Chapter 109:

Preliminary Judgment

Mad God

Lulu was walking up the stairs of the Artifact Department’s building with a helpless expression. Since she heard Yanda has broken through to the 8th stage, she also tried but failed two times already.

“Lucky fishboy, having the perfect storm to help you out, tsk…” She grumbled to herself before reaching her Master’s office, knocking on its door.

“Come in Lulu!” Ren’s voice resonated from behind it and when she stepped inside, Ren was sitting behind a giant desk that was trembling under the weight of thousands of papers, stacked onto one another.

“Woah… are these the applications?” Lulu walked in, looking at the mountain of dreams and hopes.

“Yeah…” Ren nodded as she stood up, walking out from the shadow of never ending work, stretching with bags under her eyes. “And this is only half of it. I already went through a lot of them, sorting them out! Those that went through the preliminary examination were sent to Leinor, he and the rest combs through them again, further trimming down the list.”

“Well Master… your competition is a success, just going by the amount I see here!”

“Yep!” She moaned with a tired voice. “Anyway, Yanda is in seclusion for a week at least so I could only call you for help!”

“I know where this is going…” Lulu groaned helplessly, grabbing onto a chair, pulling it closer to the desk while Ren just laughed, opening up two wine bottles, giving one to her directly.

“Here, you are going to need this!”

“Thanks!” Her disciple chuckled, turning towards the papers. “So? What are the criterias?”

“First, here! These two “towers” are for you!” Ren pointed at two stacks, around 200 submissions in total. “I separated most of them! These two only have submissions from inner disciples, so these are already ‘in use spells’, more laid out. Go through them, you have enough understanding of my works to draw parallels. Those that do not meet half of the standards I expect from you and Yanda are to be rejected! Those that do, stay on the table.”

“I see. Easy enough!” She chuckled, already taking a big gulp from the bottle.

“Also, if you find some gems that are really interesting or thought provoking and not just “I push energy, it comes out hand, wheeee, giant fireball goes swoosh and kaboom!”, then put them aside! I want to look at those too!” She sat back down, taking up another paper, reading it through while Lulu just giggled.

“You know Master, I was thinking of submitting one of my own.”


“Wha- why? Uuuu, Master!”

“Because you are my direct disciple, that is why! You get instructions from me anytime you have a question! Don’t go around and bully others with it or I’ll spank you!” She scolded her immediately.

“Heh, Master, you really like touching girls' butts don’t you?” Lulu teased her, while Ren just looked at her sideways.

“I do. A lot of girls are lucky that I fell in love with LeiLei!” She answered honestly, almost making Lulu choke on her sip of wine as she did not expect that answer. “Hmf~” Ren rolled her eyes at Lulu’s reaction.

“Master… you swing… both ways?”

“Is it surprising? If you would have lived this long, you would not be concerned by the vessel, only with what is inside of it! What, now you want to have a chatty gossip-hour like some 13 years old? Get to work already!”

“Pft, Master! You are still younger than me…!” She rolled her eyes, now taking her words as she was joking. Ren only flashed a little smile, not elaborating while going back to judging the submissions.



While they were going through the papers, outside, most of the disciples were waiting anxiously as now they only needed to wait until the top 50 got announced. By the amount of people who submitted their spells it could take up to a week at least. Those who are going to be selected in the end are bound to brag about it for years to come. Not to mention the top 50, whose spells are immediately going to be added to the library.

One disciple who was unbothered and left out of the Sect-wide anxiety was Ariana, who once again, coming from her nightshift, yawned a little as she walked forward under the morning sun. She was squinting hard, bothered by the strong light as she was going towards the Alchemy Department’s building. Her plan was to exchange some points for pills, helping her cultivation.

“Bestie!” Kyu’s cry came from nowhere. She rushed at her, landing on her back, almost making Ariana fall forward, flat on her face.

“Ugh! Where did you come from?” She blinked her eyes but not as surprised as before. The little demonic girl got really attached to her pretty quickly.

“Kyu just woke up! Teehee, let’s go, eat breakfast!”

“No. I learned from the first time! If Elder Isha wouldn’t have been there, I would be in huge debt! No. Not a chance.”

“Ugghh… you are no fun!” Kyu grumbled, still holding onto her, playing the role of a backpack. “So? What are you and Kyu going to do today?”

“I need some supplies then I go take a bath and sleep? I don’t know what YOU are going to do.” She answered calmly, continuing to be on her way, by now completely accustomed to her behavior.

“Uuuuu! Kyu is bored! Nobody comes to play anymore! Kyu wants to have fun!”

“Sorry but I worked all night, I am tired! I also need to cultivate some time so I have little free time to fool around!”

“Ugh, nobody has time for Kyu…” She murmured with a downcast voice, pulling on Ariana’s heartstrings.

“Why don’t you play with the other demons in the Sect?”

“Sometimes Rem plays with Kyu. But… Emi is scary, Kyu doesn’t like her! Blackie is stupid, Kyu doesn’t like him either! Umm… The horsies are too weak and little… They are not smart like Kyu!”

“What kind of playing do you do so others need to be… strong? And you expect me to follow you? Are you trying to kill me?” Ariana asked, grumbling.

“It’s not dangerous! It’s… hide and seek!”

“Hide and seek…?” She raised her eyebrows, turning her head towards Kyu’s who smiled innocently… But the light in her eyes spilled everything for Ariana. “You want to sneak into a warehouse, munching on the goodies to your heart’s content! Sorry, but count me out! I won’t break any rules! You may get away with it, I will be back on the streets!”

“But if you follow Kyu, you won't be found out!” She said, pleadingly, trying to persuade her.

“Yeah, sure, that is why you are known as a notorious glutton! Because you always got away with it and nobody knew you did it at all!”

“Kyu doesn’t understand…” She blinked her eyes with a confused expression but knew she was not praising her.

“Haaah… never mind. I’m not playing. I have things to do Kyu!”

“Uuuu… Bestie~ Pleeeeaasseeee!” She hugged her stronger, rubbing her face against hers, but it was like a bearhug. Ariana was already choking, gasping for air as her bones started to crack in her neck.

“Easy there! You are squishing the poor girl!” Toobu’s voice came as he arrived from nowhere. Patting on Kyu’s head made her let go as she jumped off of Ariana.

“Oh, Kyu has… things to do! She… she needs to poop!” She stepped back quickly, running away hurriedly. Seeing Toobu she was thinking he is here again to ask for his money back, so it was best to make a run for it before he could.

“You need to… what?” He twitched his mouth but Kyu was already far away while Ariana was leaning forward, coughing loudly.

“T-thanks… I thought I was… done for!”

“No problem!” He chuckled, slapping at her back. “You okay?”.

“Yeah, I’m fine! I’m getting used to her strength! I even suspect it helps strengthen my insides. Somehow…” She joked a little.

“Hah, you are a positive girl are you not?” He checked her out top to bottom.

“Trying to be.” She flashed a small smile.

“Are you free?”

“Huh?!” She shuddered suddenly, drawing a little redness onto her face. “Sorry, but I’m not looking to-”

“Stop. Stop!” Toobu raised his hand. “I mean, are you having anything important that needs to be done right now kind of free.”

“Oh…” She turned completely red, lowering her head as her young, teenage mind immediately assumed something else.

“Ahaha, you are quick to refuse huh? What, that many boys bothering you? Come to big bro here and I’ll scare them off!”

“What? Oh, no it’s, not that, no… nobody asked me out and…” She stuttered.

“And that is why you immediately jumped to conclusions? Ahahaha… Deep down you hope for it? Man… you are a funny girl, I like you!” He patted her shoulder, laughing loudly, further embarrassing Ariana. “Relax I don’t like you like that.”

“Now I am the one getting really frustrated!” Ariana pouted, crossing her arms.

“Ahaha! Okay, okay, I’ll stop teasing you, we are friends, are we not?”

“We are?” She asked, tilting her head.

“Seesh! The cold shoulders tactic? Immediately? Anyway, I see you as one now. Deal with it.”

“Maybe I will.” Ariana answered with a soft smile hanging on her face.

“Good! Now listen here little sis, you need to get ready! So in the upcoming days stop going to work! If you need money, I’ll sponsor you, just focus on cultivating and strengthening yourself!”

“That is generous…” She looked up at him suspiciously, “But get ready for… what?”

“For whatever comes when we are finally in the top 50!”

“What top 50… wait! I did not submit anything!”

“I know. I did. I put your name on my submission too.” He grinned proudly.


“Huh? Why are you upset? Because you helped with it. Duh.”

“It was such a little thing, come on! How can you do that?” She moaned, almost crying.

“What? I thought you would be happy!”

“I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of the whole Sect! You are as a blockhead as Kyu!”

“Your words thrust deeply into my fragile heart, princess… Please, spare poor me!” He placed his hands on his chest, playing the victim.

“Go to hell and be the bride of the devil!”

“Woah. Now that is new!” He smacked his lips, clapping slowly. “Come Miss Butterfly of the Night, I’ll invite you to breakfast and we can go over things!”

“Call me that one more time and I’ll castrate you.” Ariana spat coldly.

“Bwahahaha! I like it when someone shows her true colors!” He grabbed onto her shoulders, laughing like a lion, dragging her along.



“Master, look at this.” Lulu presented a paper to Ren, stretching with a loud moan as the sun was high up in the sky, bathing the room in bright light.

“Mmm? Let me see. Oh…” She smiled, looking at the name then her grin grew wider as she read onward.

“You know them? This is the first spell that was submitted under two names.”

“I do. The boy is someone who Leinor has his eyes on. The girl… I met her.”

“Mmm? Will we get a new little sister~?” Lulu giggled, looking at her Master with twinkling eyes.

“Depends. She does have potential, I like her way of thinking, even if she needs a bit of tinkering. But I won’t rush out accepting anyone just because they catch my interest.” Ren explained as she read through the paper. “Mmm, this one is good. This skill already teeters on being an A-rank spell. Depending on its utilization.”

“Yeah, it sounded fun, I want to try it out!”

“Sure, but its major flaw is evident. The one who needs to prepare it is Toobu. Maybe some others could substitute his special affinity, like Leinor or Kyu or others with similarly working abilities. But then it loses much of its… “ompf” factor.”

“Ompf?” Lulu laughed. “If he can manufacture it in great quantities he could make a buttload of profit in the sect!”

“Now you pointed out another flaw my dear disciple~” Ren smiled at her.

“Hm?” She tilted her head before she caught on. “Oh, we don’t know if the spell disintegrates by itself or not if it is not used up in time!”

“Yes, and this paper does not mention that.” Ren tapped on it with her finger, continuing knocking on it for a minute straight. “Also it has flaws in its design here and there, but it can be ironed out. For now the top 50 is guaranteed but let us see what kind of other spells pop up!” She smiled happily and Lulu already knew her expression ment she was very satisfied with the results of this competition so far.