For the first time in my life, I’m doing manual labor. I’ve never built a house before; I never realized how difficult it was. Those poor people in the mortal realm who have to exert all their strength doing menial tasks, I’ll never judge them again. But somehow, I think I have it a bit harder even though I’m in the saint realm. For one, I don’t think normal people build ten-story houses by themselves. Well, I’m not really working alone. There’s the wolfkin spirit that Lucia summoned here with me. He’s very friendly. Compared to Lucia, who I’m terrified of, and Durandal, who is aloof, I think I get along with Puppers the best. After all, misery loves company.
“I got more wood!” And Lucia’s back with more building materials.
At least she’s not making me gather the materials to build the house too. After Lucia cut down three trees, I told her we couldn’t cut down trees on the chosens’ mountain because they’re thousands of years old and exude qi, making the place a holy ground for cultivation, so Lucia went off to the core disciples’ mountains before I could stop her. I hope she didn’t harvest too … many!?
“Sister Moonlight! Please, save us!”
Lucia…, Lucia was carrying … a mountain. With one arm. “Um. Lucia? Weren’t you going to get wood?”
“Ah? Yeah,” Lucia nodded as she tossed the mountain peak to the side. People screamed as it crashed into the ground. Why are people screaming!? “You know how sometimes you’re too lazy to pick acorns off a tree one at a time so you decide to cut the whole tree down? This is similar.”
No. I don’t know anything about picking acorns. “Um. No.”
Lucia sighed and looked at me as if I was an idiot. Am I an idiot? I don’t think I am. But people wouldn’t tell me even if I was since I’m so pretty. They wouldn’t want to offend me. …Maybe I am an idiot. “Look,” Lucia said. “If I cut down all the trees, then I’d need to pick them up one by one. But if I cut down the mountain they’re all on and drag it over, then once I cut down a tree, it’ll already be here. See?” She grabbed a tree on the broken mountain peak and tore it off with her bare hands before throwing it in front of me. I think I understand now. She’s a natural disaster.
“Shut your traps!” Lucia shouted and kicked the mountain peak, causing a ton of trees to shake and fall over. “Sister this, sister that. Aren’t there any other words in your vocabulary?”
Lucia really doesn’t like formalities. I’m not quite sure why, and I’m too scared to ask, so I guess I’ll never know. Anyway, back to building this mansion. Luckily, I can cover my hands with qi to prevent callouses from forming, and since the chosens’ mountain is a holy ground, I recover my qi faster here. And I’m not sure if I’m right, but I think the trees have been producing more qi ever since Lucia came here. Perhaps her cultivation technique draws upon qi from the earth, which is a little weird since most cultivators from the Immortal Continent draw upon qi from the stars. What about heart devil qi? It has a higher purity than star qi, but it’s too hard to obtain for it to be reliable. To reach the earth realm, I’d have to plant fifty million heart devils.
“You guys can scram.” Lucia was kicking away the core disciples that had been dragged along with their mountain peak. Speaking of their mountain peak, where did it go? There’s only a massive pile of trees in its place. Did Lucia store it? Why? “And if you call out for Sister Moonlight one more time, I’ll rip your tongues out, got it?”
The core disciples fled from the chosens’ mountain without a word. Lucia’s never threatened to rip my tongue out before. Perhaps she’s actually treating me nicely? Maybe she noticed I don’t really like being bothered by the peanut gallery all the time. “You didn’t have to threaten them for me, you know?”
“Eh?” Lucia tilted her head. “But how else am I supposed to grow heart devils?”
So it wasn’t for me. That’s okay. I’m not disappointed.
“D-don’t cry! Damnit! Why do you cry all the time!?”
“I-I’m not crying!” Even if I am, I’m not allowed to admit it. I have to be a stoic chosen. Deep breathes. In. Out. In. Out. Phew, okay. That’s better.
Lucia sighed. Did I disappoint her? “One day, there’s going to be someone who’ll attack you, and your go to defense of crying isn’t going to save you.” She flicked my forehead, and it felt like an explosion went off in my head. “Ah, that was a bit too hard. Anyway, stop crying so much, got it?”
Was this her trying to be nice to me? I’m not sure if I should take that as advice or as a threat. Maybe it’s both? But I really have the feeling that she’s trying to be my friend—or maybe that’s just the wishful thinking of a lonely person. I’m not sure why she’d try to be friends with me. Men only want to court me. Women hate me for attracting all the men. Sometimes I wonder if I have any redeeming values that aren’t my beauty or status in the sect.
“If you’re tired, then you should rest. Drink this,” Lucia said and placed a cup of brown liquid into my hands. What’s this? It’s hot. “Don’t you dare slack off, Puppers! I know you don’t get tired.”
It’s sweet! “W-what is this!? It’s amazing!”
“It’s hot chocolate,” Lucia said with a nod. “They don’t have it on the Immortal Continent, right? I ordered every beverage back in the flaccid phoenix restaurant and it didn’t show up.”
“The flaccid phoenix restaurant…?” Why…, why does that sound so dirty?
“Mhm. Speaking of restaurants, where do I get some food around here? It’s time for my noontime snack. And then I have to eat lunch in an hour.”
“Ah, you’re hungry?” Finally, something I can properly help her with! “Here.” I handed her a grain of cooked immortal rice that I pulled out from my interspacial ring.
Lucia stared at the rice. “…What’s this?”
She doesn’t know? “It’s rice…?”
Lucia stared at me instead of the rice. I-I’m not eatable! “This is all? Really?”
“R-really!” One grain of rice will keep someone full for a month! “I’m given thirty grains a year, so you don’t have to worry about me running out.”
“…What else do you eat?”
What does she mean? “That’s it.”
“You’re given thirty grains of rice to eat every year…?”
“I also receive a cup of the highest-quality spirit water every month.” One cup of highest-quality spirit water is the equivalent of cultivating for three months. Only chosens are allowed to drink it because it loses its effects the older one is. It won’t do anything for the ancestors of the sect.
“Don’t you eat anything else?” Lucia’s tail was slamming against the ground over and over again, cracking the earth. She’s clearly agitated. Did I say something wrong?
“Ah? No. Eating and drinking causes impurities to build up, so my grandparents don’t let me. This is my first time tasting something that isn’t spirit water or rice.” I wonder how many days I’d have to spend at the impurity-cleansing pool to rid myself of this single cup if I drank it. My grandfather says it’s a painful process. That’s why I only dipped my tongue into the cup and didn’t swallow anything.
“Huh? I can’t. My grandf—!” S-stop! It, it burns! But it tastes so good! Why am I so conflicted!? I, I have to hurry to the impurity-cleansing pool!
“Where are you going?”
“Impurity-cleansing pool!” I might not be able to fight as well as Lucia, but I’m confident in my movement techniques! Even an earth-realm expert will have a hard time catching … me!? How is she so fast!? She’s almost as fast as I am!
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