Izroth saw no reason to deceive Kayn, however, there were still too many unknowns. Not to mention, who knew what kind of chaos it would cause if information escaped that he had a page to the Book of Beginnings in his possession? Izroth understood that with his current strength, it was impossible to fend off beings in the legendary realm. Therefore, until he had enough power to protect himself, he believed it would be best to keep this information as concealed as possible.
However, Izroth did not know if Kayn would understand if he simply said that a quest told him about it. With that in mind, Izroth explained that he only heard rumors about it and seen it written in some books about old legends in the Amaharpe palace library.
Although Kayn was a bit skeptical, he found nothing to be inconsistent with Izroth's words. After all, it was not a complete impossibility that some information escaped about the Path of Dragons after its existence for countless millennia. For now, he decided to take Izroth at his word and did not continue to pursue the matter.
"I can tell you about the Path of Dragons, however, it is still a closely guarded secret of my Dragon Palace. You must give me your word that you will never share this information with another even in death. Do I have your word?" Kayn asked.
"Rest assured, you have my word." Izroth replied without hesitation. Since he needed to clear the Path of Dragons with his own power, there was no need to divulge any information about it to others if that was Kayn's only request.
"Good! You should know that a man is only as good as his word!" Kayn stated.
He then continued, "The Path of Dragons is a right of passage for young dragons that has existed for countless millennia. Those who successfully clear the Path of Dragons are recognized by the Dragon Palace as a true talent and given special treatment and benefits. To be perfectly honest, the trial itself is actually pretty simple. You just have to walk down a path until you're unable to go any further."
Izroth inwardly furrowed his brows. That's it? One just had to walk down a path to clear it? No trials or challenges? Izroth believed that it was not that simple, otherwise, how could it be a part of an SSS-ranked quest? Not to mention, why would it be such a well-guarded secret of the Dragon Palace?
"I know what you're thinking and you're correct. There's no way it could be that easy. Let me ask you, do you know how many individuals have passed the Path of Dragons in the last millennium?" Kayn asked.
He then held up four fingers as he said, "Four. My father, my eldest brother, and myself."
Only that many people were able to pass it within the last 1,000 years? Izroth believed that this would be even more challenging than he originally thought. Though there was something else that caught Izroth's attention.
"Isn't that only three?" Izroth questioned after realizing that Kayn only named three individuals. Kayn had just held up four fingers, but he only named three people. Therefore, who was the last person to clear the Path of Dragons in the last millennium?
"Ah, this... Well, actually we don't know either. A long time ago, some outsider snuck into the Path of Dragons and by the time we arrived that person had already vanished. To avoid the gaze of my father for so long, that person definitely had to be someone at the peak of the legendary realm with unrivaled skill. You should have seen the furious look on my father's face at the time. Ahahaha, I've never seen that old man so agitated before that day." Kayn said as he released a fit of joyous laughter.
Izroth inwardly shook his head. It seemed as though not all true dragons were as described in the books he had read in the Amaharpe palace library. For a race that was supposed to be mostly isolated from the outside world and had a well-known reputation for being unsociable when it came to interacting with other races, Kayn had completely shattered Izroth's image of the true dragons in RML. However, Izroth had a feeling that Kayn was not like the other true dragons at all.
Once his laughter died down, Kayn continued and said, "Well, this is pretty much all there is to know about the Path of Dragons. Although it's simple on the surface, the overall experience differs from person to person, therefore, it's impossible to learn anything further from secondhand information alone. Some experience just a small bit of discomfort, while others may feel as if they're being burned alive by intense flames. There are even those who face their own fears. I'm sure you get the idea now."
'The quest failed to mention any specifics about the Path of Dragons. Could it be due to the fact that it varies from person to person? If so, it seems that any preparation made beforehand will have to be generalized. Only four people in the last millennium have successfully cleared the Path of Dragons. This demonstrates that not just anyone is capable of clearing it.'
Izroth expressed his thanks to Kayn for his explanation before going on to ask, "Is it possible for someone outside of the Dragon Palace to attempt the Path of Dragons?"
Of course, Izroth knew that it was possible since Kayn mentioned that an outsider had once cleared the Path of Dragons, however, that outsider was an existence at the peak of the legendary realm. Not only that, but he was even capable of escaping the gaze of Kayn's father. While Izroth did not know the exact strength of Kayn's father, as someone who possesses the blood of a true dragon and controls the Dragon Palace, it was safe to say that he was not weak by any means.
With his current strength, Izroth ruled out using such a method and decided to seek any alternatives. However, if that truly was the only way for an outsider to attempt the Path of Dragons, then he would have no choice but to focus on increasing his own strength and following in the footsteps of that outsider.
Kayn furrowed his brows as a thoughtful expression appeared on his face. He seemed somewhat troubled when Izroth asked that question, but the fact that he did not instantly respond with a no meant that there was a possibility! As for Izroth, he remained patient as Kayn was deep in his thoughts.
A few moments later, Kayn released a heavy sigh as he said, "It's possible... But, I'm afraid with your current strength it'll be like climbing a mountain with no hands."
