“Come home, annayya…!”
Lakshman was a little surprised when he thought he heard the voice of one of his twin sisters in his mind. He looked up at the ceiling and waited patiently to hear more, but nothing came.
“Phoenix Titan! Are you listening?”
Upon hearing his name spoke by a sharp voice, Lakshman came back to the present and turned his attention back towards the Dragon Emperor. The man was seated on his throne chair and smiled down at him with an irritated expression on his face.
“Yes. You were saying something about familiars,” said Lakshman in a firm voice before thinking, “Not that I’m interested in what you’re saying.”
“That’s right,” said the Dragon Emperor in agreement. “I was informed upon your arrival that you and your assistant rode upon a familiar dragon known as the Spirit Dragon.”
“Assistant?!” Zen exclaimed sharply with an incredulous look on his face.
“I take it that you’re impressed,” said Lakshman in a dull voice.
“Yes! After all, it’s not like every day that we witness one of the Phoenix Clan members form a contract with a familiar dragon, let alone tame the beast! After all, it requires a Dragon King ranked member of our clan or higher, like myself, to form contracts with a familiar dragon.
Amazingly, you formed a contract with such a mighty being despite being one from the Phoenix Clan and in addition to that, I believe you also formed another familiar contract with a phoenix. From my sources, I think it’s called the Eternal Phoenix and it seems that you formed your contracts with both of them at the same time.”
Lakshman smirked and asked, “Are you jealous?”
The Dragon Emperor shook his head and said, “No. Not at all for I have made a contract with a familiar dragon known as the Bursting Dragon. I have complete obedience over her and despite that, she doesn’t let anyone, other than me and the selective few I choose, to ride her. With such a condition in force, you managed to ride this far on your dragon along with your sidekick.”
“Sidekick?!” Zen exclaimed sharply with an angry expression on his face. “Look Mr Dragon Emperor, please stop calling me whatever you like. I have a name and it’s—!”
“I’m not interested to know your name in the slightest,” said the Dragon Emperor as he cut across him and shocked the young Phoenix Emperor. The Dragon Emperor turned his attention back to Lakshman and began to say, “Like I was saying—!”
“Before you continue, I would appreciate it if you do not mistreat my so called assistant,” said Lakshman in a firm voice that surprised the Dragon Emperor. “He is the newly selected Phoenix Emperor and his name is Zen Phylon. His title makes him a very important member of the Phoenix Clan!”
“It does, but such titles do not interest me,” said the Dragon Emperor in a flat voice that caused Lakshman to narrow his eyes. “I only care for those with significant level of power, skill, talent and authority, such me, you and the Dragon Kings. Everyone else can just go and group together with the rest of the trash as far as I’m concerned.”
Lakshman clenched his fists tightly in anger and said, “I’ve had just about enough of your nonsense! It’s been half-an-hour since we arrived and you’ve been talking about crap that I don’t give a damn about! I came for my friend and I want to know where he is! If he is not safe, I will not guarantee the safety of everyone present here and that includes you!”
The Dragon Emperor looked amazed as one of the people sitting on a chair rose up and shouted, “How dare you speak in such manner to the Dragon Emperor!”
Lakshman whipped around and stared fiercely at the speaker before shouting, “Shut up!”
The force of his shout caused a bit of his energy to flow out and it caused the wind in the room to blow a little rapid towards the speaker. Very shocked and somewhat frightened, the man sat back down with widened eyes while everyone watched with disbelieving expressions on their faces.
“It’s bad enough that you took my friend hostage! Don’t test my temper!” Lakshman said in a deadly voice that alarmed them all and caused Zen to stare at him in awe. He turned back to face the Dragon Emperor and demanded, “Where is he?! Where is the Sword Titan?!”
The Dragon Emperor looked down at him for a moment in silence before forming a small smile on his face. Lakshman did not like that man smiling and instantly went on his guard.
“Before I tell you, I have something that I want you to answer. Okay?”
Lakshman blinked once and asked flatly, “What is it?”
“If your friend is in danger, would you go to any length to save them?”
“Yes. I would go to any length to save my friend.”
“I see,” said the Dragon Emperor and his smile widened slightly. “Then, hypothetically speaking, what if your friend and family are in danger, but you can only save one of them. Whom will you save?”
