Chapter 48 – Brivata (iii)

“Am I strong? That depends on your definition of strength.” Replied Zilan.

Kifo unblinkingly stared at Zilan for a few seconds. An eerie grey light flashed in his eyes before he suddenly calmed down and steadied himself.

“Hmm…strange…very strange. Your strength….would you care to show it to me? For some reason I cannot ‘see’ you…hmm….this has never happened before!”

“There’s no point in doing such a thing.” said Zilan as he walked forward.

“Hmm…no point, eh? No matter, you’ve taught me something good today. Just because abilities are divine doesn’t mean they’re absolute. Haha…It looks like I owe you one.”

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Zilan was confused as to what exactly was going on inside Kifo’s head. He had literally done nothing yet somehow was awarded credit.
There was one thing though that Zilan was sure of and that was, “Kifo is special!”

Very few beasts have powerful Ancestors and there are even fewer that have Ancestors who actually possessed abilities directly given to them by the Universe itself, for example the rain dragons survival ability.
The fact that Kifo has a divine ability also goes to show that his innate potential is beyond exceptional , but despite all that the main thing that caught Zilan’s eye was Kifo’s intellect that he could clearly see was a crop above the rest.

“You owe me nothing.”

“Hmm, is that so? Very well then, we should get going.” said Kifo.

As he said that, Kifo turned around with his hands behind his back and led the way out of the gigantic jade tiled hall of the ‘landing bay’.

“Where are we going?”

“Hmm? We could go directly to where you’ll be staying but doing so without telling you about Brivata and its key rules would put you in a very dangerous situation in the future.”

“Why?”

“You’ll see for yourself soon enough.”

Zilan calmly followed Kifo towards the exit which was surprisingly, just a large silk purple curtain.

“Just through here.” said Kifo as he moved the curtain out of the way for Zilan and Jeza to pass.

When Zilan stepped through the curtain, a pleasant but strong wind blew past him causing his hair and clothes to chaotically flutter.

He raised his arm to shield his eyes from the wind and as he looked into the distance, he simply could not believe what he was seeing.

The landing bay was located on a fairly tall mountain on the outskirts of the city and from his vantage point he could see what seemed to be a never ending sea of buildings, walls and Beasts.

“What you’re seeing right now is only a fraction of the entire city and about half of the Bronze sector.” Kifo moved beside Zilan as he spoke.

“Bronze sector?”

Kifo smiled as he pointed far into the distance where the outline of a gigantic wall that appeared to reach the heavens could be seen.

“From where we are standing now, all the way to that barrier is the Bronze sector. The largest of all the sectors and the one with the least resources. Beyond that are the Iron and Gold sectors!”

“So even here, the haven of Beasts, barriers between classes exists?” thought Zilan out loud.

“Hmm, this isn’t a matter of class! This is simply the effect of strength. Each sector is necessary and represents greater strength, without them our society would crumble….At least that is what the devils say.”

“Why are the walls necessary?” wondered Zilan.

“To honestly answer that I’d have to cross those walls and see it with my own eyes but from what my father says, beyond them lies even more resources than here. Of course, as is the same with everything in this world only the strong are entitled to anything of benefit.”

“What about the Alchemy association? Where is that located?” asked Zilan, slightly worried.

“Oh! That place….probably the best way to describe it would be to call it a city within a city. Equipped with its own laws, customs and management.
As long as you are a talented Alchemist that place is your home, no matter which sector you come from that place will openly welcome you.”

“ Perfect!”

“So what are the rules mentioned?”

“There are many that you should know but for now I’ll inform you of only the most important. The first one and most well known is that no one is allowed to absorb the Universe’s energy during the night.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know but anyone who breaks the rule is…well.. punished very severely.”
“As for the other rule, it involves the joining of factions , various organizations territories and use of certain spirit tools. It’s a very simple rule and easy to understand.” Kifo paused for a moment as he turned to face Zilan. “If you value your life, don’t involve yourself, associate with or intervene in other factions business!”

“What do you mean?” asked Zilan.

Kifo took out a rolled up medium sized beast skin from his voidless sack and handed it to Zilan who carefully opened it.
The beast skin had a very colourful map drawn on it. The entire map was compartmentalized into boxes of varying sizes and colours, with names placed on all of them.

“There are two things you can take from that map.” said Kifo. “One, is that any encroachment on boxes that are not of your faction will usually result in your death and as the for the second thing, it is the reason why you will end up dead!
In Brivata, the true currency is land! The more land, literally the more individual and collective power one possesses. Never forget that!”

Zilan narrowed his eyes as he looked at the city from above.

“This…This is where my journey will begin!”

………

After digesting what Kifo had to say, Zilan then asked where they would be staying.

“Hmm, you can choose anywhere with black coloured boxes and that’s where you’ll stay.” A strange smile formed on Kifo’s face as he finished his sentence.

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Zilan caught onto it and thought back on Kifo’s words. “More land means more power!” and it just so happened that the black squares were the second most numerous on the entire map. However there had to be something more going on.

After five minutes of staring at the map to no avail, Zilan looked towards the city beneath and a thought suddenly came to mind.

“The strong are entitled to things of benefit! Which means that there is land which is superior to the others among the black squares.” whispered Zilan. “But how do I find them?”

Needless to say, Kifo was slightly taken aback. He was obligated to guide and protect Zilan while he remained in Brivata however he had no intention of going above and beyond his required duty.
‘He would put in the minimum required effort’ and that is why he initially intended on dropping Zilan at one of their average ‘Mud lands’ and not their prized ‘crown lands’ that had higher concentration of Universe power and resources such as the naturally growing spirit plants.

However he had taken an interest in Zilan so he was going to let his luck dictate where he would stay, never did he expect that Zilan would actually figure something out.

“Hmm, hmm, interesting…I don’t want to believe it but he may be the one grandmama talked about….. but then again this is the third person I’ve found who fits the description.
Hmm, I’ll give it more thought if he manages to point out the sacred grounds on the map.” thought Kifo.

Simply looking at the map did not help Zilan in trying to locate the best possible land.

The better the place I stay in, the more benefits it will bring to my foundation and cultivation. I have no choice but to cheat.”

He then turned to the slightly taller Kifo and in a gentle yet demanding tone asked him to turn around and close his eyes.

“What?” The expression of confusion and amusement on Kifo’s face was one that you could tell from his awkward appearance, he did not show often.

Nevertheless, he was going to play along. The only difference was that he wasn’t going to close his eyes, instead he was going to go behind the curtain.
Zilan signaled Jeza to follow him, just to make sure.

Once he received the signal from Jeza, two stars appeared in his eyes and an awe inspiring sight laid in front of him.

It looked exactly like a war between rainbows, so many colours of energy surprisingly not clashing and instead existing in perfect harmony with one another. Bonding together, only to separate and then bond again.

“These are the moments when I thank the Universe for giving these eyes.” smiled Zilan.

After a few more minutes of looking around, he then began to focus on his task. As he looked at the black squares and compared them to the energy around them, he understood just how much influence Kifo’s family possessed.
It was then that he noticed something laughably interesting to the point of it being nothing short of sinisterly ingenious.

On the map was a tiny black spot ‘.’ that was barely noticeable however when Zilan looked at the skies above said spot he found the largest and purest concentration of the Universe’s energy compared to all the black squares.

“Hahaha..” He couldn’t restrain his laughter when he thought about the reason as to why someone would put the spot on the map in the first place.

“You can come back in, I’ve decided where we’ll be going!” said Zilan as he wiped the tiny beads of tears from the corners of his eyes.

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