Now, even if Elia were the most harebrained man on the globe, and he wasn't, the mastermind behind this insurrection was obvious. Bitterness and ire welled up within his heart which failed to process the betrayal and his face twisted into an iconic picture of righteous outrage.
"What is the meaning of this? Ube, are you out of your mind? What do you possibly hope to accomplish by harming us?!"
Elia snarled, but his words failed to trigger any change in Ube's implacable smile.
"Destroy one and frame the other, of course. You know, good old imperial family politics. Past today, Elia will be known as the ruthless prince that ruined his eldest brothers' Devil Heart and cultivation path, while Helmut will be, well, let's not state the obvious.
No hard feelings."
Ube replied with a perceptible hint of glee while the four eunuch servants lined up by his side. In a rapid Elia's outrage turned into confusion.
"Are you brain-damaged? You think that anything you do can escape father's eyes? You think you can trick him into believing this disgrace? Laughable!"
Elia retorted. But as he swept the opposing six, Helmut smelled trickery.
"On other days perhaps, but now, he's too busy diddling his new prizes. Their moans fill the emperor's palace as we speak. On that topic, I must say that father is getting sloppy. Perhaps centuries of unchallenged dominion are starting to get to him.
And with deluded children such as you guys thinking him invincible, I can't help but understand why. Don't forget, regardless of strength or level, he is but a cultivator. At our age, he was nothing. If he can get where he stands today, why can't we?
Then, again, I suppose that's not something you have to worry about. Also, I came prepared to ensure today's outcome."
Ube countered, and raised his right hand, causing a purple quill to appear and rise toward the ceiling. From that quill, tremendous black devil force erupted, and seeing it, Elia understood the root of Ube's confidence.
"The Epoch Writing Quill. A Devil Artifact Refined by father himself and bestowed upon Aunt Verena thirty years ago. On quality, it is comparable to a top seven stars God-Artifact but with the dual concentration of Truth and Fate Laws inside, its value is inestimable.
Unless involving existences above the Ancestral God level, whatever it writes will…occur."
Elia stammered, gawking while his eyes almost popped out of their sockets. The Epoch Writing Quill was one of the Dynasty's top treasures. Even if Verena cared for her son, how could she possibly gift him such a startling treasure?
Satisfied by Elia's reaction, Ube gave an approving nod.
"I admit, obtaining it wasn't easy and cost four years of crocodile tears. With another one to make her forget the implications of leaving it in my hands. Not that she'd ever think I'd use it to destroy your lives."
Ube replied while the Epoch Writing Quill hung above his brothers like a Damocles. That tool was Konrad's first Grand Devil Artifact and required countless hardships. Moreover, to ensure his house's future protection, Konrad gave them all seals that facilitated the use of higher ranked Devil Artifacts. Although with his early-stage Heart Devil cultivation Ube couldn't use more than thirty percent of its might, it was more than enough.
"You've been planning this for…five years?"
Elia stuttered, unable to believe his ears. Ube was only sixteen. Did this mean he'd been planning their ruin since he was eleven? How could one so young possess such a monstrous heart? Helmut, however, remained inexpressive. And even Ube was forced to admit that such self-control was admirable.
But what did it matter?
With his ever-standing smile, he clenched his right hand, and instantaneously, Helmut went livid with purple veins, starting from the sword-holding hand, stretching and pulsing across his body.
In that instant, his Devil Heart spiraled out of control, and he dropped on one knee…
…then spurted a large mouthful of blood. Incomparably precious Myriad World Immortal Blood splattered the ground, and seeing it, as a new wave of consternation overtook Elia, Ube's smile turned into a broad grin.
Elia exclaimed while dropping by his quivering brother's side. But a succession of blood spurts left Helmut unable to answer him.
"I admit, I envy that blood. How unfair that unlike us, the plebe, Heide and you enjoy the privilege of being the empress' children and inherited her blood. Although father doesn't openly show favoritism between us princes, he knows he doesn't need to.
Birth ensured the most favored will always stand above the rest. My dedication in cultivation is no less than yours. If not for your mother's blood, how could you already stand at the mid-stage of the Heart Devil Realm?
A pity that you didn't pay closer attention to your servants. As a precaution, three years ago I intercepted and perverted the ingredients you used to refine your Natal Devil Artifact. Now, I can do whatever I want with your Devil Heart."
Ube remarked. Konrad's children were all born Heart Devils and added their mothers' lineages to his Myriad World Immortal blood. But while Verena and Daphne only possessed Chthonian lineages created and bestowed by him, Yvonne's World Serpent blood was her own acquisition. While not necessarily above the rest, unlike Verena and Daphne's blood, it didn't exist within Konrad's Myriad World Immortal blood.
As a natural result, Heide and Helmut were born stronger than their younger siblings. Meanwhile, the over-indulgent Daphne didn't mind feeding her son with an abundance of resources obtained from Konrad's over-indulgent hands. Not just her, but Wolfgang and other prominent Kracht elders didn't mind parting with some of their quota to spoil their favored descendant.
For that reason, though Elia was the laziest and youngest imperial prince, his cultivation wasn't much weaker than Ube's. Needless to say, the second prince always resented that. But as those words reached his ears, Elia flew into a rage!
"Monstrous, unfilial, vile and putrid creature! Today, you slander your father at any given occasion, but because of who do you stand here in the imperial palace, wielding one of the Realm's strongest artifacts? Or are you so foolish as to think Aunt Verena would have gifted it to you without his consent?!
Because of father, you were born in the Chthonian Realm's mightiest house, with the Chthonian Realm's strongest bloodline!
Because of father, you enjoyed the Realm's top resources, the number one cultivation method and environment, glory, splendor, wealth, rank and the veneration of trillions! Now today, you actually have the gals to complain about fairness?!"
Elia spat in outrage with his balled fists trembling from ire.
"Why don't you ask the soldiers of the Thirteen Thousand Worlds that clash every decade to fuel the world of corruption that ensures our meteoric rise WHAT IS FAIRNESS?!
Why don't you ask all our cousins, uncles and relatives who despite thousands of years of diligent cultivation can never hope to reach our cultivation at birth, WHAT IS FAIRNESS?!
Why don't you ask the servants by your side who willingly accepted castration for the trivial hope of enjoying the tiniest of our family's resources, WHAT IS FAIRNESS?!
If you're that dissatisfied with your status of imperial prince, that dissatisfied with not having the support of a powerful maternal house, that dissatisfied with your birth conditions, of not being daddy's favorite, abandon your bloodline, destroy your cultivation, tear out the memories of all the mnemonics and methods taught by father, and get the fuck out!
Bold hypocrisy!!! You sicken me!!!"
Elia snarled, and were it not for Ube's obstruction, his words would have bombarded all within the Jade Capital.