Emerging from the Time Tornado, Konrad dropped onto the ground. Dense, pitch-black fog swirled around him alongside his Semi-Holy Force that had broken through to a new level.
Following this seclusion, his Infernal Soul Devouring Art had finally reached the third layer; thus, making his soul power one thousand times more potent and resilient.
In the formation arts, he'd reached the mid-grade Profound Formation Master Rank, and approached the high-grade. Even with formations alone, slaughtering Crossed Tribulation Saints required little efforts.
Only his cultivation experienced little growth, having merely reached the second step of the Semi-Holy Rank in the martial and spiritual paths. However, the holy force he accumulated was more than enough to reach the peak and condense a Pure Self.
Meanwhile, the girls' cultivation carried on. Leaving them to it, Konrad collected all the floor had to offer, then using the teleportation circle, rose to the seventh floor.
A desolate wasteland of scalding heat and hellfire awaited. The setting and brimstone swirling within the air reminisced Konrad of the place where he faced the Overlord's challenges.
However, the presence of spiritual energy within the air and other non-negligible differences immediately refuted that possibility.
Konrad's eyes rose to the sky and locked onto seventeen flying coffins which drifted without aim, yet, never butted into one another. Around those coffins, legions of gold guards stood. Each with strength equivalent to a True Origin Saint.
Following a brief observation, Konrad estimated that three-hundred gold guards protected each coffin. The total adding up to fifty-one-hundred True Origin Saint level experts.
If such a force were unleashed in the outside world and empowered by a formation, the secular world faced destruction.
"Each of those coffins contains a miniature world where a deceased Infernal Cult Leader lies buried.
Sixteen Divine Transformation Stage experts' corpses and their inheritances. As for the last one, it would be Marduk, the Infernal Cult Founder's resting place.
Peak-stage Divine Ascension, Infernal Star, the Overlord's most favored descendant. Though he wasn't a god, his strength surpassed that of the average Minor Gods. His inheritance is surely inestimable. Moreover, he will allow me to test that hypothesis.
Which one is it?"
Konrad wondered while his gaze swept the coffins and guards above. According to reason, the Guardian should stand before Marduk's coffin. However, it was nowhere to be found, making it impossible for Konrad to use him to identify the coffin he sought.
Even his Origin Sight couldn't see through them.
"That being the case, we can only go one coffin at a time."
Konrad resolved, and waved his hands. Three-hundred holy crystals appeared out of thin air, and guided by his soul power, formed a white-lightning array connected by intricate web lines.
The white-lightning array expended, covering a three-hundred meters radius, with Konrad as its epicenter.
This was a mid-grade Profound Extermination Formation. Beneath the Star Connecting Saint Rank, anything that stepped into its perimeter would be obliterated in an instant. Having already engraved the runes on the holy crystals beforehand, Konrad didn't need to repeat the task.
With that array surrounding him, he stepped into the air, shooting toward a randomly picked coffin.
Their defense mechanism activated, the gold guards surrounding it immediately shot toward the invader. But as soon as they stepped into the array, all turned into ashes.
Undisturbed, Konrad landed before the coffin, pushing open the lid to dive into its inner world.
There, the unblemished corpse of an elderly man hovered, held in suspension by dozens of lengthy glass conductors that siphoned its seemingly endless blood into a fountain below.
The fountain opened to four roads where abundant blood flowed. But even death couldn't restrain the suffocating killing intent that swirled around that man's form.
With his Origin Sight, Konrad identified the man as a slaughter fiend. And indeed, this was the third Infernal Cult leader, known as The Butcher. It was said that from the moment he started cultivation, he killed people like cutting down hemp.
And following his ascension as cult leader, the Holy War he led saw the deaths of tens of billions. Almost erasing all sentient lives from the Ancient Crystal World and genociding many races.
Without a shred of doubt, it was the most brutal in history. The world took innumerable years to recover.
As long as their hearts remained within their chests, Divine Transformation level experts' corpses could endure an eternity without rotting, and produce limitless blood.
But as soon as the heart was removed, or destroyed, decomposition would kick in. And in one-thousand years, they would turn into dust.
Still, doing so while they breathed was easier said than done. Unless they majored in the spiritual path, destroying their souls was a much simpler task.
Konrad landed above the third Infernal Cult Leader's corpse. Throughout history, anyone who reached this level would attempt to collect the blood in the fountain and roads.
No one would dare covet the corpse itself.
Konrad waved his hand, summoning a Divine Longsword obtained from the previous floors. Although with his current cultivation he couldn't use its powers, its sharpness was all he required.
But before he could aim it at the corpse's chest, eldritch voices echoed within his mind.
A dozen of pitch-black souls emerged from the fountain below to surround Konrad from all sides!
Their height easily reached thirty meters, with their monstrous, distorted shapes reminiscing of nightmarish creatures.
The souls possessed no limb, nose, or mouth, only fist-sized blood-red eyes shining with the need to corrupt and destroy!
Konrad realized while sweeping them with his gaze.
"Spawn of evil!"
"How dare you trespass in our lord's resting place?"
"Sinful! Your sins are unforgivable, and you must perish!"
The booming, malevolent voices echoed within Konrad's mind, and all infernal souls shot toward him.
"Interesting. So, this is how my dear adoptive father fell? Fortunately, the trials endured by the seniors unlock level roads for their juniors."
Konrad stated, and massive pitch-black fog erupted from his form while his sclera turned black.
With the Infernal Soul Devouring Art activated, he opened his maw, releasing a dreadful suction force that siphoned the infernal souls into his mouth!
"This…how can this be? This is an exclusive art of the western king's house! Besides our deceased seniors of the Infernal Cult's first generation, no one in this world should be able to wield it! How could you possib-…"
But the infernal souls couldn't finish their words, unable to resist the art, they fell into Konrad's throat and were refined in his stomach. Thus, fueling his soul power while their knowledge was added to his.
Konrad relished in the meal, then undisturbed, carved out the third Infernal Cult Leader's heart before plundering his grave of all the blood it held. He then decrypted the messages of the inheritance steles and pocketed them all…alongside the corpse.
"Hey, system buddy, how long do you think it will take before we find the Infernal Founder's corpse?"
Konrad jovially asked, but this time, no answer came from the system.
"Don't wanna talk? It's fine. When we do stand before it, I really want to see…how long you can stay silent. Meanwhile, my avatar is about to complete the quest.
Get ready to distribute the rewards."
And while humming a jovial tune, Konrad burst out of the coffin to rush toward the next.
Meanwhile, the avatar in the Holy Flame City's imperial palace played with the last of Olrich's consorts.