TGL Volume 4, Chapter 7 (1)

“Mommy, I can’t do it!”

What is Lucia trying to get Sophia to do this time? The last time Sophia said that, Lucia was encouraging her to jump from one couch to the other since the floor was lava. It’s a game Sophia came up with where she couldn’t travel on the floor. It was nice until Lucia started playing too. She cheated by flying, and Sophia felt depressed for days since she couldn’t fly as well.

“Really? That’s not even that heavy. Hmm.” There was a clunking sound. “Try this one instead.”

What exactly is going on? Sophia should be working on her foundation-building technique. I opened my curtain and poked my head out. The sound was coming from Sophia’s courtyard, and as expected, I found them there: Lucia and my daughter. There was a large brick on the ground. In fact, there were dozens of bricks of varying sizes on the ground. Sophia was crouched beside one, her hands grasping the sides of the brick. Her face was red, and it seemed like she was struggling to pick the brick up.

Lucia was standing beside Sophia with a confused expression. “You can’t lift a brick?”

“I really can’t!”

What the heck is Lucia making Sophia do!? “Lucia!” I teleported into the courtyard and grabbed Sophia, prying her arms off of the brick. “This is a reinforced brick meant for long-lasting constructions! It easily weighs three hundred pounds! What were you thinking, making our daughter try to lift this up?”

“Eh? Three hundred pounds?” Lucia squatted next to the brick and picked it up with ease. “It doesn’t feel that heavy.”

“You pick up mountains with ease! Please, remember your strength before playing with Sophia.”

“We’re not playing!” Sophia wormed free from my grasp. “Mommy’s training me!”

Lucia’s training Sophia? Just because Lucia’s the strongest person in the world doesn’t mean she knows how to teach people. She can drop bits of occasional insight here and there to people who are already relatively strong, but I highly suspect her ability to raise a child into a cultivator. For one, she has no idea how a child should train! “Lucia, maybe we should leave teaching to the teachers?”

“No! Sophia asked me to train her, so that’s what I’m going to do!” Lucia crossed her arms and puffed her chest out. Just great. When Lucia takes that stance, it means she’s not going to budge.

“Sophia, did you really want Mommy to train you? She’s not forcing you, right?”

“She’s not.”

“I’m not!”

The two of them denied it at the same time. If Sophia’s working on strength training, then she must already know how to control her qi. She does know how, right? “Sophia, did you learn how to manipulate your qi already?”

“Mommy says I don’t have to! I can get just as strong without doing that as long as I listen to her.”

How many times have you listened to Lucia and not gotten the results you wanted? I really wanted to ask Sophia that, but Lucia would probably hate me if I did. “How are you going to train her, Lucia?”

“That’s simple.” Lucia tilted her head back and stared up at the sky. “First, I’m going to tire her out. Then, I’m going to have her do stuff while she’s tired. Afterwards, she’ll do even more stuff when she’s dead tired. Once that happens, she’ll be forced to use her qi to cure herself.”

“Are you sure she’s not just going to eat a recovery pill?” Like she’s doing right now.

“Hey! I said no cheating!” Lucia snatched the bottle of pills out of Sophia’s hands. “Where did you even hide your interspacial ring?”

“But, Mommy, my fingers hurt.” Sophia looked so pitiful. Her hands were red, evidently having grabbed a lot of bricks. Lucia should’ve started small—smaller than what she thought was small. Sophia’s not weak; in fact, she’s much stronger than an average six-year-old child thanks to her diet, but even still, she’s not capable of lifting three hundred pounds without qi!

“You said you were ready for pain,” Lucia said. The bottle in her hand disappeared.

“I was ready because I had those pills, but you took them away!” Tears threatened to burst out of Sophia’s eyes. Even her voice was trembling.

I can’t stand here and watch anymore. “Lucia, this isn’t going to work. Sophia’s not like you. The path of body reinforcement is too much for her; she’s just a child.” No one likes pain, especially not children. Every notable body cultivator has had a tragic backstory. People need a reason to endure hellish training: revenge, personal grievance, regret. Without those, would they bother?

Lucia furrowed her brow. “Where’s Ilya?”

“No. No Ilya.” Whenever Lucia has a problem, she always consults Ilya! Though our relationship is a bit vague, Lucia and I are still in one—I think. It’s rude to air our dirty laundry in public. Ilya has no relation with Sophia, but Lucia asks for her opinions all the time while ignoring mine. “It’s about time we have a serious talk.” I can forgive Lucia for many things, but when it comes to Sophia’s wellbeing, I’m not going to budge.

“Serious talk? I’m always serious.” Lucia narrowed her eyes at me. “Sophia’s my daughter, and I’m going to spoil the heck out of her. I’m going to give her the best techniques, the best items, the best foods, the best pills, and she’s going to grow up to be the greatest expert ever.” Lucia paused. “Unless she doesn’t want to be the greatest expert; that’s okay too.”

“Sophia’s my daughter too; I gave birth to her. She came out of my body!”

Lucia snorted and slapped her tail against the ground. “Well, I’m the one who got you pregnant!”

“Stop fighting! Stop fighting! Stop fighting!” Sophia covered her ears and yelled at the top of her lungs. It sounded like someone was being murdered. “I don’t like it when you two fight!”

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