Though the mother-son pair maintained smiling faces and exchanged contented glances, Yvonne couldn't help but feel a wave of apprehension rise within her chest. Better than anyone, she understood the dangers of the Tower of Rebirth. With half the state's resources and the number one mercenary band, she and Olrich had barely managed to reach the seventh floor.
And even then, it took more luck than skills. Dozens of peak stage Semi-Saints saw their lives harvested like flies for the two of them to reach that threshold, and while Konrad's current strength was leagues above theirs at the time, so was his aim.
Moreover, from beginning to end, although she arduously worked on painting the image of a trustworthy partner bound by common benefit, Yvonne couldn't trust Gulistan.
Letting go of Gulistan's hand, Konrad stepped back, once again turning toward Diyana who'd still not lost her cloaking.
Using the system, he analyzed the nature of her physique, after which he reverted his attention back onto Gulistan.
"I don't think we're at the gifting threshold yet. You can keep your treasure. But I believe you have something that belongs to me. May I have it instead?"
As those words left Konrad's lips, they provoked various reactions.
Surprised by how little attention Konrad paid this Diyana, Yvonne was perplexed. After all, she could feel the extraordinary air swirling around her form.
Frustrated by Konrad's disrespect and incensed at being treated like cheap, tradeable goods, Diyana boiled in suppressed anger.
Startled by Konrad's apparent knowledge of his inheritance, Gulistan frowned. The list of things Konrad possessed and knew was becoming hard to ignore. Now, she no longer doubted that in one way or another, Konrad had received his father's guidance.
Extending her hand toward him, she summoned a purple ram statuette.
"It's an idol refined by your father through blood and infernal power. If you can successfully refine it, you should be able to awaken one of his physiques that lies dormant in your genes. As for which one, I cannot say."
Gulistan explained while Konrad took the statuette into his hand for appraisal.
"Still, I must warn you. Although only those of his direct lineage can refine this idol, with your current cultivation level, doing so is suicidal. The infernal power within would obliterate you in seconds.
At least wait until you reach the Saint-level."
Following his personal assessment, Konrad agreed. The statuette turned into a light ray and vanished within his pouch.
"Heading into the Tower of Rebirth requires substantial preparations. Also, besides the tower's dangers, you'll have to confront the top talents of the two forces beneath the Saint-level.
If you want, I can prepare a large number of holy crystals, war puppets, amulets, talismans, pills, and artifacts for you to use. I guarantee they will each come prepared. Especially with the approaching Holy War, the quantity of resources put at their disposal this time will be exceptional."
Gulistan spoke true. If the tower's danger accounted for eighty percent of the difficulty, then the remaining twenty was about surviving the greed of others. Without sufficient preparations, Konrad could easily fall into danger.
And he knew it very well.
"I decline, with thanks."
With that said, he extended his hand toward Yvonne who took it without delay and together, they left the brothel, leaving the three Serkar kinsmen alone.
"What do the two of you think of him?"
Gulistan asked Diyana and the butler.
"He's too arrogant. Although his talent and foundation are unparalleled, at this rate, he's bound to butt against a mighty foe and suffer tremendous losses."
"Knowing that the lady's life is bound to his, he vented all accumulated spleen. For a young demon suddenly growing into power, that's understandable. However, if he is merely arrogant, why didn't he accept lady Diyana?
Surely, she should have excited his incubus blood. Either he's throwing a tantrum, or he's suspicious of your ladyship's intentions. I'm inclined to lean on the later."
The butler analyzed, his words causing an approving nod from Gulistan.
"Arrogance is preferable.
But being unable to gain his trust on the first day was within expectations. As long as we convinced him that we work toward the same goal and that I hide nothing from him, his guard should have slightly lowered. In the future, we can build on that.
Diyana, your reluctance to offer yourself didn't help. If you can't fix this, I have no use for you."
Gulistan's words sent a shiver down Diyana's spine. Immediately, she dropped onto her knees.
"Please forgive my negligence. I will make sure to remedy the situation!"
Ignoring her, Gulistan sent the butler a mental message.
"Inform Eysan's guards of their young master's fate. Perhaps we can use them to gain more points."
The butler's face contorted into a frown. Still, he didn't dare disobey.
Meanwhile, as the duo exited the brothel, they exchanged mental messages of their own.
"Since when do you only cooperate with your beloved women? Didn't you tell me that my father and you are currently in a business partnership?"
Yvonne asked while holding onto Konrad's arm.
"Weren't you a bit excessive toward her?"
"I think so too. But apparently, my cheap mother disagrees."
Konrad's words provoked a frown on Yvonne's face.
"Were you testing her bottom line?"
"I'm not going to lie. At first, I didn't have anything against her…
As the abused son that suddenly grew into formidable powers, and realized her need for him, at worst, I would have taken a commanding stance to maintain appearances. But where did the cowardly Eysan get the courage to insult her son before her?
Clearly, he received her approval. Meaning that the first thing she did was use her nephew to test my depths.
Why is that necessary?
Meanwhile, no matter how much I pushed, she didn't strike back. With the pride of a high-ranking Sage, how can she tolerate such insults? Even if she can't kill me, can't she suppress me?
Last, but not least, the girl. While with my bloodline and dual cultivator status, preparing a perfect partner makes sense, we can't ignore that often times, women are offered to control men by proxy.
Fortunately, I have something she's not aware of that allowed me to analyze the girl's physique. Otherwise, understanding that -mother- would have been more challenging."
Konrad explained through the mental messages while the two crossed the city's streets.
"She possesses a Decadence Physique. Whoever samples her body won't be able to stop himself from wanting more. Then more, more, and even more, until dependence completely sets in."
Yvonne's eyes shone with fright.
"Although with my Divine Primal Force, I can effortlessly nullify the effects, she doesn't know that. Why then does she offer me such a girl?
Why did she pay the price to summon my father? For power.
Because of foundation flaws, the Ancient Crystal World's natives have never managed to go beyond the late stage of Divine Transformation.
After all, to reach the peak, you need to both reach Divine Transformation in the martial and spiritual paths while also possessing twenty-seven Supreme Meridians at the very least.
Together, for this world's natives, those two conditions are nigh impossible to fulfill. But for the woman that received the Southern King of Hell's blessings, does that still apply?
Is such a woman satisfied with being God's mother? Why can't she be God herself?
Once she fulfills her end of the bargain, what happens? At the end of the day, godhood is a cultivation level, and cultivation can be harvested. Who knows, perhaps I shall suffer a fate similar to Olrich's father.
Destroyed by kin at my peak."