"Oh? You still know that I'm your imperial father? I thought you'd forgotten. This makes the whole matter more complicated."
Konrad started with calm but chilling words that made Ube's heart quiver. Without a sound, he rose from his throne and walked, no, glided toward the kneeling four. But once he landed before them, the already crushing pressure only became harder to bear and all felt their knees about to sink into the ground.
Before they did, however, the pressure vanished from the guiltless three to lock on Ube alone. Alas, the throne room was carved by top materials and warded by mighty formations set up by Konrad himself. Blood burst from Ube's knees as they forced their way into the ground.
*CRACK* *CRACK* *CRACK*
In a booming succession of unceasing cracks, Ube cratered, and even his imperial prince robe couldn't prevent his legs from turning into a bloody mess.
He howled in his throes! Alas, the agony-laced cry of his son produced no reaction within Konrad's unforgiving gaze. With his hands on either side of his waist, and his head canted to the left, Konrad nailed his rebellious son from above.
"Howling so soon? Is this what claims the ability to overturn my reign? Groundless conceit."
Konrad appraised Ube with a calm but derisive tone. And hearing those two words, "groundless conceit," though he knew the night was likely to end with his head on a pike, Ube raised his defiant eyes and snarled:
"Yes! I'm just trying to cement and further my position, to obtain better resources, and open a better path for myself! What's wrong with that? What other choice do you give me? Though you have four children, the knowledgeable would think you only have three!
What merit does Heide have that she can enjoy so many top artifacts?
Why must I accept that those damnable twins just one year older than me will forever remain a step above me because of the empress' blood? Didn't you plot against your adoptive father to take his women and seize his throne?
Why can't I do the same to my brothers? Why is that wrong?! If not for your bias and nepotism, how could the Kracht stand as the Jade Dynasty's number two house, only a step below the Serkar? How could they possess two Dragon Dukes and so many knights and lords?! To say nothing of the Voight who though weaker still stand as strong boosts for those damnable twins!
Of the three imperial princes, only I do not have a Chthonian Dragon Duke in my maternal house! Hell, I do not even have a Chthonian Lord! Bereft of support, I can only watch as those with better backing and stronger foundation leave me behind! Why must I accept this?
I am not willing! I must scheme my way out of it! What? Is it wrong when others do it but right when you do?!"
Ube snarled, venting his indignation. Yet, the most heartfelt expression of his resentment failed to twist Konrad's cold visage.
"You're absolutely right."
Konrad replied, with four simple words that startled the four. Even Wenzel, a Jade Dynasty veteran, couldn't believe his ears.
A blinking Ube blurted, unable to process the words. In response, Konrad shrugged.
"I said you're right. Absolutely. It's right when I do it and wrong when you do. The reason is simple, I make the rules. Dissatisfied? What can you do?"
Konrad reiterated, and the four firmly believed that never in their lives would they hear more shameless words. What was shamelessness? This was shamelessness.
"Wolfgang is my first servant. When I still had nothing, house Kracht was my sword. The vanguard and rear of my forces, in the shadows and spotlight of the Holy Flame City, they clashed with the von Jurgen dynasty at risk of life so that I could establish the foundation of my house. On the list of founding officials, Wolfgang ranks high, not because he's Iliana's father, or Daphne's uncle, but due to a plethora of merits.
I reward his service, their service. Why is that wrong?"
Konrad began with each word unleashing waves of agony in Ube's body.
"When Wolfgang and I faced the von Jurgen emperor and crown prince amidst a sea of cowering nobles, though I calculated and compelled it, if not for Hubert Voight's appearance, we would have undoubtedly turned into a pile of bones. Later, our cooperation allowed me to increase production speed and strengthen my house's growth. Better, after taking my Star Connecting Pill, if Hubert Voight didn't gamble his house to rescue my future empress and jade consorts, two of you wouldn't be here.
That includes you, Ube.
I reward him and his house for rendered service and accumulated merit. Why is that wrong?
On the contrary, the Kvass, your maternal house, led armies alongside the von Jurgen to assail my beloved consorts. Your maternal grandfather was among them. If the invading forces had not been exterminated, I can't say with certainty that I wouldn't have butchered them.
And you want me to do what? Reward? Empower them? What a joke."
There, Konrad paused, eyeing that rebellious son from head to toe with a derisive look while crushing his bones with silent force.
Again, though he tried to suppress the pain, having never experienced such abuse, Ube howled.
"But all those reasons are irrelevant. I did what I did, because I could. Because it was my will. That, forever remains the prime logic. The Chthonian Realm is my property, and all across its trillions of astronomical units of space, mine to do with as I see fit.
If I want you to rise, you rise; to fall, you fall. You thrive for I will it, perish, still because I do. You belong to me. Body and soul. How dare you foster treasonous thoughts? How dare you go against my will?
Ube, I can't spare you."
Konrad stated and beckoned with his right hand, forcing the bloodied and battered Ube onto his crumbling feet before lifting him into the air.
"Father, your really are…History's Number One Tyrant."
Ube muttered with a forced smile and quivering lips. Straightening his head, Konrad looked straight into his second prince's eyes and replied…
"One day, I will make it a title."
…then rammed his right hand into Ube's chest to gouge out his Chthonian Devil Heart and the Blood Origin lying within. At that time, Ube's only regret was that he couldn't see his mother one last time, and as if to fulfil his wish, Verena appeared…
…A step too late.
Black flames smoldered Ube and with soul-tearing screams, he burned into nothingness, not even leaving ashes behind.