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(Teaching a fish to swim(2)

"Was it easy? We've been stuck in this barren place for three days so far, and we still have a few more days before we can leave!" the Black Fiend complained irritably as he grabbed the wine jug roughly and drank from it.     

"I know." agreed the White Fiend, "I should've beaten him to death, then, we wouldn't be sitting here, waiting around!"    
"No, you two, it's not as simple as that. When there's a death of a Cloud Sect's disciple that is suspicious in the Dragon Fort jurisdiction, the Dragon Fort doesn't sit idly by," remarked Randall He. "Zen's body hasn't been found yet, but, the queen blade locust was chasing him, so he must be dead by now!"    

Liam nodded, adding, "Zen's a tough guy, but he won't survive against the queen blade locust. We just need to be patient for a few more days, and then we can inform Master Fren the assignment is completed." With a smile on his lips, he raised his glass and said, "Cheers, cheers!"  

Oblivious to Zen and the others approaching, the four men sat around, drinking, toasting each other and bragging about their accomplishments. 

    As he neared the table, Jon Gou called out, "Hello Randall. You seem to be enjoying your drink quite a bit." He stepped in front of the men seated, sniffing the air and with a big grin on his face, he said heartily, "How delightful!"   

 "What do you want, Jon?" demanded Randall He, scowling at Jon Gou. Fully aware that Jon Gou would not come to see him socially, Randall He knew he had an agenda.     

When Liam looked up from his wine and glimpsed Zen, his eyes bulged, and his mouth opened slightly, in shock. "How? Zen! You! You're not dead!?" Liam half-accused, half-asked with alarm in his voice.   

Liam's question got the attention of Randall He, White Fiend and Black Fiend. None of those three had met Zen before and they looked over at him now.     

Like Liam, they were awestruck at Zen being alive.     

Since the last report they had gotten was that the queen blade locust was chasing after him, they naturally assumed he wouldn't survive.     

It was what they were just talking about, and the reason for their celebration!     Yet, here was Zen standing in front of them and very much alive!     

The shock and confusion they felt were too challenging to put into words.     

"I was wondering who was behind this. It was you! Very well!" accused Zen. The revelation that the mastermind of the plot to kill Zen was Liam, a fellow disciple of Drizzle Peak infuriated him, but, he held his temper in check and instead, he smiled contemptuously.   

"Ha! Yes, it was me, so what?" spat Liam venomously. "Harumph! I don't know how you survived, but, since Master Fren wants you dead, I guess that's it, you will die here, at the Dragon Fort! I suggest you kill yourself here, that way we..."    

"That's quite enough of that! There won't be any fighting here!" snapped Jon Gou. Getting involved with disputes among this younger generation was one thing he tried to avoid, and he wouldn't be embroiled in this matter either if not for Roger. Turning to Randall He, Jon Gou commanded, "Where is Martin? Release him!"   

 "No, Jon, I don't think I will," Randall He refused outrightly, shaking his head.     "Why not?" inquired Jon Gou.    

 "Well, if I let Martin out, he'll stir up trouble for me, again. Why would I ask for trouble?" Being the same rank as Jon Gou in the imperial army, Randall He had no intentions on taking orders from Jon Gou.   

"Oh, really? You dislike trouble, so, I will make this easier for you. If you don't let him go, you'll have even more trouble on your hands!" stated Jon Gou.    

 "You're kidding, right?" chuckled Randall He maliciously. "I'll have more trouble? Do you even know who I'm working for?"    "That would be the Zhuge family, correct?" replied Zen, grinning caustically.     

"Exactly! So, now that you know, go, run along! Don't stick your nose in the affairs you can't afford to mess with, or you'll find yourself in too deep!" Not knowing the young men behind Jon Gou, Randall He would have been furious at them with his short temper, but for Jon Gou, he kept his temper in check.     

Both White Fiend and Black Fiend stood up, and as they did, black plumes of smoke swirled about White Fiend while a white light amassed around Black Fiend.

 The refining methods that the two practiced were white and black, which were unique and integral to each other. The way they moved indicated that the two were preparing an assault.   

"Are you saying that you won't let Martin go?" asked Zen.     

"Yes, that's what I said! I won't release him!" snarled Randall He. "Do you know who you're speaking to, Boy?" he added as he glared steadily into Zen's eyes. As Randall He stared, his bleak aura burst from his mind, towards Zen.   

  "Look out!" shouted Jon Gou as soon as he noticed Randall He's stare. Randall He's attack using the bleak aura was faster, and before Jon Gou could do anything to prevent it, the aura had sprung at Zen.    

 "Is this a chill intent?" asked Zen, a little surprised.   

He hadn't expected Randall He to have the refining ability of an intent.     

Now, if the chill intent had been used in an attack on anyone else, they might find their soul frozen, immediately.     

But, the only thing frozen about Zen was the scornful smile on his face. Seemingly undaunted, he stood still, allowing the chill intent to assail him!     

Considering that when Zen felt the intent from the Vengeful Beast at the Heavenly Library, it wasn't able to cause him any tangible harm, the meager strength of Randall He's chill intent was paltry and nothing to Zen.     

Seeing Zen's soul was unharmed by his chill intent, Randall He stood there perplexed.     

Using this moment to strike, Zen gave a cold snort, and a translucent gray thorn flew out of his head.     

"Spiritual Thorn!" 

The thorn had scarcely appeared before it struck Randall He's head.     

The speed the two sparred at was so fast that before the others present realized there was a fight, the sound of a cold snort from Zen was heard, and then Randall He was on the ground, crouching holding his head and screaming in anguish.    

 "You were teaching a fish how to swim.

Look at you now, bringing shame to yourself!" mocked Zen casually as he stood over Randall He, clasping hands behind his back.

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