughts, he’d probably beg him to reconsider. Those things in his mind should never be revealed to another soul.

“Oh! This place.”

Zilan immediately recognised where they were, he’d been here before once, but he’d never been back.

“The Rank Stones!”

“Why’d you bring me here?”

“Hehe, the stones were recently updated. Take a look.”

Everyone in the Alchemy Association was aware of the Rank stones. The reasons for this? For one, they were humongous. Each standing at about fifty feet high and twenty feet wide.

In total there were six of these stones, which quite honestly didn’t really look like stone. They looked to be made out of more glass than stone, looking quite glossy and polished. They were not transparent though, in fact they were pitch black and gave off an aura of mystic and honour.

The stones as their name suggested displayed the rankings of the Associations members.

Each stone represented something. There was the Alchemist rank stone, a Fire Guardian stone, Rookie rank stone, Camp rank stone, Elder Rank Stone and finally the Merit Rank Stone.

Each stone was the same more or less showing the rankings from first to last however, two of them stood out. The Merit stone and the Rookie stone were peculiar since both of them had figures beside each name.

The Merit stone beside each name showed the amount of Merit points that person had earned, when he received, why he received them and what he used them for. So for example a person earned two Merit points on the third day of the third month a decade ago, for taking care of a dangerous mission for the Association and then used his points to purchase a legendary treasure. Al of this information would be displayed on the Merit Rank stone. For better for worse.

As for the Rookie Rank stone it was the only one that combined both Alchemists and Fire Guardians onto one list that is why beside each name was the symbol of either a cauldron or the Fire Guardians emblem showing which discipline they belonged to.

Looking at his name on the rookie stone, Zilan could see that he was still first with both emblems beside his name, which made him smile however, he still slightly frowned when he thought back to the last time he checked his ranking on the Alchemy stone. He was officially ranked dead last among second rank Alchemists. This was understandable but hard to look at.

“Quickly look!” Cried Fujo.

Zilan along with many people who’d heard his voice immediately turned to the name he was pointing to.

“Zilan Malaika – second rank Alchemist rank (657).”

The number of second rank Alchemists in the Associations far exceeded this number but then again, the purpose of the ranking stone was to highlight the good ones, not every trash could get into it just because they were a member and an Alchemist.

“Hooo, that Half Breed isn’t last anymore. He rose two spots what happened?”

“Eh? You haven’t heard? The two guys were really unfortunate, one disappeared and the other one is apparently dead. Since the Half Breed was there before, the two new people who replaced the unfortunate fellows have to line up behind him. It won’t last long though…” After that, the crowd quickly understood and just as swiftly dispersed.

“What? So it was just luck? As expected of a Half Breed.” Commented a passer-by.

Zilan, “………”

Kifo, “………”

Fujo, “Hahaha, isn’t this great?”

Important announcement ;

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,

emeraldragon.

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