"Haha, not bad 1st Progenitor.. are we done warming up yet?"
Large explosions are the usual nowadays..
Screams echo throughout the land..
Clashing of claws and fangs..
The smell of blood in the air..
Fills me with excitement..
I can feel the adrenaline rushing throughout the course in my veins even better than yesterday..
In the giant craters littered with corpses at the center of the very picture of chaos lies..
Every time my gigantic scaled fist swings that could be mistaken for a flaming meteor that could crush anything in its path..into a weak-looking human fist, you imagine the picture of hell.. but..
It gets flicked away..
As usual.. my punch is nothing but a light tap to this person..
No, correction.. god.
"I'm not done yet, Memphis!"
I throw an even stronger barrage of punches to the God of The Beasts..
I click my tongue but I somehow have a grin plastered to my face.. as usual..
I'm presently participating in our monthly "skirmish" against one of the continental gods..
This month, were being made to fight Memphis and the beasts..
But for me.. It's not like that..
In fact.. I enjoy these "skirmishes"..
Or in human terms.. war..
It makes me feel truly alive..
It's why we were created..
Endless competition based on strength and overwhelming each other with the various techniques we created..
Against the strongest beings on this land..
Well, now that I've regenerated.. let's prepare for another stratagem..
Dragons have high-speed regeneration in their blood so this might be one of the reasons why I love fighting..
I gather draconic mana inside my body as I have done for the umpteenth time these several millennium..
As the death throes of comrades and enemies as the tune to my dance starts..
It's been a few decades since then..
When we were forced to battle a greater foe..
I never knew that someone could overwhelm the gods to this extent..
In fact, I never even thought of a being more powerful than the 4 Gods themselves..
But at first, I laughed since I thought he was an idiot.. going against us alone..
And a coward for not showing up all these years.. holed up in the divine realm..
But now that I see.. even when they worked together to beat him..
They still lose.. and I heard he's been weakened considerably..
How unfathomable must be his power..
To make them powerless before him..
I thought that we could overwhelm him with pure numbers when we offered to help..
But we were oh so far from the truth..
Even with our combined might..
It was futile..
It was then that I experienced absolute powerlessness against someone for the first time..
Though in the objective point of view.. it was him against the world..
But it was then.. that happened..
The gods had a plan to seal most of his power..
And we could overwhelm him then..
Naturally we were overjoyed..
Until they said that they needed the dragon souls of my brethren..
The 7 Progenitors couldn't accept it..
So we talked about it amongst ourselves..
"By the authority of 1st Progenitor of the Purgatorial Flame, Sin of Wrath Dragon King.. I move that we accept the terms of the continental gods in order to defeat the One True God.. Any objections?"
A fist broke part of the table.. made of the wood of the World Tree which was said to be the sturdiest of all..
"Oi, you really think were fine with sacrificing the souls of our brethren? Huh, Arc?"
A blonde-haired man with detailed features stood up and glared at me..
This man was the..
"I, the 3rd Progenitor of the Judgement Lightning, Sin of Pride Dragon King, Regulus Vandersen Aurum, move to object!"
My best friend.. Reggie..
"Then, what do you propose we do to solve this dilemma?"
A black-haired, pale-skinned man who looked ill to the point of death stood up, but spoke in a dignified and questioning tone towards Reggie..
This was the 7th Progenitor of the Endless Darkness, Sin of Avarice Dragon King, Mortem Vali Siniurge..
It was rare for him to speak out in these gatherings..
"Well, uh, we could.. kill them using the combined might of the ultimate skills of the 7 sins.. right?"
"You know what happened last time right?"
It was met with a shield-like barrier that the One True God called "Aegis" and got deflected..
It was silent for a while till someone spoke up..
A divine presence-like woman spoke words that we couldn't believe..
"Then.. why don't we sacrifice ourselves in place of our dragon brothers?"
Naturally it was met with opposition, but none could offer better ideas..
Just as we were about to speak..
The white-haired woman.. or as we call her, the 6th Progenitor of the Encompassing Light, Sin of Sloth Dragon King, the most mysterious of us all.. since she is usually sleeping.. Luxuria Demarcie Solux stood up and walked to the front with me.. and said..
"Fellow kings, our brethren are dying everyday.. but they die with pride in battle.. but this is a totally different matter.."
We wait in bated breath for her next words..
"Therefore, we use our life force in saving them for their rightful time to die instead of letting our race be eradicated.. as sacrificial pawns for a bet at most, you must think about this.. for the future.."
She bows to us in a graceful but sincere manner..
It does seem disadvantageous since our life force is directly connected to our strength..
But, she does make a valid point..
And I don't want to see needless deaths..
Naturally, it was unanimous..
But when the day came..
"Oh, if the dragon kings cooperate, we just need about 50% of life force from each of you since it's just to seal his power for a short time..."
The Sun God, Solaris said in a carefree tone..
So they would have readily bet the lives of our brothers for a window of time?
How frightening is this opponent we have angered..
I don't even really know why he acted now of all times..
But I tend to live in the present instead of the past..
"So, let's get this started then.."
How I wish I could have gone back to that moment to stop myself from accepting..
I saw a slight grin on Polaris' face for a slight second but I pay it no heed..
What happened after that was..
The place was filled with the stench of blood and the seven bodies littering the ground..
In the middle of the scene of hell, was a beautiful woman.. dyed red in blood..
She wielded seven different-colored swords and had an ecstatic expression..
"Ha.. I feel an omnipotent power welling up within me.. This is amazing.."
The woman said as she laughed hysterically like a madman..
Naturally, that woman was Polaris..
"Why, would, you, do, this?"
Reggie asked Polaris a very reasonable question considering her actions was more than questionable..
"Ha? To test my new found power of course, what else could it be?"
We were dumbfounded.. we were used for that reason..
But I couldn't complain.. it was frightening..
It was a power on par with the One True God, no maybe even more..
"Fuu, I might be able to punch that bastard's face in my current state.. haha"
She looks at each of us one more time..
"Haha, maybe its time to finish you guys off.."
But when she was getting closer looking a lot like a grim reaper..
A tired voice came from behind her..
"(sigh) That's enough Polaris.. that was tiring to do.. we have only one chance.. don't waste your power here.."
"Fine, but I'll come back for them later.."
It was Solaris, with Memphis and Avaceris beside her showing tired expressions..
I see, so they gathered all the condensed dragon force into swords and gave it to Polaris..
To create an opening.. that's what she meant..
"Well, let's get ready to move ou-*ARGH*"
Her whole body gets blown away by.. a trumpet?
No, it's a trumpet-like weapon now that I take a closer look at it..
All present have shocked expressions..
"So he's here already?"
Polaris get's up while shrugging like the attack was just trivial..
"Well, that makes it easier then!"
"I see you have been busy Polaris.."
A deep voice of deep comprehension and dignity resounded in our location..
What stood there coming out from the rubble and dust..
Was a little boy..
A prism-haired little boy with an innocent smile.. but with an out-of-place deep intelligent clear eyes..
Which seem to comprehend everything in existence.. and more..
The One True God.. Divinitus Prisma Amadeus..
"Haha, let's see you get arrogant with me again!"
Polaris lunges at him with all 7 swords activated..
"Hmm.. seems that might pierce me.. how quaint.. dragon king god-slayer swords huh?"
He looks at us sprawled throughout the ground..
And smiles calmly..
Why do I feel so relaxed seeing that smile..
Why do I feel that somehow everything will be alright..
Even though were in this hopeless situation..
"Hmm, you have earned my respect, Dragon Kings.. you don't need to see what happens when I get serious.."
He waves his hand towards us and gathers divine energy..
"See you later"
The last thing I heard when I suddenly lose consciousness in a bright light with the others..
Why did the most memorable image burned into my mind then, not the way the seven swords slashed through his "Aegis" and into him, but his childlike smile..
I awoke to the sound of voices..
"Oi, why did you do that, you should never wake a sleeping dragon!" (Insignificant Man 1)
"I didn't do anything..AH!" (Insignificant Man 2)
A black hell flame oozed from my body as I stretch out and yawn..
"Hmm? I seem to have charred some humans black.. well no matter.."
How long have I been unconscious?
I have no sense of time as always..
And so, I went out of the dimly lit labyrinth in human form to gather information..
