And as soon as Konrad appeared, colossal chthonian energies erupted from the Three Thrones, and they vanished to reappear before him.
"Greetings, Transcendent Sir."
Three hoarse voices echoed from the Thrones to ring in Konrad's ears. Only Death Transcendent individuals could step into this world. Therefore, the three immediately recognized Konrad.
"Guardians, why do you stand in my way?"
Konrad inquired with a simple smile and his inscrutable eyes staring right at the Thrones.
"We merely wish to enlighten you on the rules. This is the first time the Three Realms see a cultivator opening the gate to the Underworld. Therefore, there are things we must clarify."
The Guardians began while Konrad folded his arms beneath his chest. With his Nascent Infiniteness Insight, he naturally knew what the Guardians referred to. But since he intended to break them, he acted clueless.
"Oh? Be my guest."
Konrad replied, and without delay, the Guardians pursued.
"To avoid disturbing the multiverse's reincarnation cycle, you can only take a maximum of ten million souls every one thousand years. Not a single more is permitted."
The Guardians straightforwardly explained. But the echo of their words only made Konrad's smile broader.
"That is insufficient. What if I insist on taking more?"
Konrad followed without losing his casual tone. For three seconds, the Guardians gave no reply. Although this was but a brief silence, it gave a clear hint to the incoming reply.
"Then, we can only return you whence you came."
The three replied in tandem, and instantaneously, their throne form changed to become that of scythe-wielding middle-aged men dressed in long grey gowns around which chthonian energies swirled. With a glance, Konrad could see that those three creatures all reached Death Embodiment and Nether Wielding. And while for Underworld Guardian this seemed intuitively accurate, in Konrad's eyes, it reeked foolishness.
Anyone able to step into this world at the very least achieved Death Transcendence. So, what if those Guardians possessed Legendary God cultivation bases? Before a Death Transcendent expert, Death Embodiments were no different from cannon fodders.
As far as Konrad was concerned, Life Embodiments were a far more reasonable choice.
But what he forgot to consider was that the Underworld only allowed the existence of chthonian beings. Others couldn't even dream of enjoying its darkness for one breath of time. The Guardians' primary task was to regulate the underworld. Naturally, they couldn't do without such equipment.
Not wasting time with rubbish, Konrad raised his right hand, causing the Death Laws of the guardians to spiral out of control. But at that time, from within the Three Realms, Heaven, Hell, and the Mortal Realm's Will kicked into gear, lending their strength from the distance to help the Guardians resist Konrad's control.
Golden, white, and dark light respectively swirled around the Mortal, Celestial and Infernal Underworld Guardians while their superiors assisted them in challenging Konrad's Death Transcendence.
Alas, it was all to no avail.
"Innate Skill: Auspicious Clouds."
Konrad uttered, and around his body, dozens of rainbow-colored clouds appeared, swirling with ordered spins while golden light erupted from his form. If the average pureblooded Empyrean Dragon's Auspicious Clouds could invalidate the cultivation and laws of all beneath Law Wielding, Dragon Warden's Auspicious Clouds were several steps above.
Before him, even Law Wielders weren't spared! Or rather, Base Laws became invalid while Higher Laws' might fell by seventy percent! In the Empyrean Realm's history, only Celestial Slaughter's Auspicious Clouds possessed more dreadful abilities.
But as far as Konrad was concerned, that was more than enough. The Auspicious clouds soared high into this realm of darkness, illuminating it with dazzling rainbow light while the three Guardians quivered under their empyrean might!
Using Auspicious Clouds' Domain Isolating ability, Konrad cut all support the three received from the Realm Wills, thereby wholly leaving them at his mercy. Their Nether Laws lost seventy percent of might while their Death Laws changed ownership, becoming Konrad's to do with as he saw fit!
"Allow me to be blunt. I will destroy the Underworld Gate and bring the entirety of the Underworld into the Mortal Realm to feed my wife's ascension. And if the Realm Will is dissatisfied, then I don't mind using the Underworld to submerge the Mortal Realm in its entirety!
As for you, you can remain as my Jade Dynasty's Eternal Protectors."
Konrad proclaimed before lowering his hand and causing the three guardians' last bit of freedom to collapse under his pressure.
"You…are stark-raving-mad! The entirety of the reincarnation cycle, the fate of trillions…no, zillions will fall into chaos because of you! Death and Life intertwine, souls do not return, are you trying to make the Three Realms bereft of future?!"
The three guardians roared in a thundering mixture of helplessness and indignation. But still, Konrad's will remained staunch and inflexible.
"To say nothing of my Profane Princess, before the wellbeing of any of my women the Three Realms' safety…is wholly irrelevant. But don't worry, whatever I break today, in the future, I will fix…if it so pleases me.
At worst, undeath rules all realms throughout eternity. How bad can it be?"
Konrad retorted with stark indifference. The Guardians' conversion reached its final stage, and they all dropped on their knees, unable to muster the tiniest bit of struggle.
"Mad…you're completely mad and will destroy the Three R-…"
Those words would never reach their end as the Guardians lost their last sliver of consciousness under Konrad's rewiring. For a moment, they lied there with glazed eyes. But in a flash, "light" returned to those eyes, and still kneeling, they stretched out their hands to bow before their new master!
The three proclaimed in tandem and hearing this Konrad nodded in approval, then waved his hand in a horizontal sweep. In that one move, he shattered all exit doors toward the Higher Realms, making their souls able to enter but not return.
With that same move, he opened the Underworld's Gate wide, causing legions of souls and the yellow rivers to flood the Ancient Crystal World! In that instant where Konrad seized the position of Underworld Ruler, the Underworld dived into the Ancient Crystal World to become a single entity!
Henceforth, the dead and the living would remain side by side!
But Konrad cared very little for any of these. With his unrivaled mastery of Death, absolute control of the world and new Life Wielding, Konrad changed the boundless seas of chthonian forces into life seas that swathed the World Tree to feed and fuel Yvonne's transformation!
And as she devoured it all, Yvonne's understanding of Life Laws shot through the sky! In a step, she reached Life Wielding! With another step, she subverted the remainders of the World Tree, seized its Pseudo Life Embodiment and used it as the foundation to rise to Life Embodiment!
Now, as Death filled the Ancient Crystal World, and the sky of daytime turned pitch-black, hiding even the clouds, the Hidden Forest became a haven of life and peace where exotic flowers bloomed and trees rose, one after the other!
Verdant prairies filled the land, and the World Tree returned to its initial emerald green!
The Withering thus ended, and as emerald light overflowed from the Hidden Forest, a shocking phenomenon occurred. The sky-piercing World Tree morphed, shrinking from one hundred to ten kilometers while the contours of a serpentine light shape appeared around it.
That shape solidified, congealing in a ten kilometers long emerald serpent that coiled around the Tree. And though they appeared like two separate forms, they were one and the same!
Building on this unthinkable chance, Yvonne reached Life Embodiment, and used her new abilities to make her Hekeret demonic blood evolve into a brand new one:
The World Serpent blood. A new lineage of which she would be the Primogen!