Thanks to the Flame Mark's manipulations, what awaited them in the main hall was the sight of Iliana who had just begun pulling her father into stories of what she'd experienced in the inner court. Wolfgang who had not been able to take care of his daughter for a decade, listened to her with rapt attention while sighing at various moments due to emotion.
It was in one of those sighs that alongside Konrad, Zamira walked into the hall. Instantaneously, Wolfgang's eyes locked on her while Iliana concealed her surprise at seeing the two return so quickly. Did her mother manage to handle Konrad's worrying condition with such ease?
"Aaah, my lady, quick, quick. You must listen to the tales of our daughter. Surely, they will make you want to pamper her more in the future."
He chortled, half serious, half looking for a random excuse to pull her by the hand and bring her to his side. However, as he stepped toward her, he spotted an unsteadiness in her gait that caused a mixture of confusion and concern to flash within his eyes.
"Since when did Transcendent Knights fail to walk straight? What's wrong with her?"
Although she concealed it well enough to deceive most with her bearing, as a Semi-Saint, Wolfgang's eyes were too sharp to not spot the small inconsistencies in her footsteps. It was almost as if there was something between her thighs, a soreness that caused her to slightly lose balance at various intervals of time.
All credits to Konrad's pounding, and knowing she could not hide her weakness from Wolfgang's sight, Zamira opted for a low approach.
As he stepped toward her, she leaned against his chest in a subtle but sudden move that caught Wolfgang off-guard.
"It seems I didn't have enough last night…it wants...more."
That whisper electrified the Kracht Count and brought a broad smile on his lips.
"Hahaha, then more I shall give!"
He yelled without constraint, not knowing that as he held his lady by the waist, there was a drizzle of cum trickling down her thigh.
The scene caused Konrad who stepped aside and walked toward Iliana to display an impish smile.
A smile Iliana found problematic.
"Why are you smiling like that? Still up to mischief?"
"Me? Oh no, I've done enough for the day, no further mischief intended. If you need to blame something, blame your beauty for smiting me, and causing illicit thoughts to leap within my mind."
He teased, pulling her against him by the waist, and pressing his forehead against hers while placing a soft kiss on top of her nose.
Still, she didn't escape his grasp; instead, she pressed herself tighter against him and warped her arms around his back.
That affectionate scene quickly grasped the attention of the household who looked at the pair's display with mixed feelings.
Wolfgang's mood went from heaven to hell in a heartbeat, enormous red veins popping from his forehead.
"Even in my presence, that lecherous boy can't restrain himself? Good, very good, today, I must teach him a hard lesson and remind him of I, his father-in-law's might!"
But then Zamira's warning resurfaced and caused him to bite his lower lip in frustration.
"First, I must pull him away from prying eyes!"
A twenty-first-century migrator, Konrad didn't find anything wrong with their show. In fact, he believed he was showing great restraint. However, they were breaking every rule of propriety set by the high nobility and the church.
Nobility courtship had precise rules, rules he'd been stepping on since his arrival. Thus, many of the male Kracht nobles were displeased. As for the females, they tried to make a show of indifference, while secreting yearning for such brazen romance.
Wolfgang loudly cleared his throat to grab the pair's attention.
"Konrad, since you will represent house Kracht in the upcoming competition, there are some things you need to learn to prepare accordingly. Follow me to my personal study so that I can teach you all there is to know about this competition and your potential opponents. No one is to disturb us!"
Without waiting for his approval, Wolfgang began leading the way toward his study, and poor Konrad who truly wished to learn more about the competition to maximize his chances, followed him without a second thought, not knowing what was waiting for him.
As soon as they walked past the door, Wolfgang lifted his right hand, causing a surge of spiritual energy to slam the door shut, and released a holy force field that suppressed Konrad's cultivation and blocked all noise within the study!
"Damn philanderer! Today, in the name of both our ancestors, I must teach you a lesson!"
He roared, rolled up his sleeves and walked toward Konrad at a slow, threatening pace.
"Wait, wait, weren't we supposed to talk about the competition? What's wrong with you?"
"There will be time to talk about the competition after I beat you black and blue."
"Have you forgotten your lady's warning?"
Wolfgang floundered, but soon afterward carried on with his aggressive approach.
"Even if she finds out, I will find a way to coax her. I prefer her wrath to not venting my anger! Prepare yourself, scoundrel!"
Wolfgang leaped toward Konrad with his bared fists, ready to give him the beating of a lifetime, and Konrad whose cultivation was suppressed by the holy force field, could not dodge the bullet.
"Nooo! Not the face…"
*Bam* *Bam* *Bam*
A solid punching session followed, after which a satisfied Wolfgang readjusted his collar, and stepped toward the main seat while humming a jovial, victorious tune.
"Serves you right. In the future, let's see if you dare misbehave."
As for Konrad, he laid bruised on the ground with his teeth clenched in indignation.
"Wolfgang Kracht, you can smash me in the morning, I will smash your wife in the evening! When her belly is swelling with my seed, see who bullies who!"
He roared inwardly, but then, the Flame Mark's voice echoed within his mind.
"This cannot be allowed to go on any further. A son of his majesty cannot be pummeled days and nights by a peon! Taking his woman isn't enough. It's time we strike back!"
Hearing those words, Konrad's eyes sparked with a demonic glint.
"What do you propose?"
"There is no way we can make him accept a Master-Servant contract in the traditional manner, but if you can make him sign a written version with his blood, you can reverse the tables and turn him into your lackey!"
Konrad's eyes lit up, but soon, his excitement died down.
"Let's not even talk about how I will accomplish that. Wouldn't a written version of the contract brand me as a demon?"
"Written demonic contracts are only conducted in the Infernal Realm. Knowledge of them in the mortal planes is nigh inexistent. Even within the Celestial Church, only a scant few should be aware of their existence, and none should have been exposed to them."
The Flame Mark reassured, causing Konrad's apprehension to vanish.
"Then let's look for an opportunity to take the father-in-law down a peg!"
*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*
But at that time, a hurried knocking sound spread from the door and echoed within the study, causing puzzlement within Konrad's eyes and fury in Wolfgang's.
"Didn't I say no one was to disturb us?!"
His bellow caused the knocking to stop, but soon afterward the trembling voice of a male servant came from behind.
"M-my apologies my lord! A convoy of palace ladies just arrived at our doorstep. They say the Holy Consort is sending you gifts!"
The words transformed Wolfgang's rage into confusion in the split of a second.
He strode toward the door, flung it open, and yanked the servant inside, firmly holding the trembling man by the shoulders.
"You said what? Else…of house Metze…is sending me, Wolfgang Kracht…gifts?"
Author's note: I've returned a few hours ago and managed to squeeze in a chapter. Yay!
More seriously, I've seen comments preferring a return to the previous cover, but on the discord channel, I have opposing views. The cover is for the readers' enjoyment. I personally care very little about which one stays, so I will let you guys compete for the one you prefer!
I will post two comments. "Current cover" and "Previous cover." The one that gets the most likes by tomorrow 11 am will be the cover until I can commission something belonging only to me.