He then continued, "Of course, if you're not in any particular rush and actually do manage to take away 1st place for the second team's Lustrum Imperial Bout and successfully become my brother, I can guarantee that you'll be allowed to challenge the Path of Dragons."
Although Kayn's offer was generous, unfortunately, Izroth could not afford to wait until after the Lustrum Imperial Bout to clear the Path of Dragons. The time limit for the quest was 120 days, however, the Lustrum Imperial Bout was nearly six months away. If he waited that long, then he would have already failed the quest and the capital city of Amaharpe would be destroyed! Not to mention, he would suffer from the other penalties for failure as well. Therefore, this was not an option.
"I'm afraid I won't be able to wait until after the Lustrum Imperial Bout. If the prince of the Dragon Palace can assist me in reaching the Path of Dragons, I will remember this favor and one day repay it. I do not fear facing a challenge, only that I never be given a chance to overcome it." Izroth said in an unhurried and calm manner.
Kayn gave a nod of approval as he responded, "I figured you would say that. Alright, just leave it to me. In two months, I'll send someone to come find you. I'll say this now so that you won't get any wrong ideas; I won't be able to assist you in any way. I can only give you a chance, nothing else. If you fail, then a second chance won't be possible." There was a grave tone present in Kayn's voice.
"Just granting me an opportunity is already doing more than enough. I do not intend to take advantage of your kindness. I will deal with whatever is necessary with my own power." Izroth replied.
"Good." Kayn tossed a token in the shape of a golden dragon towards Izroth who caught it in his hands.
He then continued, "That's a token of authority for my Dragon Palace. Keep that on you at all times. When the time comes, it'll be how the messenger I send locates and recognizes you. After all, I don't plan on searching every corner of the Mortal Realm for you. Of course, you can sell it as well. It'll probably fetch a decent price." Kayn said the last part in a joking manner.
Izroth understood that Kayn's last few words were not to be taken seriously, however, a decent price was an understatement. A token of authority from the Dragon Palace was a priceless treasure to many, especially those who wanted to get close to the true dragons. The fact that Kayn casually handed him the token would probably cause the head of the Dragon Palace, Kayn's father, to cough up blood from anger at the actions of his son.
"Then, I'll thank the prince of the Dragon Palace in advance." Izroth said with a carefree smile on his face.
The two then exchanged some casual words until Izroth brought up the topic of Domains with Kayn.
"Hm? Domains? Ah, right. You don't have a Domain, do you? You're quite strange, Izroth. Usually, one acquires a Domain well before obtaining a Source, however, you've gone and done it completely backwards. Though I suppose it explains why your Source is still in an infancy stage." Kayn stated with a grin on his face.
Kayn then went on to explain the basics of Domains to Izroth. It was just as Izroth thought, the elements of the Domains had something to do with the eight trigrams, however, there were some minor differences. What he was interested to learn of though was that not only did lower Domains exist, but there was something even stronger than the main upper eight Domains called the Pinnacle Four Origin Domains. However, he was curious as to where the Domain Sage used in their fight placed and so he asked Kayn.
Kayn, however, shook his head as he replied, "That's something that shouldn't be talked about. But, if I had to guess, based on its raw power alone it's probably on the same level of the Pinnacle Four Origin Domains. Maybe even slightly higher. Since it's the first time that something like this has ever occurred to my knowledge, I can't give any solid answers."
'That explains why that power was consuming her. To suddenly wield such vast power in an unstable state is bound to lead to a disaster. As for how I'll get a Domain... He said that it'll come naturally as I grow in strength. It seems I can only wait and continue to increase my power. But, according to his words, one also needs the assistance of an Element Gathering Temple to properly manifest a Domain. Though it's unfortunate that one's Domain is chosen at random when the time does arrive.'
Now that he had received all the information he needed, Izroth did not continue to impose upon Kayn. After exchanging farewells, Kayn activated the magic formation to transport Izroth back to the location he was at before arriving at the Sky Palace.
"Hm, I feel like I forgot to tell him something... Ah, well. I'm sure it'll work itself out. Since I can't remember, it probably wasn't all that important anyways." Kayn said to himself as he rubbed the back of his head and left the room.
'I've finally returned.'
Izroth had been transported to the pill crafting room inside of his Mystical Realm Palace. Although it had only been around 5-6 hours since he left, it felt as though he had not seen this place in ages!
'It looks like he already left.'
Izroth noticed that Aru was no longer anywhere to be found. Since his mission appeared to have been accomplished, there was probably no longer any need for him to trail after Izroth.
At the same time, the moment Izroth returned to the Mystical Realm Palace, he received a flood of messages from the system. During the selection, his long-range messaging system had been temporarily disabled. Now that he had returned, all the messages he missed during his absence had bombarded him all at once!
'Hm? This one's from...'
One of the alerts immediately caught his eye. That was because it was a friend request from someone he had never heard of before. However, there was a note attached to the friend request that read "People say the setting sun marks the edge of the sky." and the player name in front of it read Menerva.
'Menerva? This name is unfamiliar. Also, this line is... I see.'
Although Izroth did not know anyone who went by the name Menerva, his interest was piqued by the line sent along with their friend request. Therefore, out of curiosity, he accepted the friend request and chose to send a reply to the line that Menerva wrote after seeing that they were online.