Nils' reasoning was simple. Although it seemed like Adelar held the absolute advantage, he was just building his own grave. There was no hope for victory. But to defeat him, her father would have to activate the worm and start his refining plans.
Adelar would first perish. But what happened next? Once he started, would Olrich stop? Could he stop?
Those were questions that none could answer. And the thought of her brother's imminent demise led her to his gate. Alas, nothing she said could convince Elmar from coming out of confinement.
And Nils knew very well that even if she revealed the soul worms, Elmar would never believe her. To say nothing of him, if she'd not witnessed it with her own eyes, Nils could never believe it.
Though the Holy Flame Seal had caused the intensity of Olrich's aura to skyrocket, Adelar remained undisturbed.
The Holy Flame Seal turned into a bright white meteor and flew toward Adelar, crazily expanding while approaching him.
"Foolish, I have obtained the inheritance of a sage. Do you think I lack high-grade Holy Artifacts?"
Adelar scoffed and summoned a bronze spear which he hurled at the Holy Flame Seal.
The spear slammed into the seal and sent it spiraling into the ground in a deafening crash.
"Over. It's over."
Those were the words the circled within most of the onlookers' minds. If even the seal could not turn the tide, Olrich was finished.
"Two-hundred-ten years, six months, and twenty-three days ago, my bloodline awoke. And on that day, you used false charges to execute my mother. She was just a cripple, a helpless cripple whose meridians and energy center had been ruined beyond repair!
Today I must ask, why?!"
Adelar screamed, but Olrich merely shook his head and again closed his eyes.
"Since you and I have already reached this step, additional words serve no purpose. Make your move."
The bronze spear returned to Adelar's space bracelet, and he aimed his Incomplete Fiend Armament at Olrich's neck.
"That being the case, farewell, father!"
With a vast array of blood fog propelling him, Adelar descended upon Olrich for a final sword swing!
Seeing Olrich's closed eyes, and the rapid move that those beneath the True Origin Saint Rank couldn't even appraise, the onlookers concluded that the battle had come to an end.
But as Adelar's sword slash approached his father's neck, a shocking scene occurred!
For an imperceptible split of a second, his sword stopped.
The swing went wide!
And with his eyes still shut close, Olrich drove his holy sword through Adelar's abdomen, skewering him mid-air!
Blood gushed from Adelar's lips, stomach and back while his eyes went bloodshot in a stupor that echoed with all the onlookers.
"What the hell just happened? He was obviously about to take Olrich's life. Why did his sword suddenly vacillate?"
Both Hubert and Gerhard wondered in shock. Of the onlookers, they were some of the few that clearly saw what occurred. Could Adelar have turned soft a step before taking his father's life?
And yet…this was precisely what seemed to have occurred.
Adelar stammered while his entire body shivered, not from Olrich's blow, but from a horrendous pain that suddenly jolted from his body and paralyzed him for that split of a second.
And while his blood incessantly flowed, within his mind, his soul world collapsed, revealing an identical one at the base of which a gigantic worm crawled!
Instantly, Adelar realized the ploy.
Alas, it was far too late.
Gently patting the back of Adelar's head, Olrich brought him back into the crumbling throne room.
"In this life, you're my greatest accomplishment.
My greatest pride and joy. Since you were born, you never disappointed me. And from all the children I cherish, without a shred of doubt, you're my most beloved.
A pity that what I love, I must destroy.
A pity that what I cherish, by my hand must be extinguished.
My Dao is Heartlessness, Love, my tribulation.
Since you so desperately want to know the real reason for your mother's death, allow me to grant you this last wish."
Olrich's eyes opened, and from the left, warm tears incessantly dropped.
"Revenge is the greatest drive. I used her to set you on the path of revenge. To force you into surpassing the limitations of birth and seek chances that would allow you to magnify your potential…all to devour you."
Olrich whispered in Adelar's ear, causing a new wave of enlightenment to flash within his mind.
