"You were warned but didn't believe. Given an opportunity, but you didn't cherish it. Now His Highness' rage erupts and shall sweep the Holy Continent with a grand purging tide!"
The Profane Prince's Envoys proclaimed throughout all the corners of the Holy Continent. And soon, many of the local governments would support them in spreading their words.
Of the five nations, it is in the Holy Flame Empire that they spread at the fastest pace. The dukes, marquis and all other landed nobles supported them in their endeavors, dispatching teams to assist them and luring the commoners into listening through all means imaginable.
"Ten-thousand deaths on the first day, not more, not less. One-hundred-thousand on the second. One million on the third. Ten million on the fourth. One-hundred-million on the fifth. One billion on the sixth. Ten billion on the seventh!
This is how the righteous plague will harvest lives!
And if by the seventh day you still fail to repent and embrace the one true road, then his highness shall wipe out all the fifty billion individuals of the Holy Continent!"
The envoys proclaimed.
"Make no mistake, our God is wrathful but loving. Blessings unending await the enlightened that accept his embrace! If they choose him, even the afflicted shall be freed of all woes!"
At first, such words were not taken seriously by the commoners. After all, one-hundred-thousand years of established faith stood between them. However, as the first day of the plague ended, and words spread that exactly ten thousand individuals met their deaths, Konrad's cult received a substantial influx of followers.
Meanwhile, two envoys stood within the imperial palace's throne room. One from the Celestial Church, the other from the Infernal Cult. Konrad sat on the throne, with Krann at his right and Wolfgang at his left.
"Hum, hum. As you have seen upon arrival, the three felons are currently being submitted to punishment."
Wolfgang began with his arms crossed beneath his back. Seeing that a trivial seventh-step Semi-Saint was discussing with them as if they were equals, the two envoys struggled to restrain their ire.
And when they recalled the scene of the captives being flayed in the city square for all to see, they almost exploded.
However, with the situation being what it was, they could only restrain themselves.
"His highness is true to his words, in three days, they will be executed. Your presence here holds no meaning."
Hearing this, the two's eyes violently distorted, and they were forced to take in a deep breath to restrain themselves.
"Your profane highness, our two factions are willing to pay bail for the captives. Please state your price. As long as it's within reason, we shall abide."
They declared and bowed toward Konrad. If at first, not many believed Konrad would push the vice too far, when those two laid eyes upon Erhardt, Bayiz, and the third cult elder's son, they no longer doubted that Konrad aimed for their lives.
To say nothing of three days. It would be a miracle if they could survive two!
Hearing this, Wolfgang shook his head.
"This is not merely a matter money can solve. Of those three, only the third cult elder's son is redeemable through bail. The other two coveted his profane highness' women! What a cardinal sin! In this world, who can tolerate them?"
As Wolfgang's voice echoed, Krann nodded in firm approval, thinking that he and this father-in-law spoke the same language.
However, those words only intensified the suppressed ire of the two envoys.
"Everything has a price. It's just a matter of negotiation. Between men of reason, there is no need for such an uncompromising stan-"
The Celestial Envoy began. But before he could finish his words, Wolfgang stretched out his hand.
"Don't be mistaken. Here there are only two parties, God and the offenders. God doesn't need to be reasonable toward offenders, it is by his goodwill that you are given a chance to speak, do not misuse it."
Wolfgang cut, causing the two's nostrils to expand in loud inhalations.
"As you say. But…"
Again, they tried to put in a few words. Alas, Wolfgang didn't allow them.
"Moreover, it is God's dignity that is at stake. Can God's dignity have a price? Preposterous. Please mind your words. Otherwise, this discussion comes to an end."
Once more, Krann gave a vigorous nod. The more he spoke, the more pleasing to the eyes that father-in-law turned out to be! A pity that before today, they didn't have a proper chance to interact!
Even Konrad was forced to admit that Wolfgang deserved more rewards.
The two envoys were ready to spout curses. How was this a discussion? From beginning to end, Wolfgang was just cutting them mid-talk!
"However, our God is merciful, and there is room for maneuver. The three can be returned if you fulfill several conditions."
Before the meeting, Konrad had already given Wolfgang a clear set of instructions, and he was now about to follow them.
"Five-hundred million Holy Crystals.
Five-hundred-thousand Divine Crystals.
All women above the Holy Rank and below the Divine Blood Rank offered as concubines."
Hearing those three conditions, the two could no longer restrain themselves…
"You're going too far!"
…and roared in tandem.
"Five-hundred million Holy Crystals? Five-hundred-thousand Divine Crystals? Did you first ask our coffers if we had this amount? What is this? Robbery of the underpants?
As for the third condition, you even have the gals to propose such a thing? Are you by any chance asking our leaders and elders to send you their wives and daughters for you to plow?
Is this a negotiation, or a humiliation?"
They asked in indignation.
But never in their wildest dreams did they expect Wolfgang's next words to be…
"Yes. That's exactly what we're asking. Don't be mistaken. It's their glory to have their wives and daughters serve His Highness!"
The words struck the two speechless, and for an instant, they wondered if Wolfgang hadn't gone mad.
If not for madness, how could such words possibly escape his lips? However, facing the seriousness of his tone, they were forced to realize that this…was no joke!
"Those are our terms, the non-negotiable terms that will ensure your people's survival. Do with them as you see fit. In the meantime, we shall continue the public flaying."
"You're mad! Utterly mad! There is no way our leaders will ever agree to this nonsense! Terms?
Joke! This is clearly a-"
The Infernal Envoy began. But before he could finish his words…
"Guards! Execute him."
And instantaneously, two hulky men appeared. They were level eight Restoration Beasts in human form and now served in the imperial guard.
The first one grabbed the Infernal Envoy by the back of his neck and skull, then slammed his face into the ground, keeping him pinned while the second one raised his war hammer for the execution blow.
"MHHH! MHHH! MHHH!"
The Infernal Envoy's muffled screams echoed.
The Celestial Envoy was baffled and turned a startled gaze toward Krann.
"What…do you mean by this? He's an envoy?!"
"Envoy or not, for spouting profanities before His Profane Highness, the sentence is…death!"
The Restoration Beast Guards didn't need to hear more.
The executioner's hammer dropped and smashed the Infernal Envoy's head into blood, brain, and bone debris. As a Crossed Tribulation Saint, he just couldn't resist.
The Celestial Envoy felt weak at the knee and dropped on his butt.
"Those are our terms. If you have any complaints, feel free to follow your fellow into the grave!"
Wolfgang and Krann said in tandem, their words awakening the Celestial Envoy to the reality of his situation. After a hurried bow, he shot out of the imperial palace, rushing toward the council's meeting place!