Konrad's appearance startled Ernst who'd not expected him to show up.
At least, not so fast.
With his crazed silver eyes staring directly into Konrad's purple hues, and his index aimed at his face, Ernst proclaimed:
"You?! How could it be you?! How could it not be?! Ernst supposes it was inevitable. Welcome!"
Ernst then lowered his index, and his eyes shifted toward Yvonne who stood by Konrad's side.
"What beauty, what sex appeal, simply out of this world. With such a woman by your side, why do you still need to plunder Ernst's garden? Greedy, you are greedy. But it's fine. It's all fine.
Now, Ernst sees the truth."
Amused, Konrad chortled.
"Oh, and what truth is that?"
Ernst's eyes shifted back onto Konrad, and his lips flashed a smile.
"First, Ernst wants to know your true name."
"Good, Konrad. In just a few days, you've put our fifteen states on their knees, unified our land, and established a new dynasty. The military, the court, the wealth, the women, all are within your hands.
Good, very good. Truly worthy of being a demon spawn.
But Ernst isn't sad, because having embarked on the road of the conqueror without absolute heartlessness, you're doomed to suffer. Ernst can see that within your demonic eyes, besides bottomless ambition, care still remains, if only for the women by your side.
Alas, on the path of conquest, on the road to become supreme, suffering losses is inevitable. In your pursuit of absolute power and domination, there will be a time when you'll set them aside, a time when you won't be there for the ones you genuinely care for.
Fate will choose that moment to play a joke on you. And from experience, Ernst can tell you, Fate is a cruel mistress that will prick your heart with ten-thousand daggers."
Ernst declared with wide, crazed eyes that didn't match his level tone.
Hearing his words, no ripple flashed on Yvonne's face. If she thought anything of them, she didn't show it.
As for Konrad, his smile broadened.
"Nice swan song. However, I beg to differ, and if Fate wishes to mess with me, I will fuck her into submission, like all the rest. As for you, you've outlived your usefulness."
Konrad stretched out his hand, causing terrible demonic energies to barrel into Ernst and fill his body.
Lifted by the demonic force, Ernst rose from the ground, his body bloating up, like a balloon, at breakneck speed.
"Ernst is not sad…Ernst wails but isn't sad. In the netherworld, Ernst will wait for karma to give you its retribution. There must be justice in the world. There must be…otherwise, why does Ernst perishes so?
But as Ernst's crazed laughter echoed, Konrad's smile remained undisturbed.
"I forgot to mention, you're not going to the afterlife, your soul is about to turn into another one of my meals, forever vanishing from the reincarnation cycle."
Hearing those words, Ernst's eyes shone with stupor.
"How could a man be this evil? Ernst doesn't deserve this! Ernst curses you!"
The swelling Ernst roared and thrashed in the air, attempting to resist Konrad's demonic force, but to no avail.
"The only joke fate plays is birth. People don't get what they deserve, they get what they get.
Therefore, Ernst von Gradl, at the dusk of your existence, allow me to enlighten you in a few simple truths.
While it is true that actions bring chain-reactions, there is only one justice in this world.
The justice of the mightiest!
Man's will shape the world. He who controls all needs not care about karma and retribution."
Ernst's bloated body exploded, drenching the throne room's ground in flesh, blood, and bones.
Dark mist erupted from Konrad's fingers to trap Ernst's soul and bring it to Konrad's lips. Without hesitation, he swallowed it whole.
His eyes then dropped onto the fourth prince who floundered in a blood pool with his father's flesh pieces covering him.
"Congratulations, fourth prince. As the eldest surviving son of house von Gradl's main line, the throne is yours. Long live the emperor."
Hearing this, the shivering fourth prince awoke from his stupor, crawled toward Konrad's feet and incessantly kowtowed.
"I don't want to be the emperor, I don't want to be the emperor. Demon sir, I beg you, please let me live out the rest of my life in peace!"
While usually, princes would fight for the right to inherit the throne, the fourth prince didn't dare have such an idea. If the thought of becoming the first emperor of the new, unified country should generally appeal to many, with the current situation, no sane man would want that throne.
Joke, the so-called Profound Sea Dynasty was Konrad's playground. All across its territory belonged to him. Those eight billion citizens may not know his name, but it would be his will that directed their daily lives. Whoever sat on the throne would just be a shameful puppet without any say in official matters.
What outwardly looked like unparalleled glory was, in fact, nothing more than a ticket to a lifetime of humiliation. The fourth prince dared not call himself bright, but at the very least, he could see a fiery pit where it lied and would not throw himself into such an abyss.
Alas, it wasn't his choice to make.
"If you won't cooperate, I'm afraid I must make the fifth prince the heir. Do you understand what that means?"
The fourth prince banged his head against the floor and moved no further, his body quivering in understanding. Without their father to officially demote him, for the fifth prince to become the heir, he had to die.
Knowing that his life couldn't be preserved if he rejected the demonic oppressor, he helplessly chose submission.
"From now on, I will obey your every words and arrangement. If you say A, I won't dare say B, if you look right, I won't dare look left! I only hope that you can show some mercy in your future treatment of my poor self!"
The fourth prince pledged while keeping his now bleeding forehead on the ground.
"Good. Don't worry, those who serve under Konrad's banner are always treated fairly. Rewards for the meritorious and punishment for the failures."
With a wave of his hand, Konrad summoned a Phantasm Orchid which he threw at the fourth prince.
Without hesitation, the fourth prince devoured the orchid. Satisfied, Konrad nodded.
"Tomorrow we shall have an important meeting. I hope your majesty won't be late. Oh, and, for tonight's deaths, do you know what you should say?"
"The previous king, princes and elders were murdered by foreign assassins. They shall be buried with honors."
Although there was nothing to bury, this script was good enough.
Then alongside Yvonne, Konrad turned heels, leaving the first and last von Gradl emperor to collapse on the ground.