In the meantime, while the inarguably most critical secluded cultivation of Konrad's life carried on, tidal waves swept the Blood Mountain Range.
Even with her strength, as she stood within the Blood Mountain Range, Ilkaalt didn't have the ability to oppose the Terrestrial Expression. At best, she could preserve her life and attempt an escape. However, as she butted against invisible barriers, it soon became evident that no road to retreat existed.
In desperation, Ilkaalt considered using her Withering Leaf against the Terrestrial Expression. Alas, Withering Leaves only worked on the living. Undead and ghosts had absolutely no need to fear them. Recalling that, she despaired, and left without recourse, chose to do the only remaining thing able to save her life!
"I'm facing a life-threatening situation within the Blood Mountain Range, hurry up and come to my aid!"
She snarled in a mental message aimed at the Ant Queens beneath the World Tree.
As soon as her words echoed, they awoke from their meditation, with their eyes widening in a stupor. That stupor only lasted for the split of a second before seriousness replaced it. Without waiting for anyone to dispatch orders, the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth queen, four high-ranking queens whose individual strength equaled Dasra's left their post and brought alongside them a battalion of thirty ant elder to dive into the Blood Mountain Range!
Using Ilkaalt's distress signal, they quickly located her, and dropped to her side, surrounding her in a perfectly organized formation, and obliterating the "natural" disasters that assailed her from all sides.
"Crown Princess, are you alright? Following your disappearance, the goddess went wild with rage. How could you desert the colony in such a wanton manner?"
The seventh queen chastised while pressing her hands against Ilkaalt's shoulders to probe her condition. Relieved to see that no permanent damage remained, she heaved a sigh of relief. But hearing the name "goddess," Ilkaalt snorted and turned her head.
At that time, the Terrestrial Expression's spiritual body appeared in the sky.
"What a delightful gathering of souls. Since you dare barge into my domain, I hope you won't blame me for keeping you all here…permanently, that is."
It declared in a hoarse, grim sounding voice before stretching out its hands.
Blood colored mist gathered, morphing into a towering blood mountain around which red lightning crackled!
The Terrestrial Expression waved its hands, causing the blood lightning mountain to shoot toward the thirty-five zenith ants! Although in the outside world, its strength wasn't enough to handle them all, within the Blood Mountain Range, that was another story.
Across the territory of those eighteen peaks, it was the king! Sole, ruler of life and death!
Who dared challenge it?!
But as blood lightning mountain dropped on them, the four queens sneered, and turned into emerald-colored beams to slam right into it!
In a blinding explosion of sparkling red, the blood lightning mountain collapsed, but the four queens didn't stop, and empowered by their life essence, barreled into the Terrestrial Expression!
He scoffed and summoned a red walking stick within its right hand. Wielding it, the Terrestrial Expression met the four queens in battle, smashing its stick into them while the ant elders supported their superiors with a flurry of law strikes!
For half-an-hour, the battle raged on, with no side able to gain the advantage until the Terrestrial Expression broke through the four queens encirclement to smash his stick into two ant elders' faces, and send them spiraling toward the place Ilkaalt previously stood at.
They cratered with blood erupting from their mangled faces. But as the ant queens, remaining elders, and Terrestrial Expression's eyes swept that place, they realized that Ilkaalt no longer stood there!
Using the heated battle between the two camps, she made a getaway!
The seventh queen snarled, and spread her divine sense throughout the Blood Mountain Range, aiming to locate that unredeemable princess of theirs.
The Terrestrial Expression was faster, using its mastery of the land, it instantaneously located Ilkaalt, and was startled to see her heading toward the Bone Mountain! Incensed, it vanished, and reappeared above her.
"One that doesn't know how to spell -death.- Since you're so eager to sate my hunger, I can only send you on the way."
It proclaimed. However, Ilkaalt ignored it and kept her eyes glued on the Bone Mountain, which now quivered for unknown reasons. The ant queens caught up, and alongside the elders, surrounded the Terrestrial Expression to resume battle.
However, feeling the Bone Mountain's odd moves, they too stopped. And even the Terrestrial Expression averted his strike to shift his attention toward it.
Within the horrid cultivation cave, as he took the true meaning of death into him, Konrad's cultivation reached its final stage. Pitch-black mist emerged from his form, swirling around him like tendrils of darkness while his hands rested on his thighs.
The death lilies all withered while all the chthonian energies within the cave and mountain dived into Konrad's body and vanished within.
Now, besides Konrad, only the Bone Mountain remained as a source of chthonian forces. But even it trembled, as if drawn by a supernatural call demanding its surrender.
At that time, Konrad's eyes opened, revealing the black mist also filling his eyes. The mist dispersed, leaving behind blank eyes without pupils.
But as it did, the missing pupils immediately returned and shone with a preternatural understanding of all death principles.
Seeing this, the illusory Qehreman, who, unbeknown to Konrad, stood in the vicinity, frowned.
"He mastered a Primal Law and achieved Death Wielding. Meanwhile, his comprehension of nether is also not far from the peak."
Laws were divided into three categories.
Base Laws such as fire, water, wind, blood, and the likes.
Higher Laws such as light, darkness, nature, nether, space, and time.
And above them all, the Primal Laws. There were hundreds of Base Laws and dozens of Higher Laws. However, only four Primal Laws existed.
Life, Death, Fate, and Truth.
Achieving Law Wielding in any of those four was a monumental feat ensuring an unparalleled future. And better than anyone, Qehreman knew that the true value of Ancient Secrets lied in the fact that they all contained mysteries related to those four laws.
With enough talent, one could use Ancient Secrets as the foundation to master them. Therefore, though startling, with his bottomless experience, Konrad's achievement couldn't startle Qehreman.
At least, if he followed any of the other three paths. However, he chose Death and cultivated the Blossoming Death Art.
If Konrad sought too much, this moment of glory was likely to turn into a funeral.
And as Qehreman feared, he did just that.
At the third layer, among other things, the Blossoming Death Art allowed its practitioner to use a forbidden skill:
In failure, they would perish, with all their death flowers extinguished and their soul erased.
But in success, they would rise above all, and "abandon life" to ascend to a greater state of existence.
However, the traditional result was…death. Within the Higher Realms' mightiest houses, finding Blossoming Death Arts cultivators wasn't that daunting. However, because going a step further required Death Conversion, finding one beyond the third layer…was absolutely impossible.
No one dared.
Because none ever succeeded.
To say nothing of the Death Conversion's own sheer difficulty, the way in which the cultivators accumulated Death Essence already doomed them to destruction.
And even in his experience that went beyond the Three Realms, Qehreman could count on one hand those that succeeded in this feat, and all did due to extraordinary circumstances.
For that reason, the Blossoming Death Art ranked second among the Ancient Secrets.
But now, Qehreman could see Konrad trigger his Death Conversion, and embark on that suicidal road.