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Seeing Zilan put away the paper, a complicated expression flashed on the Chairman’s face. He was about to quietly disappear when Zilan suddenly turned toward him and asked, “Where are you going? Show me how this thing works.”
He took out the glass manual and presented it to the Chairman.
“Your soul isn’t strong enough yet to access it. Once you’ve absorbed more Universe energy, I’m sure you’ll be able to use it,” the Chairman replied.
“What type of technique does it contain? Since it’s called Roho 1, are there other Roho manuals like this?” Zilan asked, understanding why his previous efforts to control the manual had failed.
“There are no further instalments to this manual. It is one of a kind. It’s meant to be used in tangent with Roho’s life crystal; however, you have yet to reach the level where you can control the life crystal, so for now, most of the manual’s contents will be closed to you. It does house several techniques that you will be able to use from the get-go. All of the soul attacks I demonstrated and more as well as some defensive techniques will be there for you to peruse and work on. Eventually, you will master everything contained within the manual.”
“Why is it called Roho 1?” Zilan asked.
“Because the one who uses this manual would technically be the first non-Roho to be given access to our methods.”
“I see.” Zilan stared at the manual for a little while longer, lost in the beauty of the flashing lights. When he looked up again, the Chairman was gone.
And so just like that, time moved on, and before he knew it, the deadline of a month was just around the corner. Zilan spent the bulk of his time tirelessly cultivating his soul; in the few instances when he was free, he worked on his body and energy cultivation. Although he didn’t make much progress compared to the strides he made in strengthening his soul, Zilan was satisfied.
Throughout the entire training process, he hardly ever went out, but from what Kifo told him, not only had his popularity not died down, it had actually increased. In fact, to say it had increased would be selling it far short. Around the Association and parts of Brivata, fascinating stories of Zilan swirled and spread like wildfire. Nevertheless, to anyone who knew Zilan, these stories would seem more like comedy than actual truth.
In the tales, Zilan was described as a mighty and powerful Dragon with an awe-inspiring, majestic frame that spanned at least three mountains. It was only his humble nature, and the fact that he was instructed to keep a low profile that he occasionally portrayed himself as a Half Breed. The stories even went as far as to give detailed descriptions as to how and why he did what he did. For example, his actions during the Rookie Ranking tournament led to other unfavourable rumours such as those with respect to his teaching capabilities. Of course, none of their ‘facts’ actually held any truth: everything was placed on the shoulders of the fictional, legendary mighty Dragon who was excellent at misdirection.
In a sense, Zilan’s previously ‘bad’ reputation washed away. All be it with lies, many, many lies. Kifo had also told him about the huge number of gifts he’d received during his time training, but he thought Kifo’s description an exaggeration until he actually saw the gifts for himself.
In a storehouse that Amani had been kind enough to lend him, literally thousands of different types of jewels, clothes, weapons and rare minerals could be seen, forming a small hill. According to Kifo, the greatest of the gifts surprisingly came from the sect of the Beast who Zilan had conflict with during the first entrance test. Zilan remembered cursing the individual who was eventually slain by one of the Elders.
‘They fear that I still hold a grudge.’ He concluded.
Nothing amongst the treasures really caught his eye but nevertheless, Zilan kept a few things he liked in his voidless sack, leaving everything else for Kifo who was not as impressed as Zilan thought he’d be. ‘Sign of growth?’ He pondered.
Taking his time to settle everything that needed handling, Zilan went to see his disciples.
After not seeing their teacher for a long time, they were all surprised by his sudden summons.
“What do you think Master wants?” Misty asked.
“We’ll find out when he arrives.” Replied Lorn. His origins were not common; however, even with the teachings of his clan, trying to see through the man he called Master was pretty much impossible.
A few minutes later, Zilan walked in. A smile crept onto his face as he looked over his disciples.
“It’s good to see you all. I’ve neglected my duties as your Master for some time now. The reason was not because I was busy, which I was, but rather because I believed that you all needed to experience more things outside of the Alchemy Association. There’s a limit to what you can learn in a classroom.”
The disciples were surprised.
“Having said that, I’ve prepared missions from the Alchemy Association for all of you, completing any one will reward two merit points.”
This time, their jaws dropped. They knew being the Chairman’s disciple came with perks, but the rewards he was dishing out were extremely luxurious.
“A few other things: right now, you all probably reside in private residences, camps or accommodations provided by the Association, but from today onwards all of you will be moving.”
“The Elder’s region. I recently acquired housing there.”
Another bombshell dropped on their heads. They thought that this was a gift from the Chairman to Zilan, but this was just part of the package given with becoming a member of the Chairman’s ‘Association.’
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