"Elder brother, are you serious?"
Dragon Warden asked as the two sat on top of the Empyrean World's highest mountain.
"Why would I not be?"
Regretless asked and stood up.
"Let the fools make all the comments they wish. As long as we brothers know where we stand, it's all inconsequential."
He replied while casting a gentle glance and warm smile toward Dragon Warden. Unlike the other scions of the Empyrean Dragon Race that either had golden or silver hairs. Regretless' eyes and hairs were an ordinary black.
Of course, that was undoubtedly related to his sealed bloodline. A bloodline whose origin only their father and his long-lost mother could name with certainty.
"Dragon Warden, I do not envy you. What good is there in being emperor? The adoration and obedience of all? The enforcement of rules and the maintenance of peace throughout all Realms?
Those are dull and nonsensical matters fit for uptight and pedantic ancients like you."
Regretless chortled while his words caused Dragon Warden's forehead to crease with black lines. Regretless then spun to face the wide sky and stretched out his hands.
"I want to be free! To roam all realms free and unfettered with my beloved by my side. Do some good deeds every now and then but live my vast life to the fullest. Right now, I don't even know if I can undo the seal and become a God. How dare I waste time in such boring thoughts.
I don't have the time. Dragon Warden, you can become emperor and rule the Three Realms. I only hope that unlike father, you give some consideration to the mortals. Of course, if one day I break the seal and rise to godhood, I will become the sword in your shadow, and beat the living shit out of anyone that dares threaten your rule."
Regretless proclaimed while a gust of breeze blew his hairs. Hearing this, Dragon Warden sighed.
"You mean Peerless and those runts you saved and have been raising?"
He inquired while shaking his head from left to right. Throughout the Empyrean Realm, who didn't know that Peerless, the Phoenix Lord's cherished daughter and his elder brother were an item.
How others viewed him didn't matter. His notorious reputation as the dragon clan's trash didn't matter. Her father's view didn't matter. She could ignore them all to be with him. And it soon became evident that her vision was leagues above any of theirs.
As for the runts…
"Hehe, of course, I mean all of them. Cloud's cultivation has been making rapid progress lately. Moon is steady, but Night's path is worrying. I plan to take them all on a tour very soon."
Regretless replied without hesitation. But Dragon Warden only further shook his head.
"How sorrowful, Dragon Dark and I are your blood brothers, but are completely cast aside for the sake of outsiders. So much for brotherhood. Clearly, a pair of doe eyes and some sassy runts are enough to put us in the background.
Thinking of how imperial uncle spent all these years teaching you, he must be full of grievances."
Dragon Warden "sobbed," causing Regretless to burst into a peal of laughter, and wrap his shoulders in a friendly embrace. And by "imperial uncle," he naturally meant the Great Elder.
"Haha, what can I say? Dragon Dark is an unredeemable cunt, I'd rather live without him. As for imperial uncle and you, you shoulder the responsibilities of three realms. Apologies, but I dare not keep you by my side."
Regretless professed in a tone mixing jest and false seriousness while tapping Dragon Warden's shoulders.
"I can't say I disagree. That being the case, allow me to officiate your wedding. You better send the dowry very soon. Although Peerless only has eyes for you, as one of the immortal fairies, her pursuers are many.
The Phoenix Lord is a sensible man who undoubtedly doesn't want you as his son-in-law. If you keep delaying the matter, someone else might just snatch her."
Dragon Warden cautioned, half-joking, half-serious. And with their level of proximity, Regretless understood the seriousness within his jesting tone.
"Don't worry, I recently found an opportunity that might allow me to bypass the bloodline seal. I want to attempt a breakthrough into godhood before officially asking for Peerless' hand. Right now, although imperial uncle supports me, with your imperial mother being such a pain, the Phoenix Lord might not be at ease.
But if I arrive with God-level cultivation and startling might, even he will have to cave in.
Peerless is my woman, she may disregard the jeer, but I will never allow anyone to scold her for being -blind and dimwitted.-
The day I take her hand and make her my wife, all within the Three Realms must gawk in awe!"