Lakshman’s eyebrows flickered for a moment in surprise as Zen exclaimed, “What?! How can you say such a thing?!”
“It’s just a hypothetical question,” said the Dragon Emperor while shrugging his shoulders with a smile on his face. “Now, let’s see if the Phoenix Titan has the guts to answer it.”
He continued to smile as he looked at Lakshman, but the smile faltered when he saw Lakshman looking back at him with a confident smile on his face.
“Of course. It’s quite obvious actually,” said Lakshman confidently with a smug smile on his face. “I would save… my family.”
“What?” the Dragon Emperor asked him in surprise while Zen stared at him with a startled expression on his face.
“You heard me,” said Lakshman cheerfully. “My family are my first best friends I could possibly have and only then do I get friends from outside sources.”
“Mmm… That’s quite the concept you got there,” commented the Dragon Emperor with an impressed expression on his face. “Still, tell me how you would explain that to the family of the friend you neglected to save?”
The Dragon Emperor suddenly smiled wickedly and asked, “Perhaps you would marry her since you’ve already married so many woman?”
With that, he and his companions began to laugh, all except the three Dragon Kings. Gurret and Waddit looked uncomfortable while Fizard looked a little annoyed by the joke that his emperor had made.
“Perhaps,” said Lakshman in a clam voice and the laugher instantly stopped. “If she’s okay with that, I will marry her and attend to her happiness. If that’s not possible, then, I will make sure to arrange something that will keep her family safe and happy. I’ll do what I can to make up for not rescuing her husband.”
As the onlookers stared at him in disbelief, the Dragon Emperor tapped his chair in annoyance as he asked, “You would do that without the consent of your wives?”
Lakshman smiled confidently up at the Dragon Emperor and said, “I know my wives and if it’s for such a reason, they wouldn’t mind having an addition in our family. Now, why don’t we return to the main topic at hand and hand my friend over to me?”
“That’s easier said than done, Phoenix Titan!” the Dragon Emperor said roughly with the smile disappearing from his face and got replaced by an angry expression. “The Sword Titan invaded our continent, disrupted our peace by attacking countless members of our clan and threatening me by pointing his weapon at me.”
Lakshman narrowed his eyes sharply and said, “I know my friend and he does not do such things without proper reasons to back him up. Sure, you might think he invaded your continent, but he had no choice in that matter since he had no way of making contact with you. Your peace was disrupted because you engaged him in battle when he probably wanted to just talk. As for threatening you with his Destiny Blade, I’m pretty confident he only did that because you pushed his patience to the breaking point.”
“Heh!” the Dragon Emperor said in an annoyed voice. “You say that to support your own friend, but we know the truth! He came looking for the Dragon Titan and created a mess for us to clean up because of the large amount of our forest that he destroyed!”
“What? He came looking for the Dragon Titan?” Lakshman asked and when the Dragon Emperor nodded in agreement, Lakshman sighed as he placed a hand on his face before facing the angered emperor. “I’m sorry, but he came on a mission I sent him on, but I thought I told him to leave the Dragon Titan.”
“What?!” the Dragon Emperor exclaimed in shock as Lakshman shrugged his shoulders with a sigh. “What do you mean you’ll ‘deal’ with the Dragon Titan?”
“That’s none of your business,” said Lakshman and the Dragon Emperor was taken aback by how strong his voice was when he said those words. “Now, what’s happened has happened and no matter how much we argue, we cannot change what’s already happened. So, why don’t we look focus on the present and settle this without a fight by handing over my friend to me peacefully.”
“No way!” the Dragon Emperor said flatly with an angry expression on his face and Lakshman narrowed his eyes angrily. “We cannot forget what he’s done to us and we cannot easily let him go after the crimes he’s conducted, especially after threatening me with his weapon! That’s why, we will punish him to the—!”
He stopped speaking in an instant and wore a fearful expression as he stared up at Lakshman pointing a threatening finger at him.
Realising that no reason would go into that thick skull of the emperor, Lakshman decided the only way to make that man listen was to force him. So, he disappeared and reappeared standing in front of the emperor before pointing his forefinger threateningly at the Dragon Emperor’s forehead with a deadly expression on his face.
“I’m sick of hearing your annoying voice and the nonsense that seems to just keep coming out of your mouth!” Lakshman said in a dangerous voice. “Now, hand over the Sword Titan or else!”
