“Originally, the conflict was indeed between the demons and the dragons. The first few battles were also still fought between us. At that time, the curse hadn’t been put in place yet. So whether it was the demons, the dragons, or the gods, our societies worked a little different from now.
“At that time, there was actually a royal family among the demons that had the say over the whole demon realm very much as I do in the dragon realm right now. The difference was that contrary to how the dragon king is chosen only based on the merit of his own skills, the title in the demon realm was hereditary. It would never be given to somebody outside of their family.”
“Pretty much like the emperor in the mortal realm.”
Qiu Ling nodded. “Precisely. Naturally, they weren’t happy to see some of their subjects rise in what they deemed a revolt and become their own race. So they always wanted to bring us back under their control or — in the worst case — completely eradicate us so others wouldn’t try to do the same.
“That was the start of the conflict. But with time, things actually changed. There really was no way to debate anymore that the dragons weren’t like the other demons. We had lost the ability to use dark energy instead of just spiritual energy and even the elemental magic that we had was limited to water and air, contrary to the fire and earth magic of the demons. On the other hand, we had the ability to change from one form into the other, something that most demons are unable to do, although there are a few exceptions. In any case, we clearly weren’t the same anymore.
“There are some groups among the demons that have also changed quite a bit but it is not as obvious or consistent as with the dragons where all of us have the same abilities and lack the others that are common for demons. Unless some demon blood is introduced into a dragon’s bloodline, nobody among us would suddenly awaken any other abilities. It’s different for those other groups in the demon race.”
“So what did the gods have to do with that?” While Jing Yi understood the general conflict, he still didn’t know what the gods had to do with that. This whole matter seemed to be completely unrelated to them.
“The gods were organized in the same manner as the demons. They also had a bloodline that had to be kept alive, that of the Heavenly Emperor. So when they originally looked at the conflict between the demons and the dragons, there was some apprehension that part of the gods would also rise in revolt and try to change things.
“If that happened, the Nine Heavens might have fractured and they could have lost their power. Naturally, they didn’t want to see that. So originally, there was even the intention to ally with the demons against the dragons and force us back into servitude in the hope to smash everyone else’s lofty aspirations at becoming their own lord.”
Jing Yi’s eyes widened when he heard that. He had expected quite a lot but definitely not this. But everything that Qiu Ling said made sense. If the demons actually let go of the dragons, it could’ve really resulted in something like this. “Why did they change their mind?”
Qiu Ling leaned back and his lips quirked up in a smile. “Isn’t that because my race has always had outstanding kings? The official story is that the one who had assumed the role of the dragon king back then went to negotiate with the gods. He brought up some very convincing arguments. Such as that the gods had always been a more cohesive race than the demons had ever been.
“No matter which of the Nine Heavens you look at, the gods are still the same: All of them use spiritual energy, all of them are able to use each of the six elements, and all of them only have that one form, and are at most able to use their spiritual energy to cover it and project a different appearance. They can’t actually change.
“But in the demon race, things were different. From the very beginning, there were different tribes among them. The dragons were one of those that were a little more close-knit as I said before, making us develop in a specific direction. Others intermingled more but it still resulted in huge differences.
“Thus, the situation of the demons and that of the gods really couldn’t actually be considered the same. Also, the dragon king proposed an alliance of his own. If the dragons were defeated, what did the gods have to gain? There didn’t seem to be anything. It was only that they wanted to make sure that nothing would happen to the inviolability of their sovereignty. But if that wasn’t a problem, there really was no reason to get involved.
“Instead, the benefits might be bigger if they entered an alliance with the dragons. They could ally against the demons and thus weaken the one rival that they had. In any case, there had only been two immortal races. The dragons were still a young folk, not one with that many people. If not for the demons, the gods could have ruled much of the Nine Heavens but also the mortal realms.”
Jing Yi slightly furrowed his brows. From Qiu Ling’s gaze, he felt like there was something more in his words. “Rule the mortal realms … you mean to say that because of this alliance, the gods started governing the mortal realms?” He pondered and felt that it was quite likely. After all, the palaces like that of the Fate’s Scribe, or the ascensions that the Court of Justice had a hand over, were all tied to the mortal realm. Why was that? There had to be a reason for it.
Qiu Ling nodded. “Indeed. You are exactly right. The dragon king back then painted a beautiful picture for them. One that he was indeed willing to help come true. After all, this alone would save the dragons from being defeated by the demons at this moment when they were still vulnerable.
“As the current status shows, he was successful: The two races allied against the demons. It secured the survival of the dragons and changed the balance between the gods and the demons. With that, the relationship between those two races naturally worsened. And I guess that grudge has not been forgotten. Very much like the demons still haven’t forgotten that once upon a time, the dragons were part of their race.
“Truth be told, nowadays, there isn’t really much of a danger to be brought back under the subjugation of the demons. In any case, the dragons have developed as a race. The features that we show have become even more stable than they had been back then and the number of people in our race has grown a lot. So the danger to us now is only minuscule. And with the continued alliance between the gods and the dragons, the gods are also in a stable position. For both of our races, this alliance was quite advantageous.”
Jing Yi nodded his head but his brows were still furrowed. So that was actually the story behind everything. And it was also the reason why the gods were now governing the mortal realm. It seemed that even though his questions had been quite random, he had actually managed to find out quite a few important things. He could really say that his first day in the Nine Heavens had had quite the gain.