emeraldragon workshop :p
Chapter 77 - The first test (vii).
AN - Double length, so it counts as two chapters.
As soon as the great wave that is Kifo’s Beast force entered the formation, the revolving inscriptions suddenly began rising into the air.
Like a living serpent they began to coil and link up forming a long almost twenty foot chain of powerful energy.
The giant chain quickly closed in on the eerie white pine tree before slowly wrapping around it, constricting it.
In response to these actions, thousands of tendrils shockingly burst out from beneath the ground, releasing a heavy pressure that made it hard for others to breathe.
“So this thing can actually manipulate the pressure of this forest to an extent.” Thought Zilan.
He then made a few hand motions in the air, causing the formation to proceed to the next stage.
A deep sound reverberated throughout the area. Its origin was the formations itself.
A shadow then swept the clearing, completely covering it. More and more illusionary chains started appearing seemingly from thin air. They all rushed towards the thousands of tendrils as well as the stem, roots and body of the Nine Heaven Dew tree, effectively suppressing it.
Zilan heaved a sigh of relief, seeing that everything had gone according to plan.
Hearing this, a weight was also lifted off the hearts of both Fujo and Kifo. They were the closest to the formations and just a moment ago when the army of tendrils came flying their way, they were made aware that if any mishaps occurred then the first to ‘taste’ the repercussions would be them. Luckily everything seemed fine.
Now that they had jumped over the most critical hurdle, the entire group took their time inspecting the tree.
Countless grey-ish, white-ish tendrils, a strange white colour and most noticeable of all, was definitely the dark, deathly aura the tree gave off. Its size surprisingly could not be described as huge. In fact, one might even say that it was miniature standing at only four feet.
Hanging peacefully from the branches of the tree, were three dazzling milk white fruits. Glowing black spots were spread out on the bodies of the fruits, giving them a mysterious air.
Zilan smiled seeing this and just as he was about to act, he heard an annoying voice coming from his left.
“Haha, Brother Zilan, I’ve really misjudged you. As a way for me to apologise, let me help you in retrieving those fruits. It would be dangerous if you became distracted causing the formation to collapse.”
Not giving anyone a chance to speak Mnono dashed at his fastest speed towards the formation.
“You…” Nyoka was quite shocked by Mnono’s shameless actions. The two came from the same alliance however, their relationship didn’t exceed the realm of acquaintances.
An instant later and another figure sprinted towards the formation. This was none other than Ker who was inwardly cursing that fatty for acting too quickly.
Including Nyoka, the three of them were the only promising Alchemists in the current younger generation of the Alliance thus the status they held was extremely high in their respective factions.
Coincidentally, the three of them belonged to the three different factions that formed the Alliance and they all competed against each other.
Fujo had accepted to travel with them because he was aware of their status within the Alliance and thus wished to give face today in order to reap future rewards however, had he known something like this would happen then he absolutely would not have agreed.
“Mnono, Ker, stand down.” Shouted Fujo. He was unable to leave his position as that would only lead to catastrophe.
“Don’t worry, Brother Fujo, we’ll definitely leave one for you.” Smiled Ker.
Fujo immediately turned towards Zilan hoping to persuade him that he wasn’t involved in those two’s plan but unexpectedly he found the aggrieved party was showing a wonderful smile.
“Hehe, even when stealing another person’s belongings you still know how to give a share to the strong party. Good, Good….this means you aren’t even putting me in your eyes…”
At this moment, both Ker and Mnono had entered the formation.
Zilan opened his mouth and in a neither loud nor low voice said,
“Because of a few idiots my mental state has suffered. The formation is going to be very unstable, I’ll definitely do my best so Brothers make sure to work hard and….retrieve my fruits.” As he said the last part, Zilan waved his hand and a patch of the chains instantly evaporated.
“You…..ZILAN, What are you doing?” cried Mnono as he turned around, attempting to escape the formation.
Ker was the same but unfortunately before he could utter a word in his rage, a collection of free tendrils suddenly pierced through his shoulder and lifted him into the air.
Zilan frowned seeing this however, he forcefully calmed himself down. If he was not cruel now then in the future he’d become someone others would think they could walk on.
“Do you know who we are?” cursed Mnono as he rapidly evaded the attacking tendrils.
Zilan shook his head as he couldn’t believe the arrogance of the fellow before him. Despite being in such a state, you still have time to make threats?
Greed, arrogance and stupidity. With these as his defining traits, living a full life would be a dream. Unfortunately, it was not his choice to decide whether or not one lived or died. Plus he needed to follow the rules.
With a few hand motions, the amount of illusionary chains once again increased and then just like before proceeded to restrain the tendrils as well as the tree.
Ker and Mnono glared at the calm Zilan who shockingly waved his hand once again and this time the chains wrapped around their bodies.
“Bang , Bang”
They were ruthlessly lifted into the air and pounded into the floor a few times, spitting out mouthfuls of blood each time.
“Brother Zilan, could you please stop?” asked Nyoka, with furrowed brows. She understood why he was acting this way but then again their actions were currently being monitored by the members of the Association. If she did not at least try to stop him, then rumours and tough to deal with assumptions were sure to spread.
