Konrad's avatar in the Holy Flame Empire sat crossed-legged within Nils' mother, Anke's chambers while the conquered mother lied beside him with his spunk trickling down her lips and thighs.
Currently, he was holding a mental conversation with Iliana's father, Wolfgang.
"Boss, although the goal nears completion, we're now facing serious problems."
Wolfgang declared with an unconstrained sense of urgency.
"What's the situation?"
"After taking control of the black market, our underground deals have been going smoothly. With the recipes you set at my disposal we've quickly refined more potent drugs. Now, Drops of Heavens of the Transcendent Rank freely circulate within the nobility.
Faced with the shocking cultivation benefits and miraculous properties, even with the news of their addictive effect spreading, the low and mid-level nobility didn't hesitate. The addicts' quantity increased at breakneck speed, with many nobles willing to ruin generations of accumulated wealth to obtain the pills.
Afterward, we introduced the orchids that constrained the addictive effect and ensnared the reticent. Now, it's not an exaggeration to say that from commoners to mid-level nobility, all are under your control."
Wolfgang began, pulling an approving nod from Konrad.
"I naturally know of all this. Meanwhile, Krann and Margo have successfully tamed the high nobility, and with their support, we've expanded the operation to the various towns and cities.
Now, from commoners to high nobility, the Holy Flame Empire is in my hand."
"Indeed. But from the start of his regency, Adalwin has been investigating our operations. Now that he has taken control of the Holy Flame Church, he's free to focus on uprooting our cartels. Although the die is cast and he can no longer change the current situation, with his strength, once he retraces those events to me, house Kracht is done for."
Wolfgang's worries echoed within Konrad's mind.
"Your concerns are not unfounded. While our pawns' loyalty is absolute, Adalwin and his goons can forcefully browse through their memories and trace the events back to you.
Fortunately, I can rewire their memories at any time. We will sacrifice a few of them to prepare a scapegoat for Adalwin to destroy. You don't have to worry about that."
From his study, Wolfgang heaved a sigh of relief.
"However, there is one thing I'm worried about. Your clash with the imperial family and the resentment between Kracht and von Jurgen is common knowledge. Although you've abandoned politics to become a merchant, Adalwin is likely to remove all hidden dangers.
This…is the real problem. While your cultivation has improved by leaps and bounds, you're still a Semi-Saint. Once he starts his cleanup, there is nothing you can do to stop him. As my servant, I can save you, but I cannot save the rest."
Konrad explained, and his words caused Wolfgang's placated worries to resurface.
"Worry not. The Kracht are my people. My people, no one can harm. First, abandon the city and alongside your family, return to your fief. The avatars in the Profound Sea Dynasty and other nations will coordinate with us to collapse the Holy Flame Empire's economy and buy us time.
For the remainder of the month, you'll be the least of his problems. When the main body returns, Adalwin will feed his ancestors' graves."
"Thank you, boss, for your protection!"
Wolfgang replied with a deep bow. And though Konrad couldn't see it, the gratefulness within his words spoke myriads. Their exchange ended, and Konrad returned to the imperial harem takeover task. The last requirement for completing the current main quest.
Meanwhile, the true Konrad emerged from the mar, soaring into the sky before stabilizing himself and lowering his eyes on the scene below. The girls had wholly subdued the team leaders whose cultivations were sealed while they knelt on the grassy ground. As for the seventy-five surviving disciples, they endured a similar fate.
Miraz, who'd been forcefully brought back by Diyana also stood within the lot. His wronged expression telling tales of his inner grief. As soon as Konrad emerged from the mar, all eyes locked on him, but the emotions greatly varied.
On his women's face, relief shone, while on the others, dread and anxiety intertwined. Only Vozir and Jaenera remained stoic. The first because fear didn't exist within his heart, the second because there was nothing to be afraid of.
Since they were captured and not killed, the demons clearly had use for them. If only for some time, their lives could be preserved.
In a slow descent, Konrad dropped from the sky, landing before the gathering.
Jasmine began, but failed to finish her words because as soon as Konrad landed before them, all felt a horrifying pressure drop on their shoulders and force them onto the ground!
In a resounding thud, the ladies all dropped on their knees, unable to keep their backs straight.
Their eyes widened in disbelief. To say nothing of them, even Konrad was startled.
As the body's owner, he didn't realize that following the titan bloodline acquisition, his aura had experienced drastic changes, and an overbearing force now rippled within.
That force indiscriminately suppressed and oppressed those who stood too close to him, and gave him the air of an insurmountable colossus whose mere presence produced awe and deference.
Without delay, Konrad used his Transformation Skill to contain the effects and return his aura to the usual human one.
The pressure thus vanished, allowing the ladies to return to their feet.
In tandem, they stood up, but their eyes now shone with stupor.
"Master, in the end, what happened to you at the bottom of the mar? We were all riddled with worry. But now, it seems like you're several times more powerful than before."
Astarte inquired, speaking the words that echoed in the others' minds. As a first-generation fiend bred by Konrad, her bond to him was even stronger than that of the rest.
Meanwhile, Diyana kept her mouth shut, not daring to step in.
"Oh, you could say that I got cucked and blessed at the same time."
Konrad straightforwardly replied before lowering his eyes on the kneeling team leaders.
Wide, blinking eyes stared at him with glaring incomprehension. However, Konrad ignored them to sweep the vanquished team leaders with his purple gaze.
At first, no one remarked the bright red dot in the middle of his forehead. But when Jaenera's eyes rose to his, she immediately spotted the mark which caused fright to shine within her blood hues.
"You…aren't you a demon noble? Why do you bear the mark of titans?"
Although they'd never seen one in their lives, with the knowledge their ancestors brought from the higher realms and their status within their factions, most of the team leaders knew about titans.
Only Marian who'd always lazed on homework and loathed history, couldn't recognize it.
And following Jaenera's words, their eyes locked on the mark which combined with the pressure they felt a moment ago, made the leaders realize a genuine titan stood before them.
But how could it be? Too many questions swirled within their minds, with no answer making sense.
Perplexed, Konrad summoned a mirror to observe his current looks.
Again, he used his Transformation Skill, this time to conceal the mark, then returned his attention onto the frightened leaders.
According to history, the titan lineage was one of the most dreaded within the higher realms. Though they were very few of them, their innate talent, strength, and resilience defied reason.
Although unlike the high-level demons and devas, they weren't born with cultivation bases, a three years old titan could effortlessly bend trees.
Better, it was said that without a significantly higher cultivation level, no one could kill a Titan God. Were it not for their pathetically few numbers, the human race's status within the higher realms would undoubtedly be more glorious.
"What I am matters not. What matters is that from now on, you all become my pawns."
Konrad waved his hands, causing irresistible telekinetic energies to force open the leaders and surviving disciples' mouths. Phantasm orchids then appeared and flew down their throats.
Unable to resist, all swallowed the orchids. Konrad cared little about the surviving disciples. Although they were considered elite disciples, their status within the Celestial Church and Infernal Cult was a far cry from their leaders'. Volker, Erik, and Marian were respectively the youngest children of the Celestial Church Leader, the great elder, and the second elder.
Jaenera was the only daughter of the Infernal Cult Leader while Vozir was the second elder's grandson, and Miraz the great elder, Berken Serkar's most favored grandson.
Even among the factions' core members, they ranked high. There was nothing those disciples could do or find out that they couldn't. Were it not for the made-up story he prepared, they would have followed their peers to the grave.