“Hurry up and speak then.” Said Zilan.
“Yes, yes…. Since you’ve successfully broken through to the soul-compression stage, you should now be able to gain access to most of the Second Level’s resources and abilities.” Hihi’s words flowed rapidly from his mouth fearing Zilan would fault him if he was too slow.
“Most?” If Zilan said he wasn’t disappointed after hearing that he wouldn’t have access to the entirety of the Second level then from his current tone and expression anyone would call him a liar.
“Indeed, most of the second level will be open to you however, you don’t have to worry too much about the part that’s locked.”
“What do you mean?”
“As far as Hihi knows, that part is something that will only become essential to you when you’ve reached the peak of the soul-compression stage, so for now don’t think about it.”
A light of understanding flashed in Zilan’s eyes.
‘If it’s like that then I can live with it.’
“Take me there now.” Said Zilan, clearly excited.
Mumbling under his breath was Hihi saying, “You can go there yourself, why are you bothering Hihi with such nonsense.”
“What was that, is there something else I need to know?”
“No, no, no, no……let’s go.”
A moment later and Zilan’s eyes once again fell on the beautiful and vast garden that resembled a park. There were no animals or insects to be seen so apart from the occasional rustling of the leaves and branches due to wind, the area was otherwise peacefully silent.
As he moved forward in awe, he saw Hihi and the familiar shadow coach waiting for him by the shore of a calm, clear lake whose waters appeared stagnant.
A smile hung on his face as he confidently walked up to the shadow coach and patted it on the shoulder. Immediately upon contact, a wave of information that he already possessed flowed into his mind.
“This is the second time we’re doing this however, this time I’ll follow you to the end.”
Seemingly responding to his words, the shadowy figure covered itself in a layer of water and dashed into the lake, running along the surface of the water.
Zilan quickly followed suit. He was now the proud owner of a water soul, one that was attained through the Origin laws of water no less, therefore for him to be unable to walk on water without the assistance of external tools would be a laughable proposition.
Turning invisible, he caught up with the shadow coach who continued to run deeper and deeper into the lake.
There was nothing particularly amazing about this lake aside from the fact that Zilan could barely perceive anything from it or around it. In fact, when looking into the lake’s water the only thing he could see was his own reflection on its surface. Anything beyond that was impossible.
Just as he was getting curious about the second level’s creation process, a force, so powerful it caused his soul to shudder and dim suddenly passed through him.
His steps immediately halted and heart rate spiked to dangerous levels. All blood drained from his face making him look like a corpse.
Struggling to breathe, he stared at the perfectly stable shadow coach in both wonder and confusion.
“What just happened?” he asked through grit teeth.
The shadow approached Zilan and touched him. Information regarding the situation then entered his mind almost instantaneously.
“That force was an inspection…….but at the same time it’s also a soul attack?” Zilan exclaimed. “What would have happened if I hadn’t mastered Survival of the Rain Dragon.” He questioned whether or not he would have retained his life. Maybe the shadow coach would have intervened to save him.
He then remembered the first time he came to this second level and thanked his Ancestors that he hadn’t been impulsive and charged into this lake. He also distinctly remembers that Hihi did not put any effort whatsoever into stopping him.
‘That little Bastard.’ Cursed Zilan.
The shadow as if concluding that it had given him enough rest continued running deeper along the surface of the lake.
Zilan had no choice but to stabilise his condition and follow.
Luckily, it didn’t take long before the shadow finally came to a stop. It reached out its hand towards Zilan as if requesting he hold it.
Naturally, Zilan took a hold of the hand but what happened after went beyond his expectations.
The calm water of the lake suddenly rumbled, light ripples turned into waves which then turned into odd towering standing waves.
As his footing grew more and more unstable, Zilan tightened his grip on the shadow’s hand. As soon as he did that though, things started calming down.
The waves dispersed and the lake returned to its normal dormant state.
The shadow then grabbed onto Zilan’s waist and without warning forcefully dragged him into the lake.
At first, needless to say, he was shocked by the abruptness of the shadow’s dive however, after a moment of thought and a quick body transformation Zilan went along with the shadow.
