TGL Volume 5, Chapter 18 (1)

I’m playing the game Auntie Ilya gave me to beat, but there’s a problem. “Mommy….” 

“What’s the matter?” 

“Why are you watching me play?” The problem is my mommy is too nosy! 

“Didn’t you ask me to help you beat the game?” 

I did ask Mommy for help because I didn’t know how to read some words, but that was it. “I only asked you for help reading.” 

“And this whole game is text-based,” my mommy said and patted my head. “There’s going to be lots of words you don’t know appearing later on. And, as you know, this game moves very fast. If I’m not around when you have to make an important decision but don’t understand the words, you might lose before you even find out what the message meant.” 

I don’t like it when Mommy watches me play. If I do something wrong, she’ll think I’m dumb. 

“Quick, go in.” 

And my mommy tells me what to do when I already know what to do. There’s a cave in front of me, so the first thing I have to do is make sure it’s safe to go in. Unlike my mommy, I don’t have to say the words I write out loud. Um, why does she say them out loud? I think she does it for me. If that’s the case, I’ll do it for her too. “I order Mister Deuce to enter the cave first and tell him to watch out for danger.” 

“Good choice,” Mommy said. “Mister Deuce was acting a bit suspicious. If he gets harmed in there, it’ll make it harder for him to ambush you in the future.” Mommy frowned. “But at the same time, it’ll be more difficult for you to pass tougher encounters in the future if he’s injured.”

Mommy also talks a lot when she watches me play. At first, it was helpful, but now, I just want her to leave me alone. Am I a bad person for thinking that way? Auntie Ilya said most cultivators cut ties with their parents because they’re mortals, and only really lucky cultivators like me have parents who’re also cultivators. She said that, but most of the people I go to school with also have parents like me. I’m already not having fun with my mommy missing in the immortal realm. If I lose my other mommy too, I think I’ll be really sad. Um, alright, I’ll include her when I play. 

A minute quickly pasts after Mister Deuce enters the cave. In that time, he hasn’t contacted you through the prearranged signals your sect has set up. You can continue to wait for him or enter the cave to find him, or you can take the third option and leave him behind. 

“What do you think I should do next?” 

“Honestly, I don’t think it matters what you do,” my mommy said. “Either choice will be a learning experience. If you wait for him, there’s a chance there’s a treasure inside the cave that he’ll pocket for himself. There might be something trapping him inside, preventing him from leaving, so if you choose the second option, you’ll fall into the trap as well. As for the third option, what if he discovers you left him behind? What if there’s something inside the cave that’ll really help you, but you chose to leave?” 

Mommy thinks a lot. Is thinking that much normal? I’m not sure it is. She does raise good points though. Where did she learn them? I thought Auntie Ilya said schools didn’t exist before. Um, then that means, Mommy must’ve learned those things could happen by playing the game? “Mommy, how many times did you encounter a cave inside the game?” 

“Too many,” my mommy said and made a face. She stared at the disc in my hands. “And these consequences don’t just only apply to caves. It applies to any time you locate an unknown area. It’s a good idea to send in a scout, but it’s even better if you learn some scouting techniques or have a follower who knows them.”

Mommy learned how to play the game through playing the game just like me, but she’s better at it because she spent more time playing. It’s not fair. I have to go to school and cultivate. Mommy played the game for a week without stopping. She didn’t even try to get chefs to make new dishes for me. I didn’t know it before, but Mommy has a secret stash of food made by my other mommy. If I knew, I would eat that food every time I miss my mommy. Um, that’s probably why Mommy’s holding onto the stash instead of me. 

Since Mommy has more experience than me, I think she knows the right choice to make, but how? “You didn’t tell me what to do next. How do I know which decision is the right one?” 

“You can’t know which one is the right one,” my mommy said. “Sometimes, you make a wrong decision, and the consequences are something you have to live with for the rest of your life. But sometimes, you make the right decision, and you’ll have everything you’ve ever wanted.” Mommy wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tight. After a bit, she let me go and looked me in the eyes. “Now, although it’s impossible to tell which decision is the right one, there are ways to reduce the uncertainties. For example, if you had scouting techniques learned, you wouldn’t have to send someone inside, uncertain about his fate. Then, with the new information gained by your scouting technique, you could make a more informed decision.” 

“Oh. Um.” I … think I get it! “So, if I had an enslaving technique, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of my followers betraying me or worry about what they think of me if I leave them to die, right?” 

My mommy stared at me with wide eyes. Her mouth was open, but she wasn’t speaking. Did I say something wrong? It makes sense to me.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter