Both Konrad and the Stolas Beast's eyes now locked on Nils. Lifted by the grey fog, she floated above the ground, holding a silver sword in her right hand and a dark-blue one in her left.
Within the Celestial Realm, spirits were the servants of the Deva Gods and were ranked differently depending on their bloodline levels and innate strength.
From lowest to highest, they were the Inferior Spirits, Elemental Spirits, True Spirits, and Greater Spirits.
Paragon Spirits were the weakest among the True Spirits and often appeared within the mortal worlds to carry out the will of their deva masters. The ancestors of the von Jurgen were summoned straight from the Celestial Realm. However, although they used intermarriage to maintain the purity of their bloodlines, over the countless years since their appearance within the Ancient Crystal World, there had been many breaches.
In today's generation, among the nine children of the Holy Emperor, the only Pureblooded True Spirits were the Crown Prince, the fifth prince, and Nils.
"I didn't expect her to be a Pureblooded True Spirit. Although her bloodline and yours are not on the same level in terms of strength and potential, within this world, it should stand at the top.
Her battle power should also be quite outstanding."
The Flame Mark remarked within Konrad's mind. However, with his eyes fixed on Nils whose long hairs danced in front of him, Konrad paid it no heed.
Although he couldn't see her face, he could feel her steadfastness from her straight back.
This was the first time he witnessed someone fighting a hopeless battle for him, and it would be a lie to say he wasn't touched.
Loyalty, honor, and dignity all were evident within Nils' every move and contrasted with Konrad's scheming, egotistic, and callous heart.
He may always stand up for his beloved, but never would he risk his life for someone who didn't hold a significant position within his heart. Such a pure individual was a rare sight and put him to shame because he knew that in the future, he was bound to harm her.
Her most cherished relatives, the Holy Emperor, the Crown Prince, and even the fifth prince; who among them wasn't meant to crumble under his hand.
Even if he didn't kill them, it was impossible not to suppress them to take over their power, land, and beloved.
Even if they didn't offend him, he would still take all they had, because he was just that greedy. And wouldn't be satisfied if the world wasn't his to do with as he saw fit.
Did this girl really deserve to get trapped within his schemes? To be used for the sake of his rise and one day forced to choose between her closest kin and himself?
But as Konrad floundered, the fight broke out.
"Even if you're a Pureblooded True Spirit, with your current cultivation level, there is no way you can contend with me."
The Stolas Beast scoffed, assured of its control of the situation.
"Fourth Circle Spell: Noxious Spear Rain!"
The dark-green fog bloating the sky turned into hundreds of green lances that descended from above and dived toward both Nils and Konrad.
A terrible poisonous force rippled from every single one of them and threatened to suck the life out of the earth below.
Besides its sensory abilities, House Stolas was well-known for its control over various poisons. Their magical abilities were all linked to them.
Nils brought her two swords together in a cross shape. They merged, turning into a blue-silver bow rippling with the power of storms.
"Third Circle Spell: Storm Volley!"
She pulled the bowstring, firing a succession of lightning squalls that slammed into the incoming poisonous lances.
*Boom* *Boom* *Boom*
The collision caused an explosion of noxious fog and lightning to spread within the sky and alarm all within dozens of miles. However, Nils' Storm Volley was clearly overpowered by the Noxious Spear Rain whose remains moved unhindered toward the two on the ground.
Her eyes burned with fighting intent, her bow split into the two original swords, and she flew to meet the remaining spears in a frontal assault.
Each of her swords blows fired wind and lightning blades that clashed with the incoming poisonous spears and scattered the Stolas Beast's offensive.
It frowned, then turned into a dark-green beam that descended upon Nils at breakneck speed.
Its long, clawed legs struck Nils from above. Sword energy swirled around her, but she still recoiled from the impact and plummeted toward the ground with a blood spurt.
However, before she could crater, a pair of hands caught her from behind, stopping her mid-flight and softly brought her onto land.
Naturally, those hands belonged to Konrad.
"Why are you still here?!"
Seeing that he had yet to depart, Nils was anything but content. Wasn't it to provide him with an escape chance that she was struggling so hard?
The situation was hopeless. Even in her True Spirit Form, she couldn't contend with that Accursed Rank demonic beast. At best, she could delay it for some time.
Still, she hoped that at the very least, that time would be enough for him to run and thus return his lifesaving grace, but now, all her efforts had been wasted.
However, as her eyes locked with Konrad's, she saw no trace of fear or apprehension. Only a warm, gentle smile.
"Foolish girl. Who said anything about running? How could I, as a man, forget my dignity to save my life at the cost of a woman's. If anyone should shelter anyone, it should be me sheltering you."
There was a soothing force within his words that alleviated her fear and made this hopeless situation suddenly seem manageable.
However, she quickly regained her wits and negatively shook her head.
"Do you think this is the time for manliness? Even if we join hands, we might not be able to fight our way out…"
She sighed, turning her gaze toward the dark-green sky where the Stolas Beast had spread its wings to condense a massive dark-green ball of pure poisonous force.
Konrad asked while keeping his hands around her.
"Nils von Jurgen fears nothing under the vast blue sky!"
"Good, a dauntless heart leads to greatness."
Konrad let go of her and shifted his attention toward the Stolas Beast.
"System, equally spread my accumulated energy between my martial and spiritual cultivation."
Without further ado, the system evenly split the spiritual energy accumulated from the dual cultivation with Zamira between Konrad's martial and spiritual cultivation.
The sky-blue pagoda within his lower abdomen glittered with dazzling light and split into two identical towers while within his mind, the spring within his sea of consciousness turned into a large river.
His body was refined to brand-new heights, and his cultivation soared, going from the sixth step Grand Knight and Priest Ranks to the second step Arch Knight and Priest Ranks in one go!
The breakthrough ended, and he revolved the Hundred Flowers Scripture to stabilize his cultivation leap and energy foundation.
Nils who bore witness to the breakthrough couldn't understand why his cultivation received such an enormous boost in an instant.
Could he have been hoarding spiritual energy? But why?
Still, her optimism didn't increase one bit.
The opponent was an Accursed Demonic Beast with power equal to the Transcendent Rank.
Regardless of their battle power within the Arch Rank, they couldn't jump a whole rank to challenge it. Especially considering that the higher the cultivation, the more difficult it was to fight above one's level.
"Foolish girl, how high is your current battle power?"
"I could defeat an ordinary person of the fifth step Arch Rank, and possibly fight someone of the sixth to a standstill, but that would be my limit.
Also, stop calling me -foolish girl!-"
"Good, my cultivation method allows me to establish spiritual connections. If you're willing to let me use it on you, I can connect our two minds and cause our combined battle power to soar."
Nils' eyes widened in disbelief. Where did a member of a count level house get such a treasure?
However, she had no time to dwell on the question.
"You're not afraid I will play any tricks?"
"With the current situation, I don't think you dare."
She leisurely replied.
Konrad took a new glance at her, her glittering skin and ethereal aura giving her a beauty that transcended the mortal world.
A pink rose petal rose from his index and flew into Nils' forehead.
Instantly, their emotions and sensations intermingled, and their minds became one.
They could peer into one another to see the truth of their respective hearts if they so wished. And even if they didn't want to, some things became evident.
Nils could see that Konrad was a scoundrel, a man of little morals whose only redeeming quality was the affection he bore for the women around him.
Konrad could see that behind the veil of the brat-prince/princess hid a lonely soul shackled by the weight of her birth and forced to fake an aloof, military-like personality for the outside world to see.
In reality, all she wanted was to leisurely play, free of concerns and woes. However, born within the imperial family, such things were impossible to have.
More relevant; however, they could see their strengths and weaknesses and tap into the other's fighting instinct and attributes.
"Surrender your lives!"
The Stolas Beast fired a terrifying ball of toxic energies that descended from the sky like a meteor.
The duo turned into two beams of light, evaded the green ball that transformed the ground into a poisonous land, and flew toward the Accursed Demonic Beast.
"You're the only one surrendering his life!"