"What? Of course, not!" Akira strongly said as she got up from her chair, not expecting Damien to consider this seriously. She was sure Mira had already told him how strong Lehron's slave was.

Mira was surprised that he still wanted to take up this challenge despite knowing the strength difference. He wasn't even in the Profound Ethereal Realm, and yet he was already dreaming of taking on someone at the Noble Ethereal Realm.

How foolish could he be? What was he trying to prove, or was he simply saying this to gain recognition from his aunt, knowing that she won't let him fight?

Damien didn't expect his aunt to get so worked up, but this made him reaffirm that Lehron's slave must be no joke.

Still, he was firm in his decision as he said calmly, "Aunt, I know you are worried something might happen to me if I accept it. But Mira doesn't have to lose her hands just because she tried to protect me."

Mira's lips parted as she didn't expect him to be so concerned about her getting punished. He sounded quite sincere, too, or was he playing at something here?

Akira let out a soft sigh as she said, "If you think this is your fault, then don't. As my personal disciple, it was Mira's duty to protect you. I also know it's unfair for her to lose her hands for no fault of hers. But you don't have to worry about it. She can regrow new hands when she reaches the Prime Nethereal Realm. This is the only reason I am not taking any actions that could put our clan at risk."

'Regrow hands?' Damien was surprised as Luna explained to him, "The Prime Ethereal Realm is considered the peak any mortal can achieve. And in doing so, their bodies evolve to the next level. Their skin, muscles, and bones all get infused with ethereal energy which not only grants them significant strength but also lets them even reattach entire limbs or grow them back, though it won't be nowhere as quick as reattaching a severed limb."

Hearing Luna's explanation, Damien now felt even more interested in becoming a Prime.

But he noticed something that Akira said, "What do you mean by putting our clan at risk? Thinking about it, couldn't you use your authority as the Chief Warlord to make a compromise about this situation. It's not like anybody died or got seriously injured."

"If your father was alive, then maybe we could have just brushed off this incident without much trouble. But now…our Godwin Clan isn't as strong as it used to be. I might be the strongest around here, but our clan isn't the strongest. And even if nothing serious happened, his son got slapped in public which could be considered a serious issue when it comes to losing face. They wouldn't simply swallow that insult."

Damien furrowed his brows, "You mean the Nightshade Clan is—"

"Yes. It is the strongest clan in Ghoul City presently," She clenched her fists as she added in a cold tone, "Mehron has strengthened his clan over the past decade. He and the other warlords are colluding to have me removed the first chance they get. He is also well-received by the people by fooling them. But only I know that he is a cunning devil who has been waiting for the fall of our clan. Knowing him, he must have purposefully orchestrated this incident to put me in this situation. Such a despicable attempt."

Damien realized that his initial guess was right. This Mehron guy was no simple man but someone quite calculative and cunning, just like his aunt said.

"But what happened to our clan for it to become weaker than his?" Damien curiously asked.

Mira shot a quick glare at Damien as she shook her head as if telling him to take back his question.

Damien felt confused about why she was reacting like that, but then he saw how Akira's face seemed a bit heavy and complicated.

But Akira finally spoke after a few moments of silence, "It is because of the controversy that happened when you were born. I tried to keep everything under wraps, but rumors still got out that your father was colluding with humans, which was something that caused quite a stir here in those days, even though these rumors were not true at all. Your father might have fallen in love with a human which could be considered a betrayal to his own people, but he never really did anything to cause harm to his own people."

"And I am guessing that Mehron and the other warlords used this opportunity to deal a blow to our clan?" Damien asked.

Akira nodded as she firmly pressed her lips together, "They pulled strings from behind as they caused internal conflicts within our clan, dividing our people and even pulling them to their side. You must have met War Elder Ruhar. He was previously from our clan, but then he betrayed us when we needed him the most and joined the Nightshade Clan."

"Only because I destroyed some stations of the Salvation at that time did I manage to prove myself to the people that our clan has no affiliation of any kind to the humans. That is how I won back their trust after the death of your father. But by then, the damage had been done to our clan as our strength basically halved."

"Still, why didn't Mehron and the others try to take down our clan by force? Based on their nature, it wouldn't be that hard for them to manipulate the people again after taking our clan down," Damien knew this was not far-fetched since he had personally seen such things happen.

"Of course, they wouldn't dare!" Mira spoke up with a look of pride in her eyes and added, "As long as our Thunder Guardian lives, they wouldn't have the guts to directly harm our clan."

Akira also nodded with a glow in her eyes upon hearing Mira mention the words 'Thunder Guardian'.