“Ri, are you okay?” Ri’s really pale. I wonder if she’s sick. I’ve never gotten sick before, but I’ve read about people being sick, and she matches what I read. Um, I’ll take a picture of her face, and then I’ll ask Mommy later to see if I’m right.
“That Auntie Ilya of yours,” Ri said and shook her head. “Is she a good person?”
Um? Is Auntie Ilya a good person? “Of course!” She gives me so much stuff, and she treats me really well. There’s no way she can be a bad person. “She’s one of the nicest people I know. Didn’t she give you those fans for free? I told you it was a good idea to visit her.”
“I saw something scary in there,” Ri said. She stared at the fans in her hands and didn’t look away. “I told you about my secret technique, right? To cultivate it, I have to have the vermillion bird bloodline. The bloodline is pretty special, and it lets me see through illusions.”
Illusions? I want to learn those! Can they be seen through that easily? “There were illusions in Auntie Ilya’s lab?” It looked completely normal to me. “What was she hiding?”
Ri took in a deep breath. “I saw someone in a cage. He was looking at us, and he was so bloody. There was so much blood.”
“Are you scared of blood, Ri?” Blood isn’t that scary. It’s actually quite tasty! “If that’s the case, I’m going to bring you somewhere!” Cultivators are supposed to be strong and unafraid of anything; I’m going to help get rid of Ri’s fears. “Don’t worry. You’ll get used to blood in no time.” If we head there now, we might make it in time. “Let’s go. Hurry, hurry.”
“W-wait,” Ri said. “Where are we going now? To see blood?”
Of course, we’re going to Mommy’s kitchen! She’s always cutting open something inside, and there’s always lots of blood. It’s pretty dark out, but it’s not dinnertime yet. The door in the sky is above the kitchen, so Mommy should be there right now. Um, the teachers said we had to practice constantly, but getting weapons is also important, right? Tomorrow, we’ll start with combat training too! Today, all we did was strength training, um, body exercises. There was a lot of lifting and squatting and pushing and jumping. It made me super hungry.
“Wait, Sophia, aren’t these areas restricted? We’re not allowed to be here.”
Ri worries too much. “Normal people aren’t allowed here, but I can go anywhere in the sect I want. I can take you with me too. Most rules don’t apply to me because my mommy is the strongest person in the world, and she makes the rules.” All the guards know me, but I don’t know them. Adults don’t talk to me unless they know my mommy. Auntie Ilya says it’s because they’re afraid of making friends with me in case my mommy misunderstands. I don’t know what she’ll misunderstand, but I don’t really mind. Most adults are boring anyway. Plants are much more fun.
“Are you really sure this is okay?”
“Of course, of course, stop worrying so much.” Ri thinks too much about things just like my mommy, um, the one that doesn’t cook. That’s why they both worry so much. I think they would get along if they were left alone in a room together. “Look, the kitchen is right up ahead. Why don’t you stay here and eat with us tonight? Orphanage food is just a grain of rice, right?” That can’t be very tasty.
“The food you eat is very expensive,” Ri said. I was dragging her along by her arm, but she wasn’t really resisting. “I don’t know if I can afford to pay you back.”
Um? Mrs. Feathers says I do eat a bunch of treasures every day. “Don’t worry. My mommies are rich; they won’t care if you eat some food. Actually, my mommy will love it if you eat her food too. She likes cooking, but no one likes eating except for me and her. If you’re there, my mommy will have a reason to cook even more.”
“Are you sure? I don’t think this is a good idea.”
“You’re a real big worrywart, Ri.” We’re here! Now I’ll knock on the door.
“Gah!” There was a huge clattering sound. I think Mommy dropped something. The door flew open, and Mommy stood there covered in blood, holding a really big knife. “Who—!? Oh. Hi, Sophia. What did I tell you about knocking?”
“You told me to knock so I don’t scare you when I walk in!” Um? Ri? I think she fainted. Her eyes are completely white, and there’s some kind of bubbly thing coming out from her mouth. Is she really that afraid of blood? Mommy’s just a little bloody, but the kitchen is a mess. “Ri? Wake up. Are you okay?”
“H-huh?” After some shaking, Ri woke up again. She looked around, and then she covered her mouth and gagged. “I thought you were taking me to a kitchen….”
“This is a kitchen!” Mommy picked up the bloody thing on the ground and placed it onto the table. I think that’s what she dropped earlier. “You’re Sophia’s friend…, uh…, Me, right?”
“She’s Ri.” I even said her name in front of Mommy, but Mommy doesn’t really pay attention. “She was at my birthday party too, remember?”
“Hmmmmm.” Mommy tilted her head before shrugging. “Anyway! You came home early today. How was school? Did you have fun? What did you learn? Are you hungry?”
“We exercised today, and tomorrow, we’ll be learning how to use weapons.” I poked Ri since she seemed to be a bit sleepy or something. “We asked Auntie Ilya for some weapons before coming here. I’m really hungry! Ri’s hungry too; she can stay for dinner, right?”
“Of course!” Mommy pulled a cow out of her interspacial pouch. It mooed before she chopped its head off. Blood splashed onto Ri, and she wobbled a little. “Eh? You seem extra hungry! Is one cow not enough? Should I prepare another?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter