Chapter 975: Fire and Sun
Drogan traveled all the way back into his headquarters where his followers welcomed him with smiles and laughter. Upon landing he nodded at them and accepted their pleasantries before heading toward the meeting room. He sat on the chair at the far end of the table and his brows furrowed.
His arms rested and clasped, no longer were the runes in sight. He pondered alone for a while before the door in front of him was opened.
Ferece arrived with laughter, “We got ’em good!”
Drogan raised his brows. He looked at him with sharp eyes.
His expression took back Ferece before putting his aloof attitude aside. He asked, “Captain, what’s wrong?”
“Where is he?” asked Drogan.
“You mean Niamh?”
Drogan stood up. “Refl Angst, where is he?”
“I put him back in the dungeon.”
Drogan didn’t nod and walked away. He didn’t say anything either and passed Ferece by.
“Captain?” Ferece asked.
“Do not follow me,” said Drogan as he left Ferece alone in the meeting room.
Refl was sitting with his eyes closed before his ears twitched at firm footsteps nearby. He opened his eyes. “I did not expect that I would get a visitor, I already washed my neck.”
“Heh, how do you know that it’s me?” asked Drogan from afar.
“I didn’t,” said Refl as his eyes met Drogan before the latter sat across him, separated by the bars. “Your underlying always laughs whenever he makes a visit, like a clown.”
“He is,” said Drogan with a flat emotion. “But I’m not here to talk about Ferece.”
“Hmm…” Refl looked at those sharp eyes.
“You’ve seen my encounter with Lyon,” said Drogan.
“Clearly,” said Refl as he slightly raised his chin. “I never thought that you would assimilate runes inside your own body, is that why you turn this way?”
“Don’t talk like you know me, Refl,” said Drogan before he looked at his own fist, “You never know the feeling of having the power to change for once.”
“To change… well you have indeed changed,” said Refl. “For worse…”
Drogan snorted a smile. “I will not play by the system, I’m here to break it, I shall bow to none.”
“Do you have any idea what runes going to do to your body?” asked Refl.
“It makes me stronger, it gives me the power to change,” said Drogan. “I will shape the Second Heaven as I see fit, then I’ll be aiming at Paradise.”
“Ah, the sanctuary of all cultivators,” said Refl. “We shared the same dream once before, didn’t we?”
“I asked you to join me, remember?” asked Drogan. “But you refuse, you like being a dog with a lease around its neck, and you didn’t realize that a dog will never own a home.”
“We can change the system not by force, but by other ways, less dead people the better,” said Refl.
“You’ve grown old and wiser, but wisdom is not needed when you have the power,” said Drogan.
“Ever since you get a hold of those stupid runes, you’ve never come back to your old self,” said Refl.
“My answer remains unchanged,” said Drogan. “It’s a shame that we go our separate ways, never thought that I would talk to you like this when I first began this journey.”
“That makes both of us, but I imagined it the other way around,” said Refl.
Drogan smirked, “Heh, you never beat me in anything, Refl.”
“You’re stronger than me, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t win a fight against you,” said Refl.
Drogan smiled as he looked at his old friend before his eyes sharpened, “You know… kings in Second Heaven regard me as equal now.”
“Well, what good would that be? Burgeon Swan is in shambles right now, but I see no kings when you were attacked in the coliseum,” said Refl before his voice deepened, “They want to get rid of you as well, but they can’t afford to fight you.”
Drogan laughed. His laughter echoed throughout the dungeon with his arms crossed. “Those kings are not as I saw them back then. They are no more than the level of Ferece, I can crush them like a bug.”
“Why don’t you?” asked Refl.
“Because Third Heaven existed,” said Drogan. “I’m not so blind with power that I can’t see that.”
“Heh, so that’s what,” said Refl.
“However, an unpredictable variable emerged out of nowhere,” said Drogan as his gaze fixed on Refl. His eyes were no longer filled with mirth. His lips, which had been curved into a half-smile, now pursed into a thin, taut line, revealing the tension that coursed through his body. For a moment, the room was filled with an almost palpable sense of tension.
“Is this the main reason for your visit?” asked Refl. “I thought you were making out for lost times.”
Drogan remained serious despite the dry joke that Refl threw at him. He leaned a bit forward. “You’ve seen the battle.”
“I did,” Refl nodded. “You have every chance to kill Lyon, but at the last moment, you hovered away, the ‘Old Drogan’ would have continued on.”
“Who is this young man, Refl? Tell me the truth!” asked Drogan as his eyes widened.
“Young man? How can you be so sure that he is young? What if he camouflaged his cultivation aura?” asked Refl.
“His cultivation level is True God, and he is on the verge of breaking toward Origin God, otherwise, I would have been dead right then and there.”
“Then why did you run away?” asked Refl. “I saw that you caught the blade from his wife, but you threw her instead of finishing her. I’ve heard from Lenu that, that very same woman, wiped out half of your Burgeon Swan alone.”
Drogan furrowed his brows as his body replayed that feeling once more. It was so naturally instinctive that he had no time to think about it. His body was warning him of something eerie about to happen from behind. The danger didn’t come from the woman, but rather from the man himself. The cold voice filled with thunderous bloodlust still rang true inside his mind.
“Never mind that, tell me what you know about the man,” said Drogan.
“What’s in it for me? Besides, I already tell you what I know, if you want to know more, you’re asking the wrong person,” said Refl. “Old friend, I am of no use to you anymore.”
“OId Gu…” muttered Drogan.
Refl remained silent.
“Tell me Refl, what do you think of Lyon?” asked Drogan.
Refl raised his brows, “What’s my opinion has got anything to do with… anything?”
“He sent you here, to me,” said Drogan. “Even though I can be sure that you’re unwilling, I know you, you’re a cautious guy.”
( Well, that’s more like being at the wrong time and the wrong place, to be honest ) Refl smiled inwardly. “What opinion do you want?”
“You trust your enemy now?”
“You think Ferece would say anything of value?”
“Good point,” Refl nodded. “I won’t say he is powerful, but I will say that he is skillful.”
Drogan smirked before standing up.
“Drogan,” Refl called out. “The runes, they are not just inside your arms, are they? Otherwise, you won’t be so confident in ruling the Second Heaven.”
Drogan grinned as he crossed his arms. Runes engraving emerged from his thick forearms. “You have no idea what kind of power these strange words have.”
“Your playing with fire, Drogan,” said Refl. “You don’t know what it might do to your body in the long term.”
“So far, I have yet to encounter detrimental effects, I’m better, stronger, and eventually strongest!” said Drogan firmly.
“But that’s just a borrowed power, your true power is still the same,” Refl shook his head.
“Do you have any idea what power is? Old friend…” said Drogan. “Power is the ability to be superior to others! No matter if you’re powerful by the core or outer layers of it!”
“But you’re afraid, right old friend?”
Drogan immediately lost his boastful self. His eyes widened as he looked at Refl smirking at him.
“You’re afraid of a young man, no, you’re afraid of the unknown,” said Refl. “That’s why you will utilize everything in your power to diminish him, that’s why then… you threw her at him, am I right, oh my old friend?”
Refl smirked, “Heh, afraid? I’m just being careful, besides, Niamh already sets out.”
“Niamh? Oh, that guy,” Refl rolled his eyes. “You sent him to the Mortal World after all?”
“The victory is already mine,” said Drogan before he turned around and left.
Refl looked at him went before hearing the door creaking to a close thump. He sighed and relaxed his shoulders. He knew he won’t be killed now, or ever, he was kept here as a witness to how Drogan will achieve his dreams.
“Drogan you fool, you’re playing with fire… against a man who is playing with the sun.”