"Brave or foolhardy, we will see soon enough. I will give you the rest of the day to finish your preparations and use any method at your disposal to reach the best fighting state possible.
At night, come meet me in the central courtyard. I will be waiting."
Konrad said nothing further, stepped out, and returned to his quarters.
Without hesitation, he stepped into his space mansion. Since Yvonne chose the words "use any method at your disposal" then clearly, she suspected he possessed his own secrets and was telling him he could use them without fear of getting exposed.
That being the case, he would no longer put up the flag of wariness. He still had seven hours before night announced itself. Within the space mansion's special room, that was seventy hours and almost three days. Perhaps, that wasn't enough to significantly improve his cultivation, but he could use it for other things.
His current exp count was barely above four million; therefore, he gathered his harem for a massive cultivation orgy, following which his exp count returned to above 270 million. He also learned that the system's cooldown couldn't get abused by time treasures. Therefore, he stopped there.
With sixty million exp, he upgraded his Hundred Flowers Scripture to the Semi-Holy Rank. He first considered doing the same with his three physiques, but soon dismissed the idea.
After all, Awakened Semi-Holy Physiques he would have a hard time making use of, weren't necessarily better than Mastered Transcendent Physiques, he fully grasped.
Instead, he invested in fourth circle spells. The area where he was currently the most lacking in, buying a whopping five high-grade fourth circle spells. His exp count dropped back to 165 million and some change.
For the following two days, he only did one thing: fight!
Sharpening himself against his Semi-Saint maids and trying to grasp as much of his new abilities as possible.
It was not possible to make up for the vast experience gap in two days; however, it would still significantly improve his chances.
At the end of the second day, Konrad restored his strength, then returned to the outside world.
There, he still had a good hour left. An hour he spent in meditation, steadying himself, and sharpening his senses in preparations for the upcoming clash.
"Since I've met Yvonne, you've been silent, as if scared into hiding by her presence. What? Don't tell me, you're afraid."
Konrad goaded the Flame Mark which had oddly fell silent following his encounter with Yvonne.
"If you don't need me, why should I speak up?"
The Flame Mark replied without delay.
"What do you think my chances are against her?"
Both the system and Flame Mark possessed extensive knowledge of the Ancient Crystal World and the higher realms. However, for some reasons, for matters regarding battles, Konrad would rather rely on the Flame Mark.
"Since her last demonstration, there is one assumption I've yet to confirm. Before that, since you can't use your lineage weapon, I say we can celebrate if you can handle a thousand moves.
If my assumption proves correct, however…just know that you have unimaginable room for growth. Don't be disheartened by one setback."
The Flame Mark's words took Konrad aback, filling him with discomfort. It was the first time it showed so little faith in him.
Although Yvonne's cultivation talent, foundation, and experience were all at the top, she was, ultimately, a mortal world's scion. Even if he couldn't defeat her, he didn't believe he couldn't handle a thousand moves.
As for her Awakened Divine Physiques, how much of their power could she control when her cultivation was restricted to the Transcendent Rank?
He shook his head and resumed perfecting his state of mind. The hour passed by in a flash. Konrad stood up and stepped toward the central courtyard where Yvonne awaited alone.
Night had fallen on the imperial palace, with the stars slowly showing themselves to bear witness to the confrontation. Yvonne stood in the middle of the courtyard, looking as bewitching as ever.
As Konrad reached the courtyard, her lips curled into a winning smile while her eyes locked on him.
"Punctual, I like. Since you had the nerves to show up, even if you can't handle ten of my moves, I will spare your life. Don't worry, I've already sealed the area. No one will hear or see your disgrace."
That those were her first words, only showed in how little regard she held him. Konrad didn't appear offended.
"Underestimate me, and you're in for terrible surprises. Times change. In the past, you may have been the world's number one talent, but today, that title will change hands."
Yvonne felt like crushing the confidence of such an audacious youth was a pity. However, without setbacks, how could there be growth? This fight was not only an opportunity she'd offered Konrad but a thankyou gift for bringing her the box.
A gift to prevent him from going astray on the path of cultivation.
"How many meridians do you currently have?"
"And you still haven't completed your first Fleshly Transformation? How many do you want?"
Yvonne asked, perplexed. The average Transcendent level cultivation completed their first transformation with three natal meridians. Most talents relied on a mixture between Concealed and Ethereal Meridians.
As for Supreme Meridians, to say nothing of building a foundation on them. Those capable of condensing them were all the prized jewels of the world's superpowers.
After all, the lack of Supreme Meridians was the main reason why after the founders of the Celestial Church and Infernal Cult who descended onto this world at the Divine Ascension Rank, no one could reach the peak of the Divine Transformation Rank and breakthrough Divine Ascension.
From the density of Konrad's incomplete Transcendent Force, she could feel several Supreme Meridians hiding. Unless he was the secret disciple of a formidable superpower, he should have already completed his first Fleshly Transformation.
"I want twelve."
The perfect cycle. Konrad's ambition convinced Yvonne that he didn't have a full grasp of the difficulty.
Even she was forced to stop at the eleventh. Condensing twelve meridians before each transformation required much more than talent and resources. At the peak of the Transcendent Rank, she had ninety-nine Meridians, nine short of the limit.
Of those ninety-nines, ninety were Supreme Meridians. As for the remaining nine…
Instantaneously, Yvonne lowered her cultivation to the first step Transcendent Priest, and half-step Transcendent Knight with six meridians. Just like Konrad.
They now stood opposite to one another, their eyes interlocked and their focus at its peak.
The tension was almost palpable.
Yvonne unfolded her hands, channeling the incomplete Transcendent Force of a Half-Step Transcendent Knight alongside Konrad.
"You have talent, you have will. But what you cruelly lack is experience."
Allow me to gift you that experience through sheer terror!"
A vast force far exceeding the limits of the Transcendent Rank exploded from Yvonne's form, barreling into Konrad.
"You are too arrogant. Your talent may have been unrivaled until now, but that doesn't mean no one will ever be able to compete with you."
Konrad's incomplete Transcendent Force exploded from his body, counterattacking Yvonne's in a pure contest of aura.
"It is arrogance if you cannot back up your words. But when you can, it is merely confidence."
Yvonne took a step forward and appeared before Konrad with her first raised in a jab.
Her move was fast, but not fast enough to startle Konrad, whose primary advantage was speed.
However, he didn't want to evade. He wanted to meet that blow head-on and start the fight on a bang. To clearly tell her that he was her match!
A terrible mistake.
Konrad met Yvonne's jab with one of his own, but as their fists collided, and their meridians' powers erupted, a deafening explosion propelled them both backward.
Yvonne took three steps back before stabilizing herself, while Konrad was propelled into the air, and backflipped to land back on his feet, staggering.
Both then raised their heads, and with the same astonishment exclaimed in tandem.
"You have God-Meridians?!"