TGL Volume 3, Chapter 9 (3)

What is this bad feeling that I’m getting? It feels like someone’s plotting to kill me…. Could it be Lucia? I don’t think so, the anxiety she gives me is different from this chill. Well, I suppose it makes sense for me to make a lot of enemies when I start throwing money around like this. Wait. Could it be Softie? Is she so madly in love with Lucia that she’s planning an assassination to retrieve the money I borrowed from the sect so she could teleport across the continent? Logically, it doesn’t make sense since even she acknowledged her injuries would only drag Lucia down, but people who’re stuck in the trap called love don’t behave in a rational manner. Just in case, I’ll lay down another formation around my bed when I sleep. Not that I’ve been getting much of that with all the paperwork I have to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could make a clone of myself to do the work while I slept? Sadly, most techniques that can do that don’t preserve the original’s intelligence; it’d be pointless. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

What am I doing that has to be done right? Properly investing all my money and making sure it’s being put to good use. I honestly can’t believe sects don’t do this more often. They’re probably scared that someone will swoop in and steal their investment before they can make back what they spent. I guess that’s a legitimate fear, but how is it any different from someone swooping in to steal their sect’s resources that were hoarded? Maybe hiding it underground like most sects do make them seem like unappealing targets for robbers? Well, those aren’t things I have to worry about with Pill Valley backing me.

“Granny Ilya!”

…That scared me. “Mirta. The next time you hide somewhere and jump out to scare me, I’m going to set you on fire, okay?”

“No! That’s not okay!” Mirta climbed out of the bush she was hiding in and brushed some leaves out of her hair. “What’re you doing?”

“I’m setting up a medicinal field.”

“Are you growing plants? I’m good at gardening! Let me help.” Mirta stared at me with bright eyes. Is it because she’s young that she’s so optimistic? No, I was young once too. It’s probably because she hasn’t been dragged around by Lucia that she’s able to see the joys in life.

“This isn’t regular gardening.” Actually…, Mirta’s an elf, and elves are good at manipulating plants…. I’ll experiment with a simple seed. “Here, make this grow.”

Mirta grabbed the spiky seed and looked around. “Where? Right here?”

I haven’t marked any spots on the field for the plants. “Yeah, anywhere’s fine.”

Mirta shrugged and pressed the seed against the ground. Surprisingly, the dirt parted on its own, leaving a nice crevice for the seed to stay in. When her hand moved away, the hole filled itself back in. She took out a watering can and sprinkled water over the patch of dirt until it was soaking wet. Then she took in a deep breath and shouted, “Grow!” Like magic, a green shoot sprang out of the ground, and it grew towards the sky while expanding. Thorns and leaves popped out of the stem, and when the plant stopped growing, it was taller than me and Mirta combined. A flower bud appeared at the top. It spread open revealing dozens of rows of sharp teeth. Then it bent down and bit Mirta before lifting her into the air.

“Granny! Granny Ilya! Help! It’s eating me!”

Interesting. According to the gardening book Pill Valley gave me, this plant is supposed to be a hundred years old before it sprouts a head that can eat people. In one minute, it experienced a hundred years of growth, and Mirta doesn’t even look tired. She looks like she’s being eaten and not having a good time, but that’s unimportant. If I can isolate the energy Mirta uses to grow plants, then I’ll be able to further shorten the time it takes for a medicinal herb to grow. The current formation I’m setting up speeds up growth for plants inside the medicinal field by thirty times. That already yields a ten-percent return on spirit stones invested to maintain the formation. Adding Mirta’s extreme growth rate, won’t my profits triple at the very least?

“Ilya!!! Help!”

Mirta might not be able to harvest the plants safely, but if I figure out the energy inside of her, she won’t be exposed to any danger in the first place. Now, let’s see, how was I supposed to harvest this plant to maintain full medicinal efficacy?

“Why are you reading!? I’m being eaten! I can’t feel my legs anymore! If I die, I’m going to come back as a ghost and tell Lucia you killed me!”

“Calm down! You can’t feel your legs because there’s a strong paralyzing agent lining its teeth. You haven’t lost them yet.” Here it is. I have to cut off the thorns and leaves, leaving the head and stem intact so more thorns and leaves can grow later. Alright, sounds easy enough.

“Granny Ilya! I can’t feel my arms!”

Shouldn’t there be a method to retrieve someone from this plant’s head inside this book? Well, this book does have over ten thousand entries inside of it. If it had to include all the details for every plant, wouldn’t it be too big to practically read? I suppose it could be split into smaller volumes. I guess I’ll freeze the plant for now. That shouldn’t damage it too badly.

“Granny Ilya, I hate you!” Mirta fell to the ground and glared at me with wet eyes. But that’s all she did because her limbs were paralyzed. “How could you make me grow something like that?”

“Hmm? That was the least dangerous plant I’m growing, you know?” To maximize profits, I have to grow the plants that yield the most expensive parts, and those parts are usually attached to extremely malicious plants.

“I, I don’t want to garden any—ack!?”

“Nope. You’re staying right here.” I’m not letting her go until I analyze the energy she uses to grow plants. Besides, this’ll be a good learning experience for her.

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