Yvonne's body slid down the ground. With her original cultivation and physiques, she, of course, didn't experience much damage. The greatest wound was to her pride. Never had she expected that if they met blow for blow, at the same level, she could no longer receive one move from Konrad.
Even if all the deities of the universe told her that such a thing would one day happen to her, she wouldn't believe it. But now, it did.
Her eyes rose to meet Konrad, who observed her with a distant look.
"I'd expected you to be gloating by now."
In normal days, Konrad would indeed feel proud and elated. However, today, he realized all his achievements were not that startling after all. He didn't just lack experience; his foundation still was insufficient. Having seen his father firsthand, Konrad could easily feel the abysmal gaps standing between them.
It wasn't just a difference in cultivation. Talroth gave the impression that he was born supreme. Be it in constitution or bloodline, he stood at the peak of the multiverse.
But what about him?
Growth, he needed to grow at the fastest pace so that when he one day reached the higher realms, he could trample all talents beneath his heels!
So that one day, no Overlord could impose any trial on him!
That across the multiverse, only Konrad stood supreme!
And although his current achievements were insufficient, the road started here.
"Nothing worth mentioning. I will gloat when I can oppress you at full strength."
He replied with a smile.
Yvonne was satisfied. Right now, Konrad was still at the stage of "diamond in the rough" only when he fully polished himself and fulfilled his potential could he afford to look down on the world. Before that, all show of arrogance showcased immaturity.
If she had half this level of clear-headedness back then, the current her would be much different. At the same time, picturing Konrad's future achievement, her mind overflew with expectations. After all, in the Ancient Crystal World's history, even among those that initially descended from the higher realms, no one managed to obtain twelve Supreme Meridians in any Transcendent Level.
Konrad's unrivaled cultivation road now truly began.
"You're still far from that level."
Yvonne replied while returning to her seat. Without further ado, she summoned four new bottles, pushing two toward Konrad while keeping two for herself.
Seeing those two new bottles, Konrad's eyes widened in disbelief.
"You surely are generous. Are you sure you've not already fallen for me?"
This was wine brewed on the blood of a Divine Ascension Stage expert! Each bottle roughly contained 0.5 liters of blood. Who could so wantonly squander it for a new acquaintance?
"Huh! Don't toot your own horn."
Yvonne paid him no more attention, bringing her own bottle to her lips.
But as Konrad reached for his, her voice once more echoed, stopping him in his tracks.
"From now on, you and I will fight and drink daily. Neither of us will resort to cultivation, using only fists, feet and weapons.
From then on, we will slowly increase the pace until you fully master your body and fighting skills."
Konrad said nothing, grabbing his liquor bottle to resume drinking alongside Yvonne and condense new meridians.
That night, they drowned in booze. On the next morning, they fought until the sun set and their legs gave out, then they again drowned in booze. That regimen carried on for a week at the end of which Konrad had unlocked six more God Meridians, and condensed another eighteen Supreme Meridians, thus, completing another two transformations.
He was now at the third step Transcendent Knight Rank. At the same time, he didn't let his spiritual cultivation stagnate, expending it through a steady intake of pills. Although it wasn't improving as quickly as his martial cultivation, it still reached the second step of the Transcendent Priest Rank.
According to Yvonne's assessment, just through the power of his meridians, Konrad could obliterate the average first step Semi-Saint in a single blow.
Meanwhile, though they didn't exchange many words, as they continuously fought and drank, the pair grew increasingly closer.
Unwittingly, they built a form of codependence and allowed the other to become a necessary part of their daily routine. The outside world vanished, replaced by a new one where only Konrad and Yvonne existed.
And even when their lips stood still, their eyes spoke a thousand words. They didn't need any spiritual connection or artifice to understand each other.
As the seventh day ended, the two again met within Yvonne's chambers to enjoy one of their usual drinking sessions. This time, however, they went farther than ever before, boozing until they turned into a pair of drunken sots.
"Yo, *hick* Konrad. I gotta say that you've got no conscience. Having *hick* freeloaded in my place for so long, and gulped all my resources, shouldn't you *hick* give me some repayment?"
Yvonne "inquired" while wrapping her right arm around Konrad's neck.
"Hey, Yvonne *hick* it's not like…there aren't ways for me to…*hick* pay you back. We could start with my body."
Konrad replied while leaning against Yvonne's chest.
"Says the one going around dressed like a debauched belly-dancer."
"What do you know? This is style! What other women don't dare do, I dare. If anyone dares look at me in an improper way, I dig out their eyes. Who dares complain?"
"Hum…since you're such a good boy, I can give you a pass. Let's call it the 'free improper stare quota.' Yeah…"
Yvonne declared while patting Konrad's cheeks and nodding in approval toward her own words.
"Yvonne, I say you're too good a woman for that dog emperor. How did you let yourself get swindled by him?"
As if sobered by Konrad's words, Yvonne shoved him away, but then the world around her swirled, and she dropped onto Konrad's lap.
"It's not swindling! It's repayment! Repayment!"
Yvonne yelled while rubbing her head against Konrad's lap. Konrad didn't say anything, struggling to keep himself awake while passing his hand within her hairs.
"This all goes back to when I turned fifteen. Back then, I'd just broken through the Transcendent Priest Rank and was half a step into the Transcendent Knight Rank. However, with my family's resources, if I insisted on condensing Supreme Meridians, I was doomed to spend decades to centuries within the Transcendent Rank. And how far I could go was uncertain…
So…behind my father's back, I went to the Tower of Rebirth to seek a life-changing opportunity.
At the time, Olrich was a five-hundred years old fourth step Semi-Saint. In the upper circles, his talent wasn't anything extraordinary, and his two elder brothers had already broken through the Holy Rank.
But although his talent wasn't extraordinary, his cultivation was steady with a rock-solid foundation. More importantly, he had a heart of gold and was incomparably strong-willed."
As Yvonne recalled the past, her wild moves stopped, while her eyes sobered. But she still remained on Konrad's lap.
"He was also my only friend. The only man that didn't see me as a steppingstone to success.
When he learned that I'd departed for the Tower of Rebirth, he used his third prince status to embezzle half the imperial treasury. With a tiny portion, he opened gambling houses, brothels, and other scandalous businesses. Making his father, the previous emperor believes that he robbed and squandered state funds to satisfy his vices.
He was almost beaten to death…