As Jasmine dropped onto the ground, silence submerged the scene. Although the members of the "Low Cultivation, High Status" faction didn't expect her victory, they'd also not expected this miserable loss.
And as they exchanged worried glances, they realized none of them held the confidence to fare better.
The former church Semi-Saints were undisturbed by such a result. If that little girl could really exchange one move with Yvonne, they didn't mind cutting their own arms.
"Truly, newborn calves are not afraid of tigers. Forget about her, it's said that the Celestial Church's Prime Disciple, the current Holy Continent Number One Talent, couldn't take thirty of her moves at the same level.
But back then, his true cultivation was much higher than hers. When even he was faced with such an abysmal gap, a little girl with low cultivation and inexistent battle experience dares take such a gamble?
Hel commented, knowing that anyone that dared step forward was asking for a beating. Moreover, she didn't mind surrendering to Yvonne whose cultivation, background, and talent were all leagues above hers. Unlike those little girls who only had prettier eyes and more opportunities.
Iliana realized Yvonne wasn't someone they could trifle with. However, acknowledging the opponent's superior might was one thing, conceding was another. If they were suppressed in such a brutal manner on the very first day, how could they raise their head in the future?
Iliana roared and stepped forward. Behind her, Zamira frowned. She could see the real purpose behind Konrad's deeds and supported it. Competition stimulated growth. Without a distant goal driving them onward, those girls would never improve. Moreover, their possessiveness threatened the harem's stability and could evolve into something different if left unchecked.
Past today, the "High Cultivation, Low Status" faction would collapse and turn into Yvonne's obedient "sisters," thus, causing a seismic power shift that would, in turn, destroy the remaining camp.
At the same time, the likes of Jasmine and Iliana would redouble their cultivation and skill training efforts to catch up to this unattainable existence standing before them. Not everyone cared about factionalism. Zamira didn't, neither did the likes of Daphne, Faidra, and Aliki who were content just staying by Konrad's side.
If Yvonne could suppress those two with absolute might, then peace would once more return. At least, until either reached her level. Then they could fight again. But if such a time ever came, and it most likely wouldn't, they would have long since matured into accomplished individuals able to grasp the bigger picture and make concessions.
Meanwhile, Konrad inwardly laughed. More than anything else, he found that whole "faction" thing amusing. Of the gathered women, all had been contracted, and therefore, their minds were open books for him to browse while their very fate existed within his hands.
They couldn't sin without his permission, and with a thought, he could erase what he disliked. What was there to be afraid of? As for Jasmine and Iliana, they also knew that although they possessed the Partnership of Equals, Konrad could demote them at any times should they breach the contract.
That being the case, there were things they would never dare. More importantly, he knew their real nature. Said plainly, those two were good persons. Backstabbing and scheming didn't belong to their dictionary. If they disliked you, they would say it to your face, and if they wished to fight with you, they would warn you first.
Without such straightforward mindsets, he would have not dared hand them such contracts. At best, they could liven up the place with the commotions they triggered.
Iliana stretched out her hand, summoning her energy sword before shooting toward Yvonne. While she possessed more fighting skills and experience than Jasmine, those had not been refined with her fast cultivation increase. Now at the fifth step Arch Knight and Priest Ranks, though her cultivation was tremendously higher, she didn't possess more skills than back when she stood at the True Knight Rank.
Yvonne increased her cultivation level to hers, and before the sword could reach her, deflected it, and directed the blunt side to strike Iliana's chest through her own hand.
She flew back, landing by Jasmine's side.
The abysmal gap shocked them to the core of their soul, making them feel like ants attempting to gnaw an elephant. At the same time, they realized they'd grown complacent, relying on dual cultivation for fast improvement with a lackluster foundation.
No one else dared step forward, all lowering their heads in submission.
Satisfied, Yvonne carried on.
"Then, from now on, I'm the Head Consort. If you're dissatisfied, you can come to fight me at any time, I welcome all challengers. Of course, at this pace, you should all refrain from doing so before another thousand years."
Her eyes then fell on the two defeated who were returning to their feet.
"The reality of the situation is that, at the moment, most of you are dead weights with limited use. In the grand scheme of things, you can bring Konrad no support.
Therefore, if you don't want to fade into the background, and spend the rest of eternity raising the kids, you should know what to do."
Yvonne's harsh words hammered at the ladies' self-esteem. However, they were forced to agree that she was correct. Even the Semi-Saintesses felt that they were quickly becoming obsolete. And as Konrad's cultivation rose, their worth dwindled.
Soon, he would have no use for them, and they would turn into trophy concubines. But among hundreds of such trophies, how could they stand out? If they didn't want to fade into oblivion, there was only one way ahead:
To become mighty!
Forever stronger, forever mightier! That was the only way to either maintain or increase their status in Konrad's mind. It was also the only way to take Yvonne down her pedestal!
That being the case, it was time to train.
"I will leave a Pure Self in this mansion when I'm not present to guide the cultivation and battle training of those interested. If you are willing to learn, I'm willing to teach and stand available to all."
The likes of Jasmine didn't possess a clear understanding of what Pure Selves represented. However, in the Semi-Saint's ears, those words rung like thunderclaps.
"Could it be that she…recovered?"
Hel wondered alongside the former inquisitresses. If Yvonne had truly recovered or were in the process of doing so, then it would soon be time to calculate old debts.
"This concludes the introductions. Yvonne, let's dual cultivate."
With that said, Konrad pulled Yvonne by the hand and left for his cultivation chambers where the Time Warping Clock operated.
There, they inaugurated Yvonne's return to the Holy Rank through another epic dual cultivation session.
"Yvonne, you truly never disappoint. Your -hard then soft- approach solved all my harem issues in a heartbeat."
Konrad praised while stroking Yvonne's cheeks as the two lied naked within the bedsheets.
"It's not like you didn't already expect it."
"It is one thing to expect, another to have your expectations fulfilled. Clearly, you were born to rule by my side. When I conquer the world, you shall be my empress."
Konrad theatrically pledged, causing Yvonne's lips to curl into a smile.
"You want to call yourself, emperor?"
She asked in an amused tone.
"Of course, why would I not? There is no greater title."
"A title's weight depends solely on who wields it. The title doesn't make the man, the man makes the title."
Konrad nodded in approval. Hell's four rulers were called "kings." However, what emperor dare put himself above them?
The "king of hell" title stood at the pinnacle of the multiverse.
"Moreover, -emperor- is incomparably corny. Yours should be unique and reflect your inner self."
Yvonne pursued while trailing her index on Konrad's chest.
Konrad acknowledged, and arched his eyebrows to look for something more suitable.
As a monarch, Talroth was known as Southern King of Hell, but as a deity, he was referred to as Lord of Lust.
"Then let's have two titles. I'm still debating what my monarch title will be, but in my religious cult, I shall be named Profane Prince. You can be my Profane Princess."
Yvonne stifled a laugh.
"Profane prince. Why not? I like."
And one day, that casually picked title would make the multiverse tremble, causing mortals and deities alike to shiver on bended knees.