Hell's Gate, Heaven's Gate. Those were the two most treasured objects of the two religious forces. Whoever triumphed over its foe, would see their gate open to lead them back into their respective higher realm. The gates were indestructible.
"You…want to summon an infernal legion?"
To Konrad's question, Gulistan immediately nodded.
"Yes! Those billions of souls will give us enough power to slightly open the gate and allow Lord Stolas to send an infernal legion led by a minor Stolas God's Avatar onto this world. Although it will be for a brief moment, that moment will be more than enough to destroy the Celestial Church once, and for all."
All Demon Gods possessed their own infernal legions. According to the knowledge Krann gained from the Flame-Mark, no matter how weak the God or how small their legions were, the lowest of foot soldiers was at the Sage level.
Without a Sage-level cultivation base, joining a Demon God's legion was impossible. If the Infernal Cult could successfully summon one of Stolas' legions, they wouldn't need a minute to obliterate the Celestial Church. That was a fact.
"Afterward, the gate closes, and the legion returns home. The Infernal Cult can then clean whatever remains and wipe out the Celestial Realm's faith from this world. Then, for triumphing over its foes, and winning the Holy War, the Infernal Cult will be allowed to ascend to the Infernal Realm and be ennobled in the houses of their chosen gods.
The most meritorious will even see their cultivation boosted to the God-level through contracts with mighty Gods. Naturally, none of them will be stupid enough to pass such an opportunity. Thus, freeing the Ancient Crystal World for us to reform.
Right now, the great elders and leaders of the two factions are the only one able to restrain me. Once they're gone, no one can stop me from erasing the higher realms' faith from this world while promoting yours. By the time you reach the peak of Divine Ascension, I have no doubt that the world will worship you as its God. You can then channel its faith power to break through godhood.
Better yet, once you become the Ancient Crystal World God, throughout the three realms, no matter how powerful they might be, as long as you stay here, no deity can harm you and only you can freely come and go from the higher realms to this world."
A bold plan.
While the others were startled by Gulistan's words, Konrad was forced to admit that her plan was of impressive efficiency. He could just sit back and watch the events unfold, focusing on cultivation while she took care of the rest.
It would be a lie to say the thought wasn't appealing. Alas, the cost was too high. On the one hand, he would, at the very least, lose half his potential faith power, and on the other hand, it was too time-consuming.
Also, why did he need to wait for others to free spots? Why could he not just obliterate them? The correct way, the Konrad way, was to wipe out Infernal Cult and Celestial Church from this world through his own hands!
"How long until the plague begins and starts harvesting lives? Also, who will it affect?"
Thinking that he was starting to come around, Gulistan replied:
"The plague seed will germinate in a month, when it fully blossoms, all the non-demon unbelievers of the Holy Continent, beneath the Transcendent Rank, will perish within a week.
As for those at the Transcendent Rank, they will go insane, and attack whoever stands before them, unable to differentiate friend from foes."
"Good. Very good."
From the start, Konrad saw an opportunity within this plague. However, due to him not possessing a God's Heart, making use of it was impossible. But now, the situation was different. And since he required Gulistan's God-Heart, he could only expose the plan.
"While good, your plan will make me lose half this world's faith power. To my foundation, that is harmful. We could do something else. Instead of using it to ruin the Holy Continent, we can use the Holy Continent's ruin to spread my faith. Slow it down and alter it to instill fear and desperation in the hearts of the masses.
Thus, forcing them to seek shelter in a new God, a God that can save them from the calamity."
Konrad began, his words causing a new wave of incomprehension to spread throughout the bystanders.
"I won't go into the details, but as long as you give me the God's heart, I have the means to control this plague for my own purposes while also healing those that pledge their souls to me. Seeing how my followers are saved, and their prayers answered, the desperate will flock to my banner. Thus, allowing me to convert the Holy Continent's masses through this plague.
Naturally, we will need agents to spread my God-Name throughout the kingdoms and empires. I'm sure you can arrange that."
Gulistan frowned, Konrad seemed to possess too many skills that should not appear on him. Skills that made her resources lose all appeal. Though frustrated by her lack of control over him, she quickly dismissed those thoughts. After all, the more competent of a son he was, the easier her job would be.
Yet, she shook her head.
"I must disagree. It is not that I doubt you, but even if you speak true, this is good for you, but terrible for house Serkar. The plague required a tremendous Merit loss. If we can't get the benefits out of it, when the time comes for the Holy War, the Infernal Cult faces destruction.
And house Serkar vanishes alongside it. That, I cannot allow."
Gulistan categorically rejected. But quickly afterward, her eyes shone with an impish light.
"Of course, if you could help me gain enough Merit to make up for what we'd lose, and still be in an impregnable position, I will fully support you."
Konrad's lips flashed a playful smile.
"Since you say -if- I suppose you have a good idea. Shoot."
"I do, indeed. And as you can expect, it won't be easy."
Seriousness returned to Gulistan's playful gaze as she spoke.
"I want you to bring me back the body of the Infernal Cult Founder. Bring it back, and the Infernal Cult can offer it to the Merit Stele.
The Founder was the Overlord's most favored descendant. Were it not for the fatal mistake of fathering Nephilim twins, he would now be one of the Infernal Realm's mightiest Demon Princes.
Sending his body back to the Overlord is unparalleled merit. Enough to turn our losses into gains."
Konrad frowned. The Infernal Cult Founder's connection to the Overlord was made evident by the Supreme Overlord Physique Yvonne obtained from his blood. However, he'd not expected him to hold such a lofty position.
But then again, without such a noble status, his "crime" would have cost him his life.
Still, some verification was necessary.
"Does she speak true?"
He asked the system…
…but got no answer besides a weighty silence.
"Yo! Does she speak true?"
"Aah! Sorry, system malfunctions. Yes, yes, yes…"
The system then fell silent. Taken aback by its reaction, Konrad's mind flashed with several thoughts. But at that time, Gulistan's words resumed, and he quickly set them all aside.
"I suppose you must have heard of the Tower of Rebirth. Although that place hides incomparable dangers, whoever survives it obtains tremendous benefits.
Else Metze reached the third floor and obtained the space and time attributes.
Adelar von Jurgen reached the third floor and obtained the inheritance of a past Paragon Spirit Sage which he used as foundation to cultivate startling soul abilities. Better, he found the means to unseal his fiend blood.
Thanks to the current Holy Flame Emperor embezzling half the country's treasury to fund an expedition, Yvonne Voight reached the seventh floor and obtained a large quantity of the Founder's blood. Thus, going from one of the most exceptional talents of an era to greatest talent in history.
Meanwhile, the emperor himself obtained mighty gains. Though, blessing or curse, it is hard to say. Still, if he can carry his plan to fruition, and is allowed to cultivate in peace, he is doomed to become a Sage in this life."
Beneath her mask, Yvonne remained undisturbed. What she owed Olrich, she'd paid back in full.
"And there are nine floors. If you can reach the ninth, who knows what you can obtain? At least, I believe you can emerge with a God-Artifact.
Also, time in the Tower of Rebirth flows differently from the outside. One month in our world equals thirty-six in the tower. Thus, you also have plenty of time to cultivate. How far you can go, depends solely on you.
So tell me, Konrad, are you willing? If you say yes, then by the time you return with the Founder's body, my true self will be waiting for you with the God-Heart."
Konrad closed his eyes for a brief moment of reflection after which they opened with firm determination.
"We have a deal."
He extended his hand toward Gulistan, and with a radiant smile, she accepted it.
"We have a deal."
She reiterated while giving him a firm handshake. And the butler who from the side saw mother and son bargain like common merchants felt his heart filled with sorrow.