The Phoenix Titan bellowed the last word and it created a surge of wind to blow in all directions. It buffeted everyone as the Dragon Emperor stared up at Lakshman with a horrified expression on his face. Never in his life had he met someone who would be this aggressive and menacing towards their enemy.
“He’s seriously going to kill me!” the Dragon Emperor thought as fear settled in.
Everyone got out of their seats in shock at seeing their emperor being threatened by the Phoenix Titan. One of them, who had spoken earlier rudely to Lakshman, began shouting orders to everyone else.
“What the hell are you doing?!” he exclaimed loudly in a carrying voice. “Our emperor is in danger! Help— Ah!”
Before he could complete the word, a wave of destruction came hurtling towards him at high speed. As it smashed into his chest, he yelled out in pain and it carried him away before smashing him against the wall and exploding.
The members in the throne room were shocked at seeing one of them so suddenly attacked and they turned to look at the Phoenix Emperor, who had fired the attack. Zen was standing firmly with his right hand held out with his palms wide open as he prepared to attack anyone that dared to make any move.
Zen, like everyone else, was shocked by what Lakshman just did, but he quickly realised that the Phoenix Titan needed support. So, as much as he disliked doing it, he attacked one of the members of the Dragon Clan as a threatening gesture to keep them at bay while the Phoenix Titan executes his threat directly to the Dragon Emperor.
“We can talk this out!” the Water Dragon King, Waddit, said in a desperate voice as he tried appealing to the Phoenix Titan. “Please! Come down here so we can settle this matter without violence!”
“Not until this man understands the true meaning of being threatened!” Lakshman said in a deadly as he glared fiercely down at the Dragon Titan, who was shivering on his throne chair. He formed an evil expression on his face and said, “From the looks of it, he’s starting to understand its true meaning.”
Just then, the Air Dragon King, Aidek, walked into the throne room and was shocked by the proceedings taking place there. He, immediately, gestured with his hand to unseen people standing outside to quickly come inside. At the same time, he walked forward and shouted to get the Phoenix Titan’s attention.
“Phoenix Titan!” Aidek shouted in a loud carrying voice and caused Lakshman to turn around to stare at him. “Please, let go out of emperor! I’ve brought the Sword Titan!”
Lakshman was startled by his words and he sharply asked, “You brought him?”
“Yes,” said Aidek and he stepped aside to let a few of the Dragon Clan armoured men to come in.
As they came in, Lakshman noticed they were carrying the limp body of his best friend, the Sword Titan. He was alarmed by his limpness and he disappeared to reappear in front of his friend as the men let him go. Zen rushed to his side and helped him assist Dominic in standing as he seemed to be very weak to stand on his own.
“Dom! Hey! Dominic! Respond, dammit!” Lakshman said sharply as he tried to awaken his sleeping friend.
Dominic slowly regained consciousness and opened one eyelid to focus on Lakshman. It took him a moment to recognise who it was and when he did, a small smile broke over his tired face.
“You came,” he mumbled quietly and he breathed a sigh in relief. “Took you long enough.”
“You… idiot…” Lakshman scolded him softly with a worried expression on his face. “I thought I told you to leave the Dragon Clan to me or did I forget to tell you?”
“You might or might not have told me about it, but… I was curious anyway…” said Dominic in a weak voice before he groaned from the pain he felt by staying conscious.
“Okay. Whatever. Let’s talk more when we get home,” said Lakshman and Dominic nodded quietly in agreement.
Lakshman rose to his feet and turned around to glare up at the frightened Dragon Emperor. Everyone else stood at the side and glared at him with an angry expression on their faces.
“You’re lucky nothing has happened to my friend, otherwise…” said Lakshman and he left the sentence hanging without the desire to complete it, causing others to boil with anger towards him.
Lakshman took the Destiny Blade that the Air Dragon King was hovering with his hand and sheeted the sword to his side. After straightening, he looked at Aidek and smiled warmly at the man that brought his friend to him without harm.
“Thank you,” said Lakshman simply and he extended his hand out in an attempt to express his gratitude.
Aidek was, momentarily, surprised at the extended hand before understanding and shaking it with his own.
