TGL Volume 5, Chapter 22 (1)

I’m almost done! I’ve seen Mommy get this close, but this is the first time I’m getting this close by myself. Once my boat leaves through the portal, then I’ll win! “I almost beat the game!” 

“That’s great, Sophia,” Mommy said from her spot on the cushion. She was cultivating. Um, I should be cultivating too, but playing this game is more important. If I beat it, I’ll get to become Auntie Ilya’s disciple. When that happens, it’ll be easier for me to cultivate in the future! It’s like what I learned in the game. Give up a little bit now to grab a bigger piece later. 

Your ship approaches the exit portal. You stand at the tip of the boat’s bow. Despite leaving your back completely exposed to the passengers behind, no one has any thoughts or makes any motion to make trouble for you. The casualties of your brutal and cunning strategies are still fresh in their minds, not to mention the fresh blood dripping down the sleeves of your robes. The boats of the other sects follow behind yours at a respectable distance, the formation lines on their hulls noticeably dim. It’s clear they aren’t able operate their formation cannons or even accelerate. Your boat passes through the portal safe and sound. Congratulations, you have completed the first stage of the game. You may save your progress here and restart at this point every time you die in the future. 

Huh? “Mommy, what does this mean?” 

Mommy stretched out her hand, and I got up to give my game disc to her. She could’ve teleported to me, but since I was the one asking her a favor, I had to be the one to exert energy. The game taught me that. Some things I learn from the game are helpful outside of the game, but not everything is. I can’t enslave anyone because of the sect rules. 

Mommy opened her eyes and brought the game disc up to her face. A wrinkle appeared on her forehead. Then, her eyes widened, and she whipped her head up to look at me. “You did this? That’s amazing!” Mommy placed the game disc down and got up to hug me. If I were in the game, I’d have to check for poison and weapons while she’s grabbing me. But I’m not in the game, so I don’t have to check. Mommy won’t poison me, and my other mommy won’t poison me either. …On purpose. 

“I did it all by myself.” Mrs. Feathers helped me a lot, but after following the advice she gave me, I died. Um, then, she helped me a lot more times, and I died a lot more. I had to give her a game disc to get her to stop helping me. “But what does it mean first stage of the game?” 

Mommy released me and patted my head. “It means the game isn’t over yet,” she said and sighed. “Clearing the secret ground and obtaining the treasures inside was only the beginning. There’s still more you have to do, but luckily, you won’t have to beat the secret ground again.” 

I learned a good way to express myself from the game that’s perfect for this situation. “I’m displeased.” 

“It’s alright,” Mommy said, not sounding upset I wasn’t getting what I wanted. “Did you really think it’d be that easy to become Sister Ilya’s disciple? Even if she doesn’t display herself in the politest of manners, she’s still a very impressive person. Unless someone shows they’re hardworking enough, she won’t have time to accommodate everyone who wants to be her disciple.” 

Um, Mommy used a lot of big words, but I can understand them all. It’s a very strange feeling. Did I become smarter from playing the game? I think I did. I wonder how many things have been said that I didn’t know the meaning of but thought I did? It must be a lot. Um, especially around Auntie Ilya. I think a lot of the things she says makes sense to me but also have a second meaning that I don’t understand. It’s okay; I don’t have to understand all the meanings right away. Mommy says it’s going to be a long time before I become an adult, so I still have a lot of time to learn. Even if I understand what Mommy is trying to say, it doesn’t make me feel better. “I’m still displeased.” 

“Oh, everything will be alright, Sophia,” Mommy said and wrapped one arm around me. “Let’s enter the second stage of the game together, okay? Maybe it’ll be a breeze since you beat the first one.” 

I think Mommy wants to play the second stage more than I do. “Okay.” I’ll take the game disc and continue. 

After achieving a remarkable victory in the secret-grounds competition, you have been promoted from holy child of the sect to a position as an elder. A whole new competition begins. From your current position of power, rise through the ranks and become the new sect leader. Not only have you brought back victory to the sect, but you’ve also brought back a body full of qi, ready to break through to the next level. As expected of a blessed child, the tribulation was nothing to you, and you successfully broke into the earth realm. With a day of rest, you’ve recovered to your peak state. Waiting outside your abode is a disciple waiting to bring you to the elder pavilion where you’ll begin your first day on the job. 

“Oh, interesting,” Mommy said and raised an eyebrow. “She wants you to become a sect leader, but would she really teach you the proper way through a game? Isn’t that telling people how to overthrow her?” Mommy frowned. “As long as only you play it, it should be fine. Go on.” 

“I examine my surroundings.” 

Your surroundings are 

Um? Did the game disc freeze? This is the first time something like this happened. “What happened?” 

“I’m not sure,” Mommy said and frowned. “Maybe it broke. Let’s go ask Sister Ilya.”

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