Chapter 44 – Trade (iv)

“Goals? If it is within my ability then I can assure you it will be done!”

This was his chance and Mnyama intended to grab hold of it, even if he himself could not do anything there was still the Head behind him.

“There’s someone I’m looking for, an Alchemist! You mentioned that there were some in hiding, if he is among them then I would very much like to find him.”

Mnyama’s smile slowly faded.

“My choice of words might have been wrong when I said “hiding”.” said Mnyama. “What I should have said was that they can’t be touched…..they’re protected by the Alchemy association!”

“The Alchemy association?”

“The humans have their own society called the Hall of learning however its strength is far beneath that of the Alchemy association and that is because of two things. One, the Hall comprises of spirit masters as well as scholars and other strange arts while the Alchemy association deals with only Alchemists of beastly descent.”

“The other reason is simply due to the strength of the associations Chairman….I don’t know much about him aside from the fact that our Head both respects and fears him. However, some time ago a rumour spread out that a man who fit the Alchemy association Chairman’s description evaporated an entire lake with a single swipe of his hand and with another swipe restored it completely.” Mnyama then shook his head. “Those are only rumours though, but nevertheless, I was ordered to stay out of the Associations business….I’m afraid I can’t help you with that request but I’ll pass it on to the Head and………”

Mnyama continued to talk however he was yet to notice that Zilan was no longer paying attention.

“That’s him! It has to be him….no….it can’t be anyone else but him. That flame…..the level of control needed…..I’ve found him!”

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“Where can I find it?”

“Find what?”

“The Alchemy association! Where is it?” asked Zilan, slightly flustered.

“It’s located in Brivata city!” Mnyama was puzzled as to why Zilan seemed so excited.

“I had a feeling he’d be there!” laughed Zilan inwardly.

“I need to go to Brivata then….as soon as possible!”

“What?… That…is…doable but…it’s also troublesome.” cried Mnyama.

“Why? Isn’t it just a matter of using one of those voids to transport me there?”

Voids were created when a practitioner advanced to the [soul-compression] stage. After the element and the soul fused, a space known as the [void] would be left. In this void, practitioners can store whatever they needed inside their bodies making it more convenient and safer than a void sack.

Unfortunately for Beasts, they developed voids only after surpassing the soul-compression stage. At that stage, the void would grow so strong to the point that they could be used as bridges between two different places, as long as one had travelled there before and left an energy signature.

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“Such an act is forbidden! Our Head himself is one who has enforced this rule against the other Heads.”

“If you want my help, then get me there!”

Tiny beads of sweat started forming on Mnyama’s forehead.

Isn’t letting you go to Brivata the same as announcing that our faction is in possession of a half-blooded Dragon? And if you intend to go to the association and announce yourself then wouldn’t that be the equivalent to revealing my cards! I could get you there anonymously but to think that the others wouldn’t try and recruit you would be naive. But if I refuse to let you go then I’ll let this treasure slip from my grasp.”

Mnyama was deep in thought considering all of the available options when Zilan suddenly weighed in,

“I made an agreement with Tort that I would deliver explosives powerful enough to destroy a city gate. He is already dead but I can leave the explosives as a down payment and also as a show of my value! I will also agree to any conditions you may have as long as they don’t conflict with my own goals.”

Hearing Zilan’s words Mnyama was surprised but he wasn’t shocked. Explosives could be procured by the faction quite easily so getting a few more drums didn’t really amaze him.

“I see. I’m sure I can find use for…..”

Mnyama stopped what he was saying when he saw Zilan take out eight Azure coloured, circular objects that resembled fist-sized stones. He then tossed one towards Mnyama and said, “Here they are!”

Mnyama stared in amazement as even with just his initial probing he could feel the fiery power contained within.

“What…how can this exist? I’ve never seen anything like this…how can such a small thing contain so much power?” gasped Mnyama.

“Do we have an agreement?”

Mnyama hesitated for a moment but after looking at the Tembu Pain’s before him, he couldn’t help but accept.

“We have a deal.”

“We’ll work out the arrangements later!”

“There’s one more thing I’d like an answer to.” said Zilan.

“What is it?”

“Who and where is Jeza’s brother?”

“I don’t know!” The look in Mnyama’s eyes changed when he heard that question. It was evident that he knew something but was resolute in not speaking about it.

“I see….if you don’t know then there’s nothing that can be done. Is there anyone who might know?”

“I don’t know.” replied Mnyama.

“Could you find out for me?”

“I’ll ask.” was all he said.

“Sigh~ Fine then, tell me about when I can go to Brivata.”

Mnyama took a moment to think before speaking,

“There are requirements you’ll need to meet if you want to go to Brivata. I can help you with some but helping you with others will attract more unwanted and unnecessary attention.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“In order to enter Brivata, you will need to register yourself in the Population log and that comes with a price of five amethyst coins or anything of equivalent value. Once you are in the log, in order to stay in Brivata you’ll be required to find an occupation. Anyone who doesn’t contribute to the city in some way is not allowed to stay there, and finally every month you will be required to pay a monthly fee to the Council of Brivata.”

“We can assist you with the fee payments and registration however as for your occupation and other needs we can’t get involved otherwise we’ll be risking your involvement with us becoming discovered.”

Needless to say, Zilan was beyond shocked. All of the rules and costs to staying in Brivata were just outlandish. They didn’t even include the cost of finding a place to live, food, clothing, purchasing of resources, among other things.

“What’s so special about Brivata for it to have so many barriers to entry?” was something he couldn’t help but ask.

“Hmm….In Ancient times when the King’s power came raining down from the sky, it created holes through the shield that bastard god set up, allowing the Universe’s energy to descend upon us. Brivata is one of the places that is located directly under one of the larger gaps, thus it has one of the densest, purest and broadest concentrations of Universe power in the world making it a paradise for all Beasts.”

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