An old, reviled thought rose to the surface.  He was probably the oldest being alive.  Truly alive, that is, disqualifying full-blooded gods.  He'd been around since before the magic left.  Before the magic left...  They were good days, he mused.
He brought the cup to his lips, took a sip, and placed it back on its saucer.

"I was an advisor to rulers and emperors long before you", he muttered to the silent king.  "They were good days", he said, echoing his thoughts.

He was born from a union between a god and a woman.  His mother had been honoured as a concubine to divinity, and the best education and every luxury was provided to him.

He snorted and smiled absently as he remembered the castle he was raised in.  It had been a thing of beauty, not merely a heap of stone blocks, but a single piece of living rock, molded by magics into a sculpture of beauty.  Its sheer white surfaces glistened, and colourful banners flowed from its spires.  It oversaw the many villages in the vale below.

What beauty was gleaned from a car park, or a shopping centre?  How did that enhance the world?  Or any of the other worlds that were now inhabited?  Still, he'd heard that some worlds were being designed specifically to keep their natural beauty untouched.  He snorted at that.  Designing worlds to remain natural, what a ridiculous notion.  Who thinks up such nonsense?

"Leaders were wise back then.  People loved their rulers, and would have gladly died protecting them.  Can you imagine that?” he asked the king, smiling.

It was an inspiring time, he mused, and he grimaced remembering the love and respect that he had once commanded.

"I defeated the Hydra of Galor, you know.  That was a glorious day.  We battled in the marshes, a brilliant dawn blossoming behind us.  I returned a hero, and the people lined up four or five deep in the streets, just to gaze upon me."

He gave the silent king a knowing look.

"That's right, heroes were looked up to then.  We used our powers to protect people.  We didn't go around fighting each other in some vainglorious pursuit of media attention, as the kids do these days.  They do more harm than good, some of them."

He lifted the cup to his lips, then reconsidered and put it back.

"Just the other day in the news, I saw some upstart calling herself Hellsbells - Hellsbells, can you believe that? - claiming victory over her arch nemesis.  I can't remember his name.  To tell you the truth, I don't even know if he was anything other than a mortal.  According to Hellsbells though, he was the most wretched scum to ever grace the surface of this globe.  One hundred and twelve onlookers died, and she calls it a victory."

He held up a hand sharply.

"And don't even get me started on people who are stupid enough to stand around watching these so-called super-powers fight.  Seriously people, run for cover."

He sipped his tea.

"Can't blame the kids though", he conceded.  "It's all about the fifteen minutes of fame.  Everyone wants to be seen, to know that they are special.  I remember some Buddhist writings from somewhere that said we seek attention because it reinforces that we are special, and that the normal rules of existence don't apply us.  To avoid death.  That's the one thing that we can't avoid, levels the playing field."  He smirked.  "Well, if you are mortal that is.  Not like us, eh?”  He reached across the table and slapped the silent king on the arm, and laughed.

He quieted down, and absently scratched his shoulder beneath his armour.

"Still my good king, you must feel fulfilled.  Your kingdom is flourishing, and your subjects think relatively highly of you.  But kingdoms, like people, can die.  My own empire began to crumble when the flow of magic began to wane.  Communication between priests and their gods became sporadic, unreliable.  Kingdoms built on magic crumbled to dust in a matter of decades.  People were scared, and turned to all manner of superstitious aid in their desperation."

He frowned, clenching his fists.

"Natural disasters, famine, and banditry were common in those dark days.  The great wizards fled, or were murdered, as were the priests.  We lost our powers, and became mortal.  Some of my former subjects even thought that sacrificing me would appease some...", he waved his hand, "whatever... higher power or something."

He looked at his gauntleted hands.

"But I survived.  The first few centuries were the worst, as I scrambled around like an animal.  Sure enough, camps arose, then towns, then cities.  Technology was invented, and replaced magic, and people forgot about the time that was.  You people didn't even realise you were digging up bones of dragons.  Instead you called them dinosaurs and the like.  Not your fault you didn't find them with their wings attached.  Or that they seemed impossibly aged to your scientific experiments.  But live and learn, eh?  Ever since dragons returned, you've all marveled at how similar they are to your beloved dinosaur bones of antiquity.  If only you knew the truth about them, and the roles they played."

He picked up the tea cup, saw it was empty, and poured himself another cup from a nearby pot.  He sniffed.

"Technology.  You mortals hold your technology up on a high pedestal.  I can understand why you worship it.  It rarely disappoints, unlike the gods.  It's practical, simple, and understandable.  But, you know what?  A steel dagger forged a millennia ago can be just as effective as your ionized particle blades, or field projectors", he sneered.

"You can keep your technology."

The building trembled.

"Anyway, you don't have to worry about technology, or your kingdom collapsing.  I envy you, I really do."

He stood up, pushing his chair back, and took his helm off the table.

An alarm warbled in the distance.  He put a hand on the king's shoulder.

"I've overstayed my welcome, I know."

He plucked his dagger from between the king's shoulder blades, and sheathed it.

The building shook again, more violently, disturbing motes of dust.

"Places to go, people to slay.  Or something like that."

He bowed elaborately, and strode out of the room.