"But that's only the first reason. The second one is that I knew that among all those I picked, only you could make me falter. I knew…we knew…that if you didn't rebel…I couldn't kill you.
Thank you…my beloved child."
While he spoke, Olrich's voice trembled and his left eye shone with struggles.
However, the right one remained utterly unmoved.
"Haha…So…that's how it is…to think that I believed myself clever when from the moment I appeared in this world, I played within your palm."
Although Adelar possessed profound soul powers, examining one's soul was a daunting task. It was the same logic as performing self-surgery.
No matter how skilled, it was suicidal.
If Olrich attempted to infect him with a soul worm today, he could send him flying while keeping his hands crossed beneath his back.
A pity that the moment Olrich first held him in his arms was the time he picked to plant the worm.
But even though he knew himself vanquished, Adelar felt no sorrow.
Because while Olrich whispered into his ears, his eyes locked on Konrad who stood several steps behind.
And Konrad, who shouldered his gaze, couldn't help but feel that the eyes told him:
"Hurry up, your time has come!"
But before he could think further, Olrich pulled out his sword from Adelar's bowels and let him fall on his knees.
"Thank you…and farewell."
Dispelling his sword, Olrich placed his hand on Adelar's forehead and started the refining process.
Though he could feel his cultivation, soul, and lifeforce leaving him, though the worm made him helpless before his demise, Adelar smiled.
"Father, for the sake of supreme power, across centuries you have toyed with your relatives and loved ones.
As a power-hungry monster, I can't blame you, but knowing that a son will overthrow your rule and take your life, I die…without regrets!
Still, if you think the soul of Adelar is that easy to digest, think again!
Allow me to help you…into destruction!"
Adelar's body collapsed in red and grey light that flew toward Olrich's mind, but seeing the demented look within his eyes, Konrad couldn't help but think he played one last trick.
Within Olrich's soul, the maddened laughter of Adelar echoed, joining the infernal souls to spur Olrich onward.
The time has come, for Olrich von Jurgen's ascension.
Hesitate no longer! Verena, Else, Elmar, Nils, Amalia, all should perish and fuel our growth!
The words boomed within Olrich's mind. With eyes wide open, he staggered and grabbed his head within his hands, clenching tightly as veins beat on his temple!
Olrich groaned in agony!
At the same, his cultivation skyrocketed, going from the peak of the True Origin Saint Rank to the peak-stage of the Fate Wrestling Saint Rank.
Moreover, the intensity of his aura rivaled that of Crossed Tribulation Saints!
"Father, why did you kill me? Since you killed me, why not kill them? No need to wait further, the process is triggered, your ascension dawns! "
"No…you're a rebel…a traitor…
I…did n't want to kill you…why would I want to kill you…you forced my hand! Why did you have to rebel?!
Traitor…unfilial…traitor…you killed your father…killed your brothers…you deserved to die!
Where am I…who am I? AAAAAAARGH!"
The remnants of Adelar's soul not only fueled the infernal souls but also awoke the lingering consciousness of the true Olrich who thrashed against their joint-oppression.
With a succession of guttural howls, he collapsed on the floor, leaving a baffled Konrad as the sole conscious person within the room.
"What the hell is going on?"
Konrad, who wasn't privy to Olrich's soul, wondered. But before he could probe deeper, Olrich regained consciousness. His eyes clear, and his lips curling into a smile.
Meanwhile, following Adelar's demise, his mind slaves dropped on the ground, unconscious, but their freedom restored. As for the true turncoats, they were running for their lives!
Olrich turned into a light beam and in a flash, beheaded them all!
Their blood drenched the Holy Flame City's sky while their corpses dropped onto the ground.
Ignoring the unconscious folks, Olrich returned to the crumbling throne room to collect the artifacts within Adelar's space treasure, then tossed the bracelet toward Konrad.
"If you find anything to your liking, feel free to take it."
And not waiting for Konrad's reaction, he vanished from the scene.