Hearing this, Zilan awakened from his ‘predatory’ state and commanded the chains to throw them out of the formation.
Fujo glanced at Zilan and seeing the others disappointment, he could not bring himself to speak. He only glared at the bloody figures of Mnono and Ker.
He was the one who set up the rules and these idiots actually dared to so blatantly break them, and even tried to shame him by ‘gifting’ him a share.
“Hmph! We’ll see who will save you once I’m done with you.” Snorted Fujo.
Hearing this, Nyoka could only sigh. If one was to ask who the most important figure in both the Rising Purple Sun Family as well as the Sumu Alliance was, then most of them would not hesitate in naming the mixed blood prodigy, Fujo. Too many resources and sacrifices were used to bring him into this world.
“You reap what you sow.”
Meanwhile to the right of Fujo was a quiet figure who with narrowed eyes stared at Mnono and Ker. His killing intent was concealed extremely well however, it couldn’t escape Zilan’s notice.
While shooting him a smile, he calmly waved his hands and illusionary chains quickly formed and then pulled him into the formation and towards the Nine Heaven Dew tree.
His body was being protected by the chains as he stood roughly thirty centimetres away from the tree. While examining the fruits, he couldn’t help but sigh.
Even if he plucked them all, the energy that would be lost by doing so wouldn’t even amount to a single one while it was still attached to the tree.
“If I wasn’t short on time, I could use some methods to slowly separate them but oh well, the spoils won’t even belong to me, and everything will still go to the academy in the end. In that case, no point in harming the tree, since it helped me take care of two idiots, I’ll only pluck one Heaven Dew fruit.”
Just as Zilan finished whispering to himself, something incredible happened. A single undamaged fruit, completely devoid of any loss of energy, suddenly plopped down from the branch it was hanging from.
“This….can’t be a coincidence can it?” Needless to say Zilan was in shock. Although, the tree possessed some intelligence, it should not be able to comprehend his words. Furthermore, even in the case that it did understand, giving up one of its fruit to preserve its life was impossible. Those were things it would die protecting.
Unable to solve the problem at hand, he decided to bend down and pick the Heaven Dew fruit first.
At that moment, he noticed something near the bottom of the tree. A single leaf!
Of course, this was no ordinary leaf. Jut from its appearance which consisted of four different colours, gold, white, purple and black, it could be seen that the leaf was special.
“A hint of its origin.” Zilan’s heart pounded with excitement upon finding the leaf.
If he could research it, then he might be able to draw out some of the Heaven Dew tree’s properties. In other words, recreate its abilities.
He wasn’t confident in succeeding but nevertheless, he still wanted it. To others it may not be a treasure but to him it was a priceless resource.
Just as he was about to retrieve it as well, a strange thought popped up in his mind.
He stared at the tree, pondering, hesitating. If he was wrong then, the end result would not be pleasant.
Taking a deep breath while wiping the sweat from his forehead, Zilan drew an inscription in the air with his hands.
Soon after the entire formation collapsed.
After pouring most of their energies into the formation, both Kifo and Fujo fell to the ground panting. They knew that Zilan had disabled the formation himself however, they did not have the time to think of the reason for doing so because currently he was staring down the terrifying tree.
“Zilan, I’ll help.” Before Kifo could even stand, Zilan shouted back.
Needless to say, Kifo was speechless. Despite this though, he didn’t move.
Zilan then pointed towards the brightly coloured origin leaf and in a cool voice asked,
“Give me that and you can leave. In the future if I attain something from it, I will aid you in your growth.”
Nyoka’s eyes widened as she stared at the back of this seemingly insane youth. He was risking his life for a leaf and to make matters worse, he wasn’t fighting the tree but actually negotiating a deal with it.
A moment later however, and her to exquisite jade like hands covered her mouth in utter disbelief.
A brightly coloured leaf was handed to the insane youth by a tendril.
Immediately after, the tree dug deep into the ground before speeding away, far into the distance.
“What’s going on?” wondered Zilan himself. What just happened was impossible and yet it occurred right before his eyes.
“What ability is this? Where did it come from? How is this possible” many questions flashed through his mind all unanswerable.
Mnono and Ker managed to pull themselves up from the ground by relying on each other for support but just as they were about to howl in rage, Fujo’s eyes landed on them.
Soon after, the patch of fur around his neck began glowing in a myriad of colours.
“SCRAM or you’ll leave this place as cripples.” Roared Fujo.
“Eldest Brother, you’re being misled by that half-breed.” Growled Ker.
Zilan turned to face the bloody duo. He frowned but said nothing more, only a fool would argue with fools. A wise man had his own pride and standards, not to mention these idiots were completely disregarding him, shifting blame onto him while not even bothering to put Fujo’s abuses in their heart.
This was the power of strength. The strong are always right, the strong can do no wrong and even if they caused an uproar no one would bother them.
“Next time use your brains” Were Zilan’s final words.
He motioned for Kifo to follow him and they then proceeded to move deeper into the forest.
The fat on Mnono’s face trembled as a vicious grin bloomed on his face.
Fujo glared at them before turning to follow Zilan.
$15 = 1 extra Pob chapter to the schedule.