118 Fated Successor 1
Dyon stared at the young man kneeling before him, confusion coloring his features. He had obviously not heard the conversation between Ava and her father, so he had no way of knowing that Arios was presumed to be alive. But, even if he had known, that would do little to reduce his confusion and surprise.
Suddenly, Dyon noticed something and snapped out of it, "get up, I don't need you all to kneel for me," he walked forward, immediately and almost forcefully helping Arios up.
After he was satisfied, Dyon's size finally reduced. Although his muscles ached a bit, he was glad to see that he handled the stress of the technique much better now. He had been holding back from proceeding to the second stage of the technique's first layer, but it seemed his body might be ready for it now.
Dyon sighed, "I'm sure you can see my confusion… I understand none of what is going on right now…"
Arios looked at Dyon intently, seemingly trying to figure something out.
"We are the demon generals of Demon Sage Sageras," Arios spoke plainly, as though it should have been obvious.
Dyon raised an eyebrow, "demon generals? What scale of army has so many…"
Arios' eyes blinked, finally realizing that Dyon really didn't understand a thing.
"The army of the Demon Sage is vast and wide spread. With how many universes the Demon Sage has bent to his will, it would be odd if he only had a few generals… but even still, we are but a fraction of the original number…"
Dyon's eyebrows furrowed in deep thought, 'the Demon Sage controlled multiple universes?... Well, I assume the truth would be that he used to. Not only is he dead, but with all of his generals here, they're clearly not defending his territory… But there's too much I don't understand…'
"If you're demon generals of such a powerful being, why was I able to beat you all into submission a year ago? And why are you suddenly strong enough to match me after the year of training I've undergone?"
Arios' serious eyes showed a bit of humor, which was getting to Dyon's pride, "I don't mean to be rude, successor, but you aren't my match now. I simply lowered my level to what I thought a successor of the Demon Sage should be at in consideration of your age.
As for why you were able to beat and cleanse us, it was due to a special technique the Demon Sage used. In exchange for our strength, he extended our lives by hundreds to thousands of years. Of course, the other trade offs were the loss of our minds and physical deformity," a complicated look flashed through Arios' features.
"the fact you were able to cleanse a technique of the Demon Sage… was already enough for us to acknowledge you," Arios bowed once again, "I'm sorry for testing you, successor."
Although Dyon had been a bit annoyed with Arios' stomping on his pride, a look of interest still colored his features. It was clear that Arios had utmost respect for him, but he was still willing to tease him. This could only mean that the Demon Sage was a leader who allowed such things. Which made Dyon think of a question…
"It's clear the Demon Sage was a good leader to you all," Dyon's words were greeted with glistening eyes and nods of acknowledgement, it was clear they agreed.
"but… if he was such a person, why would he try and forcibly seize my body? Since you all revere him, I won't lie to you all. It was me who killed the last bits of his soul."
Arios sighed, "the story behind this is long and complex…"
Dyon listened intently, inwardly relieved that it seemed these demon generals had long since known it was his doing. This meant that his last bit of worry could be cast away… he wouldn't have to kill them all.
Noticing that Dyon was willing to listen and wasn't angry, Arios continued, "in the prime of his life, the Demon Sage was a single conquered universe away from a watershed," seeing Dyon's confused look, Arios quickly explained, "this watershed is a complex concept that even I don't fully understand. It would be impossible for me to explain it to you, I hope you can forgive me."
Dyon nodded. There was no need to understand everything all at once, he was more interested in understanding the sage's story.
Arios sighed in deep contemplation, "the problem with his rampant success obviously came with his enemies. The sage was young, so young that his power made no sense in proportion to his age. On top of all of this, he was arrogant beyond belief. The combination of jealousy and his attitude made it all too easy for him to make enemies," Arios looked at Dyon with a knowing look, as though he could already see through him.
Dyon bitterly smiled, "you know well how the martial world works. Whether you're arrogant or you bow your head, as long as you succeed, you will be hated. So, why bother lowering your head?"
Arios sighed, "it seems like you are very much like the sage… Although I can't disagree with you, there does come a time where you need to be a lion in sheep's clothing. You don't have to bow your head… but you could at least pretend to be weaker than you are…"
A serious look appeared on Dyon's face. He truly wondered if he should do that… but then he shook his head violently. It just wasn't in his character.
Arios could only smile bitterly as he watched Dyon's reaction, "well… I tried," he chuckled to himself. Although he couldn't say that he liked Dyon's and the sage's attitudes, he couldn't ignore the fact that without their personalities being as they were, they might not be successful at all.
Dyon worked hard. Lost days of sleep. And constantly pondered over things every minute of everyday. His brain was never off. People may look at his achievements and roll their eyes because he was lucky enough to have an innate aurora, but where were those people when a 5-year-old Dyon's eyes shone looking at a computer screen filled with code? Where were those people when an 8-year-old Dyon played his piano and plucked his guitar strings until his fingers bled… needing to vent his feelings about his lost mother without bothering his hard-working father? Where were those people when Dyon sat alone at 10 years old… when his parents were gone, and the only thing left was a room filled with inventions and computers?
Dyon's arrogance wasn't borne of thin air. It was his hard work. It was his shield. And he wasn't willing to give it up.