Chapter 104:

Kyu’s New Friend

Mad God


It was a clear and warm night as Ariana walked through the garden, gently watering the sprouts and blooming flowers. As the sun went down, the plants that enjoyed the moonlight more, slowly woke up, glowing in purple, blue and turquoise colors all around her, painting an otherworldly picture. When her watering can emptied out and she set out to refill it, nearing the deep well at the edge of the Garden, she came across a small silhouette. She was crouching between two rows of seeds that were freshly planted by Rem. She immediately recognized the infamous figure of Kyu, who was pouting, poking the ground with her finger.


“No munchies… uuuu… Rem, you traitor!” She grumbled, drawing circles.


“Um…” Ariana walked closer with cautious steps as she rarely interacted with demons, except Rem. “It wasn’t her fault…” She spoke up, defending the little fairy. As her voice traveled to Kyu, she just looked back over her shoulder with an upset expression.


“She said Kyu can have munchies but there are no munchies!” Kyu protested with pursed lips.


“Yes, because Elder Dermitos asked for every available plant to be harvested! Elder Rem already planted the new ones, even made an extra row to regrow yours!” Ariana explained patiently but her free hand was already inside her pocket, grabbing onto the jade coin, ready to crush it at any time.


“Hmf! Kyu is still hungry!” She stood up, patting her butt, turning towards Ariana, looking up at her, as Kyu in her human form barely reached 110cm.


“Um… I don’t have anything that I could give you but… if you eat the growing plants, there won’t be any food later on either!” Ariana gulped but she was determined to save the plants from their impending doom.


“Ugh… that is… bad!” She nodded, clearly thinking about it.


“And… Junior Sect Head would also punish you!” Ariana continued.


“Who is that?” Kyu tilted her head, blinking her eyes confusedly.


“I mean, Elder Ren.”


“Ah, Master? Ugh… you are right…!” Lit up a bulb above her little head, grimacing like a child caught stealing something. “Uuuuu… but Kyu is hungry!” She stomped her small feet, leaving deep imprints on the ground.


“You always go for materials, brimming with energy…” Ariana murmured, thinking for herself, “And I heard you can eat… spells too?”


“Mmm?” She walked around her, looking up and down, inspecting Ariana before sniffing a little and continued “Uhum! Kyu can, but yours are weak! No strong, no yummy…” She sighed, shaking her pigtails.


“Yes, but… stronger disciples have already developed techniques, especially the ones who rose to Inner Disciple status!” Ariana continued. For a moment there she thought Kyu was about to eat her up.


“Kyu doesn’t understand…” She answered honestly and waited patiently for her to explain.


“I mean, you eat because you need energy to cultivate, no? Then… why not set it up like this!” She put down her watering can and took out her other hand, leaving the jade coin in her pocket as she crouched down, explaining everything to Kyu. “You post an… application in the Mission Hall! You are willing to train with disciples in exchange for contribution points! They can test and practice their spells on you, meanwhile you get to eat different kinds every day!”


“Oh!” Her eyes lit up, starting to nod quickly at the idea.


“They may not be big or strong spells, but you can eat a lot of them, no? Also, you earn contribution points! Get enough and you can exchange them for more food!”


“Woah! You are smart! Kyu likes you! Kyu never thought of that!” She clapped happily, hugging her. “You are Kyu’s new friend! What is your name?”


“A-ariana!” She answered quickly, surprised by the strong hug that almost cracked her waist, making her moan painfully.


“Wahaha, Ariana, if someone bullies you, Kyu defends you! Nyahaha, Kyu is going to ask for a… a… 1000 points! Yes!”


“Ugh… that… that is too much!” She groaned as she tried to fight herself out of Kyu’s literal bearhug.


“Really?” Kyu blinked, a bit uncertain, letting her finally go, looking up at Ariana with a somewhat pleading eyes. “How much should Kyu ask for?”


“Give me… a moment!” She gasped, panting for air, rubbing her sides “Maybe… start… cheap? Like… like one point for an hour?”


