Chapter 559 Negotiations
The drained Third Grade Thunder Dragon Arms could no longer keep his composure upon seeing Greem picking up Mary and turning to leave.
"Human Adept, what is it that you want?" Arms roared lethargically.
This wicked human adept had transported him to a higher plane using a special goblin teleportation device after capturing him. Even though the Third Grade thunder dragon had never been in this plane before, his powerful sense of smell and for planes allowed him to smell the reeking stench of the adepts through the planar laws of the world.
Chaotic, evil, strange and powerful.
Though the adepts preferred to be known for their knowledge, their so-called culture was little more than a joke before the dragons that easily lived up to thousands of years.
The legacy knowledge that the dragons obtained from their bloodline was some of the most advanced knowledge in the entire multiverse. Ordinary planar lifeforms wouldn't even have the chance to come into contact with or learn such knowledge!
Ever since he became imprisoned in this lowly and narrow space, Thunder Dragon Arms had thought countless times about how to respond to the human adept's interrogation and torture. His rational being had even considered all the appropriate strategies to use in all the various situations.
Yet, what caught him by surprise was the stark indifference he was being treated with. The human adept only showed up once when sealing him and then quietly left him with that wicked elementium golem that kept draining him of his blood.
There was no repetitive attempt to convince him, or wicked and brutal pressuring. The human adept seemed to be treating him like a powerful resource site, not doing anything else apart from draining his blood.
That undoubtedly made the Third Grade thunder dragon suspicious!
The dragons were so powerful that human adepts would never be willing to simply dissect them upon capturing them. They would only get some 'insignificant' dragon resources in doing so: dragon blood, dragon tendons, dragon meat, dragon bones, dragon crystals. These things were valuable, but how could they compare to a living Third Grade dragon?
That was why Arms was confident that the adept was only taking up this attitude to break down his psychological defenses. Once he succumbed to the torture, the adept would take the opportunity to put forth some intolerable conditions.
He would ask for things such as 'companionship contracts,' dragon secrets, dragon knowledge...
As a pureblooded dragon and the pride of the thunder dragons, Arms would never accept any such conditions!
Not even in the face of death!
However, having the enemy unconditionally let him go; the difficulty of those negotiations was no less than if he had been presented with those conditions.
After much thought, the thunder dragon, who fancied himself collected and calm, finally opened his mouth when he saw Greem turning to leave.
Greem stopped upon hearing the thunder dragon speak.
"You can't give me what I want!"
"How do you know that before telling me what it is."
"I want you." Greem looked at Arms and gave a direct reply.
"Do not delude yourself into thinking that one of the great thunder dragon bloodline would bow his head to a human weaker than himself. This remains the same, even if you are an adept." The thunder dragon replied with a firm tone.
"Then what is there to talk about?" Greem twitched his mouth coldly before turning to leave again.
"Wait…" Thunder Dragon Arms couldn't help but shout.
In his hurry, he accidentally exerted force. A series of magic runes immediately lit up on the runic chains, and Arms instantly felt the pain of searing flesh.
Thunder Dragon Arms hissed in agony a couple of times, but he didn't dare move his body. It was only when the runes on the chains had been extinguished that he slowly climbed out of the abyss of pain.
"I……might not be able……to submit to you, but……I can have……my servant……take my place." It seemed the backlash from the magic earlier had caused pretty severe damage. Arms was exhausted even when speaking.
Greem raised an eyebrow when he heard this. He turned his head and took a look at Dragonborn Zacha, contained within the other pillar.
Second Grade Dragonborn Zacha had been in a terrible state when he brought into the sealing room.
The multiple weeks of starvation had turned him into rations for his thunder dragon master. Almost all of the flesh on the lower half of his body had been devoured, and even the upper half of his body had been badly mutilated.
Even Greem hadn't been sure he could save the Dragonborn when he brought him back. After all, such wounds were far too unimaginable terrifying!
In all honesty, the Dragonborn truly did possess one half of a dragon's bloodline. Despite the severe wounds, Gargamel and his shoddy potion master's treatment had managed to save the dragonborn. Zacha had almost fully recovered.
Greem had thought that Zacha would be filled with burning hatred for Arms and would be easily convinced to his cause.
But who knew? This Second Grade Dragonborn Zacha was a blockhead. It didn't matter how much Greem and Gargamel tried to incite and stir his emotions, he would never speak. Zacha still seemed to remain obedient toward Thunder Dragon Arms.
