TGL Volume 3, Chapter 16 (1)

“Vice-Sect Leader Moonlight, there’s a quasi-immortal phoenix coming our way! It must be here to avenge the Rainbow Phoenix Sect!”

A quasi-immortal phoenix? What am I supposed to do about that!? “Go tell Sister Ilya.” Is this what she was amassing sky-realm experts for? As expected, she’s a genius. I hate to admit it, but her plans are quite extensive.

“Sister Ilya departed from the sect yesterday, saying she had to go to Pill Valley’s headquarters!”

“What about the hundred sky-realm experts she employed?”

“They all left with her!”

Sister Ilya! Just what are you doing at this crucial time!? “Tell Brother Claw to prepare! Gather all the earth-realm experts and have them operate the defensive formation to support him!”

“I understand!”

The sect member who came to notify me ran off. Having Brother Claw fight a phoenix that’s nearly an immortal may be asking too much of him. There’s only one thing I can do. I’ll find the immortal from Pill Valley, Senior Mirta, and beg her to save us. Thankfully, I’ve recovered enough that teleporting won’t aggravate my injury. If there’s any place the senior would be, it’s at the forbidden garden. Everyone calls it that because someone was eaten by a plant there. “Senior Mirta, please, save us!”

“Huh?” Senior Mirta was suspended upside down with one of her legs entangled by a vine. Beneath her, a carnivorous plant with razor sharp teeth was trying to bite her head off. “You want me to what now? How about you save me first?”

S-save her? “Aren’t you an immortal?”

“Elves might live really long lives compared to normal people, but that doesn’t make us immortal.”

Despite hanging upside down, Senior Mirta—should I even call her senior if she’s not an immortal? I’m not sure. Senior Mirta was awfully calm for someone in her situation. Since she asked me to help, then I’ll oblige. I took out my whip and—

“Stop! What are you doing!? You’re going to hurt the plant like that!”

“…Excuse me?” Should I not be helping her? What exactly is she expecting of me?

“If the plants get hurt, Ilya will reduce my pay!”

Wait a minute! I have met her before! She’s the elf that accompanied Ilya when she first returned to the Immortal Continent. I completely forgot about her, but now that I remember, she’s the one that said she’d cut off the p**** of anyone that tried to cut off her ears. But then Pill Valley invaded, and there was so much I had to do for the sect and the alliance afterwards that I forgot about her. That means she’s definitely not an immortal. Why did I come here to ask her for help?

“Wait, where are you going!? I’m still….”

I didn’t hear the rest of the sentence since I teleported away. She was calm and levelheaded; I’m sure she has a way to save herself even without my help. There’s a more pressing matter at hand: the quasi-immortal phoenix flying our way! After Ilya dealt with the sky-realm experts from the Rainbow Phoenix Sect, I didn’t think even the Rainbow Phoenix Sect’s guardian beast would come for revenge. It’s a guardian beast, not an offensive beast. It’s only supposed to protect, not avenge. With my current strength, there isn’t much I can do. However, this phoenix should be intelligent: It located us after all. Perhaps I can try speaking to it. Even if it leads to failure, maybe it’ll show an opening for Brother Claw to take advantage of while it’s talking to me.

Everyone was gathering. With the addition of the Thousand Sect Alliance’s people, there were roughly a thousand earth-realm experts. However, Brother Claw was the only sky-realm expert here. The large clam had fled long ago. Not even a single one of Pill Valley’s people or Sister Ilya’s employees were here. Did they get news of the phoenix before us? There’s no doubt about it; their information network is much, much larger than ours. But is Sister Ilya coldhearted enough to leave us to fend for ourselves? Didn’t she say she came to the Immortal Continent to save me since my life was in danger? If she’s leaving now, does that mean she thinks we can handle the phoenix? “Where is the phoenix now?”

“Vice-Sect Leader Moonlight,” Brother Cloud said with a short bow of his head. “The phoenix is one city away and rapidly approaching. At the rate it’s flying, we’ll barely have the defensive formation set up before it arrives.”

“Work hard.” I nodded at Brother Cloud before turning towards Brother Claw. “When the phoenix arrives, if it doesn’t immediately attack us, I’ll try to talk to it. If it shows an opening, take advantage of that moment to attack.”

“A quasi-immortal…,” Brother Claw said. “It seems like I’ve only just heard about them moments before meeting one.” Then, he laughed. “Even if it kills us, the sect leader will be sure to avenge us. We won’t die alone.”

Will Lucia avenge us? She didn’t show up in our time of crisis. …But I know she was distracted at the time, and I can’t blame her too much. I’m not biased. I was about to sigh, but I remembered Mirta’s words. When you want to sigh, smile instead. While standing there with a smile on my face, feeling slightly silly for opposing the grim atmosphere, I waited. It didn’t take long for the earth-realm experts to get into position. When the last one got into place, there was an ear-piercing screech that sounded like a higher-pitched version of Mr. Feathers’ cry. A rainbow phoenix filled the sky, blotting out the sun, yet illuminating the land underneath with the flames dancing around its talons.

Since I wasn’t a sky-realm expert anymore, I stepped on a flying sword that I retrieved from my interspacial ring and flew up. It didn’t seem like the phoenix was going to attack us on sight. They’re supposed to be righteous creatures, not wanting to burn down innocents. The phoenix’s beak seemed to be moving, and as I got closer, I could make out a few words.

“…Boss. You sure … place? It’s awfully dingy, and the spiritual energy concentration here is lower than my crap.”

…Phoenix poop is a very rare and valuable medicinal ingredient. It’s not a surprise the spiritual concentration inside of their excrement is greater than the concentration of spiritual energy in the air around here. Why is phoenix poop rare? Simply because phoenixes are born experts, and experts don’t need to consume much food, much less excrete it out.

“So…, you’re saying I can sell your turds?”

That voice…? Could it be? “Sect Leader Lucia!”

“Ah?” There was a blur, and before I knew it, something hit my body, striking me off my flying sword. It was still clinging to me as I fell, crushing my body like a constricting python. “Softie! I missed you so, so much!”

It really was Lucia! I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Lucia’s hug was a bit too … forceful. My vision was blurring, and my limbs weren’t responding. Darkness crept into the edges of my sight, and I closed my eyes. I, this isn’t how I expected to die…, but it’s not such a bad death dying in the arms of the one I love. As a friend! That I love as a friend!

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