In the meantime, with the Serkar elders, Gulistan, Chimera, and Cat-Else by his side, Konrad stepped into the Infernal Cult's Merit Hall and walked toward the Stele that not only recorded Merit Reserves but enabled the exchange of merits for boons.
Following their sacrifice of one billion barbarian souls, the Serkars indeed used their overflowing Merit Reserves to exchange massive boons and resources, thereby filling their coffers to the brim. However, that was not the method they used to obtain Ashara's Seals. Through Berken's memories, Konrad realized that the thirteen seals were the result of a pact, and not a direct Merit Exchange.
Berken used some Merit to obtain the right to discuss with Ashara, then traded the Ancestral Records of house Serkar to obtain the thirteen seals. As for why Ashara wanted those records, though Berken himself couldn't say it with certainty, Konrad had already formed some hypotheses.
House Serkar's Ancestral Records didn't merely contain history. They also documented ancient cultivation methods, inheritances experiences, and processes. Although much of it was incomplete, it still allowed Gulistan to achieve Wielding in Light and Darkness.
Clearly, it wasn't just that ability Ashara sought. Rather, his true interest lay in the Law of War. Although Infinite Blood Burning allowed him to stand above his peers, Ashara could never accept his inferiority on cultivation. Of the four, he struggled the most to Wield Higher Laws. This was the unfortunate result of becoming the Embodiment of a Base Law.
Regardless of his paramount talent, Higher Law principles appeared in a foggy state he couldn't decipher. And for the sake of breaking through that fog, Ashara collected the ancient records of ancestral houses to corroborate the experience of ancient experts. With time, he realized that even if he could break through his limits, he could only do it in a scant few.
Naturally, War, the most destructive of Higher Laws, was his primary choice.
As the only Primogen skilled in Infinite Blood Burning, Ashara possessed vast ambitions. As long as he could take his base strength to the next level, then perhaps, the time would come when he could unify the Infernal Realm and reign supreme. Or so he hoped.
It was due to that hope that Konrad had full confidence in his move.
"Channel the merit reserves and establish a connection with Ashara."
Konrad ordered a Serkar elder who immediately executed the task.
Blood-red light erupted from the Merit Stele and coalesced into the figure a handsome middle-aged man, whose illusory blood fog shaped features made his true attribute impossible to identify.
"You Serkars are truly relentless. It has been less than ten years since our last deal; why do you disturb This King?"
Ashara's cold voice thundered with displeasure. To avoid being betrayed by his looks that appeared so similar to Talroth's, Konrad changed his appearance to that of Xabur and stood back to handle the transaction through Berken.
"Your Infernal Majesty, apologies for the disturbance. Were it not for a matter of paramount importance, we would have, of course, not disturbed you. However, we recently made the acquisition of an item we believe will earn your favor."
Berken replied with a polite bow, his words causing Ashara's ire to subside, if only a little.
"Oh? And what would that be?"
He asked with doubtful interest. Although in their last transaction, the Serkars did provide something of value, that was simply due to the mixture between his peculiar needs and their profound ancestry. Based on their current state and abilities, Ashara didn't believe them able to obtain an item of use to a Legendary God such as himself.
But since the connection had already been established, he might as well listen to the ants. But little did he expect Berken's next move to give him the scare of a millennium!
Berken stretched out his hand and presented two seeds, one black, one icy-blue, which respectively swirled in black and icy fog. Upon seeing them, Ashara's eyes widened in disbelief!
"Law Seeds? Nether and Death Law Seeds?"
He asked in a stupor, unable to believe his eyes. Law Seeds were the concentration of a Wielding or Embodiment level cultivator's understanding of the concerned laws. To others, a Higher Law Seed represented the hope of Higher Law Wielding.
The same went for a Primal Law Seed! And although Ashara couldn't see through the Death Law Seed's concrete level, it at least reached Wielding! Throughout the Three Realms, how many dared boast Primal Law Wielding? Achieving Wielding in a Primal Law was enough to suppress a Higher Law Embodiment!
How did such items land in those trivial ants' hands? Were it not for his confidence in his eyesight, Ashara would have undoubtedly believed this a forgery!
Still, the elation within his eyes was promptly replaced by a surge of vigilance.
"How did you possibly get your hands on such items?"
There were only two kinds of Law Seeds, those condensed by cultivators and those naturally formed. In the first case, said cultivator could only produce one of which they retained full control. In the second one, they appeared from locations overflowing with the purest expression of the Laws.
If it were the first case, no matter how mighty, Ashara dared not receive those seeds. But there simply was no way the Mortal Realm could produce an expert able to Wield the Full Chthonian Cycle. Therefore, he intuitively leaned on the second option.
And indeed, Berken didn't disappoint him.
"Following the sacrifice of those one billion citizens, we unwittingly created a Death Zone. After several years of hurdles, we managed to obtain those seeds from the Death Zone's deepest recesses."
Berken replied, easing Ashara's fears. Indeed, that was the only plausible answer. Therefore, Ashara probed no further.
"What do you want?"
He directly asked, knowing that those seeds couldn't be cheap. Although Merit was an effective way for obtaining boons, it wasn't necessarily cost effective. If the servants were able to put out something of interest for their infernal or celestial masters, better deals could be worked out.
Just like in this case.
"The best Blood Refining Tablet at your disposal, one hundred Minor God, and twenty-four True God corpses. Lineages and genders are irrelevant."
Berken requested with his head facing the ground.
Ashara snarled in a feral outburst of anger.
"Humanity's greed really knows no limits. The events of the past didn't teach you any lesson. Did your brain get kicked by a donkey? How dare you request such a thing from This King?!"
Ashara bellowed. If the first item already was out of question, then the next two were akin to adding insult to injury. For a Legendary God such as himself, Minor Gods were nothing, and True Gods barely qualified as ants.
However, those still were God-Ants. The great majority of Infernal Gods came from noble houses. If not pureblooded demons, they were high-ranking fiends. As for True Gods, that was even worse. They all possessed at least Noble Demon Blood and were landed nobles in their own right.
Although their nobility titles were fairly low, landed nobles they still were. And who among them wasn't connected to higher existences? There were many ramifications to consider. Moreover, while before an Infernal King such as Ashara, True Gods would immediately drop on their knees and killing them heralded no consequence, how could Ashara lower himself to either slay deities or offer the corpses of his servants to a trivial worm?
Were it not for the Merit Stele standing between them, he would have already sentenced Berken to death!