And thus, another decade flew by. All shrines and statues dedicated to the Infernal Gods were obliterated by feral barbarian hordes. However, due to the cataclysmic situation the Infernal Continent now faced, they didn't dare replace them with monuments at the effigy of the Profane Prince, less they collapse under a random blow of the warring armies and incur his wrath.
Within their fragile homes, the barbarians ardently prayed until the name of the August Jade Emperor, the name of Konrad, the Profane Prince, became their strongest drive and reliance. But even after ten years, he'd yet to show himself.
Still, that didn't mean they were without hints. The World Structure rose to a new level, thereby allowing the death toll to shrink by half. Now after ten years, only four billion had perished. Clearly, the Profane Prince was telling them that their prayers weren't falling on deaf hears and that perseverance was key to survival!
Cults dedicated to his Profane Highness rose at breakneck speed and filled the continent whose royal houses had been united under the dual banner of the Celek and Borxan of the Northern Khanate. Although the Borxan had appeared out of nowhere, in those times of strife, none dared question their seat. Not that anyone had the strength to.
Meanwhile, within the Hidden Forest, an unavoidable event arose. Nessriane recovered and reached the last step of her merge with the World Tree!
As a Pseudo Life Embodiment, the World Tree didn't just enable Nessriane to achieve Nature Wielding. It was her path and hope toward Embodiment. If she could complete the merge and absorbed the Tree's Will, then even if she didn't reach Embodiment, she'd be infinitely close to it. The following possibilities were endless!
But although Nessriane wished to keep a low profile, the impending completion of her merge triggered a reaction within all floral lives of the Ancient Crystal World that didn't escape a certain expert:
The Jade Empress and Hidden Forest Monarch, Yvonne.
While Konrad rising to surpass all within the Mortal Realm was a must, in the span of time he spent in seclusion, there were things he couldn't interfere with. Allowing Nessriane to complete the merge heralded disasters for all.
And the first victims would be the Hidden Forest's tribes. As their ruler, Yvonne would never allow it, and therefore decided to act!
"Your majesty, this is nothing short of suicidal. The Ant Goddess is at her peak, boasting True God level cultivation and quasi Law Embodiment. Even if you could stop her progress, how do you survive her wrath? Please reconsider!"
The serpent chieftain, and Yvonne's most reliable supporter, pleaded with his forehead plastered on the ground. And although they didn't boast such a speech, the other three acted the same. Although in those last three decades, Yvonne's strength had sharply risen, Nessriane was not a foe she could tackle!
All agreed on that!
Their best option was patience, to await the saving return of her husband, the Profane Prince!
Alas, their supplications fell on deaf ears. And seeing this, the serpent chieftain shifted his eyes toward Verena who stood beside Yvonne.
"Your grace, please help us convince her majesty of the lunacy of this move!'
He beseeched with anxiety twisting his face. What a pity that in Verena, he could find no supporter. Indeed, Verena had come to the same conclusion as Yvonne. In those past years, Konrad's soul had fallen into a strange silence. They didn't know when he would return. They didn't know with what strength he would. They only knew that Nessriane was about to become a Primal Law Embodiment with True God cultivation!
That, they had to stop!
Ignoring the serpent chieftain's supplications, Verena lowered her head onto the sitting Yvonne.
"When do we leave?"
She asked, and through those four words, the chieftains realized that more words served no purpose. Thus, they all lowered their heads in defeat.
"Now, of course. However, the fact of the matter is that I need reliable experts with some Tree Ancestor blood to handle the formations while I'm gone. This can only be done by…"
Yvonne began. But before she could finish her words, Verena cut her dry.
"Negative. Calisto and Vylsea can handle that. You won't shake me with such inefficient argument."
Verena declared, and the echo of those words convinced Yvonne that she could only take her along.
"Very well, that being the case, let's go."
And with that said, the two left the dumbfounded chieftains behind to rush toward the Hidden Forest's most dangerous area where the Ilkaalt and the Ant Queens stood vigil for Nessriane's breakthrough!
As soon as the duo arrived, the queens and crown princess rose from the ground to bar their path.
"Never did I expect that while we allowed you to breathe in peace, you'd come seek trouble at our doorsteps! Wonderful! So very wonderful!"
Ilkaalt began with a frenzied glance that went between Yvonne and Verena, daggering them both with feral, maddened intensity.
"Oh? Isn't it the bitch Hubby couldn't be bothered with? How unsightly. Girl, you gotta learn to take the L."
Yvonne casually replied without an ounce of care for Ilkaalt or her troops. And once her words echoed, the already crazed Ilkaalt went beyond all limits of insanity. Her eyes went bloodshot, her nails dug blood within her palms and her teeth threatened to burst!
Ilkaalt snarled while vast Life Essence erupted to empower her form. The seventeen silent Ant Queens were no exception. But not only did they unfurl their massive Life Essence, they also bound it to one another in an intricate formation that caused their overall battle power to soar!
"You will try, and you will fail. If I must die, it will certainly not be at the hand of the denied, sulking and brooding bitch."
Yvonne retorted in her ever-casual tone. The words only triggered Ilkaalt further. But as if that wasn't enough, Verena chimed in.
"Used and cast aside.
You gotta up your game girl. This ought to be the first time I hear of a woman sampled but discarded by Konrad. How horrible did you taste that you couldn't even obtain the right to serve as a maid? How sorrowful. How pathetic. Seriously, was your cunt too loose? I know some exercise that can…"
Verena began. But before she could finish her words, Ilkaalt exploded!