After placing a ring on her finger, Konrad left Yvonne to adjust to her new powers and dived into his second space treasure to test his. This was the place where he contained his demonic beasts. A legion of almost eight thousand chiefly composed of rabble.
With his current strength, Konrad had no use for them. However, that didn't mean they couldn't be improved. Stepping into the second space treasure, he landed into a vast wasteland far from the demonic beasts' habitat and started drawing eldritch circles on the ground.
"You want to summon a familiar?"
The Flame Mark remarked as he carried on with his drawings.
"Indeed. Now that I've reached this bloodline level, I should at least have one, right?"
As high-ranking demon nobles, Phantasm Lords were born at the Holy Rank with Saint-level familiars by their side. Konrad didn't have the fortune of being born at that level. However, he could still summon his familiar and obtain a Saint-level goon.
There was no need to think twice. However, the Flame Mark disagreed.
"With your current bloodline level, summoning a Saint-level familiar will not be a problem. However, except for a body with a cultivation base, there isn't much it has and can do that I can't. Before you reach the Holy Rank, you also won't be able to upgrade its strength."
Familiars were like a mirror of their master's self and grew alongside them. Thus, many often saw them as a second cultivation base. The familiar's foundation might not be as robust as his master's, but his cultivation level would keep rising alongside his. If the master reached godhood, the familiar would also become a deity.
"I say, you wait for the Holy Rank first."
Konrad cut while finishing his drawings. On the ground now lied a strange formation of overlapping circles, pentagrams, and diagrams of various forms with beastly shapes lying within them.
Konrad extended his hand toward the formation, releasing a large stream of purple flames that dived into the markings, lighting them, and releasing vast purple smoke that soared toward the sky.
"Why are you so adamant on getting a familiar?"
For some reason, the Flame Mark felt restless. As soon as Konrad's bloodline reached the Phantasm Lord level, it could feel his mind undergoing some changes, potentially making him more ruthless than he already was.
And it was right. Since the last bloodline evolution, Konrad's entire mind seethed with one thought: Might!
Although his cultivation had not increased, his mind burned with the confidence of inborn superiority, as if his very blood was convincing him that through his lineage alone, he was mighty.
Moreover, the new powers and possibilities brought by this new bloodline level reassured those thoughts.
"What? Afraid of becoming obsolete?"
"How could that be?"
But the Flame Mark was indeed afraid of such a fate, fearing that from now on, Konrad would no longer pay it any heed.
Konrad cut open his palm, throwing his blood into the mix.
The sky darkened, the purple smoke turned red, while flames of the same color descended from above alongside a deluge of red thunderbolts to slam the circles before Konrad.
A deafening explosion of demonic energies spread within the space world, alarming the demonic beasts in the distance. However, Konrad remained unfazed, waiting for the red smoke to disperse and reveal his new servant.
Soon enough, he could spot the shadow of a new form designing itself within, and as the smoke dispersed, a monstrous creature appeared before him.
A nine meters tall hulky mass of red muscle. A dreadful form with clawed hands and hooved feet, a large set of sharp, elongated teeth, nearly two meters long goat horns above which rested another pair of longer ram horns.
Its purple eyes left no place for white, and its face was just as monstrous as the rest of its scarlet body, a devilish picture matching all demonic folklore on earth.
Although the cultivation erupting from it stood at the peak of the Rising Saint Rank, Konrad didn't doubt it could effortlessly shred Profound Saints such as the empress in half.
The creature hailed in a throaty, booming voice while falling onto its knees.
Konrad commented with a smile. The creature looked like an odd mixture between his true form and a giant devil straight out of the nightmares of an overly zealous priest.
Calling it dreadful was an understatement. But of course, Konrad didn't care.
"What's your name, familiar?"
"I'm nameless. Only master is allowed to grant me a name."
"Well, from now on, let's call you…Krann."
Konrad randomly named his new servant.
"Krann thanks master for bestowing a name!"
At the same time, all information regarding Krann's abilities appeared within Konrad's mind.
"Tell me, Krann, are you ready to serve your master?"
Krann replied, without hesitation.
"Good, then rid me of the pesky spiritual consciousness hiding within this mark."
Konrad ordered, extending his arm toward Krann and rolling up his sleeve to display a purple flame shaped mark.
"Konrad, what is the meaning of this?!"
The Flame Mark roared within Konrad's mind.
"Meaning? Oh, I forgot to mention, I'm getting rid of you."
"Why? I've been nothing but useful to you! Without me, you'd still be unaware of the realities of this world and wouldn't have been able to obtain the power of totems! To say nothing of the fact that I also saved your life!"
The Flame Mark bellowed in indignation. But since Konrad's order remained unchanged, Krann didn't pay attention to the exchange and began refining it alongside all the knowledge it contained.
"True, you've been wonderful help. However, I do not feel at ease knowing that within me, there is an entity of significant power, capable of taking over my body at times but whose allegiance lies with someone else…father, or not.
You do not belong to me, you do not serve me. As long as my interests align with that cheap father's, you will obey, but the day they do not, I dread what you can and will do.
Therefore, I have to get rid of you. It's time to say goodbye, Flame Mark. But don't worry, Krann here will refine all you got and not allow your powers and knowledge to go to waste."
Konrad straightforwardly explained while purple mist rose from his mark and flew into Krann's open mouth.
"Hahahaha, bastard, bastard!"
The Flame Mark burst into laughter as its last bits of consciousness fell into Krann's mouth.
"Your majesty, the boy, is growing, but I'm not sure this direction will help your grand aspiration."
Those were the last thoughts within the Flame Mark's mind before Krann completely refined it. Thus, erasing it from the face of earth.
"Master, the task is complete!"
*Clap* *Clap* *Clap*
Konrad clapped while nodding in a show of approval.
"Good job, Krann. Now come with me; we have demonic beasts to train, and a world to conquer."
"As you command, master!"
Then, alongside the towering Krann, Konrad stepped toward the forest where he kept his legion of demonic beasts.
Meanwhile, in the Infernal Realm Southern Domain's Royal Palace, Talroth, still surrounded by his many succubi felt the disappearance of the Flame Mark's consciousness.
With a wave his hand, the image of all it saw before it vanished appeared before him.
He shook his head from left to right, then dispelled the image.
"Children these days."