What I found out was that more than a decade passed..
The nagging feeling that I have to meet the others ran through my head..
Immediately after that, I left..
I traveled endless lands in search for information on what happened and the whereabouts of my brethren..
But it seems they are afraid of dragons now.. what exactly happened?
Throughout my journey, I found that the Gods don't wage war anymore..
They must have other plans, but what of the dragons..
I found close to nil about them through many years of travelling..
I was about to give up all hope and assume they were dead..
Till I met.. her..
A woman causing trouble in the northern lands claiming to be the Lightning Dragon King's daughter..
Naturally, people thought she was crazy..
But, I was glad to finally have a clue..
Naturally, I had hardships trying to get close to her..
Mainly because she thought I was a perverted old man..
But that's a story for another time..
Anyway, as we slowly got to know each other, scouring the globe for clues..
She taught me new things.. little things..
Like, how to make shelter, sew clothes, talk to people politely, cook food, human culture..
And the value of life..
Naturally, I didn't understand it at first since dragons live longer than most races but I almost forgot..
She was half-human..
So she had an appreciation for human will and their values on how never to give up..
She told me she learned these from her mother with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face..
I think that was where it started..
Where I fell in love for the first time..
Haha, those were fond memories..
Instead of travelling, after I told her my feelings..
We settled down in a small cabin in the forest where no one else lives..
And spent our years making memories of a simple life..
Naturally, I started to learn to like living peacefully..
But the call of battle grew stronger each day..
And I answered it..
I told her that I would get some supplies alone but.. I lied, for the first time..
I was going to a Colosseum in town to test battle against opponents to relieve stress but..
As expected, the guilt ate away at me and I ran back as fast as I could into her arms..
The arms that held mine, the arms that made me delicious food with me, the arms that held my hand when I was asleep..
Was cut off..
Those gentle arms that was part of my whole world was gone..
Carrying with them my lover's life force.. and quite possibly mine..
My heart ached.. and anger surged.. power coursed throughout my entire being..
I found the one responsible looking at me with dead eyes..
The one enemy I didn't want to face..
I was met with silence..
Various questions passed invaded my mid like wildfire..
But as expected, I didn't care about anything till I got rid of this ugly feeling in my chest..
So, I did it..
"SIN OF WRATH PURGATORY FLAME FULL ARMAMENT, RELEASE"
Everything faded to black after that..
When I came to.. the corpse of the love of my life.. was gone.. along with Reggie..
I knew I burned everything looking at the aftermath..
I'm not proud of what I did, but I couldn't control it.. couldn't control myself..
I mean who would, in that situation..
I spent the next few years mourning and thinking of the memories I had with her, Charlotte..
So, After much deliberation..
I rebuilt my cabin to preserve the peaceful life she had gave to me..
And I resolved myself to wait till it's my time to follow her to the next life..
Yes, the life I had was full of hardships..
And joy, sadness, anger, pity, and everything else..
But, it was the life I had chosen..
I just hope that it wasn't a mistake that the One True God spared me from death long ago..
There isn't anything interesting left in this world that you left me in..
I still ask myself everyday..Why?
I hear birds chirping..
Did I fall asleep again?
Heh, I really must be getting on years..
I get up from the shade of the big tree and yawn..
"Don't just sit there old man! Help me with this!"
I turn my head and find a silver-haired, lean little boy with different colored eyes.. gleaming with sweat seeping from his pores due to the fear of death while running around.. frantically being chased by dark beasts with ruby-red eyes and skin steaming from the flames they produced enough to burn the air around them..
"Haha, You bet! I was just thinking of another spar.."
He gets surprised and glares at me..
"That's not what I mean't you sadistic old man!"
"Hey, didn't I tell you to call me master?"
"AS IF!!" (Shiruka!)
As I thought.. he is interesting..
I still wonder why I've been left here..
But I am a man who lives in the present..
I pound my fist with my other hand..
"Yosh, get ready for a new technique!"
"NOOOO, NOT AGAIN!" (Iyaa-dameda)
Haha, as expected.. he runs faster than before each time I say that..
I know my time will come someday..
But until then, this might be fun too..
So, I gather draconic mana into my body and..
Chapter 010.5 - Intermission