“It was nothing,” said Aidek with a small smile on his face facing Lakshman. “He defeated me easily by going easy on me. Seriously, I didn’t think he was the Sword Titan until I got defeated. Please be sure to tell him to forget about the Dragon Titan because his quest to find that man got him into a lot of trouble.”
Lakshman chuckled before he said, “Don’t worry. He won’t meddle in that affair anymore and will focus on gathering the other Nine Pillars of Power. Instead, I will handle this matter after I return later. You see, I have a business with the Dragon Titan and soon, so will the rest of your clan.”
Aidek blinked in surprise and curiously asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’ll see soon enough,” said Lakshman and he winked at the surprised Air Dragon King.
At that moment, Dragon Emperor recovered from his fear filled state and glared angrily as his enemy was about to leave the room. He stood on his feet and wanting to have the last word, he pointed his finger at Lakshman’s retreating back and began shouting powerful words.
“How dare you insult me in front of the members of my clan and think you can just walk away?!”
Aidek was startled by what his emperor shouted and he quickly looked at the expression on Lakshman’s face. The Phoenix Titan was wearing an expressionless face as he stared ahead at the open doors leading out of the throne room.
“I know you can hear me, Phoenix Titan and I think you know this means war!”
Lakshman stiffened at the last words he heard and his eyebrows flickered with a dangerous look in his eyes. Aidek stared at him with a worried expression on his face as he looked back and forth at his emperor and the Phoenix Titan.
The Dragon Emperor noticed the stiffness of Lakshman’s body and smiled widely as he said, “What’s wrong? Lost for words? Worried about what you did? Concerned for the future of your clan when a powerful clan, like ours, battles against them? I don’t blame you since you’re just a bunch of weaklings that only know how to threaten your opponents without actual power or strength!”
He began to laugh and so did the other members of the Dragon Clan present in the room. Only the Dragon Kings did not laugh as they had eyes only at one person with worried expressions on their faces. They were worried because they could feel an immense power building inside the Phoenix Titan as his anger surged to the surface like a bursting volcano.
Lakshman slowly turned around and his expression was full of anger as he glared at the Dragon Emperor.
“You want war? I’ll give you your tomb! ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!”
As he screamed, he pulled his right fist back and brought it forward. It was a straightforward punch that he had thrown into empty air, but in doing so, he unleashed a devastating force of wind and energy. It rushed forward at high speed, engulfed everyone in it and surrounded the entire room they were in.
Outside the castle, everything seemed to be peaceful, but that all changed as the back part of the castle exploded. The unleashed force of wind and energy burst out of the castle and hurled away, destroying countless trees in the process. As it reached the edge of the continent, it cut across the ocean while creating a deep grove on the water surface before disappearing into thin air.
A few seconds passed as the smoke and dust settled from the explosion of the force bursting out of the room. As it cleared, the throne chair and the stairs were no longer to be found and so were the chairs that everyone had been sitting on earlier. Instead, they were collapsed on the floor and stared at the man who had caused such a destruction through wide eyes filled with fear.
The Dragon Emperor was sitting on the ground with his hands down to support his body from completely collapsing. He was shocked at what just happened and as he looked around, he was horrified to see a gaping hole in the castle wall behind him in addition to the great line of trees that were destroyed.
He turned around and was stricken with shock and fear to find the Phoenix Titan standing over him wearing a truly murderous expression on his face. Without the slightest bit of gentleness, he grabbed the Dragon Emperor by the shirt front with just his right arm and lifted him into a standing position.
While glaring at him fiercely, Lakshman roared, “Do not mess with the fire that kills!”
The next moment, he threw the frightened Dragon Emperor aside as if he was a stone. The observing people were shocked as the Dragon Emperor hurtled through the air at high speed and smashed heavily against the side wall. Lakshman glared at his stuck frame against the wall before turning away to head over to the Phoenix Emperor.
“Zen, let’s take our leave. Carry Dom while I carry the Destiny Blade,” said Lakshman as he walked towards him as the Dragon Emperor’s limp body crashed to the ground.
“Yes, Lakshman,” said Zen in understanding and slowly, they exited the destroyed silent throne room.
Hey everyone and thanks so much for reading this chapter. I hope that you enjoyed the “blast” as much as I did and will look forward to more as the story continues! Until then, please don’t try to get as angry as him, otherwise, the results will be quite explosive!