Chapter 52 – Training (iv)

Zilan meditated for three hours after he woke up, making sure that his system was stabilised and everything was working in perfect harmony.
By the time he was done, his cultivation had reached the 70th level. Unfortunately though, he was unable to identify the two abilities he had unlocked.

He didn’t let it put him down though as the two abilities he did manage to unlock, were so extraordinary that for now, it was enough to keep him satisfied.

His body for one, had gotten so many additional features that he could no longer be associated with the species of humans.
It was scary for him to adjust to it, but the more he explored himself, the more ideas of how he would avoid danger in the future popped into his head.

For example, right now his greatest enemy was searching everywhere for him and the one thing that could expose himself to them was none other than the thing that he relied on to avoid danger. His otherworldly eyes! They have no equal in the Universe in terms of sight however, they are also a great weakness especially since he has no great power to protect them from all the forces in the Universe who seek to take them for their own benefit.

Therefore he needed to attain trump cards that could substitute for his eyes. Thankfully his body currently, had now become the perfect solution.
For one, he had amazing sensory and mobility capabilities however, the greatest benefit Zilan had gained was that he now possessed another layer of cover.
It would be impossible for the ‘Order’ to locate him, if he transformed into someone else. That is to say, the Zilan they know was a cripple, he now is not, also the Zilan they know has no features of a Beast and yet the Zilan of now is closer to being a reptile than he ever was to being a human.

With all of these combined, and adding on his current environment where it would be perfectly normal for Zilan to expose his now reptilian self, he was in the perfect position currently to establish himself anew in this foreign haven.
……….

Now all that was left on Zilan’s mind was to test his current self, and thankfully he had the perfect partner close by.

He then pulled out some loose clothes from his void sack, got dressed and headed out in search of Kifo.
Surprisingly, the person he was going to look for was sited outside the cottage, staring into the distance. His mind completely pre-occupied with something else.

“Kifo!”

It was only after hearing Zilan’s call, that he finally came back to reality.

“We did set a meeting to train today, but I didn’t think you’d arrive this early.” smiled Zilan.

Kifo frowned as he didn’t know how to speak to Zilan after witnessing what he did, the night before. He had gone back to the main family house but unfortunately, he could not find his father and involving the Elders of the family would cause nothing but unnecessary chaos, therefore he made an executive decision to keep quiet about it. However, this decision sparked an internal debate within him.

“I have questions.”

“Oh! If you help me, then I don’t see why I cannot help you.” Laughed Zilan as he moved to an open space.

Kifo got up and followed, still thinking about what he should do. What Grandmama had told him was irrelevant when faced with Elders who thought of the family’s wealth as their own.

“How do you want to train?”

“Basic combat. We’re not allowed to use Beast force, we shall instead rely only on our physical attributes.” said Zilan as he got into a stance.
A faint smile could be seen on his face, as memories of him and his father training came flowing back to him. He didn’t enjoy combat much back then, instead opting to focus on archery, which not only came naturally to him thanks to his eyes but also because it hurt considerably less.

“I’ll try to hold back.” stated Kifo as he too got into a stance.

Zilan’s smile quickly faded. He took two deep breathes before focusing on Kifo and activating [Predator’s mind]. Immediately after, a blue light flashed in his eyes and scales that resembled those of a flow python spread throughout his body covering him entirely. The only exception was his neck where his dragon scales could be seen.

Needless to say, Kifo was shocked by the transformation. He could tell that Zilan’s scales did not belong to a Dragon and yet there he was covered in them. Unfortunately he couldn’t begin questioning Zilan as from his expression he could clearly tell that the other party was dead serious about this training.

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*Bang*

Zilan was the first to make his move, kicking off the ground and exploding at incredible speed towards Kifo.

In the blink of an eye, he appeared before Kifo and sent a fist flying towards his stomach. However just as the punch was about to connect, Zilan felt the air to his side vibrate and his predator’s senses, which acted like primal instinct, told him to retreat immediately.

He couldn’t fight against his instincts so his body unconsciously backed away and surprisingly the Kifo who was standing in front of him disappeared and the unknown danger to the side was actually the real Kifo.

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Despite his quick retreat, Zilan still took a strike to the shoulder. His face curled expecting pain, however he was surprised to find that there wasn’t even a scratch on his scales nor did he feel any discomfort.