At this point, Greem had no choice but to admit the binding power that bloodline had over most lifeforms. It was beyond his imagination!
Greem had initially given up on Zacha and all thoughts of turning the dragonborn into his subordinate. Yet today, Arms' words had caused a sliver of hope to rise once again.
Though he was overjoyed, Greem kept a tight hold on his cold expression. He put on a sinister smile of disdain instead.
"You are a Third Grade dragon. Right now, you are trying to use a Second Grade dragonborn as a replacement for yourself. Do you take adepts for brainless idiots?" Greem's tone even started to turn severe at the end of his sentence.
"Of course not, of course not." A great dragon lord, reduced to being scolded and reprimanded by a tiny human adept. If this were in the past, Thunder Dragon Arms would have merely let out a dragon's breath and blasted the opponent into oblivion. However, he could only cautiously and gently explain himself now.
"I will use wealth satisfactory to you to exchange for my freedom!"
"A dragon's wealth?" Greem couldn't help but brood silently upon hearing this.
The dragons loved hoarding wealth. That was something known universally throughout the multiverse.
Every dragon would live together with their parents when they were still a whelp. However, they would be chased away by their parents the moment they came of age and forced to lead an independent life. The most direct cause for this wasn't their parent's hope for them to grow into independence, but because their parents would fear them lusting for the wealth they had worked so hard for.
That was why every dragon would build their own dragon's den and go out robbing the wealth of other intelligent lifeforms upon adolescence. Human cities, elven tree fortresses, dwarven castles, and even powerful magical creatures would be looted by the dragons as long as they were weaker than them.
Gold, jewels, rare ores, legendary weapons, magical gemstones, items containing powerful elementium energy; all of these were targets that the dragons loved to collect and rob for their possession.
When the wealth of a dragon reached their psychological bottom line, they would become increasingly lazy and cautious. They would hide in their dens, crouching atop their mountainous pile of treasures, snoring as they slept.
Dragons during this period of their life were the most reluctant to leave their dens, as well as the most powerful.
That was why Greem's heart throbbed intensely for a moment when he heard Arms' suggestion. He then looked at the thunder dragon with suspicious eyes.
"Arms, according to my knowledge, you seem to be a juvenile dragon. Moreover, this invasion into the Goblin Plane seems to be your first attempt at robbing away from your den. Do you have any wealth in your den?"
Thunder Dragon Arms' face fell apart when he heard this.
He hadn't expected this human adept to have gathered such comprehensive information about him. He looked so young. It was going to be difficult to trick the opponent now!
"I… have… some wealth in my den." It was the first time he was lying to a lower lifeform. Third Grade Thunder Dragon Arms felt as if he had dragged his name through the mud.
"And that wealth is enough to buy the freedom of a Third Grade dragon?" Greem pursued the matter.
"Enough…enough… it's definitely not enough. But… as long as you let me go, I will definitely go borrow some from my tribemates. It will be enough wealth to buy my freedom." For some reason, Arms was stuttering when he said this. There was none of his usual arrogance and self-importance.
"I have never heard of dragons lending their wealth to tribemates. Not even dragon partners would do so, would they?!" Greem was no longer suspecting. Instead, he glared at Arms with hostile eyes.
For the first time in his life, Thunder Dragon Arms cursed the vast knowledge of the adepts.
However, what he hated, even more, were those dragon bastards that went about spreading the secrets of the dragons!
Even the prideful Thunder Dragon Arms could no longer stay calm before the pressing eyes of the adept.
"I can help you rob… help you borrow…" The thunder dragon's voice finally relented.
"You mean you are finally willing to work for me?" Greem felt a slight joy at this.
"Impossible!" Who knew? The relenting thunder dragon suddenly turned stubborn when it came back to this question, "According to the traditions of us dragons, pure-blooded dragons are not allowed to become the companions, servants, or mounts of other races. Anyone who goes against this tradition will be spit upon by all dragons and lose the blessing of the Dragon God!"
"You mean… you can serve me, but you can't sign any servitude or slavery contracts?" Greem mulled over Arms' words and asked probingly.
This time, the thunder dragon didn't refute him. He didn't affirm the question either. Instead, he looked at Greem with a complicated expression and chose to remain silent.
Greem vaguely understood something.
The faith and soul of the dragons would always belong to the great and holy Dragon God.
That was a line that was never to be crossed!
As long as this red line wasn't stepped upon, Thunder Dragon Arms was more than willing to make some concessions for his own life!
Greem was glad that he now understood the cards that Arms held in his hand.