"A Kracht kinsman."
Konrad replied, and immediately, the girl realized why he could bypass the formation. Across the Ancient Crystal World, the Kracht ranked among the mightiest houses. Even among imperial relatives, their strength and prestige stood without equal. Before them, even the Voight of the empress couldn't act unruly. And unlike what the commoners believed, the well-informed knew that the reason for such standing lay in their patriarch, State Pillar Wolfgang Kracht, being one of the emperor's oldest and most favored retainers.
Still, the girl remained undeterred.
"Although I do not have the authority to admonish you, even a Kracht kinsman can't break the church's rules with impunity. I always heard your house's devotion to his majesty stood without peers, but when even a random kinsman dares wantonly break Church rules, I'm forced to put that into question.
I'm truly interested in what your patriarch has to say regarding this?"
The girl snapped in a dauntless tone.
Hearing this, Konrad arched his eyebrows. What would Wolfgang have to say? Did he dare complain?
"Hum…I was punished to serve as night guard for some misdeed. So here I am."
Konrad randomly replied. But hearing this, the girl furrowed her eyebrows.
"The Church doesn't have guards because here none dares cause trouble. The formations are the only guards. Try again."
The girl replied, making a speechless Konrad blink in disbelief. Indeed, within the Jade Capital, on church grounds, none dared act unruly. Even the formations served as decorations. There was no need for defenses.
"Well, believe it or not, I'm here to pray and have no nefarious intent. But I'm confused, why don't you pass the Blessed Examination? With your looks and annoying tongue, you'd pass it without a hitch.
Believe me, I've seen a great many deal of successful candidates."
Konrad shifted the topic.
Upon hearing those words, the girl's frown dispersed, and she returned her attention back to the altar, and the Profane Prince Statuette hovering above it in a jade light ball.
"Although they are directly blessed by his August Majesty, it is a one time thing. The Jade Dynasty has been established for more than forty years already. But even the Matriarchs can count on their hands how often they've laid with his Majesty's true body. At best, they can summon his avatars.
Moreover, they have too many responsibilities. By remaining a Devout, I can idle my days before this altar, and through the excuse of praying, keep staring at his majesty without anyone bothering me. Well, on typical days, at least."
The girl candidly replied, causing Konrad to suppress a burst of laughter.
"What's the difference between Avatars and the True Body. You don't have the skills to tell. Girl, did anyone tell you that you're half-mad?"
He asked in an amused tone. But his words failed to produce any reaction within the lass.
"It's psychological. Also, madness reveals passion. I'm perfectly fine with that and only fear not having enough."
The girl declared, and before such outlandish words, Konrad in approval.
"Admirable, admirable. With that said, why not try your hands at the imperial palace?"
If they believed themselves capable, any woman could attempt the Harem Examination to enter the emperor's harem. However, the criteria were absurdly high, and most could only succeed in becoming maids.
"Looks can only get you so far. With my background, I can at best become an Imperial Maid. Maybe with a great deal of luck, I can turn into a low-ranked concubine. The harem contains thousands of those.
In that case, how often can I see his majesty?
Unless I enter the palace as a Divine Consort, I'd much rather spend my days before my statuette."
The girl replied, again taking Konrad aback. Surprise waned, and his lips curled into a smile.
"Very well, follow me, and I will make you a Divine Consort."
Konrad assured, and without further ado, turned heels to walk out of the Cathedral.
Startled, the girl again spun toward him.
"With what skills? Although house Kracht possesses two Divine Consorts, I'm afraid even your patriarch doesn't dare claim being able to produce a third."
The girl retorted, but Konrad didn't halt his steps, and with his arms crossed beneath his back, sauntered toward the exit.
"If you believe, follow. If you do not, remain. Such opportunities only knock once in a lifetime, and I have no reason to deceive you."
As those words echoed, confusion flashed within the girl's mind. But once her eyes fell on Konrad's back, an amalgam of strange, conflicted emotions welled up within her chest, and unwittingly, she stood up-just to chase that back.
Before she realized it, she was striding behind him.
"Oh, I forgot to ask. What's your name, little Devout?"
Konrad asked in a surprisingly jovial tone. Catching up to him, the girl stood at his left, and as her puzzled eyes rose to meet his, she replied:
"Ha, what a silly name."
On the following morning, Yvonne aside, the core members of the emperor's harem were startled to see the addition of a new consort who appeared out of nowhere to hold the rank of Divine Consort. Attributing it to one of Konrad's whims, they didn't probe further.
Now, as the Supreme Master of the Chthonian Realm, Konrad freely began its transformation, populating and repopulating tens of thousands of worlds with new lives bound to his will while transforming those worlds and galaxies to mirror the Ancient Crystal World's situation.
But while men and souls needn't stand side by side, chthonian existences instantaneously became the new upper layer of society. The mere presence of the Underworld empowered them and ensured they would eternally stand above non-chthonian beings.
It wouldn't be long before mortals desperately curried favor with chthonian beings, hoping to receive their blessings and step into undeath.
For indeed, undeath was no longer a reviled state, but the aspiration of a lifetime. Meanwhile, the Higher Realms were startled to see a sudden and abrupt decline on birth rate. To be more accurate, the cries of newborns no longer echoed within the Higher Realms, effectively ensuring the end of their mortal generations.
Thus began the prosperous but despotic reign of the Profane Prince on the new Chthonian Realm. And while even leading Devas and Demon Gods quivered before these alarming changes, day by day, his forces grew mightier.