As Emiya began to explain his reasoning for his initial approach, accompanied by the explanation of his plans for moving forward after leaving Last Bastion, Zhongli seemed to dwell attentively on the minor details that were addressed. He took advantage of brief moment of intermission in the discussion as Emiya began to address Mira now instead, allowing him to ponder his thoughts for a time until Emiya seemed to begin preparing himself to depart without another moment's delay. At that time, Zhongli folded his hands loosely behind his own back, holding one with the other in an idle posture before clearing his throat in a subtle manner of drawing attention. "If you mean to travel inland, I reckon our paths may be set upon the same course rather conveniently. I've heard of mass movement taking place in the eastern region of what is known as the Dead Rivers; something I aimed to investigate personally. Though I may not share your specific quest, I do not lack in my own talents and desires to see Tobusekai a safer place than it was yesterday. ""Personally I think a near-death experience might help get rid of some of his less-than-desirable tendencies.
Don't mistake that for malice though. He is a good friend in spite of my words. Saved my life once, though I'd rather not relive that moment..."
In response to his own, Zhongli offered his own opinion, and Emiya could see that he most likely spoke from personal experiences as he was speaking in absolutes, where Emiya only drew from his own ideals, and used less direct wording. While he wouldn't budge on his own beliefs, he also didn't wish to debate someone in a subject they were clearly more knowledgeable in, so he simply conceded the discussion. As Zhongli finally introduced himself with his own moniker, and reciprocated the handshake, though did not go further than merely grasping the outstretched hand, Emiya shook once, then retreated beneath the comfort of his frayed cloak. Though it was worded as a borderline malicious request, given his nickname, Emiya immediately knew Zhongli wished to hear of his tales. Listener of Stories indeed, though with the thought of battles hard-fought and won, Emiya remembered his current mission, and the scoundrels' favor he'd need to win to achieve it.
"Frankly I'm not as skilled with accessing the Throne as I'd like. And as... Interesting as it would be to swap stories, I should be going. I was getting ready to leave Bastion when I saw your service, and to be honest more importantly your Prana. It was a detour I couldn't really afford to make, but I'm glad I did, as you seem like an interesting fellow. A true Hero of Justice's work is never done however, and I've got a lot of work to do if I ever want to find... Something important."
Emiya immediately retreated behind his cloak as though it were a shell, for he'd almost divulged his current mission in public, to a complete stranger at that. While they seemed nice enough, and could easily be a fast friend given their listening nature, and the pairs shared skill with accessing the Throne, for the moment Emiya would attempt to shoulder his burden alone. He was completely convinced he would do so, until the moment Mira returned from whatever drew her attention away from Last Bastion not too long ago. As the pair seemingly knew one another, Emiya simply gave a exasperated sigh.
"Of course you two know each other. Why am I even surprised?
And yeah, I repaired the northern ramparts Mira. They were still pretty banged up. My replacements aren't the greatest, but they should hold for the moment. If you know someone who can manipulate harder materials, maybe ask them to pitch in just in case?
For the moment I need to head out back East, but if my current business is bringing me back out this way, I'll be sure and let you know Mira.
If it does, maybe I can get the drop on you for a change."
While he was not preparing to leave this very second, Emiya's intention was to leave if neither present company had any urgent objections, or burning questions that simply could not wait until their next meeting.
Lifting one of his two hands in front of him, Zhongli began to twirl a finger in place as the same golden energy from before began to swell like a small vortex directly in front of him, in the gap that separated him and Emiya. Reaching out his hand, he plucked forth from it a single scroll, one that was bound by what appeared to be a wax seal; a practice that hasn't been commonplace for many years, yet it seemed quite fresh, as if only made earlier that same day. Rather than opening it or describing it's contents, he instead opted to tuck it neatly away within the inside of his coat, holding it in place there for his own personal keeping. "If you would be willing to have my company, then I would be glad to share with you those talents. As you say, your time is precious and growing thinner, so no doubt having an extra pair of hands to help accelerate your efforts and make up for lost time would not go undesired. "