"If you insist…"
Without warning, Konrad swept Iliana off her feet, carrying her bridal style into the Kracht carriage.
"What are you doing?!"
"Didn't you say you wanted me to die in your arms? Good. I'm going to -die- in your arms, alright.
But in my world, that means coming inside you…again…and again…and…again…"
But she offered no resistance, surrendering to him wholeheartedly in a heated session that shook the initially steady carriage at various intervals.
The return trip to the Kracht mansion went without a hitch. At the doorsteps, the Kracht kinsmen currently within the capital awaited in organized lines.
When Iliana descended alongside Konrad, they all stepped toward her to exclaim their congratulations and present gifts. If before, her status came from her father's name, now that she bore the title of "future saint," the situation was different. They, of course, wanted to show more goodwill.
Though polite in her words, Iliana's aloof demeanor clearly showed that she didn't wish to get bothered. The kinsmen took the hint and scattered.
In the reception hall, a plethora of gifts from various houses both from low and high nobility awaited. Seeing them, Konrad sighed.
"Aaahh…I worked myself half to death, challenged innumerable dangers, even went into the tiger's den, all to seize this baptism quota. But now, now…no one remembers my contributions. All can only think of the main beneficiary."
"Aaah…fairness…unfairness…the heart of the people!"
Konrad sighed in an exceedingly dramatic way as if to complain about the unfairness of the situation.
Iliana nodded in approval.
"This is why we say that men are suckers for beauties. Clearly, even you turned out to be a big sucker. Now the question is, should I abandon you now that I've made full use of you?"
Ilana asked with false seriousness.
"Oh? Are you sure you've made full use of me? I dare say that I've still many tricks you have yet to taste. Perhaps I should immediately undress you to reaffirm my worth!"
"Yes, yes…wait, no!"
Like an alarmed fawn, Iliana stepped away from Konrad, backing off to the nearest wall. She was just recovering from the previous session. How could she allow him to wreak havoc so soon afterward?
However, it was, of course, to no avail. Before she could take three steps, Konrad had already placed her on his shoulder and carried her to the master bedroom for another epic lovemaking session.
Meanwhile, in the Holy Flame Church, blame was still being assigned.
"Regardless of what you say, the inquisition department is the main reason of this operation's failure. Since you can't do your job properly, it is only right for us to cut down your fundings!"
The flame spirit exarch declared in a self-righteous tone. That exarch was of the faith defending department and had been eying the inquisition's resources for a while. Today, using their failure to obtain house Kracht's submission, he would definitely suck them dry!
Knowing fully well what he was after, the exarch who served as one of the two vice chief inquisitresses boiled with rage. Was it not for the other side's deep roots within the church, she would have already let go of all restraints and drawn her sword!
However, the situation wasn't in her favor, and they'd indeed failed in their duties. Worse was that they reported false success and inadvertently caused the church to lose face.
"Don't go too far! I will send you the grand inquisitress in charge of the operation to deal with as you see fit."
She conceded. However, she'd underestimated the flame spirit's appetite.
"Don't think you can weasel your way out of this one by just cutting off one of your fingers. I want the entire arm! The head exarch has already given his approval."
Knowing that the situation was under control, the flame spirit was feeling proud and elated. Who told that bitch to offend him? Always acting in a condescending manner as if she was part of a superior breed?
Was she the spirit, or was he the spirit? Impudence!
Now that the head exarch had given him the pass, he would not pull any punch.
Hearing this, the vice chief inquisitress was at a loss, she'd indeed received a warning from her superior that the head exarch was likely to have them bear all the responsibility. However, she didn't expect him to do it in such an uncouth, humiliating manner by sending that flame spirit out of all people.
As if to put greater emphasis on his words, the flame spirit pulled out a written order signed with the head exarch's seal. Seeing it, there was nothing else the vice chief could say or do. Defeated, she lowered her head, gritting her teeth while her nails dug within her palm.
The dejected look on her face only made that flame spirit feel more ecstatic.
"Hehehe, now that things are clear between us, you not only must hand over the one in charge but also personally lead me to the vault to carry out a third of your reserves!"
This was indeed what the head exarch ordered and was no different from dealing a crippling blow to the inquisition department. The reserves were used to fund the training of the entire department from Saints to Arch Priestesses. Its current wealth was the result of years of accumulation. To lose one third overnight, the inquisition department's growth space was in jeopardy.
Clearly, the head exarch was getting worried by the inquisition's increasing power and wanted to use this opportunity to curb them.
Without another word, the vice chief turned heels, leading the way toward the treasure vault where the bulk of the inquisition's wealth remained.
As they reached the door, the flame spirit's mood was reaching the heavens while the vice chief inquisitresses' was at hell's gate.
She pulled out her token and aimed it at the lock. Yellow light rose from it, removing the lock and causing the door to spring open.
The flame spirit's excitation had reached its peak, and as the door finally opened, he could no longer restrain himself. Without any consideration for his colleague, he leaped into the treasure vault!
"Hahaha. You've been hoarding so much wealth across the years. What do you even need it for? It's only right for you to give up a share to the most valuable department!
Defending the faith is such a daunting task that our resources are never enough. Don't worry, we will put this wealth to good use. Hahaha!"
The flame spirit burst into laughter while the vice chief's indignation reached its acme.
"Haa the wealth, the wealth, the…where is the wealth?!"
The flame spirits' eyes looked left and right, but in the massive treasure vault large enough to fit a house, there was nothing but empty shelves and unfilled coffers.
Not even grass remained!
In a flash, he went from the peak of elation to the limits of astonishment and rage!
"Damn slut! Are you messing with me? Fuck? What is the meaning of this? Big galls! Are you trying to rebel?!"
The flame spirit exploded and instantly blamed the empty vault on the vice chief.
Seeing such a sudden change and wondering why the elated flame spirit was now spouting profanities, the vice chief stepped inside the vault, only to see that absolutely nothing remained.
Even paper and ink were not spared.
"Quick…the recording mirror room!"
Unlike the flame spirit, the vice chief didn't lose her mind and directly rushed toward the recording mirrors' room to investigate the situation.
Not willing to let her off, and still thinking that this was all a prank, the flame spirit followed her. But when they reached the recording mirror room, and he saw her pull up the scene of "Margo" using her token to step into the vault and empty it of all it contained, it soon became evident that this was no joke.
The inquisition department's reserves. One-fifth of the church's total reserves had been plundered overnight by a grand inquisitress. Not counting the wealth already in circulation, this was one-fifth of their total assets!
Both the vice chief and the flame spirit felt like their world was spinning. However, they were after all Saints, and after a moment of confusion, both sent out the same order to their respective departments.
"Send my order, capture Grand Inquisitress Margo Kriegel at once!"
The church was put under lockdown, high-level Semi-Saints were dispatched, and in a flash, every corner of the church was put under examination.
"Your eminence, we've looked everywhere. She's no longer in the church!"
Those words rung in the flame spirit's ears like a gargantuan bell announcing the world's end.
His eyes went red. The scenery around him swirled, his body vacillated, and he dropped face first onto the ground in a resounding thud.
"Your eminence, your eminence!"
But it was to no avail. The flame spirit seemed to have entered a comatose state where nothing could move him.
After a moment of unconsciousness, he regained his senses, but when he realized the scene was still the same, he banged his head against the floor. But the scene had still not changed, they'd still gotten robbed blind!
His roar shook the entire Holy Flame City, alarming all its denizens.