TGL Volume 5, Chapter 15 (1)

The terrifying process is finally over. I was really, really concerned when the ruler started flinging bits of my brain away. However, I’m even more concerned about the black bits on the floor! “Why were those black things inside of my head?” I’m not sure what they are. Worms? Tendrils? They’re long, slimy, and definitely not normal. At least they don’t seem to be alive … anymore. Were they once alive? Are they the reason I had headaches? 

“They’re impurities,” the ruler said and waved her hand. All the blood on the floor—which definitely amounted to more than four or five liters—was swept to one side of the room, taking all the fleshy and solid bits with it too. The blood surged upwards into a perfect ball, and the ball fell into a barrel that the ruler had taken out of her interspatial ring. After that was done, the ruler tapped on the pillars suspending me in the air, causing them to disappear. 

I can finally move again! What the ruler said was slightly concerning. “Impurities? How do I have impurities?” I’m a hundred percent sure my impurities were washed away by fish pee. There was that whole ceremony at the top of the mountain where the Shadow Devil Sect washed all the impurities out of me. 

“Thanks for the assistance, Master Seven Legs,” the ruler said and handed a box to the spider by her side. The spider nodded, and with a wave of its leg, a tear was torn in space, revealing a black background inside. The spider opened its mouth and swallowed the gift. Then, it waved at me before scuttling through the crack. The tear closed behind her, and only the ruler and I and Mrs. Feathers’ Future Husband were left in the room. The ruler placed her hand on my head and scratched behind my ears. “Good job on enduring all that; not everyone survives the process.” 

Mm? I did a good job? But I didn’t even do anything? Well, it was more like I couldn’t do anything. If the ruler let me move my arms and legs around, I’m sure I definitely would’ve sped the process up. Master Seven Legs wouldn’t have even been needed, and the ruler could’ve saved on that gift. I wonder what was inside that box…. Ah, no, I’m getting distracted. “You didn’t answer the bit about impurities.” 

“The meditation is working already, I see,” the ruler said and smiled at me. She withdrew her hand and placed her arms behind her back, folding her hands right above her tail. How did I know she was doing that even though she was facing me? …Seriously, how do I know? This is so weird. It’s like I can see everything inside the room without actually seeing. Is this my divine sense? I remember Mrs. Feathers mentioning something about divine sense when I was beating her…. Ah? Did I say beating? I mean … uh, taming. Yeah. Ah! Back to the topic at hand. The ruler must’ve known I was thinking because she didn’t do anything except stare at me. Once I was done thinking, she nodded. “Those impurities were formed by your botched version of the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique.” 

“Ah?” The Heart Devil Cultivation Technique formed impurities in my brain? “Does that mean everyone in the Shadow Devil Sect has those things inside of their heads as well? No wonder why they’re so messed up.” 

“No,” the ruler said and tapped my forehead. For some reason, memories of the time I first practiced the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique came to mind. Is this an advanced use of Soul Scour? “You didn’t follow the technique properly. Who gave you the courage to add more cycles to the circulation method? Even if it felt right, that doesn’t mean it was right. You increased the strength of the technique, but at the same time, you added a pretty harsh side effect. As your cultivation level increased, the impurities in your brain increased as well, hindering your mental capability.” 

Side effect? Increasing impurities? Hindering my mental capability? Hang on a minute; I need some time to process this. “So … you’re saying … the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique … made me stupid?” 

“It didn’t exactly make you stupid,” the ruler said. “But it certainly didn’t do your impulse control any good. It also hampered your short-term and long-term memory. In a sense, the impurities gave you many symptoms, and added together, from an outside perspective, it could certainly seem like you weren’t the brightest individual.” 

So, it did make me stupid. Now that the impurities are gone from my brain, I’m smart enough to realize when someone’s calling me dumb right away! Wait. Even if the impurities are gone from my brain, won’t they just build up again? “So, if I use the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique, I’ll turn stupid again?” 

“If you use your modified version, yes,” the ruler said and nodded. “However, the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique won’t help you advance to become a transcendent beast, and it’ll barely aid your growth as an immortal. Abandon it.” 

Abandon the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique? How can I do that? It’s helped me come so far! And I really enjoy the feeling of planting heart devils in people. It feels quite nice. “Do I have to?” 

The ruler rolled her eyes. “Even if you abandon the technique, that doesn’t mean you can’t plant heart devils in people anymore. Just don’t use the technique that extracts and absorbs heart devil worms for your own cultivation. From now on, if you wish to gather qi or spiritual energy, use the Secret Phoenix Rebirth Technique.” 

Mm? If I can still plant heart devils in people and sense them, then there’s no problem! 

“Speaking of the Secret Phoenix Rebirth Technique, don’t forget why we went through the pruning process just now,” the ruler said and pointed at Mrs. Feathers’ Future Husband. “Observing and copying this vermillion bird’s spiritual energy circulation shouldn’t be a problem for you now. When you’re done copying it, I’m sure the formation masters will have infused the teleportation gate with enough energy to send another letter to your daughter.” 

Is it okay for a teacher to blackmail their own disciple? 

“This isn’t blackmail. It’s a form of positive reinforcement.” 

That isn’t positive reinforcement! That’s coercion! Mm? Now that I think about it, are those two the same thing?

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