Kifo on the other hand put some distance between him and Zilan. He then turned to look at his claw which was now numb and was releasing minute waves of stinging pain.

“What a hard shell.” Exclaimed Kifo as he inwardly re-evaluated Zilan.

“It looks like I underestimated him too much, there was no need to hold back at all.”

His eyes flashed and in the next instant Kifo had disappeared from his spot. Zilan’s eyes darted around in search of him, however he couldn’t spot Kifo until suddenly he felt a movement in the air above him.

He instantly launched himself forward but it was too late, Kifo was already upon Zilan and he did not waste any time whatsoever in beginning his attack.
All kinds of pounding was done to Zilan who seemingly could not escape from Kifo, no matter how much he darted away. It was like a relentless, indestructible fly was on his tail, constantly moving around and biting him.

His exterior protection made it difficult for Kifo to cause any significant damage to Zilan with just his own physical strength so he decided to focus on Zilan’s legs, targeting and hitting them exclusively.

Needless to say, Zilan was growing frustrated. He knew exactly where Kifo was and yet he couldn’t even touch him due to his blistering feline speed and quickness.

So Zilan decided to stop and wait for his opportunity, it took a few chipped scales and mild bruises but his chance finally came when Kifo decided it was a good idea to grapple with Zilan.

Perhaps it was his own pride as a strong person, wanting to test himself against Zilan instead of avoiding direct confrontation. Unfortunately, that was not the right decision.

Using his overwhelming strength, Zilan grabbed hold of the head of Kifo, who was trying to choke him out, and directly lifted him up and threw him down. He didn’t let go though, as he lifted Kifo up once more and drove him to the ground again.

He had managed to do some damage to Kifo as was evident from the cuts and bruises on his body. There were even a few patches on his fur.

Zilan didn’t want to stop though as his instincts pushed him to grab Kifo once again and go for the finishing blow. He had no control of his actions and even if he did he probably would not have protested and this was because the Predators mind had completely transformed Zilan’s mind set making him want nothing more than to finish off his prey.

Kifo noticed the crazed yet emotionless look in Zilan’s eyes and his instincts told him to get away. However, his pride had been damaged and he wanted to put Zilan in his place, so instead he broke the rules of the training and released his Beast force.

His speed elevated tenfold to the point where Zilan’s readings of Kifo’s position seemed to be lagging.
Fuelled by his Predator’s mind set, Zilan released his Blood force which was purer than the Beast force by many times over thus narrowing the gap between the two’s cultivation levels.

Kifo was the first to attack, this time not fearing direct confrontation, he pounced towards Zilan and kneed him right in the gut.

He then proceeded to throw an elbow to the back of Zilan’s head, causing him to drop face first.
Zilan didn’t give up though, boosted by his cultivation, his senses were even clearer. He stretched out his hand and grabbed hold of Kifo’s foot, he then proceeded to fling him far away.

Zilan then quickly got up and gave chase, his only goal being to pulverise Kifo.

Speaking of Kifo, he recovered very well using his agility to bounce of trees and safely land on the ground. He then whispered a few words and his fists became covered in black flames.

“I’m not playing anymore!” shouted Kifo as he accelerated towards Zilan and sent a punch flying to his face.

Luckily, Zilan saw it coming and so managed to grab Kifo’s flaming fist. Too bad the result he had in mind was totally the opposite of what actually happened.
Almost all the scales on his arm were blown off completely, causing blood to flow from his arm. He was also sent flying in the opposite direction due to the power of the punch.

This was the first real injury to his body Zilan had gotten since he was able to cultivate however, even that was not enough to stop him.
An ancient air began circling Zilan as he slowly got up from the cracked ground.

The scales on his neck were flashing and a strange smile could be seen on his face.

Noticing something was off, Kifo charged towards Zilan in order to give the final blow. He was too late however, as Zilan spoke a few words in the Ancient tongue of the Dragons,

Emperor Dragon’s Order.”

As soon as those words were spoken Kifo’s mind went blank and his body halted all movement, he then fell to his knees unable to move a muscle.

A white mist was being released from Zilan’s body as he slowly approached Kifo, and there was only one thing on his mind. To kill his prey!

However unexpectedly, just as Zilan was nearing Kifo, he began spitting out mouthful after mouthful of blood.
His eyes became bloodshot and all his strength disappeared from his muscles, and the next thing that occurred was Zilan plopping to the ground appearing half dead.

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