Rumours of Zilan’s disciples relocating to the Elder’s area quickly spread throughout the Association, causing quite the uproar. This was the first instance in the Association’s history where a non-Elder gained a personal residence in the Elder’s area. Some saw it as favouritism while others, specifically the reptiles, took it as the necessary treatment that someone of pure blood deserved.
Of course, the most surprised were none other than the disciples themselves. Ever since Zilan performed at the Winter Concealed Scripture Display, their status had drastically changed. Everywhere they went, respectful and envious glances followed. More and more people attempted to get closer to them so as to secure a relationship with their Master.
Needless to say, they kept away from such people. Not because they knew those kinds of individuals were bad for them, but rather, Zilan’s aloofness and mystery, combined with his teachings unlike any other in the Association, had changed their ways of thinking. Their views of the world and worldly desires shifted.
Exposed to teachings and concepts outside of this world, they developed a longing for the beyond, understanding that there was more to life than what they could perceive and that the only way to learn more was to follow their Master.
Nevertheless, they were still young minds, unlike Zilan whose thinking and actions did not match his age. Therefore, the heightened attention was a pleasant experience for the seven youths.
“Where do you think Master is going?” Grouch asked.
“He would have told us if he wanted us to know.” Hendrek replied.
“Master is changing,” Lorn suddenly announced. The others turned to him, looking for an explanation. “You don’t feel it? Before, when we first met him, you couldn’t tell much from his appearance; however, recently a single look…”
“I know what you mean,” Misty added. “Before, despite his knowledge, it felt like he was with us, like I could just reach out and touch him. Now, it’s different. He’s here but also not; it’s like he’s on another…”
“Level,” Andrete finished her sentence. “Master is getting stronger, we have to do the same, or even if he doesn’t want to, the day will come when he’ll leave us behind.”
The expressions of everyone faltered. It wasn’t like they hadn’t thought of what Andrete was saying, but they had just chosen to never speak about it.
This just demonstrated that the pressure from Zilan’s growth affected not only Kifo and Fujo but also every single person he was close to. Moreover, this had begun before he began training his soul.
“Well, for now let’s focus on the things we can control. The missions Master assigned us will be the first step” Lorn said.
“How long will you be away? What you’ve grasped is but the start, there’s still much more to learn,” the Chairman warned. He was displeased by Zilan’s intention to depart, a sentiment he had not possessed before he began training Zilan. The reason for his change in heart stemmed from Zilan’s shocking learning speed. It was scary for the Chairman to witness. With just a single, simple summary, Zilan would already understand most of the topic. Zilan was, in a way, teaching himself. To cut his training short despite great progress upset the Chairman.
“I’m not sure. I doubt it will be for too long,” Zilan calmly replied. The look in his eyes was now much clearer and the air surrounding him more tranquil. Yet, Zilan’s personality had not changed much.
“I’d like you to do me a favour if you can.”
“What is it?” The Chairman asked, intrigued. As far as he knew, Zilan was not the type to just ask for something unless, of course, he really needed it.
“There’s a girl, Tausi Evenheart. While I’m gone, I’d like you to watch her. Should anything happen, please protect her.”
“Hm. I’m surprised.” The Chairman smiled.
“It’s not what you’re thinking. Her situation calls for constant monitoring. What she possesses cannot be tampered with; otherwise, the consequences will be dire.”
“Understood. You wouldn’t have asked for a favour if that wasn’t the case; however, is that truly the entire reason? After all, if even I cannot perceive the ‘danger’ that she contains, how likely is it that someone will actually tamper with whatever it is that she possesses? Anyway, I will ensure that she remains safe during the period of time that you’re gone,” having said that the Chairman disappeared, laughter lingering in the air.
Zilan shrugged, paying no mind to his words. He knew that he had no feelings for Tausi. He empathised with her situation because it reminded him of his own trials, but that did not correlate to having any sort of romantic emotions for her. In fact, he was not sure if they could even be classified as friends.
In another location, far from the haven of Beasts known as Brivata, a carriage sped through the stone-paved city streets of a Human kingdom. Painted an uncommon black tint the carriage had the unmistakable symbol of God, a towering green spear, plastered on its roof.
Inside the carriage sat three individuals, two males and one female. One of the males was much older than the rest, his cultivation also greater than theirs; however, due to their outstanding backgrounds, he had no choice but to lower his head before them.
“Akinone, this mission cannot go wrong. This is my chance to prove myself both to Father and the Order. I cannot let Father down.” The younger, shifty-eyed male fretted.
“Nothing will go wrong, your Highness. Should things go awry, our job is not to fight but to send a signal back. There’s no need to worry.”
“Hmph. Daya, what do you think? Madam Imret herself insisted that you come along, so you must have some thoughts as to what we should expect, right?” Despite being a prince, the background of the young lady absentmindedly staring out of the window was not something he could easily look down on.
“Who knows?” A small smile surfaced on her face, something that had not happened in a long time.
‘Zilan, soon, we’ll see each other again.’
The shifty eyed prince snorted, wondering why he had even bothered asking Daya. Yes, she was always the top when it came to training exercises and missions; however, whenever anyone tried to strike up a conversation with her, the result would always be either awkward silence or incomprehensible one-liners.
Akinone on the other hand smiled at Daya’s reply. ‘This girl is smart,’ he thought.
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