TGL Volume 3, Chapter 9 (1)

“She’s cultivating!”

A heart devil worm flew out of my chest and into the sky. It was heading north, the complete opposite direction from Lucia’s pocket realm. I was in my courtyard, resting on a hammock. The backlash from my forbidden technique was worse than I thought, and I can’t cultivate for a while if I want to heal properly. But knowing Lucia is safe enough to cultivate, even if she may be lost, is enough to put my heart at ease. Am I upset she hasn’t come looking for me? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t, but Lucia has her own path to tread. I’m sure we’ll meet when destiny allows it.

“Vice-Sect Leader Moonlight, are you there?”

Who’s visiting me now? Sister Ilya was supposed to be in charge of the sect while I recovered. “Yes, come in.”

Junior Cloud came into the courtyard with an excited expression. “Vice-Sect Leader, I have news about Sect Leader Fluffytail.” He was holding onto a book, but I couldn’t see its title from where I was lying down. “This is a copy of the Tomb Hunter’s Almanac. Sect Leader Fluffytail recently appeared in one of its updated pages!”

“Really? Let me see.” I sat up, and Junior Cloud placed the almanac into my hands. I flipped it open, and a table of contents appeared before me. “Which section is she in?”

“There,” Junior Cloud said and pointed at the bottom.

Oh, she’s under the … dangerous hazards … section. Did something happen to her? I placed my finger on the almanac and inserted some qi into the page, and the table of contents transformed into the dangerous hazards section. The first thing that appeared was an image of Lucia’s face. For some reason, she looked … drunk. Underneath her face, there were a few paragraphs.

“Lucia received the Slaughter God’s inheritance?” I don’t know who the Slaughter God is, but if he has the word god in his name, he must’ve been an immortal or, at the very least, someone on the verge of becoming an immortal, a quasi-immortal. I’m glad she’s following her Path of Slaughter, but…. “What does it mean she used unorthodox methods? Instead of competing fairly, she chose to disqualify everyone else, and when the will of the tomb rejected her, she … destroyed the tomb?” That certainly does sound like something Lucia would do. Ah, I wish I was there to see her do it.

Now that we know where Lucia’s located…. “Doesn’t this mean we can go find her?”

“We know where she is, but I don’t think it’ll be possible to see her,” Junior Cloud said and pulled a scroll out of his interspacial ring. “Look, this is a map of the Immortal Continent. It took me a while, but I managed to find where the sect leader’s located.” He unfurled it and pointed at a spot in the corner. “This is where we are.” Then he pointed at the opposite corner of the map but closer to the center. “This is where the sect leader is.”

Judging by the scale, we should be … a decade of traveling by boat away? “She’s certainly … very far. How did she get there in the first place?”

“She’s near the Rainbow Phoenix Sect,” Junior Cloud said and pointed at a spot close to where Lucia was. “Perhaps she was captured while coming to us. No, captured is the wrong word. I think she was tricked into going towards the Rainbow Phoenix Sect through a teleportation gate.”

That’s a reasonable conclusion. “If we amass our resources, how many people can we bring through a teleportation gate to Lucia?”

“A-about that…,” Junior Cloud said and swallowed. Why did his demeanor suddenly change? “We, uh, have enough resources to transport … half a person, maybe?”

“What?” We killed ten sky-realm experts from the Rainbow Phoenix Sect. We killed three sky-realm experts from the Righteous Buddha Sect. They had mountains of treasures inside their interspacial rings! “What do you mean half a person? Are we trying to transport a giant?”

“Perhaps it’s best if you, um, had a talk with Sister Ilya….” Junior Cloud scratched his head. “She, how do I put it…, commandeered our resources. All of our of resources.”

“…Wasn’t she given a trillion spirit stones by Pill Valley? What would she need more resources for?” I find it unbelievable that Pill Valley actually made a deal with Sister Ilya, but it’s even more unbelievable that she needs more money. What the heck is she trying to do? “Where is Sister Ilya?”

“I’ll ask her to come here,” Junior Cloud said and disappeared. A few moments later, Sister Ilya appeared in his place. Her hair was messed up, and there were dark bags underneath her eyes.

“Sister Ilya, you look tired.”

“You don’t.” Sister Ilya glared at me. “What do you want? Passionate Cloud said it was urgent.”

“About our sect’s resources…, Junior Cloud said you decided to look over them?”

“Oh, yeah,” Sister Ilya said and nodded. “I seized them all.”

“Why?”

Sister Ilya snorted. “Because you’re all bumbling fools, that’s why. You hoard so many resources, and for what? Have you never heard of the term inflation? Do you not understand market growth? As time goes on, your assets will depreciate in value if you let them sit in a vault underground. You know what the easiest way to make money is? It’s with more money: investing, lending, spending. Yet every single sect hoards their shit like dragons sitting on piles of gold.”

…I’ll admit, market growth and inflation weren’t terms I’ve had to learn. “But don’t you have a trillion spirit stones? Isn’t that enough for what you want to do? According to Junior Cloud, we don’t even have enough resources to teleport one person to Lucia’s side.”

Sister Ilya shook her head. “You’re blinded by short-term gains. Just wait a thousand years for the Bank of Pentorn to fully establish itself and there’ll be enough money to teleport everyone in the Shadow Devil Sect anywhere in the Immortal Continent however many times you want.”

“But I want to see Lucia now….”

Sister Ilya patted my shoulder. “You’re injured. If you see her now, all you’re going to do is drag her down.”

…Sister Ilya’s really mean when Lucia’s not around to keep her in check.

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