“How many points is this?” She asked back, holding the root Ariana got from Rem, clearly stealing it from her pocket while she hugged her.


“Ah, that's! That's mine!” Ariana shouted suddenly. “Give it back!”


“Um? How much?” Kyu asked again, bringing it closer to her mouth.


“That’s at least 20 points, it was harvested at the right time by Elder Rem herself! A normal one goes around 10! Give it back!” She cried out, trying to reach for it but afraid Kyu was going to chomp down on it.


“It smells nice…” Kyu murmured, licking her lips, then looking at Ariana, thinking really hard, before sighing loudly and throwing it back to her.


“T-thanks…” Ariana snatched it quickly from the air, putting it away, looking at her with worried eyes.


“Haaah, Kyu would be more hungry if she ate only one little root!” She turned her head, wiping off her saliva. “But 1 is too little! 3 is more! Yes! Um, um! And more people can come at once! Yes! Everyone must pay 3! Ahaha~” She grinned happily once again. “Help Kyu write it!”


“You mean… the notice?”


“Uhum!” She nodded once again with a wide grin. “Hurry, Hurry! Kyu is going to put it up before the sun comes up!”


“S-sure… um, but I still need to work the garden! Why don’t you bring me paper and pen? I’ll make it for you but you need to post it yourself in the Mission Hall!”


“Oookay! Wait here!” Kyu moaned a little before suddenly transforming into her giant bear form, rushing away.


After she was gone, Ariana took a deep breath as it was one of the most frightening experiences of her life. Her waist was still hurting and bruised from Kyu’s simple hug.


“Nicely done!” resonated a chuckle next to her ear and when she turned, Ren was hovering in the air, slowly descending downwards.


“Junior Sect Head!” She cupped her hands as she regained composure, bowing to her deeply.


“Relax, I’m not really hung up on formalities! You did great, I only saw Rem handling that buffoon so well!” She laughed happily. “Your name is Ariana?” She asked, while scanning her from top to bottom “Why are you still lingering at the 2nd stage?”


“That’s… I am thinking of advancing but not sure if I am 100% ready.” Ariana answered honestly.


“You are.”


“...” She gulped as Ren’s voice was almost commanding.


“You are already overflowing! Keep building up more and more and you are just wasting precious energy! Still, you are the most robust in terms of energy, out of the many Body Refinement cultivators I saw so far in the Sect.” Ren explained, tilting her head, “Not even Zern was like this yet I thought he was taking it slowly…” She chuckled with a bit of nostalgia in her voice. “Your channels and energy points, not to mention your flesh and bones are reinforced to a level comparable to someone in the 4th stage!” Ren smiled approvingly. “If you would pick up a little speed you would be quickly promoted into the Inner Disciples’ ranks.”


“T-thank you for your praise, Elder Ren!” Ariana cupped her hands once again, with an excited, red face.


“It’s just the truth. Anyway, keep the coin! Take it as a reward for handling her! If you go outside of the Sect and find yourself in trouble just crush it, I’ll feel it and come help you out once!” patted her shoulder before disappearing into violet electricity.


“So cool…” She murmured under her breath, watching the flashing bolts, reflecting brightly in her eyes.


….

…..


A few days later Ariana was walking out from the Mission Hall, exchanging her completed tasks and the root given to her by Rem for contribution points. She was walking towards the Sect’s main library next, housing not just techniques and spells but also the Elders’ lessons. They were recorded onto jade slips that could be borrowed and listened to. Of course, the latter was not cheap, borrowing one as an outer disciple for one day, costs just as much as living comfortably in the Sect for a month. It could even leave spare points for trading between others.


Yet Ariana always saved it up, leaving only the bare minimum for her daily needs, spending the rest on lessons. They were not like receiving instructions from an Elder directly, like Inner Disciples could. Yet just listening to them was much more beneficial than trying to read the sometimes way too convoluted, dry texts. Just as she was about to arrive, a figure flashed before her and she almost tripped over the little, chubby body of Kyu.


“Hey!” The small demon grinned “Kyu was searching for you! Here!” She presented towards her a purple card that was used to track contribution points, distributed by the Sect.


