TGL Volume 3, Chapter 7 (1)

My name is Treasure Finder. My parents named me as such in the hopes I’d find lots of treasure. Luckily, my parents were good people and their wish was granted. Nowadays, I’m one of the most respected tomb hunters out there. Everyone tries to group up with me when I’m exploring a tomb, hoping my luck rubs off on them. And I let them; there’s safety in numbers, and as my father once told me, it’s always important to have protection; otherwise, an accident may occur. Did I mention I’m an only child? Well, not like that’s important.

This month’s tomb is the Slaughter God’s Tomb. Despite its scary name, the only dangers come from other people. It’s really odd, and when I first read its name, I expected something like a battle royale where the victor has to slaughter all their enemies. However, the Tomb Hunter’s Almanac never lies, and if the description of the Slaughter God’s Tomb said it’s peaceful, then it must be peaceful. What’s the Tomb Hunter’s Almanac? It’s every tomb hunter’s bible. At the start of each year, it updates with a list of tombs that are opening every month. Depending on the subscription model, there’s detailed explanations of tombs that include previous explorers’ experiences or just a simple description and location of the tomb. As one of the best tomb hunters, of course I’ve subscribed to the highest tier of information. In fact, this tier even lets me know which locals and other tomb hunters are attending.

However, even with this highest tier of information, it’s impossible for the Tomb Hunter’s Almanac to provide a description of every person attending the event. But, for someone like me, who’s experienced a countless number of tomb explorations, I can pretty much discern anything about any person: whether they’re greedy, pliable, timid, aggressive, dumb. It’s easy. There’s just one problem. Despite all this experience, I can’t read this person at all. She’s a foxkin with a phoenix as a beast companion. One would think she’s a pampered child of an ancient family or a massive sect, but her mannerisms are that of a pauper. Out of curiosity, she triggered the slaughter formation guarding the tomb, but instead of dying, she escaped and came back without an issue. With that, I can conclude it’s her first time visiting a tomb. When it comes to people like this, the best thing to do is … make friends with them! It’s easy to tell this person is a heaven-defying figure whose name will resound throughout the Immortal Continent in due time.

As someone who’s interacted with thousands of people, it shouldn’t be an issue for me to greet and get on the good side of this person. A simple greeting along with a smile goes a long way. I’ll stare at her until she happens to meet my gaze, then I’ll walk over and introduce myself. If she’s powerful, she’ll notice my stare right away.

…Any second now.

…The tomb’s going to open soon.

…What’s so special about the snacks she’s eating that she hasn’t looked away once!?

Alright, I’ll just approach her. If I wait any longer, the tomb will open before we finish our introductions. “Greetings, fellow path friend, my name is Treasure Finder. How do you do?”

The foxkin raised her head and stared at me, her mouth still partially open from chewing. An acorn fell out, but she snatched it with her hand before it could hit the ground and stuffed it back into her mouth. She swallowed and grabbed the phoenix that looked suspiciously like a painted chicken. “Is, is this guy hitting on me?”

…Is this what it means to regret one’s decision? The feeling of having kicked an iron board?

“Boss, that’s one of the dangerous people the barkeep told you to watch out for,” the phoenix said. It definitely was a phoenix because chickens can’t speak no matter how strong they get. But what does it mean by dangerous person to watch out for?

“Then, why is he talking to me?”

“Boss, he’s right there. You can ask him.”

The foxkin stared at me. “Are … you hitting on me?”

“No!” Yes, this is definitely what regret feels like. Everyone’s staring at me. “I saw that you were alone, and it seems like it’s your first time exploring a tomb. I thought I could show you the ropes.”

The foxkin scratched her head. “So, you saw me alone. And then you asked if we can do stuff together. Are you sure you’re not hitting on me…? I’ll have you know, I’m almost married.”

“You mean engaged, Boss?”

“No, but I’m almost engaged too.”

“Boss, you should straightforwardly reject him instead of lying about your relationship status. People get clingy if you don’t, and the next thing you know, you have a stalker.” The phoenix looked at me. “See, Boss. You can tell he’s already angry and thinking of a way to kidnap you.”

“I’m a woman!” I wear a cloak to disguise myself; otherwise, I’d be targeted by people that hunt tomb hunters. But despite that, I’m sure my voice should’ve given my gender away.

“Oh, uh, I like men,” the foxkin said and nodded. “Sorry.”

What is this uncomfortable feeling in my chest, invading my heart? Is it … a heart devil? A few sentences out of this foxkin’s mouth, and she almost planted a heart devil inside of me. How dangerous! Perhaps this is why she’s all alone: No one can stand being by her side. “I’m not hitting on you. I’m not interested in love. I’m only interested in money. And, my intuition is telling me, if I work with you, I’ll be able to make a lot of money. Are you interested in exploring this tomb with me?”

“Go with her, Boss!” A servant that I didn’t pay any attention to because he had no cultivation pulled out a scroll and handed it to the foxkin. “Look, she’s Treasure Finder. She’s explored over eighty tombs. You’re guaranteed to make a profit if you work together, but you have to make sure she won’t betray you. It’s possible she’s survived this long by swindling people like you, Boss. You should force her to swear an oath to the heavens first.”

He wants me to swear an oath? I’ve never betrayed anyone. I have hundreds of people willing to vouch for me. Yet these people want me to lower myself and swear an oath that can wipe me out of existence? “Forget it. I can already tell this partnership won’t work out.” The tomb’s about to open. I was curious about her, but she’s not—

“Mrs. Feathers, catch her!”

Huh? She resorted to violence right away!?

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