Meanwhile, the world still ran. Following the disastrous defeat of the Infernal and Celestial Saints, words of the Profane Prince's invincible might spread throughout the Holy Continent. At the same time, tales of his monstrous appearance filled the hearts of the billions of commoners with fright.
"Did you hear? Sixty-million troops, Two-hundred-thousand celestial beings, all slaughtered to the last by a sneeze of the Profane Prince!"
"A sneeze? Aren't you exaggerating a little bit?"
"What do you know? The Profane Prince is the mortal avatar of the One True God. His strength unmatched, his powers unparalleled. Ruling life and death! One of his sneezes is more than enough to squash all!"
"Talking about life and death, I heard all the plague victims that wholeheartedly surrendered to the Profane Prince's Cult were immediately freed of all afflictions. Better, they received massive boons!
The cripples now walk, the deformed are back to normalcy, the maimed are restored and the dead back to life! I didn't believe it at first, but when my sister offered herself to the profane prince, her son, who died from the plague, rose from the grave!"
"God finally walks among us. Come, my friend, it's time we let go of the church's lies, reject the false idols, and embrace the road of salvation! Otherwise, we will really die in vain!"
Thus, the two friends completed their initiation ritual, pledging themselves to the new faith, and surrendering their souls to the Profane Prince.
Mausoleums filled with Phantasm Orchids were erected to serve as the initiations' places. There, priests oversaw the submission of the new devouts and indoctrinated them with the True Scripture.
It was a text written by Konrad, containing a new creation myth and all the precepts of his faith.
"The Profane Prince is the Self-Manifested God, The Uncreated. He existed before time itself and formed the world in three steps.
With a sigh, he destroyed primal chaos and created the universe.
With another sigh, he created the worlds alongside their heavens and earths. This world is nothing more than one among the tens of thousands that already worship our Lord!
With a last sigh, he released the breath of existence, allowing the worlds to spin, and the creatures to appear one after the other.
Thus, the world was made."
A priest donning the black and white cassock of the Profane Prince Cult told the believers.
"Lust is no sin. It is the manifestation of your rooted need for survival. Without lust, if men and women didn't crave one another, how could our species survive? The church attempted to trick you into thinking yourselves sinful so that it could control you.
No more! Our God possesses ten principal faces and one thousand lesser faces.
The ten faces are Lust, Debauchery, Purity, Death, Life, Wrath, Justice, Willfulness, Retribution, and Grit.
Each face can manifest itself in an avatar. All are one, one is all! Our God sees all and is just in all handling. Serve him faithfully, and paradise awaits you on this world!"
The new devouts listened with rapt attention.
Legion of earth mages erected statues of Konrad throughout the Holy Continent, and all churches were reformed into branches of the Profane Prince's Cult, with the former priests recognizing their "wrongs" and becoming staunch supporters of the new world order.
Leaving behind a cum-drunk Amalia, Konrad headed toward the throne room where a council assembled.
There, Yvonne, Else, Verena, Wilfried, Hubert, Wolfgang, and Krann stood, awaiting his arrival. In a twister of jade light, Konrad appeared before them and took position on his new throne which he modified to suit his tastes.
"Ladies and gentlemen, apologies for the delay. I was…enlightening new recruits. Now, now. Let's get down to business."
Konrad began, and hearing the "enlightening new recruits" parts, many shook their heads.
"Now that the two factions' armies have been obliterated, and my goal met, it's time we proceed with the official abolition of the five states and the coronation ceremony.
I have already contacted my avatars to have the various rulers bring their crowns and imperial seals to officially abdicate their thrones. The Great Void Emperor, the Profound Sea Emperor, the Prosperous Wind Emperor, and the Earth Alliance King are on their way as we speak."
"However, they won't be the only one. I plan to erase the Sovereign Prince title and the hereditary ownership of fiefs.
All land under the sky belongs to the emperor. Princely identification, to the imperial family. Neither should be owned by non-imperial kin. Therefore, all Sovereign Princes will have to officially renounce their rights."
Konrad declared, his words startling the gathered folks.
As the targeted audience, Wilfried and Hubert were particularly alarmed. Their houses had been hereditary rulers of vast domains for more than one-hundred thousand years.
Their fiefs were large enough to be vast kingdoms of their own, and their titles passed down for generations. How could they simply surrender such dignity?
"Isn't this too…extreme? One man cannot rule all, what can you possibly achieve by doing this?"
Hubert inquired. After all, house Voight was the most ancient of the Uradel houses. As the previous rulers of this land, their history predated the Holy Flame Empire. How could Hubert so readily surrender the land of his ancestors?
"From now on, governors will be assigned. And some of the larger domains quartered into new provinces. We will switch from half to full bureaucratic system with magistrates, grand administrators, prefects, and governors assigned based on skills.
Cultivation plays no role in the ability to administrate. Therefore, to maximize the growth of this land, I will look at talent before anything else. The nobility will switch to an honorary status with rank determined by cultivation. The higher the rank, the more privileges will be afforded.
The new top rank will be Archduke.
But all will be restrained to the capital. A capital we will expand. The construction of talent assessing centers can now spread to the entire continent. From those new talents, we shall breed a new army. The country will be divided into castes unable to interfere with one another.
The gentry for official and administrative matters. The warriors for military matters, the priesthood for the faith, and the merchants for commerce.
As the bulk of our continent's cultivation power, the nobility is encouraged to join the warrior and priest castes. With your cultivation, you will naturally stand at the summit of the warrior caste. But I must warn you that in my administration, to receive key training, swallowing one of my orchids is a must."
Konrad replied. Of course, his words failed to satisfy Hubert who could only grit his teeth in disappointment. And as their fathers sought support in their eyes, neither Yvonne nor Else made comments.
They then discussed various other issues, and as the discussion reached its end, Konrad added:
"The coronation ceremony will be followed by my grand wedding. On that occasion, I will wed Yvonne as my Jade Empress, Else and Verena as my Jade Consorts, Jasmine, Iliana, Nils and Daphne as my Divine Consorts.
All will take positions according to their ranks. However, my consorts will not live in the Imperial Palace. They already have reserved spots in the Tower of Rebirth.
Afterward, you fathers-in-law will be sealed as Grand Pillars."
No one expected Konrad to simultaneously wed seven women after the coronation ceremony. But, of course, none raised objections. After all, in the current Holy Continent, Konrad was no different from God.
No, he was God.
And God's will was inviolable.
The council dispersed, and the preparative for the coronation ceremony and wedding began.