TGL Volume 3, Chapter 17 (3)

The rules of karma…, they absolutely make no sense. Who the hell designed this shit? The heavens? Everything in the world works logically, but it all falls apart at karma, and if karma affects heavenly tribulations, then there must be a clear link between karma and the heavens. Thus, there’s only one conclusion I can draw: The heavens are artificial. It isn’t a force of nature that’s doling out tribulations. There’s someone who designed this whole system. Maybe it’s an immortal. Maybe it’s someone who’s even stronger than an immortal. Either way, karma seems straightforward, but it’s actually complex. It seems logical, but in reality, it’s not. Or maybe there’s a mechanism in place to prevent people from uncovering its secrets like when I designed my alchemy stoves to break if someone tried to inspect the formations inside. Since that’s the case, it doesn’t make any sense to continue pursuing good karma. What I should pursue is an enormous amount of wealth, enough to hire immortals to protect me during my next tribulation. Will immortals be swayed that easily? Of course not, but it’s possible. I’ve roped in the immortal from Pill Valley after all.

I should probably inform Lucia of my choice, but I don’t think she has the ability to rope in immortals to help her. I don’t want to brag, but I think I’m much more valuable than her—in immortals’ eyes. All Lucia can do is destroy things, which an immortal doesn’t need any help doing. Softie did send me a message that said Lucia learned how to read, but I’m pretty sure that was a joke. I didn’t think she had it in her to tell jokes. She must’ve been in a good mood from meeting Lucia again after ten years. Love is such a weird emotion; it turns people strange.

Since I’m no longer worried about karma, what am I going to do with all these requests I purchased? I … think I’ll just give them to Lucia to handle—all one thousand of them. Well, slightly less than a thousand since I completed a few to perform some tests. It’ll be good for Lucia to do a good deed once in a while—maybe the gratitude from the request makers will teach her to be empathetic. Is it possible Lucia will fail their requests or fulfill them in a terrible way? Yes, it is. Is that unfortunate for those people who made the requests? Yep. But is it my problem? Nope. They made the requests without offering any compensation, hoping someone would help them out of the goodness of their hearts. Unfortunately for them, the world doesn’t work that way. If they want help, they have to help themselves first. Hmm, look at that, the crystal’s glowing black again. I knew karma didn’t make any sense. I’ll just put it away before it upsets me some more.

Now, how am I supposed to make more money or garner more influence? It’s simple, really. First, I have to identify a demand. Then I have to figure out a viable way to fulfill these demands in a profitable manner. What’s the thing most in demand in the Immortal Continent? That’s easy: Power. It’s why I’ve made so much off of pills and weapons. What else gives power? There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of ways to increase someone’s power. Thus, there should be an equal amount of ways to earn money. However, I don’t want to partake in anything that requires too much attention. Large, passive gains are what I’m after.

And … what’s more profitable than war? There are millions of sects, perhaps even billions of sects, across the Immortal Continent. Most of them are in tentative balances with one another. A perfect example would be the five fingers of Kong County. Before Lucia arrived, they were holding each other in check, splitting the county amongst the five of them. Once Lucia came, the balance was broken, and the Shadow Devil Sect claimed the county, monopolizing its resources. Now, if I sell a few prototype anti-Lucia cannons to some sects that are in equilibrium with another, that’ll break the balance. And the best way to reclaim the balance is for the other sects to buy anti-Lucia cannons as well. Pill Valley has a cooperation with Thousand Gold Palace, which is basically a coalition of merchants. They have auction houses spread all throughout the Immortal Continent, perfect for selling my anti-Lucia cannons.

Oh? This plan might actually bring about more profit than I originally expected. Once every sect has an anti-Lucia cannon, what if I sell an anti-Lucia cannon deflector? Sure, there’s the deterrence of mutual destruction if both sides have an anti-Lucia cannon, but what if one side purchases a shield that can block the cannon’s attacks? They’d be able to freely attack without worry of retaliation, forcing the other side to buy shields as well. Of course, I’ll wait a few months or maybe even years to sell the shield. I’ll even use an alias so no one suspects it’s me. Then, once everyone has a cannon and a shield, why can’t I make a shield disruptor? Or a shield disruptor disruptor? Afterwards, once everything settles down, I can introduce the new-and-improved anti-Lucia cannon, which boosts a strength strong enough to eliminate the shield regardless of whether or not there’s a disruptor. There’s an infinite amount of power creep I can exploit for money. Even if people know I’m doing this on purpose, what can they do about it? If they don’t buy my products, they’ll be eliminated by the sects that do. Will they send people to assassinate me? Maybe, but that’s why I have a hundred sky-realm experts as bodyguards. Who in their right mind would try to assassinate someone guarded by that many sky-realm experts? Even the top sects at the center of the Immortal Continent would think twice before provoking me.

Wait a minute…, are there even any sects that can stop me? Why don’t I just raid them all?

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