I learned long, long ago, that having a smart person by your side is the same as being smart yourself. And if I have an experienced tomb hunter by my side, then that means I’m also an experienced tomb hunter. That’s why I had Mrs. Feathers catch Treasure Finder. She has such an easy name to remember. It’s as simple as barkeep. Eh? What’s the barkeep’s actual name…? I’m not sure. But it can’t be easier to say than barkeep. “Wait a minute. Barkeep, why are you even here? I thought you were a useless person who couldn’t cultivate.”
“Boss,” the barkeep said. His face was unusually pale. Was the heart devil inside of him growing? “I used to be a genius. Just because my cultivation has slowed to a crawl doesn’t mean I’m useless. There must be a treasure in this tomb that’ll allow me to cultivate.”
“Give up. I’ve seen thousands of people like you,” Treasure Finder said. She was tied up and bundled like a burrito with only her head showing. What’s a burrito? I’m not sure, but it must look like her; otherwise, I wouldn’t have used that word! Hmph. Anyways, Mrs. Feathers made herself a little bigger, just enough to carry Treasure Finder on her back. “People like you are called cannon fodder. You’re there to fill the numbers and highlight the greatness of the main characters.”
The barkeep snorted. “You might call me cannon fodder, but at least I wasn’t defeated before the tomb even opened.” Before Treasure Finder could say anything, the barkeep pointed. “It’s opening! Let’s go!”
“Wait!” Treasure Finder shouted. “Only amateurs rush in thinking it’s better to be the first one—why are you fighting to be first!?”
Eh? “Because it’s better to be first! Duh! What if there’s a super-rare treasure inside? The first person will take it!”
“Didn’t you capture me to give you advice!? Why aren’t you listening to me!?”
“Because you’re not making any sense!” Everyone knows, finders, keepers, and the first person inside is the finder! “Get out of my way!” There’s actually a lot of people, and all of them are rushing towards the entrance too. I knew I was right. It’s a good thing they’re all so light. I can swat them away while running. There’s the entrance to the tomb. And no one’s in front of me!
“Wait! Boss, you left the rest of my family members behind!”
Mm? The barkeep runs pretty…, never mind. Mrs. Feathers is carrying him in her beak. “It’s okay. They’ll catch up!” Probably. And … we’re in! …Or not? “What’s going on? We went inside, but the sun’s still out!”
“The tomb is a separate dimension. Did you really come here without any preparation?” Treasure Finder asked. “What the hell were you thinking? If this was any other tomb, a lack of preparation could mean death!”
“Nonsense! I prepared.” That’s right. Didn’t the barkeep tell me all I needed to know? “I know I shouldn’t touch the tomb before it opens!”
“…I’m almost certain you’re the one who triggered the slaughter formation by touching the tomb earlier today.”
“That’s how she knows,” Mrs. Feathers said.
“That’s right!” Thanks, Mrs. Feathers, for saving me time on an explanation. “So, where’s the treasure?”
Treasure Finder sighed. Was she upset she couldn’t find any? “This is why I said it’s not better to be first. When it comes to an inheritance tomb, the treasures are found at the end of each trial. And for a trial to start, everyone must be present. All being first does is show your impatience to everyone outside, and they got a preview of your strength when you barreled through everyone.”
“Then … there’s no treasure? Why the heck was everyone else fighting to be first?”
“Because some want to show off their strength. Some want to make a name for themselves. And others are like you: they have no idea this is an inheritance tomb.” Treasure Finder wiggled, but she couldn’t get off of Mrs. Feathers. “Can you release me? I have to take part in the trials too; otherwise, I’ll be expelled from the tomb and I won’t be able to help you later on.”
“Uh…, no. If I release you, you’ll run, so I won’t.” That’s right. She already tricked me once by pretending to be a guy; I won’t fall for her tricks again. “Just tell me what the first trial is, and I’ll help you pass it.”
“There’s no way she’ll know what the first trial is before it even starts,” the barkeep said. He was covered in saliva, but he was standing on his own. Why do phoenix’s have saliva? Mm, makes no sense to me, but whatever.
“Actually, I do know,” Treasure Finder said. “Since the Slaughter God’s Tomb was created, it has opened a total of seven times. Each time, the trials were the same, and I have the testimonies of hundreds of people describing what they underwent. The first trial is the catching of the slaughter fish.”
A slaughter fish? “Wait, wait, wait!” Fish means water! “Am I going to have to swim!?”
“No, slaughter fish live in the air,” Treasure Finder said. “They’re—”
Phew. That’s a relief. But then…. “Why are they called fish and not birds?”
“Because they look like fish and not like birds.”
Oh. That makes sense. “I see. Carry on.”
“Where was I? Right, the first trial and slaughter fish.” Treasure Finder nodded. People were coming into the open space from behind, so I went forward some more with Mrs. Feathers following me. “Slaughter fish are attracted to slaughter, whether it be to people who have a slaughter aura around them, or to a fresh slaughter. The goal is to catch as many of these fish as you can. The most reliable way to catch fish is to kill the people around you to lure the fish in. The second most reliable way is to—”
I know this! “Steal the fish from other people!”
“—use fish bait…. Well, stealing can be a reliable method as well, but it’s bound to provoke the person you’re stealing from. See, if someone has a lot of fish, that means they’ve killed a lot of people. And only people who are really strong or have a strong background are willing to do that. To steal fish from those people isn’t worth it.”
…Stealing is always worth it.
“Do you see those trees and bushes over there?” Treasure Finder gestured towards the forest to the left with her head. “Slaughter berries grow on them. If you pick a berry and feed it some qi, they’ll emit auras of slaughter that attract the fish. This method was discovered during the third opening of the tomb by a pacifist monk.”
Mrs. Feathers tilted her head. “Why would a pacifist monk want the Slaughter God’s inheritance?”
Treasure Finder shrugged. “The almanac doesn’t say.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter