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“You don’t look like someone who would become a traitor. Can you tell me more about your past?” Han Sen asked with a look of great curiosity. He was still sitting behind Lando on the Tianxia Unicorn as they made their way out of the system.
He thought there had to be more to the story of Lando slaying his teacher. With Lando’s power, assassinating a deified would have been incredibly difficult.
Plus, there shouldn’t have been a reason for him to kill his own mentor. By doing so, he only would have gained the animosity of his own race and the distrust of others. There was no benefit.
“You are wrong. I really am a traitor that killed his teacher,” Lando said emotionlessly.
“Can you tell me why?” Han Sen asked.
Lando hesitated. Han Sen noticed and quickly said, “I don’t believe that you would kill your teacher for no reason. But if you don’t want to tell me about it, that’s fine. I won’t push.”
Han Sen’s strategy of backing off the subject worked. Although it took Lando some time to respond, he eventually said, “It’s not like I’m trying to keep the story a secret. It’s just that if I told people, they wouldn’t believe me anyway.”
“I would believe you,” Han Sen said with certainty.
“If I told you I was my teacher, would you believe it?” Lando asked, turning around to stare into Han Sen’s eyes.
“I’m… not sure what to make of that statement. What do you mean?” Han Sen asked.
Lando faced forward again. They continued to fly forward for a long, quiet moment.
Han Sen’s curiosity was amped up even more. He was afraid that Lando might refuse to discuss the subject any further, but fortunately, Lando again broke the silence. “You saw the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo on my back, did you not? You know what that is?”
“I don’t know.” Han Sen shook his head. “Isn’t that some kind of treasure?”
Lando explained the basics of what the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo was and how it worked. Then he said, “People think my master worked hard for 10,000 years to obtain that Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo. But that isn’t what happened at all. He found an easier way.”
Upon hearing this, Han Sen felt a shiver pass through him. He had an intuition about where this story was going.
Lando went on to say, “He tried it before, but the pain was too much for even a deified being to endure. It wasn’t long before he gave up on the idea, but he really wanted Dragon One’s position, and he needed more power in order to claim it. So, he came up with a plan. And that is why I’m here today.”
“In order to be successfully created and wielded, the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo needed a body as a base. But Dragon Two found a way to circumvent the need to endure that pain. He used his genes to create a duplicate of himself. Then he set that clone to practicing with the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo. When the process was complete, he planned to take the tattoo for himself. Because the clone had been created from his own genes, there wouldn’t have been any compatibility issues. It would have been just like he had practiced with the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo himself.”
“That means that the person who suffered for 10,000 years was you?” Han Sen demanded angrily.
Lando nodded. “Because I was merely cloned from his genes, I didn’t possess deified powers. Before I could practice with the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo, I had to achieve King class powers at the very least. So, he let me start practicing. And to prevent the chance of there being compatibility issues further down the line, I learned all the same skills that he had learned in his youth.”
“I was just a genetic clone. I didn’t have memories, and I couldn’t think for myself. I was like a baby. I only had the knowledge, thought processes, and powers that I was given. Other Dragons believed that I was his student. And his favorite student, at that. People thought he treated me like a son and gave me everything. He taught me many secret skills, but no one knew he did that for the sole purpose of replicating himself within me. If he hadn’t trained me exactly the way he had been trained, he thought there might be issues when he tried to harvest the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo.”
Han Sen’s heart sank as he listened. A deified elite had created and brainwashed a baby, all so he could inflict unimaginable pain on the child to further his own power.
Lando probably hadn’t even fully understood why he was suffering.
“If you were a clone, you guys must have looked identical. Did no one else notice that?” Han Sen asked.
Lando smiled, and that smile was chilling. “Changing one’s appearance isn’t difficult. You just need to change a small number of your genes. For a deified, such a task is easy.”
“That’s what he thought, at least. He made a tiny change to my genes, just enough to alter my appearance. However, he never expected that this minor difference would end up changing everything.”
“Although I was his clone, the environment I was raised in was different than Dragon Two’s childhood. As the years went by, the tiny change he made to my genes was compounded by the differences in environment.”
“It was a shame I didn’t know anything about this back then. I thought I was his student, someone that he treated like his real son. I just wanted to show gratitude for what he had done for me. I wanted to finish the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo. No matter the pain I suffered, I forced myself to endure it. I pushed myself so hard that I lost all feeling in my body.” After saying that, Lando laughed. But Han Sen could tell that the laugh was forced. It was Lando’s way of showing that he wasn’t afraid of what had happened anymore.
Lando trailed off. Han Sen could guess what had happened next. Dragon Two must have revealed his scheme as Lando practiced the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo. Lando must have fought with him, and that was why Dragon Two had died.
But Han Sen still didn’t understand how Lando managed to kill Dragon Two. Even if he was Dragon Two’s genetic clone, he didn’t have Dragon Two’s deified power.
Lando seemed to notice Han Sen’s unspoken question. He shook his head and said, “It isn’t what you’re thinking. I didn’t fight him. We transferred the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo to him, and he couldn’t wait to practice and push the tattoo to the final stage. The process went smoothly, just as he expected. The Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo came entirely under his control, and he used his own blood to refine it. The blend was a success, and there didn’t seem to be any problems. Then, once the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo reached deified class, he discovered that the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo had a very strong compatibility issue.”
“Imagine a man who has just had a heart transplant discovered that there was a compatibility issue. He went insane. He had already used more than half of his blood to push the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo to deified status. The Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo was to be stronger than himself.”
“So, he died. And you took back the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo. Why were you labeled a traitor?” Han Sen still didn’t understand.
Lando quietly said, “In the end, he couldn’t handle the thought of his impending death. He tried to take my body, hoping that he could use my body to survive and regain control over the Demon Hell Dragon Tattoo.”
“I don’t like this story,” Han Sen said with a sigh.
“I don’t like it, either,” Lando said.
Han Sen wanted to say something more, but something suddenly appeared in front of them. It came right toward Han Sen before he even had a chance to react.
“A deified Demon?” When Han Sen got close enough to see the body clearly, he raised his eyebrows.
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