Elwing's lip twitched at Dyon's words, but, he still calmed himself. If this was the game Dyon wanted to play, he could play.
At first, he had come thinking this would be a simple affair. In fact, he hadn't even hidden his animosity, to the point of blatantly insulting Little Black. But, Dyon's demeanor had made him realize something, 'This Dyon isn't so simple…'
With that, Elwing's entire demeanor changed. His arrogance went up in a puff of smoke and his smile became decidedly less fake.
Noticing this, Akash's and Dyon's eyes narrowed, both thinking the same thing: 'I guess he's a prince after all.'
A small smile played on Dyon's lips, 'Let's play then. I wonder what it is you think you have on me.'
"Since it seems as though everyone else has already presented their gifts," Elwing's eyes swept over Ri's necklace, "I, of course, have no issue with going now."
Elwing's hands flashed as an elegantly embroidered box appeared in his hands. He let it go, letting it float in the air.
"Not many know the story of the Belmont family. It's not that it's a big secret, it's more so that it's been such a long time since then and much of it has been lost in the stream of time. At the same time, we're a family that progresses into future… looking into the past only stifles progress. This was the famous doctrine of one of our most senior ancestors," Elwing smiled that though he was reminiscing about the past. Many almost forgot his previously arrogant air.
"However," Elwing continued with a sigh, "today is a special occasion very much worth the retelling of this story… because only with this story can the magnitude of this gift be understood."
At this point, even Dyon was intrigued. A gift closely tied to the history of the Belmont family? This might truly be a gift worth having.
'The legacy of a Royal God Clan?... interesting,' Dyon looked at the box with curiosity.
"To understand, a bit of history about this universe should be told… Many don't know, but much of the martial clans that are here didn't originate from this universe. In fact, there's a distinct possibility from what my brother and I have deduced, that there are no martial clans in existence currently that do."
Dyon felt his heart beat quicken, 'This seems oddly important, but I can't put my finger on why…'
"It's not particularly important why that is, it's very possible that whatever clans that were here have just eroded with the passage of time. What you should focus on is the fact this means the Belmont clan didn't originate from this universe either. In fact, we entered at a time where this universe used to be much higher ranked. That being said, our story is a bit… unique."
Elwing's blue and red eyes flashed with something imperceptible.
"I'm sure you've all at some point or another heard of the legendary phoenix. A bird that has reigned among supreme beasts since time immemorial."
Many nodded it was indeed true. Of the beasts, phoenixes were among the greatest.
To Dyon, at least with his limited western human world knowledge, only dragons could match up to the phoenix. However, the martial world had changed his perspective on a few things.
Although the Celestial Deer wasn't a supreme level being, it was infinitesimally close to that barrier. That made Dyon think, 'What if there were other creatures out there of that level?'
Truthfully, Dyon was correct, there were many creatures within the supreme ranking of beasts. However, the difference between dragons and phoenixes was in their variety.
Dragons, being promiscuous creatures with robust reproduction, had offspring even falling down to the earth level. Although offspring between two powerful dragons were rare, males among the species had the ability to lower themselves to the point of mating with lower ranking creatures.
However, phoenixes were different. There wasn't a single Phoenix in existence that wasn't among the supreme beasts.
"What you all probably don't know, however, is that there has always been intense conflict between the species of phoenixes… namely between their three kinds: the ice phoenix, the fire phoenix, and the dark phoenix.
Many confound the legend of the phoenix as just being an undying deity… However, it's far more complex than that. In our reality, the phoenix is the arbitrator of life… death… and reincarnation."
Elwing gently stroked the box in front of him.
"The nine cycles of reincarnation of the fire phoenix is about all the legends get right. Most completely ignore the life path of the ice phoenix and the death path of dark phoenix.
The truth of the matter is that the flames of reincarnation, the flames of life, and the flames of death, guide some of the most powerful wills in existence.
Maybe the phoenix wasn't the first… in fact, no one know who the first was, but, what's clear is they are now rivaled by very few."
A pained expression appeared of Elwing's face as he sought to continue.
"Sometimes in life, balance is possible. The dichotomy of life and death… how reincarnation brings those two together… it should be perfect. However, as ironic as it may seem, nature doesn't allow good things to last forever, even its own balance…
With every passing second, we are brought closer to our deaths. The air that breathes life into us may as well also be our executioner."
For just that instant, Dyon got the faint feeling Elwing had stopped an act, 'There's more than just a little truth in what he's saying…'
"And unfortunately, in typical fashion, nature didn't allow the balance of the phoenixes to continue either. The death path grew too strong…
Because the universes of our reality are constantly moving toward an impending destruction, time was all that was needed for the balance to irreparably shift. It's simple logic… as death is spread, so too did the dark phoenixes become more powerful… and with that, came conflict."
Dyon immediately connected this to the campaigns, 'Ri told me the campaigns were fought partly for glory, but mostly because the universes were ageing toward death… But, the way this Elwin character is explaining it, it seems like the phoenixes were simply along for the ride just like anyone else. It just happened that the dark phoenixes benefitted.'
Elwing sighed, "What's was most tragic about this was the fact that there were few who cared about the growing power of the dark phoenixes.
For one, the phoenixes weren't almighty existences. Not only could they die, they were also susceptible to defeat – although you'd have to be among the most powerful to do that.
However, the main issue was that the phoenixes were prideful and arrogant. Each – the ice and fire phoenix clans – believed they could handle the situation on their own. In fact, they hated each other as much as they hated the dark phoenixes.
Because of this, the dark phoenixes went on a tear. Destroying universe after universe and increasing their wills because of it. Because they destroyed indiscriminately, they had no need to defend their gates. This gave them the advantage of concentrating all of their forces in singular areas, resulting in only 10,000 universes remaining.
In the end, the ice and fire phoenixes still couldn't settle their differences…"