Although she posed as a prince and acted in a brash and arrogant manner, Nils was after all a sheltered teenaged princess with little experience of the world. Konrad's retort took her by surprise, her cheeks were flushed red, and she didn't know what to say.
So she did the only thing she thought sensible in such a situation.
"Help! Help! I'm being harassed by a lecher! Help!"
She cried for help.
"Are you that eager to reveal your assets to the world?"
Konrad's words brought her back to earth, reminding her that getting help in the current situation wasn't such a good idea.
"Hum…okay, I will trust you…but please don't take too much advantage of me. Also, stop bullying me…"
Once again, Konrad was speechless. Where was the military discipline and might that girl initially displayed? Was it just a decoy? Or did getting exposed force out the "dainty lady" side of her?
"Alright, I promise not to take too much advantage of you."
Nils' struggle ended, and she closed her eyes to wait for the impending "offense."
Seeing her body tense up, Konrad couldn't help but let out a mild chuckle.
"Why are you laughing?"
"Nothing, I just find you very cute."
He then unstrapped the cloth covering her chest and placed a soft kiss above her right breast where the wound resided. The same soothing force spread from his lips, causing tingling warmth to tease Nils from the inside.
"Anh…damn, why does it have to feel so good?"
She writhed against the tree, fighting the growing urge to press him harder against her chest as her heart furiously beat against his lips.
But when she was finally unable to resist, Konrad's lips left her breast, ending the magic, and causing a sense of loss and emptiness to fill her belly.
"Why is your work so fast? Can't you learn to take your time and not end things prematurely?"
"You're healed. What else do you want me to do? It's starting to feel like you're the one taking advantage of me and not the other way around."
He shrugged while wiping off the blood from his lips, and intensifying her shame.
"Hum, hum. Stop tooting your own horn. Who wants to take advantage of you? I was just…hum…confused for a bit."
She tied the cloth around her chest, fixed her robe, and after making sure her two wounds no longer had any issue, stood up.
"Thank you again for all your help. If there is something I can do to repay you, I won't hesitate."
Her serious, straightforward tone left no room for doubt.
"Koloman is still alive. If you want to do something for me, don't report him to anyone. Your family included."
Confusion flashed within her eyes.
"Why not kill him? If you don't get rid of him today, he will bite you with twice the might tomorrow!"
"Don't worry. I have other plans for him. Just do me this favor, alright?"
Konrad had risen from the ground to stand at her front. His eyes locked onto hers with an intensity that made her feel oppressed.
Subconsciously, she took three steps backward.
"Alright, alright. Just stop staring at me like that…"
"Like a wolf…you make me feel like a lamb…"
What an honest reply. Hearing it, Konrad couldn't help but flash a wolfish grin and stride toward her.
As he advanced, she retroceded, until her back pressed the tree and he cornered her with his arms. Anxiety filled her in a heartbeat.
"What…what are you doing?"
She stammered. Konrad's face drew increasingly closer to hers while his arms and proximity left her little room for escape.
"Debating whether to eat you or not."
But before she could finish, Konrad silenced her with his lips. His warm tongue dived into her mouth, and in that electrifying instant, she forgot her cultivation.
The world fell into a deathly silence where even the sound of breeze became inaudible. Konrad pulled her from the tree, bringing her into his arms to trap her within his strong embrace.
Taken off-guard and overwhelmed by sensations she'd never experienced beforehand; Nils didn't know what to do.
Therefore, she did nothing, letting his lips toy with hers and his tongue assail hers. Her heart beat erratically, drumming against his chest in a thundering concerto that echoed her wild, wavering emotions.
But then she snapped out of it, bit his lips and shoved him away.
"How dare you be this impolite to the emperor's daughter? Are you tired of living? Unruly lecher!"
She fumed. Blood trailed from Konrad's lower lip, but the wound itself was already healing due to his innate self-regeneration abilities.
"Says the one that wanted me to keep kissing her breast. Obviously, I'm only finding a way to satisfy your needs without disrespecting the emperor. I'm a loyal citizen."
She aimed her index at his face, but seeing the naked insolence with which he looked at her, she wobbled, unsure of what to do.
Clearly, she had been heavily sheltered from birth, and aside from using her sword, she didn't know how to deal with rogues.
So, she summoned her sword.
"Give me back my innocence!"
"Don't be so dramatic. I have yet to actually pin you down…"
"Aaargh! Stop bullying me!"
Nils swung her sword at Konrad's neck only to see him vanish and appear by her side. She spun to slash his chest, but only cut an afterimage. This went on for dozens of moves through which Nils realized that unless she went all-out, she couldn't touch a corner of Konrad's clothes.
She panted with her knees half bent and her hands pressed on her thighs. Meanwhile, Konrad was standing right in front of her with a victorious smile and his arms crossed beneath his back.
"Alright, I know you don't really want to harm me. What do you want to do now?"
Only now did Nils realize that she had nothing left to do here and should take her leave.
"I guess I should try to find my fifth brother. He must be worried sick."
Although Konrad was an insolent bandit, he effortlessly took the boredom away from her heart. It was a rare, refreshing sensation as within the imperial palace, she was trapped between fawners and silently warring factions. There was no opportunity for genuine friendship.
"Does your fifth brother care that much about you?"
"Naturally! In this world, the people that dote on me the most are my father, my eldest brother and my fifth brother. They could burn the country for my sake!"
Nils boasted, but her innocent words had different implications within Konrad's mind.
"Why don't you stick with me for a while. We can hunt Monstrous Beasts together as we seek your brother."
Konrad offered, feeling the hint of reluctance within her earlier words.
Immediately, her eyes lit up.
"Alright, if you insist!"
She sounded quite magnanimous as if Konrad was the one in need of company and not the other way around.
"But I warn you, we need to have a clear rule."
"You need to stay at least three steps away from me."
Puzzlement shone within Konrad's eyes as Nils' words echoed within his ears.
She straightened her back and looked at him with seriousness.
"Because you're a wolf out of his sheep clothing, and make me feel like a lamb."
Konrad burst into laughter.
"Hahaha! Girl, I like you."
"Who's a girl? I am one year older than you! You should call me Nils or…big sister!"
"Also, I know I am fantastic, exceptional, unrivaled under the heavens with beauty transcending fairies and goddesses but…be careful of not falling in love with me.
I would just break your heart!"
Speechless, Konrad shook his head, turned heels and used his Origin Sight to seek new prey.
"Wait, Anselm, wait!"
Meanwhile, within the fourth level, a particular Accursed Beast had grown restless.
"How can this be? Was that demonic energy I felt? Is there a true demon within the third level?"
It was an owl beast endowed with terrifying sensory abilities and could feel all energy signatures across hundreds of miles.
Many foreign energy signatures had appeared within its range, but it paid them no heed.
It had lived for more than a thousand years, and new that every one hundred or so years, foreigners would dive into the Prism World to slaughter demonic beasts or get slaughtered in the process.
Although they were fully aware of it, most Accursed Beasts wouldn't leave their territories to attack the invader because, on one hand, they knew the event was controlled by much more terrifying existences that could butcher them at any time, on the other hand, there was not much to gain by doing so.
However, now it was different.
"Judging by the energy signature, that demon must be young and weak. If I can swallow him, I can drastically improve my bloodline. Perhaps reaching the Restoration Beast Rank in this lifetime is not impossible. I must seize the opportunity!"
The Accursed Beast spread its wings and flew toward the third level.