"Flattery will get you everywhere."
Konrad shamelessly replied, rendering Nils speechless. Aware that engaging this fiend in a battle of words could only result in her miserable defeat, she lowered her accusatory index while maintaining her "safe distance."
But as she eyed him like a wary lamb before its predator, the meaning of "others will" dawned on her. Nils' brows wrinkled while her frowning eyes asked for elaboration.
Konrad answered the silent inquiry with that dissolute smile of his, forcing Nils to speak the words on her lips.
"Who are…the others?"
Although Nils already knew about Iliana, she didn't expect Konrad to be surrounded by many others. However, when she recalled he posed as a eunuch within the palace, dreadful thoughts flashed within her mind.
"As far as -paragon spirit baby production- is concerned, you only have the empress as your competitor. But for -baby production overall…-
Your competitors are in the three digits."
Konrad explained with a false sigh of helplessness.
Nils' eyes widened in stupor.
"You…you're bedding the empress?"
Konrad nodded, pleased that Nils always grabbed the core issue.
Nils couldn't comprehend what method Konrad used to bed the stately woman wearing the empress' crown. And the image of Verena doing the dirty with him caused a new wave of red to spread on her cheeks.
This time, however, she didn't let shame suppress her, rushing toward Konrad to tug on his robe, eyes flaring with indignation.
"While I mourned your death with warm tears, you were actually touring the gardens of the imperial palace? Aren't you ashamed of yourself?!
How can you be so mean?!"
However, as she spoke, Nils realized she made two mistakes. First, such words could never work on the fiend before her. Second, she'd stepped into his range, and could no longer escape.
Konrad seized her by the waist, pulling her chest against his.
"Too bad this is just your soul world."
But as Konrad's lips edged closer toward Nils', he stopped, and his eyes contorted into a frown.
"He came earlier than I expected…"
Konrad raised his right hand, and the two vanished from Nils' soul world.
Back in his chambers, Adelar had been patiently awaiting his goons' triumphant return. According to his calculations, even with the two Semi-Saints protecting him, Konrad couldn't endure ten minutes. However, time proved him wrong.
Half an hour after they set out, there was still no news.
"How could this be? Did I miscalculate anything?"
Having gathered exhaustive information on Konrad's staff, Adelar couldn't understand where his negligence lied.
He frowned, then cast out his soul to spy on Konrad's mansion. What he didn't see baffled him.
There was no sight of the formidable team he'd dispatched, the scent of blood, smoke, and the unconscious eunuchs being the sole remainders of the clash that had occurred.
Before the mansion's entrance, Konrad stood, holding Nils within his arms. Stumped, Adelar swept the mansion from his soul's eyes, hoping to find some hidden expert. But besides those two, he couldn't find anyone worth mentioning.
"This morning Nils was still mourning that Anselm boy. Tonight, she's allowing that eunuch to embrace her? Not right."
In a flash, Adelar analyzed the possibilities and came to one disturbing conclusion.
"Could it be…only one way to find out."
Adelar's cold eyes flashed with determination. His soul then turned into a grey fog and dived into Konrad's mind.
Inside, a purple world awaited. Feeling the robustness and suppression force within this soul, Adelar frowned, but before he could start his analysis, a booming voice echoed from all sides.
"Daring to step into my soul. Bold. In your stead, I'd be too horrified of what I'd find within.
A pity this boldness will cost you dearly."
Konrad's figure appeared before Grey Fog Adelar. Knowing that hiding held no use, Adelar dispersed the disguise, revealing his true self.
"I didn't expect that it would turn out to be you."
"I didn't expect that you would be so petty. Tss, tss, tss. Is a little eunuch worth this much trouble? Worth using leading members of the imperial guard as common thugs?
Adelar, Adelar, you really think highly of me."
When Adelar attempted to exert his dominance over this soul world, his frown deepened.
The realization that he'd fallen into a trap dawned too late.
Dressed in his imperial duke robe, Konrad faced Adelar with his hands on either side of his hips, and his face clouded by purple fog.
"On the contrary, it seems I didn't take you seriously. Never did I expect that my secret adversary would turn out to be you. I also didn't expect the dead Anselm Kracht to be the mastermind behind all these events.
Or rather, the outstanding Anselm was fake to begin with, and the real one died to cover your tracks.
Though he couldn't see his face, Adelar could feel how undisturbed Konrad remained despite his discoveries.
"Aren't you afraid I will report you to father?"
"And say what? -Dear father, I dispatched high-ranking members of your imperial guard to take your adoptive son's life. But they all mysteriously died, and when I explored his soul, I discovered hidden might?-"
"In any case, past today you won't be able to do much talking for…a very long time."
"…if you think you can destroy my soul, you're in for disappointments."
From the soul power and soul density he felt, although he couldn't judge Konrad's cultivation. Adelar inferred it had, at the very least, reached the mid-level of the Semi-Holy Priest Rank.
Perhaps even the high-level. But even then, such cultivation could never challenge him.
At the sight of Adelar's confident smile, Konrad sneered.
"Who said anything about destroying your soul?"
Konrad raised his hands, causing dark-purple fog to erupt and assault Adelar's soul. His eyes shone with fighting intent, and his grey fog erupted to contend with Konrad's.
But through the first confrontation, Adelar could clearly feel his disadvantage. Although his soul power surpassed Konrad's, it was, after all, his territory.
That alone more than made up for the gap.
The dark-purple fog morphed into two massive violet hands that flew toward Adelar's sides, surrounding and trapping him within their enormous palms.
The two violet hands descended in brutal palm strikes that sent tremors throughout the soul world.
Adelar shouldered the assault by forming a shield from his spiritual mist. However, his soul still suffered substantial damage.
Konrad joined his palms, causing the violet hands to turn into a deluge of arrows that barreled into Adelar's spiritual shield, poking holes within and piercing his soul.
An ugly grimace appeared on Adelar's face as the arrows pierced his chest, leg, and abdomen.
Gritting his teeth, Adelar turned into grey fog, shot into the distance, and slammed into the soul world's sky to force his way back into the real world.
"What do you think this is? Your family's playground? You can come when you want to and leave when you want to?
Not that simple."
Konrad clenched his palms, causing vast purple fog to descend onto Adelar and erode his soul. But before he could strike a definitive blow, Adelar squeezed every last bit of his soul power to break free of Konrad's suppression and flee his soul world.
"What a pity…"
Konrad lamented as Adelar escaped.
"Oh well…we won't be hearing about him anytime soon. Sleep well, my dear brother."
Back in the real world, Nils who remained unaware of the confrontation eyed Konrad with incomprehension. Though his eyes stared into hers, their glazed look showed no life.
"Konrad? Konrad! What is wrong with you?!"
As if awakened by her words, Konrad's eyes regained their vigor, and his lips curled into a contented smile.
Nils was startled, wondering what kind of wet dream that depraved mind of his had just undergone.
"Was it good?"
She asked with a reproving, "I know what you were up to," look while gripping Konrad's back.
"Good! Very good!
But not anywhere as good as what I will do to you."
Konrad laughed, sweeping Nils off her feet to lead her back into his chambers.
"Unredeemable brigand…let go of me!"
Nils thrashed within Konrad's hands.
"Are you sure about that?"
"Hum…hum…I guess it doesn't feel that bad…even a bit comfortable…just a little bit…"
As she wrapped her arms around Konrad's neck, Nils attempted to turn her eyes away from his, unable to shoulder his roguish gaze any longer. But before she could, Konrad leaned in, seizing her lips into his.
In that stance, he led her back to his chambers.