“Training? Of what kind?”
Zilan had come to the realization that his use of the Book of Path and his superior intellect would have its limits in certain situations and when these more or less guaranteed to happen situations occurred, without anything else to rely on his demise would quickly follow.
Therefore his training could be delayed no longer.
“First combat training and then eventually we’ll work on something much more interesting.”
Kifo’s mouth formed an ‘o’ before turning into a wide smile. There were few things in his life that made him genuinely happy however, the feeling he got when he successfully advanced or gained an insight into something was undoubtedly ranked amongst the top. Thus he loved training.
“No problem. When do you want to start?”
“I have something to deal with first so….” Zilan subtly scratched his wrist before continuing. “We’ll start the day after tomorrow.”
Kifo didn’t want to stick his nose in Zilan’s personal business so he didn’t bother asking anymore questions.
“I’ll leave you to rest then but before I go, my father told me to inform you that preparations are steadily progressing and in two days’ time, he’ll come see you.”
“Must be the Alchemy association preparations.”
“Good! I look forward to it.”
With those words from Zilan, their exchange had come to an end therefore Kifo took his leave and Zilan made his way to one of the empty rooms.
He had no intention of resting though, in fact he planned to not stop until he was sure that tomorrow would be the day that the first of the five stages of the [Marks of tribulation] would be conquered and as a direct result he would unlock certain abilities as well substantially boost his already good physique.
(An: 25/5 = 5)
The next day.
Early in the morning, Zilan walked out of the room shirtless. Painted on his upper body were not only the four patterns seen around the cottage but also two other circular paintings, one on his chest and the other on his back.
The purpose of the paintings was to draw the Universe’s energy directly onto himself and not pass through intermediaries such as the cottage and the mat. However that was not its only use as it also just about doubled the amount of Universe’s energy he could absorb.
He took a slow deep breath before heading out of the cottage and looking for a spot within the foliage that suited his needs.
It took a few minutes but he finally found the perfect spot underneath a tree whose trunk was as thick as a large man’s waist and reached a height of three Zilan’s standing on top of one another.
Zilan sat cross-legged, facing the tree.
Before he commenced the absorption process, he stretched out his arm and touched the trunk of the tree.
“You will die today…” whispered Zilan as he then turned around and looked at his beautiful surroundings. “ If everything works, you will all die today. Your life will be sacrificed to help me achieve my goals……goals, that if successfully met will reshape this rotten world, making it a better place.”
Zilan simultaneously looked up at the sky and retracted his arm as he laughed,
“I don’t know why I’m talking to you, honestly I don’t, but I feel much better now that I have.”
Since childhood Zilan had always possessed a strong connection with nature seeing as it was his attribute. However even after being crippled, he still shared a slight connection with Nature which was bolstered by the fact that he could actually see just how alive plants were. How they lived, breathed, grew, reproduced and eventually died.
That’s why he felt a responsibility to at least say something. Especially since the plants around him were not mere trees and leaves. These were life forms that had bathed in the Universe’s energy for quite some time and had evolved to an extent beyond the normal plant life.
With that out of the way, Zilan began laying down layers of inscriptions around himself.
It didn’t take long before he was finally ready to commence with the absorption process.
The moment he slit his wrist and let blood drip onto the inscriptions was the instant when his part of the courtyard suddenly lit up with a faint lime green colour.
Immediately after, the air around the whole courtyard started trembling, and the Universe power in the atmosphere started gathering above Zilan’s head.
He made a series of hand gestures which then caused the paintings on his upper body to glow with a blue luster.
This action then triggered the gathered Universe power which was now almost the size of a boulder to quickly rush into Zilan’s pores. This action was not gentle at all, as the energy forcefully pushed its way into him.
After all, the Universe power was akin to a waterfall whose water needed to pass through a series of straws to get through.
The initial impact caused Zilan to almost spit out blood but thankfully his strong body was able to bear it at least for now.
“This won’t last long!”
He then began to make a series of gestures with his right hand while adding onto the inscriptions around him. Once he was done, Zilan slapped his chest where the circular painting was and smeared some of his blood over it.
The now even larger Universe power above Zilan instantly reacted as it shockingly halted its movements. This didn’t last long though as it began circling him, draining the energy out of all the spirit plants in the vicinity before abruptly surrounding Zilan from all sides and then finally sealing him in a cocoon like structure.
Inside the cocoon Zilan’s could be seen with his eyes closed. He was directing all of his focus into absorbing the energy.
An hour passed and the cocoon had decreased in size, another two hours and yet again the structure had shed some weight. Unfortunately it was still a long way before the entire thing was digested.
About thirty meters away from Zilan’s position were two people whose eyes were wide, in complete disbelief as to what they were witnessing.
These two people were none other than Jeza and Kifo.
Initially, Jeza had tried to stop Kifo but she soon found out that it was impossible for her to contain him, therefore she simply tagged along as she too was curious.
However, never could she have imagined that Zilan would be devouring the Universe power on such a large scale that even she would be able to tell. Of course, she was unable to see it but her senses which were not too sensitive to the Universe’s energy were still screaming out.
Kifo on the other hand was different, he was born in Brivata and so was quite different from Jeza. He was so sensitive towards the Universe’s energy that right now he could faintly see an outline of a large amount of Universe power surrounding Zilan.
Granted he was aided by his Divine ability.
“Who is he?” asked Kifo.
Unable to answer, Jeza opted to remain silent.
Honestly Kifo didn’t really care too much about the answer as he had already come to his own conclusions.
“I was right to go see Grandmama yesterday. This…”
Time moved on and evening was fast approaching. The duo had made themselves comfortable as they watched over Zilan or more accurately observed him intently.
“How can there be someone in this world who can absorb and contain so much of the purest energy in the world without combusting? What is he? Are dragons this formidable?” wondered Kifo.