TGL Volume 4, Chapter 12 (3)

These corpse puppets are a lot more useful than I thought they would be. In Bloodmoon’s memories, they were only ever used as cannon fodder. There seems to be a hidden downside to my memory-reading technique: I’ll subconsciously accept the target’s biases regarding knowledge I haven’t encountered yet, and I already know these tradition-worshipping people are limited in their thinking. They have no creativity whatsoever.

Anyway, with the help of eight corpse puppets, the defensive formations were finished much faster than anticipated. With that, I can announce Bloodmoon’s location and let all the invaders flock to this area. Hopefully, Sophia will have convinced Lucia into coming to this region to search for a rare fruit. If she does come and collides with the invaders, there won’t be a need to use my formations, and I’ll have saved a bunch of resources. Granted, I’ll probably gain more than I’ll have lost if I claim the invaders interspacial rings, but I’ll have gained even more if I don’t spend anything to kill them. It’s a shame Lucia is such a wildcard. I would really love to rely on her, but the last time I asked her to eliminate a reclusive expert that even my quasi-immortals were having trouble dealing with, she went over there to fight him, got distracted by a beehive, and went home to make Sophia some honey tea. Speaking of which, that area on the map is still off limits. I’ll have to get Lucia to go over there again sometime.

“Are your preparations finished?”

Bloodmoon seems to have noticed. “Yeah. I’m done.”

“Why don’t you stay and chat for a little longer? I have a few ideas to help you achieve your goals.”

Well, I don’t have any pressing matters to attend to. One of my corpse puppets is already drafting up the announcement to reveal Bloodmoon’s location. “Let’s hear them.”

“You don’t seem to have any aversion to demonic cultivation techniques,” Bloodmoon said with a smile. “Have you considered harvesting the blood and souls of mortals? They’re a resource of your lower dimension. I feel like you aren’t putting them to good enough use.”

Harvesting blood and souls? “Yep. I’m already doing it.”

Bloodmoon’s eyes widened. “What? Really? On a massive scale?”

 “Yep.” In the last five years since I’ve basically became the manager of the Shadow Devil Sect, we’ve harvested over a trillion souls. “As you said, they’re a valuable resource.”

“Wait, I don’t understand.” Bloodmoon’s brow furrowed. “When demonic cultivation techniques are used on a massive scale, death and despair should permeate the area. However, I haven’t sensed any strong emotions indicating this.”

As I was saying, these traditionalists are very limited in their thinking. “What if you can convince someone to give up their blood and soul without causing them to despair or suffer?”

“Then there wouldn’t be any death or despair permeating the area.” Bloodmoon’s brow was still furrowed. Could he not see what I was talking about? Perhaps I thought too highly of him. “How can you do that? The effects of hypnotism wear off after someone dies. There’s a very high chance of them becoming a ghost even if you hypnotize them before death.”

“Alright, you’re thinking too much about yourself.” Since I’ve taken Bloodmoon on as an assistant, I should guide him at the very least. I wouldn’t want his incompetence to embarrass me. “What do mortals want the most in life?”

Bloodmoon stroked his chin. “That depends on the mortal, doesn’t it?”

“That’s true. I’ll be more specific. What do mortals who are old and dying want?”

“To live longer.”

“If I offer a dying man ten more years of life, what do you think he’ll pay for it?”

Bloodmoon frowned. “Surely not his soul? Even if he does offer his soul, a medicine to increase his lifespan must cost something. Why buy his soul when you can kill him and harvest it for free?”

Maybe I asked poor guiding questions. “Well, in the first place, why does this old man want to live longer? He’ll just die in ten more years.”

“Perhaps he has loose ends he wants to tie up, unfinished business he wants to take care of.”

“Absolutely. What if you solve his unfinished business for him? What do you think he’ll pay?”

Bloodmoon shook his head. “Even if you can solve his unfinished business, I don’t think he’d give you his soul.”

“Why not?”

“Everyone knows their soul has to enter the yellow springs to reincarnate.”

“In that case, all you have to do is convince them reincarnation isn’t all that great.”

I could see the gears turning in Bloodmoon’s head. After a moment of silence, he asked, “How in the hell would you do that?”

“Ask him if he’s suffered in this life. Ask him if the joys in his life were worth the suffering. If they were, he probably doesn’t have much unfinished business and wouldn’t mind reincarnating, but do you think everyone lives a life like that? There’s going to be people who have suffered a lot, and if you ask them if they want to reincarnate into another life just to suffer again, they’ll likely say no. At that point, you can offer them a way out—taking their soul.”

Bloodmoon stared at me with slightly wide eyes. “And you do this for everyone who’s about to die?”

“No. It’s much easier to spread those thoughts through religion. I’ve only been at it for five years though; it’s still in its preliminary phase.” I finished drafting up the announcement on my corpse puppet. It’s about time I wrap it up here too. “Besides that, there are other demographics you can target. For young men, offer them power in exchange for their souls. For young women, offer them beauty in exchange for their souls. When people have unrealistic desires, they’ll be willing to sell their soul to achieve them. All you have to do is find out what they want and offer it to them. It’s simply business.”

Bloodmoon sighed. “I wasn’t quite sure if you were a demon or a member of the moon race, but I’m leaning more towards demon now.”

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