TGL Volume 3, Chapter 24 (1)

Where am I? A bed? What was…, oh! “Lucia!”

“She’s cultivating.”

What? “Sister Ilya?” Was everything just a dream? I remember going to do good deeds with Lucia. Sister Ilya fled the sect before Lucia arrived, so does that mean Lucia didn’t actually come back to the sect? Even if that’s the case, I’m still confused. This doesn’t look like any room I know. “Where are we?”

Sister Ilya leaned back in her chair. She was eye level with me since I sat up. “We’re in the waiting room of the yellow springs.”

Yellow springs? “We’re … dead? That’s impossible!”

“What do you mean it’s impossible? Everyone dies.” Sister Ilya snorted and shook her head. “Think of the last thing you remember. You tried to help Lucia fight off a few quasi-immortals like an idiot, and Old Hong killed you with an illusion. What were you thinking? You’re injured and in the earth realm, and you thought you could help in that kind of situation?”

I…, I just wanted to assist Lucia…. “Was I at least a little bit useful?”

“No. You threw your life away.”

Leave it to Sister Ilya to be extremely blunt with me. “Couldn’t you be a little nicer?”

Sister Ilya raised her eyebrows. “You want me to lie? Lies aren’t really my thing.”

A couldn’t stop the sigh from escaping my chest. It seems like I really did die. So, this is the waiting room of the yellow springs. “Wait. What are we waiting for? And if you’re here, does that mean you died as well?”

“You just realized it?” Sister Ilya asked. “After you died, Lucia lost her fight. Then Old Bai went on to defeat all my bodyguards, and finally he decided to kill me since a ton of people died in the battle.” Sister Ilya sighed and shook her head. “And like I said earlier, this is the waiting room for the yellow springs. Apparently, since so many people died at once, the underworld’s a bit understaffed. It’s taking them a while to process everyone.”

“Process?”

“Yep,” Sister Ilya said. “Can you stand?”

I climbed out of bed, and I found that I was still wearing the same clothes as when I died. If someone dies when they’re naked, do they come to the yellow springs without any clothes? But I’m missing my interspacial ring. There’s no way it would’ve came with me to the yellow springs. “And what about Lucia? Is she still alive?”

“Yeah,” Sister Ilya said. “Didn’t I say earlier that she was cultivating? The Holy Beasts Sect locked her up in a dungeon. They need her blood to activate one of their tempering formations, so they’ll do their best to keep her alive for a near infinite source of squirrel blood.”

“At least she’s still alive….” Being alive is better than being dead. Where was Sister Ilya going? “Are we going to get processed?”

Sister Ilya nodded. “Yup.”

I didn’t expect the yellow springs to look so … modern. The building is pretty fancy with marble walls and a tiled floor. However, it was a bit bloody. Okay, it was more than a bit bloody. There were red handprints all over the walls, and there were more puddles of blood than tiles on the floor. The hallway seemed to get darker as I followed Sister Ilya through the building. How did she know where to go? “Did … the yellow springs hire you? You’re definitely sinister enough to work for them.”

Sister Ilya stopped walking and turned to look at me. “Excuse me? I’m not sinister, and neither are the people who maintain the yellow springs. And no, I don’t work here.” She turned back around and marched on, splashing blood as she walked with heavier footsteps. Did I enrage her? Sister Ilya was never one to get mad easily, at least not on the outside. However, anyone would be a little testy after dying.

After some time, Sister Ilya stopped in front of a door. She opened it and gestured for me to follow after her. Inside the room, I didn’t see anyone, but the things I saw inside made me want to back away. Handsaws and buckets filled with blood. They were stacked on rectangular wooden boxes, and blood seemed to be seeping out of the boxes’ corners. Sister Ilya stepped forward and sighed. “We’re here to be processed.”

There was a slamming sound as the door shut behind us. A sinister-looking man with a scar across his face appeared next to the wooden boxes with the handsaws on top of them. He picked one up and glanced at us. “Who’s first?”

“You want to go first?” Sister Ilya asked.

“F-first? First for what?” What is he going to do with that handsaw? Of all the legends I’ve read about the yellow springs, there was never any mention about a handsaw. In fact, I hadn’t even seen any springs.

“First to be processed,” the sinister man said. He knocked on one of the wooden boxes, and there was a scream. Someone screamed! There’s someone in that box! The man grabbed the box’s lid and lifted it, revealing someone’s torso and head. Where their limbs should’ve been, there were only bloody gauzes bunched up against their skin, wedged between their limbless bodies and the walls of the container. “Like this.” The man gestured over the processed woman with his saw and slammed the lid shut after giving me a few seconds to look at her. “Are you ready?”

“No! Devouring Snake of Bondage!” I … didn’t have my whip. It’s not necessary for my attack, but it amplifies its power. However, I couldn’t use any qi, and that was absolutely a necessity. Nothing came of my shout and swing, and I felt a little silly, but there wasn’t any time for that. I turned around and ran, but before I could reach the door, the sinister man appeared in front of me. He grabbed my shoulder, and it felt like I ran into a wall. He lifted me up with one hand and pressed the edge of the handsaw against my leg. It was cold.

“Alright, that’s enough. Softie, stop struggling, or you’ll actually hurt yourself.”

What? What’s enough? “If I don’t struggle, he’ll cut my leg off!”

“He won’t,” Sister Ilya said. “Don’t worry. It’s just a joke.”

A, a joke? “Which part of this is a joke!?”

“Um. All of it.” Sister Ilya nodded, and I fell to the ground as the sinister man released me. “You’re not actually dead. Well, you did die, but I brought you back to life with some medicine.”

“Alright, keep your expression just like that.” Sister Ilya pointed her necklace at me, and for some reason, it felt like she was recording an image of me. “Perfect.”

“You…. How could you trick me like this!?”

“W-wait, don’t cry.”

“I’m not crying!” I’m not! Really! …Okay, maybe a few tears are building, but they haven’t fallen from my eyes yet! “I can’t believe you lied to me and told me I was dead. And you even had someone pretend to have no limbs to scare me!”

Sister Ilya scratched her head. “That part’s real.”

“What? Real?”

“Yeah…,” Sister Ilya said, her forehead scrunching up. “See, Lucia got pretty mad when you died, so she had everyone’s limbs removed without killing them. She wanted to keep them alive for you to get your revenge.”

“Everyone’s…?”

Sister Ilya pointed behind me. “See all those boxes?”

…There’s a lot of boxes. An uncountable amount. Don’t tell me…. “All of those have people in them?”

“Like I said, Lucia got pretty mad.”

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