TGL Volume 5, Chapter 31 (1)

Sometimes, I wonder how Lucia’s doing, but then I realize it’s pointless to worry about her. There are much more tangible and immediate items that require my attention, and quite frankly, monitoring the state of one squirrelkin girl is enough for me. I didn’t think Sophia would be such a quick learner, but she’s surprisingly intelligent, her comprehension eclipsing her parents’ by miles. Contrary to my expectations, raising a disciple has been quite a fun experience; it’s like raising the pet I never wanted and also never had. 

“Master! I did it, look!” 

“Really?” As I said, Sophia’s comprehension is extremely fast when it comes to certain topics. “Let me see.” 

Sophia carefully picked up the rectangular piece of paper on the table in front of herself and walked over to me with a tense expression. Her assignment had been to create a fireball talisman, and I assume her source of hesitation came from not wanting to drop it. Although it wouldn’t cause the talisman to explode, there’d be a chance the lines she drew would be ruined. “Here.” 

I took the talisman and gave it a quick glance. Although her lines were a bit shaky and uneven, anyone versed in creating talismans could tell it’d work. As for why I’m teaching Sophia how to create talismans, I’m having her learn the basics of multiple professions. It’d be a tragedy if Sophia were a talented blacksmith or talisman master or alchemist and I never unearthed her potential because I didn’t check. Although Sophia created a talisman faster than an average individual, it’s hard to say if she’ll be a renowned talisman master in the future. “This is barely passable. Nice work.” 

Sophia exhaled and patted her chest. Maybe her source of hesitation came from potentially disappointing me. Children are supposed to seek validation from their parental figures, and as the saying goes, a teacher for a day is a father for life. “Can I have the talisman back? I might need it to defend myself.” 

Defend herself from what? A pile of dry twigs? That’s the only way a fire will get started with a talisman like this. “If you want to defend yourself, you can have this.” I’ll give her a talisman that’ll actually be able to help her. “As for this one, I’m going to keep it, frame it, and give it to your mother.” 

Sophia tilted her head. “You’re going to give that talisman to Mommy? Which one?” 

“The one that can rip my head off.” 

“With the right set of tools, both of my mommies can rip your head off,” Sophia said. “If you don’t resist, I could do it too!” 

“Alright, you know who I meant.” Sometimes, it feels like Sophia’s a bit … off in the head. But then I remember she’s basically a personified form of Lucia’s impurities that were given life by the excess energy of a miraculous healing pill. Then again, even if Sophia were born the normal way, given Lucia’s personality, it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if Sophia still ended up a little psychotic. “Since Lucia’s not here, she’s missing out on a lot of your childhood, and if I ever get on the bad side of her, I can assuage her anger by giving her things you created.” 

Sophia nodded at me. “Like how you can distract an angry bear by cutting off your underling’s legs and running away.” 

“When your mother comes back, if she ever asks you the question ‘where did you learn those words?’—or any other variant similar to it—remember to tell her it was Uncle Chen.” Long Chen is an interesting character. Whenever he encounters misfortune, he somehow benefits and grows because of the incident. When I’m using him as a scapegoat to redirect Lucia’s anger, I’m purely thinking of helping him out because of the benefit’s he’ll obtain—saving my own a*s is simply a bonus. 

“So, you want me to help you cut off Uncle Chen’s legs,” Sophia said and nodded again. “I can do that. I like you a lot better than I do Uncle Chen; he smells funny.” 

As a result of all the misfortune Long Chen has encountered, he’s a bit of an alcoholic. Not that I care. “Alright, since we’ve tested your aptitude for creating talisman’s, let’s move on to the survey. Did you enjoy creating talismans?” 

“No!” Sophia said and rapidly shook her head from side to side. “It’s too boring! I have to sit still for too long, and my tail always falls asleep.” She grabbed her tail, which was limp and dragging against the ground, and hugged it against her torso. “See? I can’t even move it without my hands.” 

With Sophia’s only-slightly-better-than-average talent in and her apparent dislike for creating talismans, I’ll rule out talisman master as a future profession. Interest in a profession is an important factor when determining what a child should learn. Although I don’t have children of my own, I’ve dedicated one portion of my brain to reading books on how to raise a child along with abducting and interviewing various highly praised tutors living in the Immortal Continent. I might not have the experience, but I have the knowledge, and usually, that’s enough for me to excel in any field. “So, no talisman creation for you. Is there anything you want to try, or should I surprise you again?” 

“Surprise me!” 

Alright, after talisman creation, the next item on the list is blacksmithing. “Are—” 

Phweeeeeeee! Phweeeeeeeeeeeee! Phweeeeeeeee! 

The sect’s alarm formation was activated? 

“Master, what’s happening?” 

“There’s a rift being formed in the sky.” Although I’m in my lab with Sophia, I still have eyes on the whole sect thanks to the Ten Thousand Thoughts Technique. “If I had to take a guess, an immortal caught wind of what we’ve been doing, and they’re coming down from the immortal realm to take a look.” 

“An immortal? Will we be okay?” 

Hmm. That’s a tough question to answer. Without Lucia here, there’ll be massive casualties to fight off an immortal. “As a kid, you’ll probably be fine. As a higher-up in the sect, I’m pretty sure I’m screwed.”

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