“No need to thank me; I’m simply honouring our agreement.” Zilan said absentmindedly while examining Ulimi’s frame.
‘His bloodline should be quite pure,’ He thought.
“Well, for that, you have my thanks.”
Ulimi smiled as he moved to the bar across the room. He hoisted and uncorked a shiny jade bottle inscribed with the Shadow faction emblem. A stinging yet refreshing aroma pervaded the room.
“This was a gift from my Father. I would not take it out if we were of the same species even though only reptiles can truly appreciate this tonic.” Saying that, he carefully filled two wine glasses a quarter full, one for Zilan and one for himself.
Interested, Zilan accepted his hospitality and took a sip. A wave of energy washed through him as the drink trickled down his throat, followed by the faint cry of some beast that only he could hear.
Zilan nodded in appreciation, which delighted Ulimi.
“Mnyama told me that things have changed.”
“Hmm, yes; the past few weeks have indeed been eventful.” Ulimi’s expression changed. “This inheritance site was initially discovered by us, and by right, it should have been ours to explore. Of course, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think at least one of the other factions would attempt an attack, but nevertheless, with my presence, nothing should have gone wrong, and no one ought to have tried to claim my Shadow faction’s prize.”
From the way he talked about himself it was evident that Ulimi was extremely confident in his abilities.
“Mm. I expected that both factions would sooner or later get word of our discovery, but what I didn’t foresee was that the founder of the Warlord faction would make an appearance.”
“Why would he do that?” Even Zilan was surprised.
“Apparently this site is the largest one discovered so far. And that being the case, the treasure it holds would most likely be greater than those plundered from previous sites. After negotiating with my Father and the founder of the Ocean Valley, they came to a decision that all three factions would be given a chance at the treasures housed in the site.” As he mentioned the last part, Ulimi’s voice sounded even more hoarse than usual.
“The largest so far?” Zilan’s mind churned. “Can you tell me a little about the sites, and exactly why
my services are required?”
“The sites? I honestly do not know much. My faction has not had the greatest luck when it comes to uncovering their secrets. All we know is that they started appearing some months ago. As for who created them and what caused them to appear, I do not know. Father may have a clue, but I am not privy to that information. What I do know though, is that Alchemists and spirit masters are crucial to conquering the sites. This is because all external medicines, tonics, tools or weapons are rendered useless within the sites. Only things from the site or created within the site can be used,” Ulimi explained.
Zilan was shocked. He was now certain that his Ancestor was involved because Akili was the only one who he knew of that was capable of such a feat.
“Just how dangerous are the sites that Alchemists are required? Even if weapons and tonics do not work, surely people with high cultivations such as yourself should be able to manage?”
“That would be true if the sites didn’t restrict all those above the soul-compression stage from entering. Last time a site was conquered, a dozen low and mid-level black core (soul-compression) experts perished under various poisons, injuries, and hidden attacks that armour sets and treatments could have easily prevented, even a high-level black core stage expert fell.”
“So, when will we enter the Inheritance site?” Zilan asked.
“After negotiations are completed.”
“Weren’t they completed?”
“The Founders agreed that all factions would get a chance for the treasure; however, as the people who discovered this place, wouldn’t that put my Shadow faction at a loss? We paid a price to find and secure this place; thus, we deserve an advantage when in the site or at least some compensation from the other factions.” He said calmly.
Zilan was about to ask another question when a knock came from the door.
“Who?” Ulimi appeared annoyed.
“Master, Kring of the Warlord faction seeks an audience with you.” Mnyama’s voice announced from the behind the door.
‘Kring!?’ Zilan and Kifo glanced at one another before facing the door. ‘Of course, he’d be here. If he has paused his plans with Tausi to be here, there’s definitely valuable treasure to be had here.’
“Let him in,” Ulimi said expressionlessly.
A few seconds later, Kring opened the door. This was the first time Zilan laid eyes on the other party and what he discovered greatly differed from his expectations. For someone scheming like he believed Kring was, Zilan had not imagined that Kring would be a giant beast, practically eight feet tall. He could not be called handsome; however, the aura of dominance, pride, and arrogance he exuded combined with the heavy armour that adorned him made others made others unable to ignore him.
His features were feline, resembling a Lion in almost every way, aside from him being bipedal and possessing thumbs as well as a few other humanly features. Aside from that, there existed no difference between him and a fearsome lion.
‘Hmm, so he’s of the transforming type.’ Zilan mused. Just like himself, there existed some Beasts who had a normal, docile state and an attack state. When threatened, their bodies underwent a transformation, allowing them to use their bloodlines’ frightening abilities. In Zilan’s opinion, Kring was definitely this type of Beast.
As both Zilan and Kifo examined him, Kring did the same. He did not appear surprised to see Zilan. In fact, he smiled when his gaze met Zilan’s.
“I did not think I would get the pleasure to meet the legendary Dragon’s son here.” Kring spoke, his expression not matching his words. It was almost as if he did not care that others knew he was being dishonest.
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