Zilan’s eyes flung open however, to his surprise he was not at the Mountain as he had expected instead he found himself in his room, in bed, covered in sheets. His injuries were completely healed up but Zilan could still feel blistering pain from all over his body, it worsened whenever he attempted to move. This mysterious pain was in fact not mysterious at all, he had actually brought it upon himself the moment he summoned a spirit wraith.
Just as he was trying to sit up, Kifo came into the room. He was both shocked and delighted to see that Zilan was awake. “You’re finally up, it’s already been four days since the Concealed Scripture display.” Said Kifo as he smiled. “Your disciples shone during the award ceremony, they’ve also been clamouring to see you since the moment you lost consciousness.”
Zilan forced a smile when he heard that but despite his efforts in trying to hold it in, he could not help but groan from the pain he felt from trying to sit up. Kifo quickly moved to help him before asking, “What’s wrong? Aren’t your injuries healed?”
Zilan coughed a little before giving his answer. “Spirit wraiths. They’re creatures that exist between life and death, they exist but at the same time don’t exist. They feed on life force and some of the more powerful ones can even absorb the death energy from those who are no longer living. At the end, I summoned one of them to weaken the soul energy contained within the bridge. You can consider it an unorthodox soul attack. As a consequence of that action, I need to suffer a little.” He tried to laugh as he said that last part.
“Oh, so it’s only temporary.” The worry in Kifo’s eyes completely disappeared. Zilan scoffed as he saw this.
“So, did you get what you were looking for?” asked Kifo.
Zilan gathered his thoughts, “In a sense I did, but you could also say I got more than I asked for and you can as well say that I have yet to have what I want in my hands.” Kifo was already familiar with Zilan so instead of asking anymore questions that he knew he wasn’t going to get answers for, he simply opted to keep his mouth shut.
“How is everything in the Association?” Zilan asked in a much more serious tone.
“Well, a lot of people were shocked by your transformation. The Winter Concealed Scripture Display is a huge event for the Association and a lot of people from outside the Association were watching when you revealed yourself. As a result your name has been spreading beyond the walls of the Association. Add on the fact that the Chairman announced he was taking you as a disciple and you’ve essentially been the main topic of discussion this side of Brivata for the past four days.”
“The Chairman?” Zilan asked. “He revealed himself?”
“Yes, he looked like a lion with a ruby red mane and crazy reflecting scales on the sides of his body. He acted and spoke quite domineeringly, you have quite the Master there.” Kifo joked.
Zilan instantly laughed however, it wasn’t at Kifo’s joke, ‘He’s quite good at disguises.’ He thought.
“Sigh, how’s the situation with Tausi going? Now that I’ve exposed myself Kring is sure to make a move sooner rather than later. We’ll need to plan for her safety as well as devise a strategy against Kring and his goons.” Zilan was just about to continue when he saw Kifo’s expression. “Hmm..what’s wrong?”
“It’s Kring, no, not just Kring even those from his camp including Zest. I had similar thoughts to yours so I went over to try and see what they were up to however, when I arrived, I couldn’t find them. I’ve searched in most places so unless they’re hiding from me it’s highly likely that they’re not in the Alchemy Association.” Said Kifo, his tone grave.
Zilan was taken aback by this news, “Could it be that they detected your snooping around and thus moved to a more secluded place in the Association?”
Kifo didn’t want to answer that question but since it was Zilan he spoke, “After my training, there aren’t many people who can find me if I don’t wish to be found.”
Zilan smiled and nodded in response, “I apologise. It just doesn’t make any sense. The Skylock seed must be of great value to him otherwise he would not bother playing this game with me. To just leave the thing he’s invested so much time into….there’s definitely more to this story. Try and see if you can find out anything.”
“Will do.” Replied Kifo.
“By the way, where’s Fujo?” Zilan suddenly asked.
Kifo smiled wryly, “He’s downstairs, I’ll tell him you’re awake and that you want to see him.” Zilan noted Kifo’s strange behaviour but he still nodded along.
A few seconds later, Fujo walked into the room. From his posture and the manner in which he was avoiding Zilan’s gaze, it was evident that something was going on.
“Is everything alright?”
Fujo took his time with his reply, “I don’t want to lie to you. My family, they want me to get close to you.”
“But we’re already close.” Zilan laughed it off.
“They want to use my relationship with you, the Chairman’s disciple, son of a Dragon and genius Alchemist to elevate their status within the Gold sector and amongst the bigwigs of the Beast World. I refused…” Said Fujo, fidgeting all the while. It was like ants were crawling all over his skin.
“Is that all?” Zilan said in relief. “I thought it was actually a problem.”
Fujo was surprised, “You don’t think ill of me.”
“Hahaha, your family is nothing. Kifo’s family actually swindled away treasures from me so don’t worry about it. I know who you are and what you represent, as long as you stay like that you and I won’t have any issues.”
Fujo immediately sighed in relief it was like a weight had been taken off of his shoulders. However, a mischievous smile soon appeared on his face. “Ehem.” He cleared his throat. “Since Fujo got something, don’t I deserve something as well.”
Zilan helplessly stared at Fujo but before he could say anything, Zilan’s senses picked up on a powerful presence coming from just outside his house. ‘Who is that?’
By the change in his expression, Fujo could tell that Zilan’s mind was somewhere else. Thinking it was about him, he quickly backtracked. “It’s not like I want it now, you can take your time if you feel…” He whispered, his words turning into incoherent mumbles at the end.
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