Chapter 42 – Trade (ii)

Zilan had long since planned to use the fact that he was of a much rarer and Ancient bloodline to his advantage if he was ever faced with a situation that called for it.

The aura he exuded was undoubtedly that of the Spring Dragon however, the Jaguar was not at the level where he could closely examine and differentiate between it and that of a normal dragon. That did not matter though, since the mere fact that Zilan was a descendant of a dragon was enough to send his mind reeling.

“Emperor Beast? Must be some sort of ranking.” concluded Zilan.

The Beasts classified themselves in four categories depending on their Ancestry.

Ancient child which was the lowest.
Ancient Lord.
Ancient King.
Ancient Emperor which was the title given to those with the highest and strongest of Bloodlines.

“Z.i..lan…you….” Needless to say, Jeza too was incredibly shocked.

That calm and pure aura that gushed forth with a hidden danger just like a waterfall, caused her to step back and just stare.

“How…” Before she began questioning him, Jeza suddenly remembered his words asking her to stay calm.

“It’s a trick?” This was the only explanation she could think of, after all she already had some knowledge on Zilan’s past and knew very well that he was not a Beast. Therefore if she doubted and questioned him now, then Zilan’s well thought out trick would go to waste.

The scholarly Jaguar was still stuck in a world of his own as his gaze was fixed on Zilan. It didn’t take long though for his mind to come back to reality.

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He then discreetly glanced at Jeza and a thought came to mind.

“Senior Alchemist, my name is Mnyama. I apologise for acting too out of turn, its just that your presence is one that our faction very much needs and discretion is of the utmost importance. I was not sure if I could trust your companion..but now that I know she is Senior Alchemist’s aide I will no longer act.” His voice was no longer distorted. It was calm, genuine yet firm and serious.

Mnyama was no fool. Despite Zilan’s impressive aura he could quickly tell that the young man before him was weaker than him, but that didn’t change the fact that he had a father who was unquestionably lethal.
So in order to gain favour with this, half dragon- half human, he didn’t hesitate to call him Senior and treat him with utmost respect. For an Ancient Lord descendant to go so far was something that was rarely seen in the Beast lands where weakness meant death.

“Today…I Mnyama will use all of my ability to rope in this treasure. Failure is not acceptable.”

To him, attaining Zilan was the same as gaining two dragons as members for his Shadow faction thus his determination upon realisation, was beyond belief.

“My companion? Isn’t Jeza a member of your faction?” asked Zilan as he took a step forward.

Mnyama turned towards Jeza and gave her a meaningful look and from the looks of it, it appeared she understood something.

“Zilan, there’s no need to mind about such a thing. Commander must have mistaken me as one of the patrollers.” said Jeza as she smiled wryly.

Zilan sighed inwardly but didn’t pursue the matter further as Jeza looked to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not to mention he also needed the Jaguar’s help therefore there was no need to make things more difficult than they already were.

“Commander not lieutenant!” pondered Zilan.

“If that’s the case then it appears there’s no problem.” After speaking those words Zilan retracted his aura.

He then looked around and spotted the chopped off head of the deer scout on the ground.

“Wrong time, wrong place but…the blame does not lie with you. Forgive me!” whispered Zilan.

Both Jeza and the scholarly Jaguar were able to hear his words. Jeza frowned but didn’t seem too bothered by it. Mnyama on the other hand waved his hand and a shadow swept over the pieces of the deer’s corpse, causing them to disappear.

“This way the insects won’t disturb his sleep.”

Zilan cursed inwardly but remained composed on the inside.

Mnyama was actually quite surprised by Zilan’s words. Usually half-breeds were extremely ferocious creatures as they had to live in circumstances of discrimination and oppression.
After all, half-breeds were almost always produced after a group of Beasts raided weaker villages or towns and had their way with human females. This would result in the children having no place in this world as they were despised by both humans and Beasts. The strong ones would join the army and the weak would become slaves.

Zilan’s case on the other hand was one that left Mnyama quite confused but he didn’t dare voice it out. Typically, Beasts of pure, Ancient and powerful bloodlines like the dragons would never mate with a species other than their own. This was simply because it was too difficult to conceive a child, and having more than one could be considered a miraculous occurrence, thus these Beasts would never curse their future descendants by thinning the bloodline.

However, the fact that Zilan was standing before him was a fact. The aura he emitted was real and could not be a fake, and that was due to the simple fact that one’s aura came from their core, to mimic that of another person or being was impossible. As for his ferocity, Mnyama believed it to be there after all, his father was a mighty dragon every move it made could cause chaos and death. The stronger a beast the more ferocious it was.

………..

Zilan’s anger came from the fact that Mnyama had effortlessly killed someone who ought to have been rewarded for finding him. What he didn’t understand though was that in the world of Beasts, killing was a daily occurrence, an undeniable way of life.

Mnyama for example as a child had siblings but after reaching a certain age, his instincts commanded him to kill them, thus becoming stronger. He did not grieve but instead felt accomplished as he had withstood natures test, and had taken a step towards becoming the Alpha.
This was the life of most Beasts, killing meant living. So the act of him disposing of two Deer scouts that did not belong to the Shadow faction was a simple task. They were insignificant and in Mnyama’s mind their greatest deed in life was spotting Zilan.

The two deer would probably disagree if they were still of the living and they would curse themselves for being greedy and taking on a mission to hunt down thieves, so far away from their post near the base.

……………

“There are many things we need to discuss Senior Zilan but for safety I suggest we don’t go to the Inje base. I’ll escort you to my factions ‘other’ base, there we can talk freely.” said Mnyama as he reached into his voidless sack.

“Safety? Am I in danger?”

“We’ll talk once we reach the base.” In his hand, Mnyama was holding onto a small black stone that had strange inscriptions drawn around it.

Jeza’s eyes flashed with astonishment upon sight of the stone.

“Could that be a void stone?”

Surprised that Jeza could recognise it, he opened his palm and showed it to Zilan.

“This is the only one I have given to me by the Head himself. With it I can travel to any set location in the world…..but only once.”

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Zilan caught on to what Mnyama was implying.

“It’s this great but I’m using it for you.”

This action left Zilan quite confused as to what the hell was actually going on.

“It looks like the terms of the agreement I had with Tort are going to change.” Mused Zilan.

He stared at the void stone, tempted to snatch it and examine it before it was destroyed. However that would bring with it a whole new set of problems.

Ignoring everything else Mnyama channelled his energy into the stone before tossing it between him and Zilan. A small explosion of black mist spread out and sucked all three of them into the dark void.
A blink of an eye later and they had vanished.

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