Ralph and Alan were convinced that Konrad would soon be promoted and were resolved to suck up to him while they still could.
"Hahaha, the first time I saw you I knew you were bound to distinguish yourself. At first glance, it's clear that you're an outstanding young man endowed with countless skills and great abilities."
Konrad clearly remembered Ralph saying that his days in the inner court would be full of hardships.
"Well said, Ralph. It is clear that Konrad is a sharp, witty guy capable of fulfilling great tasks. To be able to spot such a talent so quickly, hehe, the Holy Consort's eyesight is truly extraordinary!"
Didn't Alan call him a "dullard" just three days ago?
Good sycophants. It almost seemed like they had been trained in "How to suck up like a boss 101, 201 and 301" in their mothers' bellies!
"In the future, you must take good care of us?"
Konrad almost vomited.
"Who is going to take care of you? Son of a bitch, your daddy Konrad only takes care of beauties!"
He wanted to say but kept those words within his mind. Instead, he adopted the lofty stance of an expert and graced them with a confident smile.
"That is natural. We're after all brothers who entered the palace together. If we don't take care of each other, who will?"
"I can even give you an opportunity to make some contribution!"
Immediately, their eyes lit up. Although they were human beings from low backgrounds with no cultivation, if they could make some contribution for the Holy Consort, they were sure to have a bright future within the inner court!
In theory, the Holy Empress had the highest official rank after the Empress Dowager, but just like there was only one empress, there was also only one Holy Consort.
The Holy Consort's status was for all intents and purposes, equal to the Empress'. Better yet, she was much more adept at political intrigues and controlled more than half of the inner court and concubines. Meanwhile, the empress rarely appeared and often didn't meddle in such machinations.
"What is it that we're supposed to do?"
"Nothing special. Just give me detailed information on Iliana."
"The head palace maid?"
Unlike the previous body's owner who only did his work, those two had upon arrival began building a solid network and ingratiating themselves with their superiors to make their lives easier. They were quick and efficient and gathered a lot of information on the surrounding departments to be aware of how and who to please and not offend.
They would be excellent goons.
"Well, there is a lot to say actually. Head Maid Iliana is a rather special case among the head palace maids. She's the illegitimate daughter of an Uradel count and should belong to ancient nobility. But because of her illegitimate status, she was sent into the palace at the age of sixteen."
"However, her cultivation talent is far above average, and despite the suppression she faced, she was able to become a head palace maid in less than fifteen years. Now she's almost forty, and it's rumored that her cultivation has reached the higher end of the True Knight Rank. Even if she hasn't reached the ninth step, she's probably not too far from it."
True Knights and Priests had a lifespan of three hundred years so although Iliana was close to forty, she still looked like a ravishing twenty years old beauty.
"Thanks to her cultivation, she managed to obtain the right to choose a family name. But because of her half-human blood, she still faces a lot of difficulties."
"Still, as a half-lamia, she commands great respect within the embroidery department and takes her work very seriously. It's also said that she desperately seeks high-grade True Spirit Restoration Pills. Definitely a person not to offend…"
Anyone who reached the True Knight Rank could be given the "Imperial Knight" title and ennobled. Nobles were the only ones allowed to own land and possess family names. But even though he came from the twenty-first century, Konrad paid little mind to that. Family was a concept that always eluded him. He grew up without one in the most ordinary of orphanages after being abandoned by his birth mother.
Was that why he found so much enjoyment in spreading a woman's legs?
"Nope, it just feels fucking good."
"What did you say?"
Soon the trio reached the branch of the inner court's kitchen they had been assigned to. Like a little city with three hundred thousand inhabitants, it was impossible for the inner court to only have one kitchen. It was a large complex of hundreds of large kitchens each tasked with serving different departments.
Naturally, the concubines' meals were always a top priority.
Comparing and contrasting the information he had gotten from his eunuch goons with what Aliki and Faidra had provided him, Konrad decided to make his move.
"I need to deal with a matter. Would you mind taking my shift?"
He asked, and they didn't disappoint.
"We naturally don't! You can go take care of what you want. We definitely won't let anyone notice that you're gone."
Both Ralph and Alan found it strange that the Konrad who loved cooking more than his life and would usually never waste an opportunity to get his hands-on ingredients was so eager to shrink from his duties.
Surely, that was proof of the task's importance!
"I will not treat you unjustly. Who knows, you might soon be able to get your hands on cultivation methods."
The duo's eyes sparkled. Cultivation methods were treasure jealously kept by the nobility, and only the most ordinary manuals were spread among commoners. But even then, their prices were not affordable.
Now their resolve to work for Konrad was only strengthened!
Without further ado, Konrad sneaked out of the kitchen and shot toward the embroidery department. Eunuchs going and coming was commonplace, and most people would just mind their own business to avoid being punished for slacking off on their duties, so Konrad drew no attention.
The best way to draw attention, however, was to stay idle which is why Konrad used the purple bead to conceal his aura and hid from prying eyes while observing the eunuch pavilions of the embroidery department for a suitable target.
It wouldn't be long before he found an ordinary looking low-ranked eunuch who seemed to be heading toward Iliana's embroidery house to deliver fabrics. Konrad tailed him until there was no one in a clear radius and struck out!
A swift chop to the neck knocked the eunuch unconscious. Konrad carried him into a dark alley, bundled him with robes and gagged his mouth to prevent him from screaming upon waking up.
"No hard feelings man."
He then used his transformation skill to assume the eunuch's appearance, robbed his token, and took custody of the fabrics which he was now bringing to Iliana's embroidery house.
"Damn, the things a man gotta do to build a harem and protect his balls…"
He complained while humming a tune he particularly enjoyed back on Earth.
"But wow, I impress myself sometimes. Uncle James would be proud."
"Iliana, it's time for us to meet. Get ready for the time of your life!"
"So you say. But don't forget that people with higher cultivation bases can easily see through your disguise. That means any head eunuch or head palace maid. That means the Iliana gal too."
Of course, the system wasn't going to let him get too comfy and struck at his enthusiasm without a shred of mercy. This time, however, Konrad was undisturbed.
"Don't worry. The only person I will expose myself to today is Iliana, and I can guarantee you that she won't reveal my disguise."
"What makes you so confident?"
"I calculated with my fingers!"