TGL Volume 3, Chapter 10 (3)

I’m making a mistake. I shouldn’t stay here. But I’ve chosen to help my friend. Gold Seeker saved my life once, and a life-debt isn’t repaid easily. What could possibly happen if I don’t help Gold Seeker repay his loan? Well, for one, he’d stop being my friend. And, for two, my tribulation to ascend as an immortal will become harder to pass. Karma works in mysterious ways. People with poor karma have to suffer through stronger tribulations. Do I want to risk encountering the foxkin at the Despair God’s Tomb, or do I want to risk the wrath of the heavens? No matter how outrageous the foxkin is, at least she doesn’t kill people. …On purpose. She did dissolve a lot of the people who were trying to catch the slaughter fish.

“There’s been another development,” Money Grubber said. She was lying down on a couch, holding a jade slip over her head with her hands. “The Slaughter Seeking Sect are heading towards the Despair God’s Tomb. I wonder why. Are they going to war with the Despair Seeking Sect?”

“It’s not unusual for a few disciples to test their luck even if they aren’t compatible with the tomb,” Gold Seeker said. There was a cloth and bottle in his hands, and he was polishing the two daggers in front of him. To me, it seemed like there was a crying face on the daggers’ surfaces, but it was probably my imagination.

“It’s not just a few disciples,” Money Grubber said and swiped her finger on the jade slip. “It’s the whole sect. The whole sect is on their way to the Despair God’s Tomb, even those disciples that haven’t reached the saint realm.”

Something bad is going to happen. “Gold Seeker, why don’t I loan you five hundred thousand spirit stones so you can pay off your debt this month?”

Gold Seeker stopped polishing his daggers and stared at me. “Didn’t you say you were robbed by the foxkin? Where are you going to get five hundred thousand spirit stones?”

…That goddamned foxkin. “I forgot.” Before that foxkin let me go, she demanded I give her everything. Somehow, I convinced her to let me keep the cloak I used to disguise myself—in exchange, she took my underwear—and luckily, I had an interspacial ring with some spirit stones sewn into the lining of my cloak, but that only had three hundred thousand spirit stones inside of it. “Money Grubber, how about you lend me five hundred thousand spirit stones, and I’ll loan that to Gold Seeker?”

Money Grubber didn’t look away from her jade slip. “I don’t lend money to friends, and I don’t lend money to poor bastards. Unfortunately, you fall under both categories.”

…Her parents should’ve named her something else. “But think about it. What are we going to gain if the whole Slaughter Seeking Sect shows up? If they do that, the Despair Seeking Sect is going to come out in full force as well. You should know just how poorly we’ll be treated. There’s no way over a thousand rogue cultivators are going to show up, and we’ll need a million to have any clout.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be an expert at fishing in troubled waters?” Gold Seeker asked. “There was that time you provoked seven sky-realm experts into fighting a quasi-immortal eagle and used that chance to loot its nest. This isn’t too different.”

“This is vastly different!” The difficulty between the two can’t even be compared. “And the Despair God’s Tomb might be different from most inheritance tombs, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an inheritance tomb at its core. The rewards we’ll be getting is completely disproportionate to the risk we’ll be taking.”

“So…, what?” Gold Seeker asked before sighing. “If I don’t take part in this, when’s the next time I’ll have a chance to make money? The Death God’s Tomb isn’t very generous, and unless we spend a vast amount to use a transport gate, the next chance would be at the Flower Lord’s Tower. And that’s six months away! That’s three million spirit stones that I’ll have to pay that I don’t have.” Gold Seeker put away his polishing tools and stowed his daggers. “No matter what, I have to go.”

Money Grubber really is my last chance since Gold Seeker is so adamant about this. “You really won’t lend Gold Seeker three million spirit stones?”

“I don’t lend money to friends, and I don’t lend money to poor bastards.”

“Why? Do rich people even have to borrow money from you?” It makes no sense not to lend money to people who need it! It’s almost as if … she doesn’t want to lend any money at all. I really hate her parents. Why did they have to name her Money Grubber? Why not Generous Saint? I suppose she wouldn’t be a tomb hunter if that was her name. “Gold Seeker, what happens if you don’t pay your monthly dues?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?” Does that mean there’s no punishment?

“That’s right.” Gold Seeker nodded. “I didn’t read the fine print! I just signed the contract; after all, as a tomb hunter, five hundred thousand spirit stones a month is nothing to me, especially since I have two sky-realm-ranked weapons now. If worse comes to worst, I’ll rob someone.”

“You should’ve received a copy of the contract.” That’s how contracts work, right? “Let me see it.”

Gold Seeker snorted and tossed me a scroll. The fact that it was recorded on a scroll and not a jade slip gave me a bad feeling. And I was right. There were thousands of lines of text, so small that it would’ve been hard to read if I were still an earth-realm expert, but the down payment and monthly payments were easy to see. Whoever created this must have had some experience with psychological manipulation. Where are the clauses for nonpayment? “It says you have to pay three-percent daily interest on any debts owed. And if your debt goes over five million, they’ll retrieve your weapons and cut off one arm….”

Money Grubber sat up, taking her gaze off of her jade slip for once. “Three-percent daily interest?” She counted on her fingers, and her eyes widened. “That’s insane! If you don’t pay anything for two and a half months, you’ll already owe five million spirit stones!”

That’s a bit…. “Hey, Gold Seeker, what’s more important to you, your life or your arm?” Whoever’s behind this Pentorn Armory is a very evil person. Why would they take people’s arms as a result of a breached contract?

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