"Hidden Moon Pavilion."
The three words had barely left Konrad's lips that twelve figures clad in winged, black crystal armors knelt beside him and replied to his call.
"Infiltrate the Northern Khanate's Royal Palace and…"
Konrad began, but before he could finish his words, Zamira's voice echoed.
"Master, why not allow me to handle this? I have a way to make this more…interesting."
She offered with a faint smile.
"Oh? Very well. In any case, this is half for you. Do as you please, I will allow you to take command of my guard, but I want results before the end of the day. In the meantime, I will be sightseeing."
Konrad replied before pulling Else by the right hand and Astarte by the left to vanish within the crowd.
"As you command."
And in a white haze, Zamira vanished to reappear before the royal palace which currently was full of bluster.
Following the humiliating thrashing he suffered before the Wandering Dream Inn, the prince consort Xabur Dire dragged his wounded body toward the only one he believed able to give him justice:
His wife, princess Helbin.
But as he reached her quarters, a quintet of guards blocked him at the entrance.
"What is the meaning of this?"
He asked in indignation.
"Princess Helbin didn't anticipate your visit. You can't go in unannounced."
Replied the guard standing at the middle without sparing Xabur a glance.
Clearly, that prince consort title bore no weight in that guard's eyes. And how could it? After all, though his status was low, his surname still was…Serkar! Even that Northern Khan had to give him face, to say nothing of a trivial "in-name" prince consort.
Xabur could naturally see through the guard's thoughts. However, be it in terms of cultivation or background, they simply didn't play in the same league. Therefore, regardless of how wronged he felt, he could only restrain himself.
Suppressing his spleen, Xabur gave a polite bow toward Helbin's guard captain.
"That being the case, please announce me."
Xabur asked in a respectful tone. However…
"The princess asked to not be disturbed for the next three hours. Please wait until she's done resting."
The guard declared, then no longer paid Xabur any attention. By his side, his subordinates sneered, with a few unable to suppress a chuckle. They all stemmed from the main house, and although their status over there was not worth mentioning, at the very least, it was the main house. In terms of resources and environment, how could this trivial country compare?
To say that they enjoyed their current position in the Northern Khanate would be the deception of the century. Naturally, they wouldn't mind venting their spleen on those self-imbued "nobles."
In any case, it wasn't like anything good lied in that prince consort's future. When the princess' coming of age ceremony came to an end, and the foreign khans presented their gifts, it would be time for her deflowering night.
And what Xabur didn't know was that on the one hand, he would only be one of the many men selected to serve her, and on the other hand, the males would all see their cultivation harvested.
Afterward, he would vanish in the shadows of Helbin's harem.
What kind of respect did such a "prince consort" deserve?
Unaware of their thoughts and fuming in silence, Xabur sat crossed-legged before Helbin's chambers, awaiting the right to step in. And recalling how close they used to be in the past, he couldn't help but sigh.
Where was the proximity of those days? Where were the "big brother Xabur?"
Now, without an appointment, he couldn't even see her silhouette. How was this…a marriage?"
But regardless of his inner thoughts, Xabur could only endure. After all, clinging onto Helbin was the only way for him to step into house Serkar and obtain more benefits.
Three hours passed before his presence was announced, and Helbin invited him in. As soon as he crossed the door, Xabur put on his brightest smile and rushed toward Helbin whose figure lied hidden beneath a luxurious canopy bed's silk curtain.
He began, but before he could finish his words, a haughty yet mellifluous voice cut.
Hearing this, Xabur maintained a forced smile and dropped on his knees.
"How could I not? Greetings my princess."
He replied with a polite bow, his words triggered no reaction from Helbin whose cheek rested within her palm while she lied on her bed.
Not discouraged, Xabur crawled toward the bed but…
"Who said you could approach?"
…was again stopped before he could make any meaningful move. Now, he genuinely was startled. Although in recent years Helbin didn't treat him with the same warmth as before, this…level of mistreatment was both unprecedented and excessive.
"Did I offend you?"
Confused by her actions, he couldn't help but ask. And hearing this, she snorted.
"Offend me? Do you think I don't know what you did? How dare you bring the wastes you call friends to cause trouble within the Wandering Dream Inn? Do you know who it belongs to?"
Xabur now realized the crux of the matter. Clearly, following his incursion, the Wandering Dream Inn's Manager didn't waste time before filing a complaint against him. However, he still failed to grasp the reason for such a strong reaction on Helbin's end.
"If I didn't adopt a strong stance, wouldn't that be an insult to you? After all, who doesn't know why I headed there? In any case, although that person is surnamed Serkar, could a trivial inn owner's status within the main house be comparable to yours?"
He retorted, unable to suppress himself any further.
Before he could understand what occurred, Xabur found himself lying on the ground with a warm slap mark on his right cheek.
"The Wandering Dream Inn's owner is Hejin Serkar. The eldest son, father of the first inheritor, and lady Gulistan's favorite brother. You actually have the gals to run amok within his property? Are you tired of living?"
Helbin snapped, and her words reverberated within Xabur's ears like a thunderclap.
Screwed. He'd screwed himself over and dived onto the road of damnation.
"Helbin, please save me!"
He beseeched while kowtowing on the ground. Although she'd only been there on several occasions, Helbin's status within house Serkar couldn't be underestimated. Her cultivation resources from beginning to now were arranged by the main house, and she was already accepted by an elder as an unofficial disciple.
At this juncture, if anyone could save him, it was her.
"I can save you, but I cannot save your relatives. Someone must pay for this slight. If not you, it's them."
Helbin replied in a cool, almost chilling tone.
Faced with either his death or the imminent destruction of his house, Xabur trembled and his eyes widened in disbelief.
"But…I did it for you."
"Who you did it for, you know better than I do. You have three breaths to make your choice."
With the ultimatum's descent, Xabur no longer hesitated, and with misty eyes kowtowed.
"Please save me!"
Hearing this, from beneath her curtain, disappointment flashed within Helbin's eyes.
"I already knew how you would choose. Clan Dire has already been exterminated. The males' heads were delivered to the Infernal Cult's gate, while the females were shipped as slaves. You can rest easy."
As if overwhelmed by a violent seizure, Xabur convulsed with dilated eyes and collapsed on the ground.
"Escort the prince consort out."