Konrad's purple eyes fell back onto the second prince who floundered within the blood puddle.
"The second prince feels deep remorse at his actions and wishes to kneel for the whole duration of our stay in a show of repentance.
Do I make myself clear?"
How could the second prince not understand Konrad's meaning? With a feeble nod, he submitted and knelt in the blood puddle while his quivering hands rested on his thighs.
Konrad's eyes returned onto the remaining two.
Not daring to delay, they turned heels and brought the delegation in.
Seeing how efficiently his master handled the situation, Krann inwardly jubilated. A pity that with his current human eunuch disguise, he couldn't freely use his strength. Otherwise, he would have already smashed all those bastards into oblivion!
To maintain pretense, Krann stayed at the delegation's helm while Konrad and the tenth elder stood a step behind him. The rest followed at their back.
With the two royals leading the way, the delegation quickly reached their assigned quarters. The water alliance king hadn't done things sparingly, preparing them courtyards and mansions that rivaled that of princes.
"You…you already have maidservants waiting inside. Others will follow suit, bringing alongside them meals and refreshments. If you have any p-preference, please tell me."
The third princess stammered. While at first, she found Konrad's appearance overwhelmingly captivating, now, she didn't even dare maintain eye contact, fearing that she'd offend that heartless monster, and suffer a fate similar to those officials.
As for the fourth prince, he was a man of few words, to begin with. The situation being what it was, he only wanted to leave as soon as possible.
Yvonne's hissing sound startled the edgy fourth prince who yelped in surprise and leaped back. Stumbling, he fell on his rear.
"Waste. As a country prince, how can a cobra's hissing sound put you in such a state? Get lost."
"S-senior please forgive m-my lack of d-decorum. I shall take my leave."
The fourth prince hurriedly stuttered and ran off, leaving his sister behind. Seeing how fast that good brother was in abandoning her, the third princess sighed.
"When can we meet his majesty?"
"A banquet is currently being organized in your honor. You will meet my father during the celebration. All the members of the royal family will be present. That naturally includes my eldest sister."
Konrad then got back to petting his "cobra's" scales.
Taking it as her cue to leave, the princess gave them all a profound bow.
"If there is nothing else, I will also take my leave."
And without further ado, she vanished from sight.
"Master, don't you want to keep that princess to warm your bed?"
Asked the tenth elder, eager to make contributions.
And Krann sent him flying with a punch.
"Idiot! With the mistress here, what need is there for a trivial Arch Rank princess? To earn the honor, at the very least, she should be a Semi-Saint!"
"I spoke wrongly, I spoke wrongly! Commander, please forgive me!"
In the hierarchy of Konrad's household, Krann held the legion commander rank. Having been introduced to the household situation through Konrad's rewiring, the new servants now knew how to address that mobster.
"You can all rest in your respective courtyards. Tonight, we meet for the banquet. I believe it shall be eventful."
Konrad ordered, and immediately, seriousness returned within the troops.
The fourth prince barreled into the throne room where his father currently stood.
Seeing his son charge in like a desperate bull, Ernst von Gradl rose from his throne, his eyes flaring with anger.
"What the hell is wrong with you? Have you lost all sense of propriety?"
But with the situation at hand, how could the fourth von Gradl prince care about any of that?
"Terrible things…terrible things happened. Second brother offended the delegation and…"
The fourth prince then proceeded to retell precisely what happened, not missing any detail. Hearing of how his officials were butchered and his children disgraced, the water alliance king seethed with rage. However, when he recalled the political situation, he released a sorrowful sigh.
"Son, we live in chaotic times. Prosperous Wind is suffering tremendous pressure while Great Void is about to receive the Holy Flame Empire's assault.
We only need one of those two to breach the Grand Treaty, and openly make use of experts at the Semi-Holy Rank or above to usher the era of the Holy Flame Empire's world hegemony.
Even if they don't, with the current trend, Holy Flame will still be the grand winner. That man spoke true, we are their vassal in anything but name. What can a vassal possibly do to the suzerain?
Your second brother…must kneel. Otherwise, if this matter alarms the Holy Flame Emperor…our family's lives are in jeopardy."
Again, the water alliance king sighed and dropped onto his throne. But while he spoke such words, his eyes shone with killing intent.
Not being able to openly confront them was one thing. Swallowing this slight was another.
Meanwhile, the third princess rushed into the inner court's royal bathhouse, where only high-ranking female members of the royal family were allowed.
There, two stately women were currently enjoying a warm bath's comfort.
One was a sapphire-eyed beauty whose shoulders rested against the pool's walls while her dark-blue hairs draped the ground at her back. As she lifted her "legs," one could see that beneath her waist, blue fish scales began and ended in a mermaid tail.
She was the Water Kingdom Alliance Queen, Augusta Meissner.
Before her, a young woman glided above the water. Her dripping silver hairs and translucent skin made her paragon spirit heritage evident. But unlike the average paragon spirit, her eyes were sapphire-colored.
She was the Water Kingdom Alliance's First Princess, Lena von Gradl.
Seeing them, the third princess curtsied.
"Mother, eldest sister. The d-delegation arrived."
Sensing her daughter's flustering, the water alliance queen turned toward her. With her peak-stage Profound Saint cultivation and senses, even if the third princess didn't say anything, she could feel her distress.
"What happened? Did you meet some handsome youth that made your heart aflutter?"
The queen jested.
"M-more like…a beautiful monster."
The third princess then retold the events, after which both Augusta's and Lena's eyes contorted into frowns.