TGL Volume 3, Chapter 20 (5)

I perfected my Soul Scour! “Look, Softie, he’s not an idiot!” The other four might’ve suffered some teensy-tiny bits of brain damage, but not this person! He’s still completely sober, and his eyes are filled with the same emotion as before I started the Soul Scour—which totally isn’t fear. Mhm. It’s awe, okay? “You remember everything about yourself, right?”

“Lucia.”

Ah? Durandal’s talking to me again? Is it because I perfected my Soul Scour? “What’s up? Finally ready to come out?”

“No, I just wanted to point out that even if he responds positively, that doesn’t mean he remembers everything about himself. How can he remember everything about himself if you erased part of what he should’ve remembered?”

If I erased part of what he should’ve remembered…. “But I didn’t! Promise! Isn’t that right, Mr. Evil Cultivator?”

“It, it should be?”

“See! He agrees with me, Durandal! Hurry up and come out now!” Ah, if I knew I would’ve been rewarded so heavily for doing good deeds, I would’ve done them so much earlier. Not only did I discover a pill to cure Durandal’s sterility, but I also learned a way to peek into all of his secrets!

“I don’t trust you.”

What!? “What part of me don’t you trust!?”

“…Every part?”

This bastard! After all the practice I did for him, he’s so ungrateful! “When have I ever lied to you?” I’ve always been nothing but honest. Mhm, totally and completely honest. I can’t remember any time I lied to Durandal, and if I can’t remember it, then that’s as good as it never happening.

Durandal sighed. “I’m not coming out of my weapon body unless you swear an oath to the heavens promising you won’t use Soul Scour on me.”

That’s…. I’ve seen someone break an oath to the heavens. They were completely vaporized by lightning! I’ve survived a few tribulations, but the lightning bolts involved in those were completely different. …Were they? If the heavens zap me, can I survive? Hmm…. Well, I’m not going to test it to find out! “Let’s compromise.”

“…I never expected to hear those words from you. Ever.”

What? I’m a perfectly reasonable person! I’m not compromising because I can’t force Durandal out of his sword with violence! I’m compromising because I’m a gentle person who communicates with words and not my fists, mhm. “How about this? Instead of swearing an oath to the heavens, I’ll swear an oath to this rock over here, and you’ll come out. Deal?”

“Lucia.”

“Mm?”

“Not everyone is as dumb as you.”

…When did Durandal get so mean? Wait, no, he was always like this. “Mrs. Feathers.”

“Yes, Boss?”

“Do you have a technique that can make Durandal listen to me?”

Mrs. Feathers coughed. Can birds even cough? Mm, apparently, they can. “Enslaving techniques are evil, Boss.”

“I don’t want to enslave him! I just want him to listen to everything I tell him.” That’s not enslavement. That’s how a normal, loving relationship between two people should work! Right? I’m sure it is. Just look at…. Err, why can’t I think of any examples of loving couples? “Hey, Softie. How come you’re still single after ten years?”

Softie choked on the black liquid she was drinking. “How come you’re suddenly attacking me? I don’t have any enslaving techniques. Even beast-enslaving techniques are highly frowned upon, and you’ll have to look really hard to find any of those. Finding a person-enslaving technique…, you might as well ask Sister Ilya to create one for you. I think she could do it.”

“That means there isn’t a technique to force Durandal to do whatever I say?”

“I, I know of a way.”

Hmm? This alchemist kidnapper from the valley of pills knows a way to enslave, err, force people to listen to me? “Soul—”

“Wait, wait, wait!”

Ah! He slipped out of my grasp! How did he do that?

“Even if you Soul Scour me and find out, you’ll need me to help you use the technique! It’s a technique that plants a poisonous bug spirit inside of someone. If whoever you use it on doesn’t listen to your commands, the bug spirit will dig into their heart and kill them.”

Oh. “No, that wouldn’t work.” Durandal’s not afraid of dying. Besides, he has to come out of his weapon body before I can plant a bug inside of him, and if I could get him out, I wouldn’t need that bug. “Ah…, why are you being so difficult, Durandal?”

“I don’t want to turn into an idiot or lose any of my memories.”

“But this guy didn’t lose anything!”

“Four out of the five have turned into imbeciles.”

That’s true…. “But this guy didn’t lose anything!”

“Just swear an oath to the heavens, and I’ll come out.”

Ah…, we’re not getting anywhere. It looks like Softie’s suggestion is the only way. “Alright, where’s Ilya?”

“Wait, Boss,” Mrs. Feathers said. “I said enslaving techniques were evil, but I never said I didn’t have any.”

Hmm? “You have a way to make Durandal listen to me?”

Mrs. Feathers nodded. “I do, but it’s very difficult to achieve. You need the bloodline of the vermillion bird, and before you can get that without exploding, you have to completely master the Secret Phoenix Rebirth Technique. Even I can’t use the technique; I’ll only be able to after becoming an immortal.”

“The bloodline of a vermillion bird?” What does that even mean?

“You’ll have to consume the core of a vermillion bird and bathe in its blood to get its bloodline,” Mrs. Feathers said. “The thing is…, most vermillion birds are immortals. However, I heard the Holy Beasts Sect in the center of the continent happens to have some vermillion bird cores and blood.” Mrs. Feathers hopped closer to me and rubbed herself against my leg. What was she doing? “You can spare one core for me, right, Boss? If I eat one, I’ll be sure to become an immortal, and when that happens, I’ll be even more useful to you.”

Mm, well, if I’m robbing a sect, I can give some scraps to Mrs. Feathers. “Yeah, of course, that’s fine. Let’s go plunder the holy something-or-another sect!” Mm? Is there something wrong with my tail? It’s a little perky…. Danger?

“Unfortunately, you won’t get that chance! Die, foul squirrel!”

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