With the beginning of the Profane Prince's reign, the world soon fell into a deathly silence.
And how could it not? With the disastrous defeat they suffered, the Barbarian Khans and chieftains all lost a tremendous amount of power, forcing them to restructure their domains and reassign resources to the training of new forces.
Meanwhile, within the Celestial Church, Anatol gathered all the church's merit reserves to prepare the grand summoning ritual that would allow him to bring higher realm devas onto the mortal world.
At the same time, to make up for their merit loss, under Gulistan's lead, the Serkar ruled Infernal Cult kidnapped five-hundred million of the most devout barbarian citizens and offered them in sacrifice to the Eastern King of Hell, the Lord of Blood: Ashara.
Then, they captured another five-hundred million, and this time offered them to the Western King of Hell, the Lord of Souls: Urzul.
In exchange for those one billion lives, Ashara and Urzul bestowed upon them several boons that allowed them to make up for their losses.
Although those one billion only represented about 1/50th of the Barbarian Continent's overall population, all citizens were in fear, and the faith suffered a non-negligible blow. In fact, due to that move, millions of commoners abandoned the Barbarian Continent to flock the Holy Continent's border towns, seeking shelter in the cradle of the Profane Prince.
They were all accepted. But soon, the Barbarian Khans intervened to stop that trend in the swiftest way possible:
Those that abandoned their tribes, towns, and cities were considered renegades and gruesomely executed by the royal clans' remaining Semi-Saint and Saint-level experts. Soon, all large-scale moves stopped.
The Infernal Cult and Celestial Church then closed their doors to carry on with their silent preparations.
Thus, the cloak of silence descended on all that lied beyond the Anti-Divine Screen. But in the Holy Continent, it was another story. The plague was gone. The war, over. Peace returned, and abundance was filling the land.
True to his words, Konrad restructured the Holy Continent in three hundred provinces, each containing four or five prefectures. The prefectures were then subdivided in ten to fifteen counties, and the counties in cities, or towns.
Konrad abolished taxes for three years, giving the commoners their much-needed respite. All citizens were then urged to pick their chosen castes and tested to see whether they fit the requirements or not.
As expected, the merchant and farmer castes obtained the largest influx of members. Then came the craftsmen, the gentry, the warriors, and finally, the priesthood. The ranks were also relatively the same. The only difference being that the merchants ranked above the craftsmen.
Using his personal wealth that far outpaced the state treasury's, Konrad began a new round of projects, including charities for orphans, the most promising of which would receive secret training from the faith.
At least one talent assessing center, healing and alchemy house stood within each towns and cities. On top of that, in the capital, hundreds of Cultivation Houses were erected to train the gifted. Due to their critical position in the enhancement of the state's cultivation power, alchemists, formation masters and refiners saw their status increase by leaps and bounds.
Of course, all key positions were filled with individuals having consumed phantasm orchids. With a hard limit of one-thousand orchid per day for his main body and avatars, Konrad was soon faced with the challenge of enslaving the entire administration.
To make up for that, and out of personal greed, he ordered a mass recruitment of five-thousand outstanding beauties throughout the Holy Continent. Once the order spread, beauties flocked the capital from all sides. Meanwhile, Konrad's servants stretched across the Continent to discover beauties where they hid.
Marital status was wholly irrelevant, only their looks mattered. From those billions of women, five thousand were picked to serve the August Jade Emperor as concubines. And after bedding them all, Konrad obtained five-thousand new harem avatars which worked alongside him to produce more orchids.
Soon, he didn't have much to do, and could delegate official matters to his avatars and trusted subordinates while focusing on leisure, cultivation and dual cultivation from within the Tower of Rebirth which he renamed as the Empyrean Tower.
Regardless of caste, background, and status, all citizens were required to pay their respect to the Empyrean Tower three times a day.
In less than three years, the Jade Dynasty's administration reached an unprecedented level of autonomy and could run itself without the true body's involvement. Even the vast majority of avatars were free to return to their exp grinding tasks.
Exp that across that decade rose to trillions. Trillions Konrad naturally put to great use.
The eighth level of the main quest was completed, bringing alongside it a new round of rewards.
And thus, ten years passed. Now, the Jade Dynasty's state army numbered one-hundred million in total, among which were two-hundred thousand Saints and eight-hundred thousand Semi-Saints that comprised the Elite Forces.
Those below the Semi-Holy Rank had no place in the State's Elite Forces, and either served in the army bases, the reserve, the border, or as patrol officers.
Naturally, this didn't account for the eight-thousand "man" strong legion that occupied the Tower's first floor.
Following those ten years, even the weakest of the Restoration Beast had reached the ninth level. More than five thousand level nine Restoration Beasts that could break through to the next level at any time.
As for the last three thousand, all became Infernal Knights with battle-power equal to Sages. However, the problems then began. Starting with the Infernal Knight Rank, they were no longer demonic beasts but fiends. Each awoke an Infernal Armament Physique.
And with the Restoration complete, their cultivation system underwent drastic changes, and they now needed to comprehend many mysteries to advance further. Of course, with the God-Blood they'd been refining, their innate talent was outstanding, and all still made rapid progress.
Infernal Knights were divided into four ranks each matching a Divine Rank. Knight Guards, Knight Commanders, Knight Generals, Paramount Knights.
Of Konrad's three thousand Infernal Knights, Two-thousand became Knight Guards, eight-hundred became Knight Commanders, two hundred turned into Knight Generals, and four became Paramount Knights.
Among those last two-hundreds, fifty were already Quasi-Paramount Knights, missing only a step to break through.
Of course, besides massive resources, this was also due to the Tower's time increase and emphasis Konrad put on training them.
Now, throughout the Ancient Crystal World, Celestial Church or Infernal Cult, Konrad feared neither. Once his legion was unleashed, they couldn't withstand the assault. After all, the Celestial Church only possessed thirty-six Divine Rank elders. As for the Infernal Cult, due to the Serkars, they had more. However, it was still less than fifty.
Even their combined forces would crumble in one charge.
The only variable now was the merit stele. And according to his Celestial Church spies, Anatol was on the verge of completing his summoning ritual, and open Heaven's Gate for the arrival of Divine Ascension Brahmas, Maras, and Ravmalakhs.