Chapter 57 Compensation (iv)

Mwizi as well as the other Elders instantly understood Zilan’s meaning and they knew exactly to whom he was referring to however, they could not help but feel unsatisfied by the arrangement.
They had gone through all this trouble precisely because they wanted to keep the Clan leader out of the situation. Bringing him in now, would mean they would be losing control of the negotiation and along with it, any opportunity to take something for themselves would also be lost.

“The sacred land is a place managed, protected and used by the Elders. Any matter related to it has always been dealt with by us. Why should this instance be any different?” asked Mwizi breaking the uncomfortably silent atmosphere.

“Once again, I don’t understand why you are using that tone when speaking to me! I’ve already told you what I want, whether or not you listen and your clan is compensated for its loss is up to you. Either way, it doesn’t really affect me.” spoke Zilan.

“Young Master Zil….”

Zilan quickly stopped Mwizi from uttering anything else by saying,
“You have five minutes to decide.” Strangely though, he was not looking at Mwizi but instead at the ceiling behind him.

The Elders looked at each other and seeing as they had virtually no say in the matter decided to try and persuade Kifo.
Unfortunately for them, Kifo burned that bridge as soon as he noticed what they were planning.

“You all are despicable.” He said.

Time continued to move and it looked like no agreement was going to be reached. Mwizi had tried contacting the Clan leader but nothing came from it.

However, the most disappointed of everyone present was undoubtedly Zilan. He needed answers about the formation and he knew that the best way to get them was to ask the person in charge.
Not to mention he was just about tired of staying in this place and wanted nothing more than to head to the Alchemy association as soon as possible.

The time limit was almost over when suddenly the door to the room opened and a female maid walked in.

“Master requests the presence of his son and his Honored guest.”

As soon as she delivered that message, the young, petite maid quickly took her leave.

The Elders sighed in relief that the clan would be getting some repayment for the damage of the sacred land but they still had a bitter taste in their mouth when they thought about what they could have received if this matter was handled by them.

Kifo nodded towards Zilan before separating from the Elders and heading for the door. Zilan also started to make his out when suddenly Mwizi grabbed him by the shoulder.

“I will remember this, I hope you do too.” He whispered, before retracting his hand.

Zilan only smiled, not giving much thought to what he determined to be an empty threat.

………………

“You shouldn’t have had to see that. I’m sorry.” said Kifo as he clinched his fist.

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“It’s fine, I’ve seen worse.” Replied Zilan as he followed closely behind.

“The things here aren’t quite what they seem. Head Elder Mwizi’s family and my own have been fighting for power for generations.
Recently, ever since my father fell ill Mwizi has been gathering large support and now his power within the clan is probably just shy of that of the Clan leader.”

Listening to him go on, Zilan couldn’t help but take notice of one glaring factor.

“To use Feline perception to that level and have that large of a string of life…..it is impossible for that man to be ill.” Thought Zilan.
However, he didn’t want to address this matter nor did he want to get involved any more than he already was thus he was left with no choice but to stop Kifo from elaborating any further.

“It would be best if you kept your clan’s issues to yourself. Telling me will serve no purpose.”

Hearing this, not only did Kifo not get upset but he actually felt embarrassed.

This then led to the foreseeable outcome of the remainder of their walk spent in silence.

“We’re here.”

Kifo slowly opened the door to a surprisingly normal looking room that had absolutely nothing in it aside from a single cushion in the centre of the room.

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As he was about to enter, he was suddenly stopped by Kifo who was following the instructions given by a voice coming from an unknown location.

“My son only.” was heard in a weak, croaky voice.

“Wait here, Father will see you when he is finished with me.” were Kifo’s final words before walking into the room and closing the door behind him.

Zilan was left with no words to utter as he didn’t really know how to take this. On one hand he wanted to know something and thus needed to be somewhat polite. However, there was also the fact that he was currently playing the part of the arrogant son of a Dragon and in order to keep his image up or stay true to character he would have no choice but to take offence.

In the end, when he thought about the value of the information he was going to receive he decided his act could be temporarily paused, at least until he had what he wanted.

……………..

An hour later and Zilan was still waiting outside the room. Nevertheless he didn’t complain about it, instead opting to patiently wait.

Fifteen minutes later and his wait finally came to an end. Kifo walked out of the room with his head down before quickly passing Zilan by.

He had no time to question Kifo though as a now different more vibrant voice called for him to enter the room.

Zilan didn’t dawdle, strolling right into the room. What he didn’t expect though was for his surroundings to abruptly change and turn into a crimson chamber filled with various ornaments and Ancient artifacts. It did not shock him though, as he had literally experienced leaving his body less than two hours ago.

“I’m happy we’ve finally met. I was briefed on you, but I must confess I didn’t expect you to stir up this much trouble.” The voice addressing Zilan was coming from an old leopard who’s scars and wizened appearance painted Zilan a picture on who Kifo’s father was.

Zilan smiled as he admired the beautifully illuminated chamber,

“Your voice is different, and I imagine you’re hiding your actual healthy and strong appearance for reasons that I don’t really care that much about.”

“Is that so? What is you care about then?”

“The formations laid out in that theatre and I suspect in this chamber as well. I also very much care about my trip to the Alchemy association which you were tasked with handling.”

“That’s quite a few things you have on your mind. For someone so young to think so much, I don’t know whether to be impressed or pity you. In any case, I will do my utmost to assist you.”

“Good, let’s get started.”

“Just a moment, I should mention that I too have a set of conditions that must be met if we are to come to any kind of agreement.”

“What are these conditions?”

“No need to worry, they are things that are easily accomplishable by someone like you. Have a seat and we can begin.” A wide smile graced the face of the clan leader as he spoke.

It was truly a strange sight to behold especially since Zilan had a feeling that his appearance as well as this crimson chamber was nothing but an illusion. A mind formation similar but lacking in the kind of power that the one in the theatre holds was most likely responsible.

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