TGL Volume 3, Chapter 1 (2)

A life without Lucia is a good life. As the second-strongest person in the pocket realm, excluding Durandal and Puppers, no one can order me around. Everyone’s respectful. There’s no nonsense politics I have to deal with: pandering to nobles above me, schmoozing with annoying people, maintaining my father’s dignity. If anyone gets in the way of what I want, a simple threat is all it takes to resolve everything. I’m starting to understand why Lucia acts the way she does. It’s all about power. With power, one can do anything, and Lucia has a crapload of power. It’s addicting. The only thing is, I don’t know when Lucia’s going to come out of her secluded cultivation. She said she was going to cultivate for one or two years, become an immortal, and go back to the Immortal Continent to find a cure for Durandal’s sterility problem. However…, it’s been way longer than one or two years since she secluded herself.

I’d like to shrug it off, say that it doesn’t affect me, but I know it will. When Lucia comes out of that room she locked herself in, my currently very comfy life is going to take a sharp dip. And that’s why, despite being able to live a life of complete luxury, I’m working my butt off in my lab. I’ve just about finished going through everything we’ve acquired from the Immortal Continent. Sure, I was there for over a year with Lucia, but that wasn’t nearly enough time to go through everything in detail. We ransacked so many sects, and those sects had so many items: books, jade slips, scrolls, pills, weapons, armor, cauldrons, clothes, and so much more. The majority of my time was spent deciphering the formations made of qi on the weapons and armor.

There’s actually so much you can do with formations, it’s amazing, really. The field is nearly all-purpose. Want to kill someone? There’s a formation for that. Want to seduce someone? There’s a formation for that. Want to talk to someone who’s far away? There’s a formation for that. Want to stop Lucia from bullying you? There’s … going to be a formation for that in the near future. I hope. I’m working on it, alright? It’s what I’m working my butt off for. The thing is, if she becomes an immortal, I don’t know how much stronger she’ll get. Well, as long as I create a formation that can dissuade an immortal from taking action, it should be fine. I think I’m almost there actually. All I need is a little more time, and I’ll be forever free from Lucia’s—

“Ilya!”

…F***.

“Wait a minute…, you’re not Ilya! Who are you? What are you doing in Ilya’s lab!?”

I turned around. And, as expected, she was there. Lucia. Why? I was so close. It’s because I just jinxed myself when I thought about her, is that it? The heavens are playing a prank on me. “I’m Ilya, Lucia.”

Lucia stared at me. She hadn’t changed at all. Like, at all. I think she’s still wearing the same clothes that she wore when she first went into seclusion. If I had my recording necklace at that time, I could open it to check. Sadly, I only invented this necklace a few years ago. “But … you’re not Ilya. You’re too tall! Ilya’s like the size of a huggable plush.” A humongous hammer appeared in Lucia’s arms. “There’s no way you’re Ilya!”

“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!” I haven’t seen that hammer in years. It looks even bigger than before; though, I’m sure it’s not. “I’m really Ilya! I grew up! People get taller when they become older! Even you can understand a concept as simple as that!” Please, put the hammer down. The things in my lab aren’t fragile, but in front of that hammer, everything’s fragile.

“…You can grow that tall in a day?” Lucia lowered the hammer that she had raised over her head while I was speaking. Then she squinted at me while frowning. “Did you make and eat some strange drug that helps you grow?”

A day? “No. This is all natural.” How do I approach this situation…? “You’ve, uh, been in seclusion for longer than a day.”

“What? Really?” Lucia stomped her foot, and my lab shook. “Puppers! How long was I in there?”

A voice that I hadn’t heard in a very long time came out of Lucia’s socks. “Ten years.”

“…Durandal?”

Another voice that I hadn’t heard in a very long time came out of Lucia’s sword. “Ten years.”

“What the f***! Ten years!?” Lucia’s hammer disappeared, and before I knew it, she was right in front of me, holding my shoulders so tightly that I’m pretty sure my bones were broken and I just hadn’t felt it yet due to shock. Not that it would’ve hurt thanks to my cultivation technique that converts pain into pleasure, but still. “How was I in there for ten years!?”

“Well, ten years ago, you went inside your room. And now you’re here. I don’t know what you did in that time.” I really don’t know what she wants me to say. It’s not like time was distorted; Durandal and Puppers clearly felt it flow normally. “Why don’t you tell me what you did in there so I can help you figure it out?”

Lucia dropped me and took in a deep breath. Her tail swung back and forth, destroying the table—and everything on top of it—behind her. The things were actually turning into dust upon contact with her fur. How strong did she get? Is she an immortal now? Lucia exhaled, and I was almost blown off my feet from a wave of qi coming out of her. “So, I went inside, sat down, and channeled the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique, and it was super-duper comfortable, but then it got uncomfortable, and a voice kept appearing in my head, so I woke up to ask you how to become an immortal, but it only felt like I sat down for a day at most! It’s really been ten years!?”

“Sadly, yes, it has.” Another ten years would’ve been nice, but alas, my life wasn’t meant to be that easy.

Lucia’s eyes widened and she grabbed me again. This time I felt it. She shook me back and forth, blurring my vision while breaking most of my bones. “Does this mean I’m past my prime birthing age!?”

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