Krann roared, but before he could take action, Konrad raised his hand, stopping him in his tracks. His eyes then fell onto the girl whose face he'd not properly examined beforehand.
Ordinary was the best way to describe this girl. While among the commoners, her beauty was undoubtedly above average, in a sea of refined nobles and cultivators, she couldn't stand out.
The only thing worth mentioning was her freckled face. A rare sight in the Ancient Crystal World.
"Why should I save you?"
"The water alliance king is a notoriously petty and narrow-minded man who excels at bullying the weak. Now that his son died in such a wretched manner, and his face sweeps the floor, he will certainly seek someone to vent his anger on!
He doesn't dare trouble you.
But he dares pummel me! Just because I'm insignificant, why must I pay the price for a matter that has nothing to do with me?!
I don't deserve this!
Were I mighty, why would I need to endure this? I'm unwilling to die like this!"
The freckled maidservants' eyes shone with a startling mixture of rage, unwillingness, and determination.
Hearing her words, the water alliance king's cheeks burned with shame. And firmly believing that Konrad wouldn't pay attention to this average-looking maidservant, he decided to vent his frustration.
"What are you waiting for? This girl is obviously crazed! Guards, take her to the dungeons!"
He roared, and the guards that awaited on the outside stepped in. However, with a gaze from Konrad, they bowed, and with cold sweat, returned to their post.
Baffled, the water alliance king didn't know what else he could do. So, he just sat there, slack-jawed.
"You misunderstand. I'm not asking why you need saving. I'm asking why I should save you. What do I stand to gain from this? Or are you so delusional as to think me a good person?"
Konrad asked while lowering his eyes back onto the freckled maidservant.
"I'm someone who kills as he pleases, without batting an eyelid. Many who didn't deserve death died by my hand. Because their deaths pleased me."
His lips curled into a fiendish smile.
"If your death pleases me, or serves my purposes, dying is your only road. And while I don't find your death appealing, I don't find your life worth saving, either. So, if you want my help, you must give me a good reason."
Hearing such ferocious words, the freckled girl trembled. However, her determination remained, and unwavering, she declared:
"We only have one life. No matter how short, no matter how long, it is our most valuable possession. When it joins us, we live, when it leaves us, we perish.
I offer that life to you. My existence and allegiance, throughout eternity! Today, it may not be worth much, but who is to say that in the future, I won't prove your soundest investment.
As long as you give me the opportunity, I will not shirk from fire and storms and always strive to give more than my hardest!
I may not know much about the cultivation world, but as an expert that can put the royal family on its knees with just your presence, your strength and knowledge can't be low. With your guidance, I can certainly embark on the road of cultivation.
If others cultivate for one hour daily, I will cultivate for six!
If they do three, I will do eighteen!"
Letting go of Konrad's thigh, the freckled girl clasped her hands and bowed in a solemn pledge.
"Why six times? Why not ten?"
"Because I know my body cannot take ten, and I dare not kill myself without your permission!"
The freckled girl seriously replied, causing a laugh to escape Konrad's lips.
"Good. Then rise. Henceforth, you are my person, and your life belongs to me."
"Thank you, lord!"
The freckled girl thrice kowtowed, and as Konrad turned heels, she rose to follow him wherever he went. Sweeping the royal palace with his spiritual sense, Konrad located the treasury, and with the delegation members at his heels, he stepped toward it.
The treasury was a large building of its own, protected not by men, but by a Profound Formation that could repel even Fate-Wrestling Saints. Without the key, getting inside was a daunting task.
Konrad waved his hand, causing the silver key to fire a bright ray that dived into the treasury's lock and unsealed it.
The towering gate then opened in a grating sound that alarmed the von Gradl royals that still remained in the banquet hall.
"He's …really entering the treasury."
Cold sweat filled the water alliance king's forehead, as he realized his house's thousands of years of accumulations were about to suffer massive damage.
"Hopefully…he isn't too greedy…hopefully…Divine Lords, please help…"
The water alliance king didn't often pray. But on this particular occasion, his heart was full of zeal, and he prayed all the Five Cardinal Lord to save his state from an economic disaster.
But since Konrad came to plunder, his prayers were bound to go unanswered.
With a sweep of his spiritual sense, Konrad assessed the treasury's coffers, and the result was indeed quite satisfying. In terms of Holy Crystals, the Central Water Kingdom couldn't compare to Eysan, having only two-hundred and fifty holy Crystals.
Konrad estimated that even if they pooled the holy crystals of the other fourteen states, they couldn't surpass five-hundred thousand. After all, the Central Kingdom was by far the strongest of the fifteen, comparable to several others combined.
However, when it came to artifacts, pills, and elixirs, they didn't disappoint. The treasury still contained two mid-grade Holy Artifacts, fifteen low-grade Holy Artifacts, and a massive quantity of pills and elixirs.
There were also eleven war puppets of the Holy Rank. Among which, three Fate Wrestling Saint War Puppets stood. As for Semi-Holy War Puppets, there were fifty.
Unlike Soul Puppets which, as the name implied, were powered by souls, War Puppets fed on crystals. With his current net worth, Konrad could put them to good use.
As for the billions of purple crystals, they would also serve him well.
Konrad raised his emerald bracelet and sucked the entire treasury within, not leaving anything behind.
He then took his leave, and alongside his servants, returned to his quarters, leaving the gate wide open for all to see.
Ten minutes following his departure, led by their king, the royal family arrived to access the damages.
Some exclaimed in fright. With the gate being wide open, all could clearly see what remained. And Ernst who stood at the helm couldn't believe his eyes.
Staggering, he walked into the empty treasury, his eyes vacant, and his body without strength.
"Nothing…nothing remains. He's really that greedy. He really took everything, not leaving us any way out.
Without money, we can't pay the officials. Without money, we can't pay the soldiers. Without money, pills, or elixirs, we can't provide the required resources to handle the house's cultivation needs.
At the same time, the army tokens and royal seal are in his hand while the various state rulers are, unbeknown to them, on their way to surrender."
Ernst trembled and dropped onto his knees, his eyes still vacant.
"We surrendered the army, surrendered the wealth, surrendered the authority.
Now, even if we pawn ourselves, our decline is inevitable.
House von Gradl's fifty thousand years of glory…ruined…in my hands."
The blow too hard to bear, Ernst collapsed on the floor, his body convulsing in a seizure.