Regretless pledged with blazing determination, and Dragon Warden approved.
"I await the day."
But little did Dragon Warden know, that his fears would become reality…in the worst manner imaginable.
This time, Dragon Warden stood within his father's imperial study, answering the summon that forever changed the direction of all their lives.
"I've already issued the imperial decree. You will marry Peerless and become the Phoenix Lord's son-in-law."
Celestial Slaughter declared, and as if struck by a bolt of lightning, Dragon Warden trembled in shock!
"W-what…what did you say? Imperial father, you can't be serious!"
Dragon Warden exclaimed with a surge of indignation.
"Since when do I jest? Are your imperial father's decrees jokes for you?"
Celestial Slaughter inquired without turning toward his crown prince.
"This is utter rubbish! Throughout the Empyrean Realm, no, throughout the Three Realms, who doesn't know that Peerless is elder brother's woman? For centuries they've been together, it's fine if you don't want to bestow them with an imperial wedding, but how could you give her to me?
Doing this, you're telling the world that I covet my brother's wife and used your favor to snatch her! This is no different than putting us at each other's throat! Why? Why must you strive so hard to pit us against one another?!
Imperial father, I won't accept this!"
Dragon Warden snarled in outrage!
Alas, that roar caused no ripple within his immovable father's heart.
"Aright, I will tell you the same thing I told her. You can choose not to accept, but if you do, if the two of you don't get married, Peerless aside, the entire Phoenix clan faces extermination. I've already secured her relatives; all are in my hands.
I believe that better than most, you should understand that I always do what I promise."
Celestial Slaughter replied, his words dumbfounding Dragon Warden who couldn't believe his ears.
"Do you know why I don't include her in the list? Because if I do, she may take the risk of martyrdom and choose to perish alongside her clan. But when only her remains as the survivor, that is another story.
Can Peerless, for the sake of love, condemn her entire clan to extermination? I don't think so.
What about you, imperial son?"
Celestial Slaughter asked and spun to nail Dragon Warden with his golden eyes.
"Dragon Warden, it is time Regretless and you understand that you are the crown prince. You are my heir, the next sovereign of this world. There is nothing you cannot covet, nothing you cannot have.
The world is yours.
If Regretless can accept this, then from now on, he's free to do as he sees fit. I will never suppress him again. But if he can't, then you can't blame me for being merciless."
Celestial Slaughter pursued, with his every words carrying the pressure of his Primordial Force.
"By the way, the engagement ceremony happens in half-an-hour, Peerless is preparing as we speak. You should do the same. Unless, of course, you're willing to see the Phoenix Race wiped out.
Also, I've gathered Immortals and Gods to bear witness to the event.
The choice is yours."
Celestial Slaughter added before vanishing in golden light. At that time, Dragon Warden realized that the die was cast, and perhaps, their brotherhood wouldn't survive this.
It did not.
Within the wedding hall, immortals and deities of all clans gathered to bear witness to the union of the Empyrean Crown Prince and the Phoenix Race's first princess.
The hall was full of unmatched bluster, yet, the targets of this joy couldn't force a smile. But as the wedding ceremony approached the end, at the surprise of all gathered, a new figure stepped in.
Dressed in a simple white-robe unfit for his imperial status, Regretless walked into the scene with paced, but oppressive steps and his eyes blazing with never before seen wrath and rancor.
All immortals and deities turned to face him. So did Dragon Warden, but Peerless couldn't, and kept her eyes lowered on the ground.
"Regretless, this is elder brother's wedding ceremony. Coming in so late, aren't you disparaging our crown prince's face?"
Dragon Dark, who never missed an opportunity to strike at his eldest brother questioned.
Regretless ignored him, and with the same paced steps, advanced till he reached the hall's center.
There he proclaimed:
"I only have one thing to say. All Realms be my witness, Peerless is my woman, MY WIFE! Whoever dares take her from me…IS WHO I KILL!"
Regretless bellowed, and carried by his erupting cultivation and the unimaginable power of his laws, his words echoed throughout the Empyrean Realm!