The woman wore a silver mask that kept her entire face hidden and only allowed the sight of her slit sky-blue eyes. She was dressed in a provocative crimson dress that stopped above her knees and fully revealed her long, enthralling legs while her heart-shaped neckband showcased her ample bosom.
Yet, in her presence, those attributes were often disregarded for the sake of the innate aura of grandeur that shrouded her form.
And even though she could not see her face and her long ink-like hairs wore no ornaments, Jasmine couldn't help but feel that this woman was the most beautiful she had ever met. That under the vast blue sky, she was unrivaled.
The woman's back faced the assassin duo who stared at her with a growing sense of terror.
"Could it be…"
They began, but with her back still facing them, they didn't dare make guesses. In fact, they didn't dare be right. Even the eunuch whose arm had been lopped off and whose mangled face still dripped blood, could pay no attention to the pain. His eyes were solely focused on that woman's back.
But hers were on Konrad who had already passed out and could no longer see any of the ongoing events. There was no warmth in those eyes. The only thing hidden within were mixtures of annoyance, frustration, and suspicion.
"Who are you?"
Asked Jasmine while clinging on Konrad's unconscious body.
But the woman gave her no answer.
She whispered gentleness flashed within her eyes, and she turned to face the assassins.
"Olrich's cruelty truly knows no bounds. Even sending two royal eunuchs to cripple his son. But while that has nothing to do with me, you've harmed someone I care for. Thus, I cannot spare you."
The Holy Flame Emperor Olrich Von Jurgen had nine sons, but none were born from the Holy Empress. While legitimacy was never an issue for the children of the emperor, due to not being pure imperial descendants, they all de facto bore a stigma. In times like these, it was easier for a younger son to snatch the eldest's right to rule.
Wenzel may not have had any desire for the crown, but his mother, the Noble Imperial Consort Yvonne Voight, had a different opinion and had been relying on her father's support to build a faction for him. This caused the emperor to become wary of the Voight and what he now saw as their pawn within his house.
Alongside the Kvass and the Metze, the Voight were one of the three princely houses, and even the emperor had to treat them with courtesy. Thus, he dispatched two royal eunuchs to monitor Wenzel's actions and at the first opportunity, cripple him as a man to not only ruin his ability to compete for the crown but also obtain a secret that could be used to suppress the Voight's unruliness.
He didn't mind the news of Wenzel's "accident" being "secretly" spread. But for Yvonne whose status within the harem relied on her having a prince…that was another story.
As for the two royal eunuchs. They had navigated court politics for hundreds of years and knew well that there was a critical difference between having personally crippled an imperial prince and having arrived too late to stop it from happening. Therefore, they had been racking their brains to find a way to push Wenzel into his own destruction.
Never did they expect that he would do it on his own! Now they could execute that eunuch boy with great pomp and report the situation to the emperor.
At least that was the plan…
But when the woman turned to face them, they immediately dropped onto their knees!
"Your…your…we…his majesty…we co-couldn't…"
They stuttered. From the current situation, it wasn't hard to deduce that the eunuch had a deep connection to her! That being the case, they could only beg for mercy.
"Your grace…we didn't know…please…mercy…!"
"They say ignorance is bliss. I disagree. It is a crime all the same. One I punish by…death."
In a seemingly ordinary walk that tempered with principles of space and time, she moved past the eunuchs and vanished from the scene.
They were astonished, thinking that ultimately, she was giving the emperor face and sparing them. But then a shocking scene appeared, and the two eunuchs saw their bodies quickly turn into dust. From their feet, all the way to their heads, until nothing of them remained within the world.
Jasmine stared slack-jawed at that awe-inspiring display of might.
"I hate nothing more than whiny women. If you want to keep him for yourself, why not fight for him? A woman should never be afraid of fighting for what she craves and snatching it…from whoever stands in her way."
The red dressed woman's voice echoed within Jasmine's mind.
Konrad's eyes opened to an unfamiliar room with his chest and legs cleanly bandaged. The lilac scent permeating the air leading him to assume that this was a female's quarters.
Jasmine's voice came from his right, and he turned toward her sitting form with an incredulous gaze.
"We're neither dead nor in a torture room?"
"Why should we be?"
She chuckled to his inquiry.
"I seem to recall us being in a hopeless situation. How is it that…"
Only then did the blurry silhouette he perceived before passing out return to his mind and his face contorted into a frown.
"I thought you would be the one enlightening me. Wasn't that woman a friend of yours?"
Konrad also wished to positively answer that question, but beside confusion, there was nothing he could offer. It wasn't difficult to realize that the mysterious woman was the one that warned him about Jasmine's crisis. But as for what connection she had to him, he could find none whatsoever.
His mind browsed through the previous body host's memories to seek an answer to those troubling issues, but nothing matched that figure.
Yet, he was convinced of their mysterious savior having something to do with the previous Konrad.
As for what exactly, only time would tell. And since no viable answer could be found, Konrad would not waste any more time on the issue.
"Forget it, being alive and well is all that matters."
But then his eyes swept the perimeter and spotted the two other occupied beds in the vicinity.
"You brought me back to the maids' quarters? Isn't that illegal?"
"You also know that it is illegal? I thought the notion was foreign to you."
"But what else could I do? I do not know where you live. And I could not abandon you. Fortunately, at this time of night, most people are sound asleep."
In any case, as far as Konrad was concerned, the maid courtyards were no different than swimming pools. Keeping the situation under control required no effort.
"Still, I should take my leave."
As his regeneration abilities had already mended his wounds, there was no significance in staying any longer.
But before he could stand up, Jasmine's firm gaze met his, and she stopped him by grabbing his shoulders.
"Thank you again for saving me. I don't know what would have happened without your interference."
"That is only natural. I said it before, for the rest of your life, you can only be my woman."
His categoric tone was too brazen for Jasmine to handle without a small blush. However, she didn't intend to let him go that easily.
"Me excluded, how many women do you currently have in your life?"
Konrad lifted his chin with his index while doing the quick math then replied.
"It really depends on the token you're assigning them. If you mean partners, I have thirteen. If you mean actual relationships, only one person potentially qualifies."
That was the truth. At the current point of things, the women he had conquered could only be used to fill in the blanks. He felt no genuine attachment to them and crudely said, they could be labeled as dual cauldrons. Iliana was the only exception, but he had yet to seal that deal.
So to speak…
"Of course, that can change in the future."
There were some promising seedlings among his recent conquests that could perhaps be given more prominent positions within the harem.
Meanwhile, Jasmine was speechless. How was it possible for a man to dally with so many women at the same time? Wasn't he afraid of early impotence?
"Huh, you really are a gaping hole. Anything can fit inside. "
Those words didn't have the same meaning within their minds.
Upon hearing them, Konrad's lips twitched, and an abundance of black lines appeared on his forehead.
Tolerate! A great man should be tolerant!
However, what followed almost caused him to lose balance and fall face-first.
"But for me, it's all but the same. Whether you only treat them as mere "partners" or have some budding feelings for them, it doesn't matter."
"I will smash them all to pieces!"
Her fighting spirit soared, and her eyes burned with a fervor Konrad didn't know she possessed. A fervor that propelled his body temperature to dangerous heights and caused droplets of sweat to drench his forehead.
"I'm not sure I heard that right. You will what?"
"Smash them all! For far too long I've let myself get pushed left and right. It is time I take the reins of my life. And that begins by snatching you for myself, and showing you the wonders of monogamy while you lie broken under my skirt."
"Also you're going to help me smash them by teaching me how to cultivate!"