Within one of the imperial palace's secret chambers, Adalwin, Amalia and a third man stood before a floating mirror within which an old paragon spirit in white cassock sat crossed-legged.
"Old friend, was the situation not dire, I would not have contacted you. If you don't help me, I'm afraid my entire lineage faces destruction."
Adalwin began. While Olrich's current whereabout was unknown, it wasn't his existence that caused Adalwin fright. Instead, it was the steadily recovering Yvonne that prevented him from sleeping at night.
It was very likely that by the time the ceasefire period ran out, she would have fully recovered. By then, what cultivation would she reach? In the past, she was already a peak-stage True Origin Saint. After experiencing more than three-hundred years of tribulation poison, with her unrivaled talent, Adalwin didn't doubt Yvonne would directly reach the Crossed Tribulation Saint Rank.
If things progressed that way, to say nothing of him. Among the Celestial Church's protectors, there were probably not many able to put her down.
"I only request a nine-star Holy Artifact. If you can lend me one, I can dispose of that rebel then obliterate the remaining of my house's enemies."
Adalwin politely said.
Though in the past the two were similarly gifted peers, one remained in the Celestial Church while the other returned to the secular world. After those millennia, an abysmal gap grew.
His friend now stood at the peak of the Holy Road, a peak-stage Star Fusing Saint, while he'd just stepped into Star Connection.
This…was the insurmountable gap of resources.
"Not just a nine-star Holy Artifact. I can even lend you a Divine Artifact."
The Celestial Protector declared with his eyes shut close. Adalwin, Amalia, and the third man couldn't believe their ears.
"How could this be? I'm afraid that even for you, a Divine Artifact is…"
Adalwin began. But before he could finish his words, the protector cut:
"…out of reach."
His eyes then opened and locked on Adalwin with the same silver hues as other paragon spirits.
"Since you know that, you should also understand that there's someone pulling strings behind me. Therefore, allow me to be blunt.
You can deal with your house's renegade afterward. But in the shortest delay, Yvonne Voight must be killed. And her death, cannot be traced back to the Celestial Church."
The protector's words caused Adalwin's face to contort into a frown, and recalling some events of several centuries ago, his eyes widened in disbelief.
"He's…out of seclusion?"
And as those words left his lips, Adalwin prayed all the Cardinal Lords that he was wrong.
Realizing that otherwise, an unparalleled disaster approached the Holy Flame Empire.
"Indeed, he's out. After more than four-hundred years of seclusion, our prime disciple, lord Erhardt Wirth, is back. His cultivation has reached the peak of the Star Fusing Saint Rank, and his low-grade Divine Physique is mastered."
Hearing this, Adalwin despaired.
"It's been almost four hundred years. After all this time, he has…still not forgotten about her?"
In the past, following the Tower of Rebirth's events, Yvonne came across Erhardt Wirth who toured the secular world for leisure. With just a glance, she bewitched him, and he tried his hardest to gain her favor.
To no avail.
She then gave him the opportunity to fight her at the same level. If he could win, she would give him a chance. But if he couldn't even take one hundred moves, then in this life, he should stop pestering her.
Overjoyed, Erhardt leaped on the opportunity but was defeated in less than one-hundred moves. The event startled the continent, and with his face sweeping the floor, he returned to the Celestial Church.
The Celestial Church Leader thought of the event as an excellent way to sharpen his son's Dao Heart. However, his mother deemed otherwise. But afterward, Yvonne became Olrich's princess consort, and thinking that time would mend the wounds, she no longer pursued the matter.
Alas, the first thing Erhard asked upon his emergence from secluded cultivation was… Yvonne's current situation.
In other circumstances, the Celestial Church's first lady wouldn't mind. However, her son pursued the Free and Unfettered Dao. If he couldn't sever them through personal enlightenment, emotions would drag him down.
Although he'd long since left the Semi-Holy Rank, the Dao was the partner of a lifetime and the foundation of the Divine Seed.
Were it not for that flaw, Erhardt would now be a Sage.
Therefore, she resolved to rid him of this fetter, and have Yvonne murdered by the Holy Flame Empire's experts.
Understanding the ploy, Adalwin clenched his fists in frustration.
Sandwiched. They were sandwiched. Yvonne had to die. But if she did, they could not live. If she didn't, they'd still perish.
There was absolutely no way out.
"I know what you're thinking. How could I force you into a dead end? Her ladyship promised that as long as you act fast and leave no trace, your house will be safe."
"Loads of horseshit."
Is what Adalwin wanted to say but restrained himself. With the situation being what it was, he could only turn into a bandit and conduct a night raid.
Never did he expect that he would one day turn into a common thug. And with the economic crisis that now swept the Holy Flame Empire, even Adalwin was forced to consider that, perhaps, even the gods wished to end his dynasty.
Compared to those, the so-called "Profane Prince Cult" was not worth mentioning.
"Just make sure that not even a fly escape. If no one can testify to your involvement, what is there to fear?
Moreover, if the task goes smoothly, her ladyship promised to personally take three of your juniors as honorary disciples."
Meanwhile, in the Barbarian Continent, Eysan 1 's father, the Quasi-Sage Bayiz Serkar knelt before his younger sister, Gulistan's true body.
"Else Metze and Yvonne Voight. You can take those two. But hurry, our spies report that Erhardt is out of seclusion. The clock is ticking, ticking, ticking."
Gulistan's voice echoed.
"A milk drinking junior. If he stands in my way, he can surrender his life!
Thank you, sister, for giving me justice! I will immediately start the preparations!"
Bayiz exclaimed, then vanished from Gulistan's sight.
"What stunt are you trying to pull?"
A mild but authoritative voice echoed within the room. Yet, no figure appeared.
"I just want him to know that in this world, he can only rely on me. And of those two girls, one is too outstanding, the other too crafty, we can't let them occupy his mind now, can we?"
A short silence passed, after which the authoritative voice resumed.
"Gulistan, I know you're unwilling to be a servant for a lifetime, but never forget that the house is first. If you jeopardize its future and force me to make a choice, I will not choose you."
At the same time, one of Olrich's Pure Selves knelt within the Infernal Cult Third Elder's house. More precisely, before the third elder's first son.
"Very well. I will personally dispatch troops to assist you in retaking your throne. Afterward, you will officially join the Infernal Cult and surrender the Infernal Soul Devouring Art."
Hearing this, Olrich's lips curled into a smile.
"Thank you, sir, for your assistance!"