TGL Volume 3, Chapter 2 (1)

Over a decade has passed since Lucia returned to her pocket realm. I thought I became stronger, but … in the end, have I only come this far?

“Vice-Sect Leader Moonlight! Are you okay!?”

“Yes. I’m fine.” That’s a lie, but can I really tell them the truth? I can’t let my fellow sect members plunge into despair. The Shadow Devil Sect can’t fall! We have to be here for when Lucia returns. I rummaged through my interspacial ring, pulled out a vial filled with black liquid, and drank it. After finishing it, there were only four vials left. Hot qi flooded my throat down to my stomach before radiating outwards to my limbs. The tips of my fingers and toes tingled, and I suppressed a groan as the gaping hole in my stomach spat out shards of metal before mending itself.

“The Righteous Buddha Sect’s runes are truly despicable.” Junior Mist, who was beside me, supporting and helping me stand, kicked away the bloody shards of glowing metal. She raised her head, her hair brushing against my arm that was draped over her shoulder. “Don’t you feel any shame!? Not only do you gang up on our Vice-Sect Leader, you resort to dirty poisons and hidden weapons! You dare call yourselves righteous!?”

Three bald men stood in the sky, looking down on us with blood-stained, orange robes. Their complexions were pale, unnaturally so. They might’ve teamed up to fight me, but that didn’t mean they escaped unscathed. The leader of their group snorted, and Junior Mist’s face flushed red. The qi inside of her roiled, and I pressed down on her shoulder, forcing my own qi inside of her to prevent her organs from being injured. My Seducing Succubus Sect’s technique was taking effect, converting that tiny vial of Lucia’s impurities into a massive amount of qi, replenishing my vitality. I released Junior Mist and stepped forward, shielding the other sect members behind me from the three monks’ oppressive auras.

The leader of the monks pointed at me. “The ends justify the means. All actions taken to eliminate a devil can be counted as righteous, even poison. Back then, during the King Province Exchange, your Shadow Devil Sect slew our Righteous Buddha Sect’s representatives, killing our sect leader and holy child. Did you think this day of reckoning wouldn’t come? A third-rate sect with a single sky-realm expert, what right do you have to be so arrogant?”

“When Sect Leader Fluffytail returns as an immortal, she won’t let your sect off!” Junior Cloud shouted. He brandished the earth-realm-ranked sword that Lucia had gifted him all those years ago. “Brothers and sisters, these bastards have hounded us for far too long! We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of our fellow sect members. We’ve lost our sect’s territory. Our sect’s ancestral grounds were ransacked and pillaged! Ten years of hatred! This enmity can never be resolved until everyone who’s wronged us is dead!”

The sect members behind Junior Cloud let out shouts and roars of agreement, but they were cut short once a massive golden buddha appeared behind the three monks. The qi radiating out of it caused the air to contort, the ground to tremble. The leader of the monks swept his arm out and pointed at Junior Cloud. “You speak of enmity when it was your sect that picked the fight. We of the Righteous Buddha Sect are never the aggressors. The lives of our sect leader and holy child must be paid for in full. As for fearing your sect leader, that’s impossible. Someone who ran away from adversity and abandoned their companions to save themselves can never become an immortal, not with a heart that timid. Is that the final hope you’re clinging to? The impossible chance of your cowardly sect leader becoming an immortal? Even the sects in the center of the continent have trouble producing immortals despite the boundless resources there. What chance does your sect leader, who ran away to a resource-barren pocket realm, have of achieving immortality? Surrender now, and we’ll allow some of you to live. There are good seedlings amongst you; reaching the earth realm despite cultivating in a fourth-rate sect is commendable. And you, such a young sky-realm expert; it’d be a shame for the world if you were to fall here. It’s not too late to change your devilish ways if you join our Righteous Buddha Sect.”

“Lucia didn’t abandon us! She’d never … leave us….” Actually..., maybe she would. No, there’s a higher chance of her never showing up again than her showing up. I knew that when I said goodbye to her, but I didn’t want to believe it. However, it’s only been ten years; even if Lucia does come back, how long will it take? One century? Two? Will the Shadow Devil Sect survive that long? Maybe…, we should surrender. Haven’t we already lost everything? Must we lose our lives too? It’s never too late for revenge…. We can surrender, merge with the Righteous Buddha Sect, and bide our time until Lucia comes back.

“Are you hesitating because of your final hope? Is a cowardly sect leader like that worth waiting for?” The golden buddha in the sky opened its eyes, and the leader of the monks glared at me. “Then, allow me to make the decision easier for you. Once we’re done eliminating the Shadow Devil Sect, we’ll destroy the passageway between the Immortal Continent and that tiny pocket realm. Your sect leader shall be stuck there. Forever!”

No! That can’t be allowed to happen. “If, if we surrender, will you leave the passage intact?”

“That’s impossible.”

…Surrendering isn’t an option.

“Still hesitating? Why? Even if you defeat us today, the Thousand Sect Alliance will arrive soon. I heard the Rainbow Phoenix Sect is coming as well. If you don’t surrender to us, no matter how hard you struggle, every single one of you will die. You’re the vice-sect leader, Soft Moonlight. Thousands of your sect juniors’ lives are in your hands. Can you bear the weight of their deaths? Is the sect leader that abandoned you so important to you?”

I…, I don’t know what I should do.

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