“Huh? What is this?” She asked.


“You are Kyu’s friend! Master always teaches to take care of friends! Kyu may be a bad girl but you are Kyu’s friend!” She winked at her and when Ariana took the card she almost had a heart attack.


“Wha… how? This.. this much?!” She blinked her eyes, trying to hold them in their sockets. Checking the numbers on it, the card showed exactly 100 points. Through her years here, she never owned more than 40, ever, and even Inner Disciples would need to work hard for a month to accumulate this many.


“Is it… few?” Kyu tilted her head with a guilty expression, seemingly wondering if she should have given more.


“No, no! This is much more than I ever had! But… why?” Ariana tried to reign in her emotions that suddenly overflowed. She could exchange for multiple lessons with this. Hearing her words Kyu immediately relaxed and the wide grin came back onto her face.


“You gave Kyu the idea! A lot came! Fufufu, and even more wants to come to Kyu! So many yummy things are there to eat! You are very clever, you are Kyu’s best friend from now on!”


“Oh… I see! It must be because they want to prepare for the competition! I am glad it is working out for you.” Ariana smiled sincerely.


“Um! Kyu needs to go, needs to eat, others are waiting already! Kyu will bring you more next time!” She laughed as she gave her a hug, easily picking up Ariana from the ground, spinning her before putting back down. Then she just flashed away leaving the dizzy Ariana behind.


“What should I borrow with this much…?” Ariana murmured after finding her footing, looking at the purple card, putting it away excitedly.


It was a dilemma she had for the whole day, only coming to a decision by the time the sun went down, leaving with only one recording. It was by Ren. A two hour long explanation about how one guides the energy from the world around them, into his or her own body. Letting it flow through the energy channels and points, and how to release it to create simple spells that later on can grow with the user’s proficiency.


It was an advanced lecture for outer disciples but a basic one for those who rose to the next rank in the Sect. With the remaining points of hers she paid for a cultivation room to listen to it without interruption. For the night, her only plan was to listen to it again and again, trying to memorize it before she needs to return it tomorrow. While she shut herself in, in the Artifact Hall, Ren was stretching, yawning behind her father’s desk, just finishing with the daily reports of incoming and outgoing tasks, requests and materials.


“Thanks…” She moaned, taking the cup of tea Leinor walked in with, placing it on the desk, stepping behind her, massaging her shoulders. “Damn… you know what I want the most!” She purred like a little kitten “Dad should’ve hired more disciples for helping out with keeping inventory… Honestly, it is tiring as hell to do this much paperwork! I am not a clerk under Feynor!”


“Yet you were humming all day long! Did something happen?” Leinor laughed.


“Did I? Well, there was something! I found an interesting girl.”


“Oh? Why is she interesting?” He asked, curious.


“She managed to reason with Kyu.”


“Huh, that’s a start. And?” Leinor whistled as Kyu was barely listening to anyone besides them and Ren’s disciples.


“That's it! For now. I’m keeping an eye on her, if she shows more traits that catches my attention I am going to take her in as a disciple.”


“Just like that? Huh!” He laughed a little. “Then I am also curious what kind of girl she is.”


“Oh? You want a harem?” Ren tilted her backwards, looking up at his face with a smile.


“Nah, I am more like my eldest brother in this.” Leinor smiled, leaning forward, kissing her.


“Fufufu, good, I’m not someone who likes to share~”


“I am glad to hear that!” He whispered, continuing massaging her.


“So? What about your soon to be disciple we spoke about before? You are the only Elder without one!” Ren asked, excited.


“Let’s see how he performs in the competition.”


“Geez… you are stricter than me!” She giggled playfully.


“Maybe… but he… huuhhh… he just got himself into detention by the Disciplinary Department!” Leinor sighed, shaking his head.


“Really? What happened?” Ren asked with curious lights twinkling in her eyes, ready to jump on a juicy story.


“Well…” He picked her out of the chair, sitting down, placing Ren into his lap, gently caressing her tummy while telling her what went down two days ago.