A deathly silence dropped on the scene, and all eyes locked on Qehreman, whose bewildered gaze remained glued on the Ravenous Ghost's remains.
"What…what the hell?"
He stammered in a stupor. But now, both Else and Astarte eyed him with vigilance. And how could they not, that grotesque looking man simply was impossible to comprehend. With low cultivation, inexistent physiques, and an unremarkable bloodline, he could accomplish feats that put Saints and Sages to shame.
It was as if since he was born, heaven and earth bestowed him with an "Evil-Warding Seal," making him the archnemeses of all nefarious existences. But who was Konrad? The Profane Prince. The great sovereign of the unholy.
Throughout the Ancient Crystal World, how many could compete with him in terms of wickedness? To keep this Qehreman by his side, was no different from pulling a flaming rock into his grasp.
He was bound to burn himself. Clearly, the most sensible choices were either to dispose of him or to leave him far away from them all.
However, the more Konrad looked at Qehreman, the more he found him pleasing to the eyes.
"It is even better than I thought. Not just unable to approach. Ravenous Ghosts collapse upon entering his aura's range. Good, very good. Then this trip should be uneventful. Though, I wonder if this only works for low-level Ravenous Ghosts."
Konrad mentally remarked while his smiling face still aimed at Qehreman.
"Are you not afraid of burning yourself? Who knows, perhaps he has truly been blessed by the Realm Will to cleanse the world and execute evil."
Selene probed with glaring interest.
"Bullshit. If this were the Celestial Realm, perhaps I could believe in a manipulation of the Realm Will. However, this is the Mortal Realm. Better than I, you should understand that our Realm Will doesn't play such tricks.
As for evil warding, utter nonsense. The man is clearly endowed with anti-chthonian abilities. What does that have to do with evil warding? A concerned individual's mind always drifts to the wildest of assumptions."
Konrad rationalized as his gaze went between Astarte and Else. Naturally, he grasped the concerns permeating their minds. However, unlike them, he possessed a better understanding of Qehreman's abilities.
"Though, one thing that I have to agree on is that an Anti-Chthonian force is no good news for me. Never mind, as the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If we can figure out the origin of his abilities, perhaps hidden boons will be ours."
With the end of his mental exchange with Selene, Konrad returned his attention to Qehreman and clapped in appreciation.
*Clap* *Clap* *Clap*
"Brother, I must say though I intended to rely on your wondrous abilities, never did I expect them to reach such a level? What is this? Clearly, this is an instance of smiting evil with your mere presence. Malevolence collapses at your sight, and the devil dares not stand before you.
In the future, your achievements will be limitless!"
Konrad praised while patting the still dumbfounded Qehreman's shoulders. Hearing this, he snapped out of his torpor and lowered his narrowing gaze at Konrad.
"Why do I feel like none of this surprises you?"
Qehreman probed with his tiny eyes squinting till only two horizontal slits were visible.
"Aaah…How could you show such wariness toward your brother? Before we met in Tel'Hatra, I didn't even know you existed. How could I possibly comprehend your skills better than you do? Between brothers, how can there be suspicion? Your words dagger my heart."
Konrad sobbed, causing Qehreman to roll his eyes. But afterward, he reckoned the words sensible and didn't probe further.
The group then resumed their steps, crossing the Blood Mountain Range, and harvesting thousands of death lilies as they went.
At more than one occasion, drifting Ravenous Ghosts stood in their way and attempted to turn them all into nutrients. However, all collapsed before Qehreman's presence. Soon, it became evident that as long as he stood beside them, nothing within this eerie Mountain Range could threaten them.
Or so they thought. But little did they know, that as they plucked death lilies and obliterated the drifting ghosts, deep within the Mountain Range, tremors brewed. Tremors heralding the start of a new wave of disasters.
But that's a matter for another time.
As they went up the fifth mountain's slope, the four came across a high mountain cave from which Konrad could feel a tremendous concentration of chthonian energies. His eyes widened in a pleasant stupor.
This was precisely the type of cave he was looking for. In such an environment where death essence and nether force saturated the air, his Blossoming Death Art cultivation speed would rise to a new level.
Here, he could break through to the third layer!
Without hesitation, Konrad motioned for his team to follow him in. All kept their Origin Sights activated and peered into the distance to spot danger before it dropped on them.
However, even before they could step inside…
"Oh? I didn't expect anyone else to find their way in. You can't be denizens of the secular world, right? Where does your lot hail from?"
A chilling, grim feminine voice echoed from within the cavern, causing Konrad's eyes to contort into a frown.
Else and Astarte could come in and out without effort due to Qehreman's presence. Without him, they would be forced to use their cultivation to suppress all the death essence within the air. Most Saints couldn't endure it, while the average Divine-Seed expert would be filled with distress.
Who then, was the woman inside?
And as if to answer him, in a succession of silent steps, a lithe, willowy figure emerged from the shadows to stand before them all, revealing herself as a 1.65 meters tall young beauty with shoulder-length black hairs, a striking, pear-shaped figure and one of the biggest racks Konrad had seen in his life.
However, when her dark-green eyes appeared and locked upon him, when he recognized her for what she really was, all her appeal became irrelevant.
His lips curled into a smile.
"Well, well. How…unexpected."