His deep blue eyes glowed as they fell up on the gigantic structure below the surface of the lake.
Information from the shadow coach entered his mind before he had a chance to come up with his own conjectures.
‘So that’s what it is.’
The structure Zilan was currently moving towards was known as the Temple of Spring and Rain, named and mostly designed by Sera. This place was originally a Palace located within the Rain Dragon King’s world. After a series of events and millennia passing, the Rain Dragon King’s once revered world seized to prosper and all that remained of him was his legacy and his Palace.
By the time Sera found this palace, it had already become a ruin due to the pillaging by his descendants. Thus, through a lot of hard work, in combination with her one of a kind Divine ability, Sera was finally able to create this Temple for her descendants to benefit.
The Temple itself was a structure that was extremely huge, beautifully decorated with all kinds of golden, silver and ruby Draconic sculptures and inscriptions. It had three towers surrounding its perimeter in a triangular formation each one appeared different, radiating a powerful presence. At its centre was a breath-taking main building that seemed almost illusionary. The strange thing though was that this Temple evoked an emotion within Zilan that he rarely experienced when seeing sights such as this. Happiness, bliss, genuine joy.
He couldn’t explain but he felt that the Temple was something not only necessary to him but something he would like to possess/own.
Moving forward, he and the shadow coach finally stepped foot within the Temple. Only now did Zilan realise just how huge this place was.
The shadow coach sent some information into him causing him to sigh in understanding.
“No wonder it’s this huge. So this place was built to house Dragons.”
Following the shadow’s lead, he travelled for a fairly long time before eventually coming to a halt. Don’t be mistaken though, examining all of the wonderful works of art along the way was extremely interesting to Zilan.
The duo stopped right before the entrance to the main building or temple.
Zilan was about to inquire as to why they had stopped when a light shower of crystal rain started falling around only his vicinity.
He didn’t have time to examine the shower of crystals as a sharp stinging light invaded his soul, inspecting it for a moment before withdrawing. He could put up no resistance against the light and just when he thought it was over, a vision was implanted into his mind.
A dazzling lady dressed in refined, royal attire was standing above a tower that literally pierced into the sky. She soundlessly stared down at the world below where Dragons were as common as air and a look of pride but also worry could be seen in her eyes.
Just as she was lost in her thoughts, an aged man approaching the end of his life dressed in similarly royal attire yet somewhat not as refined or as eye catching flew up to the lady. He saw her lost and he couldn’t help but sigh.
The lady was someone Zilan recognised. She was none other than his Grandmother, Sera the Spring Dragon.
The old man though, was someone he had no clue about.
“Rain, you’ve come to give me what I asked for.” Sera asked in a casual tone.
The old man, despite his grey beard and withered appearance had long jade hair and a pair of eyes that looked purer than any gem in existence.
Rain then reached out his hand towards Sera.
Sera also stretched out her hand and grabbed hold of Rain’s. A deep look of fear could be seen in Rain’s eyes but an instant later this look was replaced by unimaginable loss. His eyes dimmed and his soul wept.
Sera then retracted her hand.
“You understand why I’m doing this, don’t you?”
“Your legacy cannot die with you and your descendants are unworthy of it. I will hold onto it until a worthy host can be found, I will then pass on your legacy to them.”
“Thank you, Empress. This King is tired, we will go take a rest.”
Rain then bowed before turning and leaving. He knew that his days were numbered and thus planned to spend them in solitude at his home.
Sera on the other hand continued to gaze at the world of Dragons below.
“The Rain Dragon King falls. Yet another General lost. How many more friends will I bid farewell? How many more legacies will I draw?”
To many having their life’s work, the reason for their existence taken from them would result in an unforgivable blood debt but due to Sera’s status, she could request these things whilst avoiding such an outcome. The only problem was that even saints would have some resentment towards her for her actions as well as for the existence of her Divine ability. Not to mention, she also did not enjoy the process of drawing out other’s legacies.
The vision thus ended and Zilan woke up within the temple building.
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