Again, Konrad stood before the master of the Infernal Realm. Or was he?
Having listened to the old man's preaching, and recalling all the stories surrounding them, he couldn't help but feel that neither the Warden nor the Overlord were free existences.
Their powers might be unrivaled, but their bound to their respective realms also surpassed that of all others. Messengers? Incarnations? The exact answer was hard to pinpoint.
Still, it mattered not.
At least, in this instant, it didn't.
"I hope you're not counting on that unruly father of yours. He's still recovering from Hell's punishment."
The Overlord's hoarse, authoritative voice thundered within Konrad's mind. Undisturbed, his lips curled into a smile.
"My path no longer needs others to fight for. But I'm curious, what is my transgression this time?"
"The Supreme Dao is forbidden, locked to all lives within the three Realms. Since you exist under my jurisdiction, it is my duty to test you.
Cross my trial and thrive, fail, and perish!"
Konrad's smile broadened, and in his purple eyes, only serenity shone.
"Do your worst."
Instantaneously, horrible black flames descended from the wasteland's sky, earth, and every corner to shoot toward Konrad! And while this scene reminisced of the time he congealed his twelfth meridian, the flames' might had increased a hundredfold!
Stretching out his arms, Konrad let his Miraculous Transcendence erupt alongside his four physiques. And feeling the Supreme Overlord pressure emanating from him, beneath his shadowy cloaking, no ripple flashed on the Overlord's face.
Perhaps in another location, he would have felt some discomfort, but within the trial, bias and personal feelings didn't exist. He merely enforced Hell's Will!
In a flash, the deluge of hellfire surrounded Konrad from all sides, its startling might and voracious hunger calling for his life.
The Supreme Overlord Physique's suppression forced the hellfire to halt mid-air while the Divine Primal Physique's golden primal force eroded its might and dissolved its offensive.
Following a silent, fierce struggle, the hellfire freed itself from the two forces' pressure, and resumed its assault onto Konrad!
Though drastically weakened, it still was a force to be reckoned with. The infernal flames locked him from all sides, leaving no room for escape.
Fusing the powers of his physiques and his Miraculous Transcendence within his palms, in succession, Konrad threw hundreds of palm strikes at the front, back, left, right and above!
Each palm strike made the corrupted air shiver and sent tremors throughout the ground.
*BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM* *BOOM*
The hellfire collapsed and retreated at breakneck speed. But as if reinvigorated by a foreign force, it returned with greater might, turning into five gaping hellfire maws that blocked Konrad from all sides.
Still, he didn't waver, and his eyes shifted back onto the Overlord above.
"Next time, be more creative…"
Konrad began with a relaxed, amused tone while clenching his right fist.
"…because this level, can never bar my path."
His eyes shone with purple light, and alongside his physiques' energies and vast demonic force, his Miraculous Transcendence merged within his right fist.
Konrad aimed his fist at the ground below and punched out!
A massive explosion of gold, purple, and rainbow-colored light erupted to obliterate the incoming hellfire maws!
As the light dispersed, Konrad no longer stood in the wasteland. Only the Overlord remained.
"Fool, when even I do not dare claim supremacy, how could it be yours to seize?
In the future, you will understand that for those born within the three Realms, supremacy is a sham. An alluring pitfall."
The Overlord scoffed, then vanished from the trial land.
Meanwhile, Konrad reappeared within the Ancient Crystal World, or rather, within the coffin. The lid above him opened, and his body floated toward the surface, bathing in golden light.
The ladies had long since finished their cultivation and stood in anxiety around his coffin. Three months! It'd been three months since he locked himself within, and during that time, even the connection they held was temporarily severed.
Were it not for their profound faith in him, they would have believed that he perished in cultivation deviation.
But at last, he returned! And at his back, a pair of bright golden light wings sprouted while the contours of an illusory ring appeared above his head.
The mark that he'd officially broken through to the Semi-Holy Rank! Sublimated in both the martial and spiritual paths!
And Diyana who felt the embryonic Dao swirling around him, couldn't help but shiver in fright. A force that commanded obedience and reverence. A force that rippled with absolute might hid within that budding Dao, making her wonder what shape it would take when it reached completion.
Leisurely, Konrad landed on the ground, and his eyes swept the women around him.
Zamira, Lena and Diyana had broken through to the Rising Saint Rank while the others crossed four levels to now stand at the fourth step of the Semi-Holy Rank.
On the scene, his breakthrough seemed the smallest, but his strength increase was by far the highest. And as he assessed the might of his embryonic Dao, Konrad firmly believed that by the time he achieved sainthood, before him, even Crossed Tribulation Saints would be forced to retreat.
"Indeed. First Step Old Man, I understand your warnings."
He inwardly sighed, then returned his attention onto the ladies.
"To the third floor. I'm eager to see the abilities of those so-called top-talents."
Konrad ordered, and after pocketing all that remained, the group stepped on the teleportation circle leading to the third floor.
Again, the scenery changed, and this time, they appeared in a vast swamp world whose air rippled with toxic energies. Breathing in that air, many directly vacillated. Only after rotating their cultivation bases did they regain their foothold.
As for Konrad, with his Stolas Physique, this floor was nothing more than a treasure trove. Every breath he took, empowered his physique, bringing it closer to the Divine Rank.
With a wave of his hand, he summoned nine green Stolas feathers which flew toward his ladies. Wielding them, the toxins within the poisonous air no longer affected them.