"It's all thanks to your grace's guidance."
Jasmine politely replied. Not only was Else giving her a top-notch education in various arts, but she was also guiding her cultivation. In less than two weeks, Jasmine's cultivation had reached the third step True Knight and the first step True Priest Ranks. Although in front of the likes of Else such cultivation was not worth mentioning, her progression speed remained outstanding.
However, there was no free meal in this world. The more Else gave, the more uneasy Jasmine felt. Still, considering the fact that both Konrad and she owed Else their lives, and her paramount status within the inner court, she could only obey.
Else beckoned, motioning for Jasmine to step closer toward her. Without delay, she stepped forward, stopping by Else's side.
"Are you wondering why I've been grooming you?"
That was indeed Jasmine's primary concern. She'd heard too many stories of young women being trained by various factions to obtain the emperor's favor to not dread Else's purpose.
As there was no point concealing her thoughts, she nodded.
"First, I want to ask you. Can a person have two masters?"
"No, they cannot."
"Good. Since a person cannot have two masters, between Konrad and me, who would you choose?"
The question came out of nowhere and took Jasmine by surprise. However, there was no hesitation within her mind as she replied:
The direct rejection didn't seem to bother Else whose slit sapphire eyes peered into Jasmine's.
"Why is that? With the resources and guidance I can provide you with, your cultivation is bound to skyrocket. Under me, the sky is your limit. Are you really willing to give up such an opportunity for one philanderer?"
Else's words weren't without merit. As a Saint and the daughter of a mighty sovereign prince, the Celestial Church excluded, her strength, background, and resources were all at the summit of the Holy Continent.
To obtain such a backer was undoubtedly the dream of billions.
"Even if he's a philanderer, he's my philanderer. Glory, splendor, wealth, and rank do not interest me. As long as I can own his heart, I own the world."
Beneath her mask, Else's lips curled into a smile.
"Even if I know the true nature of your bloodline?"
Jasmine remained unfazed. Although the knowledge of her new demonic blood could bring unimaginable harm, she was confident the revelation would never come from Else.
"Since you are aware of it, you also know where it came from. That being the case, I believe worries are unnecessary."
"Good, you are quick-witted, not easily swayed, and determined. Moreover, you strike me as the type to always repay a debt. It's because of those qualities that I decided to train you. There are many talents within this world, but those with a sharp mind, iron will, and honorable heart are few and far between.
I believe that when I make my bid for the world, you will not stay idle. That is the first reason why I'm spending time training you.
The second reason is for your own sake. When Konrad returns, and he will soon do so, I want you to take all you've learned to dazzle him, if before he liked you, now he must adore you. Stand out in his eyes and do the three of us a great favor."
Jasmine's face contorted into a frown. The holy consort's startling ambition wasn't what annoyed her. Instead, it was her evident desire to use her to influence Konrad that caused her displeasure.
"Don't look at me like that. Like I said, it's not just for you or me. Most importantly, it's for him. From what I understand of him, when he returns, he will certainly attempt to conquer a new woman that can help him cement his foothold within the inner court.
It's very likely that woman will be Yvonne Voight. You absolutely cannot allow him to do so. Anyone is fine. He can even go for the empress if he feels himself capable enough.
Anyone except Yvonne."
Puzzled, Jasmine stared into Else's eyes, looking for answers. At the moment, one of the hot topics within the inner court was how much closer the holy consort had gotten to the noble imperial consort, Yvonne Voight due to the sixth prince's "accident."
How the matter spread within the court, no one knew. However, it was clear they now formed one camp. Why then was Else so wary of her?
"Why? Although her grace, Yvonne Voight is the daughter of Sovereign Prince Hubert Voight, and herself a Quasi-Saint, she cannot compare to the empress. Why can you tolerate the empress, but not her?"
Else's next words caused Jasmine to reevaluate the gravity of the situation.
"It's not about strength or background, it's about implications. With Yvonne, even if Konrad wins, he will lose, and he cannot win.
Meanwhile, within house Kracht, Konrad set his plans into motion.
"Holger, who's your most trusted subordinate?"
"The captain of my personal guards. He's been by my side since I was a child, and across all those decades showed me absolute loyalty."
As an imperial prince, a pureblooded paragon spirit, and the only full brother of the crown prince, Holger didn't lack able subordinates. More importantly, he possessed his own guard, personally selected by the emperor, and sworn to protect him.
The captain of his guard especially was a seventh step Transcendent Knight and a paragon spirit, albeit of impure blood.
"Very well, he will be your assassin."
Although Holger understood that since Konrad was using him to frame his elder brother, that loyal guard was bound to lose his life, he couldn't resist the orders.
"Koloman, are your assassins ready?"
"My mother's hatred for the crown prince is as deep as the sea. If an opportunity to frame him appears, she'll never hesitate. Master doesn't have to worry."
"Good. When the time is right, Holger's team and yours will conduct a joint attack and murder me within the bridal chambers. Wolfgang will then eliminate the assassins and use Holger's servant as evidence of the crown prince's involvement."
In the Holy Flame Empire, who didn't know that Holger was the crown prince's most loyal subordinate and only acted on his orders? Once his guard's captain was discovered among the assassins, Elmar couldn't escape the blame.
Now came the most crucial part: Convincing Anselm Kracht.
Konrad sent Wolfgang a mental message, stepped into his space mansion, and directly headed into the underground's jail cells where the real Anselm had been trapped.
He found him sitting cross-legged within the cell, in meditation.
Though diligent in his cultivation, Anselm had always been proud, cold, and detached. Naturally, he had no friends. And without his parents to watch over him, he basically didn't have anyone to rely on.
As a Kracht noble, he received a monthly stipend from the house and didn't have to worry about living expenses. However, his cultivation resources were meager. House Kracht had too many mouths to feed. Without at least an Arch-Knight elder to vie for resources, finding one's foothold was a daunting task.
Moreover, Anselm's talent was average. In his lifetime, reaching the Grand Knight Rank was the limit.
"Anselm, long time no see."
"For you it's milord."
Anselm replied while keeping his eyes shut close.