John spent the following weeks preparing a book of all he knew about gardening. He had no need to create a cryptic manual with false flags and hidden meaning. He didn't have any reputation or position to protect. All John cared about was keeping his garden alive after he was gone. Finally, after all this time, he was satisfied with his work.
He left his life's work in a prominent spot on his desk and got up. He again visited the water lily who happily floated over. As he gently stroked the lily leaves, he spoke solemnly, "I'll be leaving soon. So please do your best to grow up big and strong, okay?"
John had visited the lily daily since his path was set. He needed these interactions to solidify his resolve. The lily for its part didn't understand the dire situation and seemed to enjoy the extra attention. With his mind settled he fixed his clothes and left the garden.
Outside John saw his friend and asked "Hurry up you don't want to be here when they arrive, do you? I doubt they'll take I was just visiting as an excuse." Felix had been scribbling the complex inscriptions for weeks with barely any rest. He looked more haggard than usual.
"Look I wouldn't even be doing this if I didn't owe you! Not only that it's a death wish. How will I ever advance with such dog shit karma?" Felix complained as he rubbed his head fiercely in frustration.
A short time later Felix stopped working with a grand smile. "There it's done! Even if that assholes master came, I doubt they could stop it," He exclaimed with glee. "MUHAHAHAHA," he began to laugh maniacally causing the nearby disciples to stare at him with fear.
John examined the complex symbols closely. Unfortunately, he could discern little from the overlapping patterns. "Are you sure?" John asked, "If it doesn't work..."
Felix cut the uneducated man off with a dramatic chop to the air. "How will you know you'll be dead," he retorted to the interrogation.
John frowned and gave his friend a penetrating glare. "I'll haunt you. for sure if it doesn't work," he threatens.
Felix had enough of this ghost garbage and replied, "So what can you do as a ghost?"
"I'll wait till your in a horrible predicament and you all my strength to screw you for sure!" John stated cryptically while shaking his head. He also made sure to show his friend a regretful look.
"Hey, do I look unconfident? look at me!" Felix exclaimed while placing his hand on his chest. He looked John in the eye and straighten his posture striking an impressive pose.
John returned the look with a sigh. 'This idiot is always overconfident how else would he owe someone like me such a huge favor?' he thought. "Fine, it's not like we can test it anyway. Let's go get a drink to celebrate," he relented with a shrug. Felix stretched his arms over his head and then nodded, "Sure."
They again sit down at John's desk. John pulls out his most expensive bottle. As he pours them both a cup Felix's eyes light up. "You're being generous recently you even gave those disciples all those spirit stones," He said jovially.
John sighs after downing his cup. "It's pretty depressing. Gardening doesn't pay much you know? At least they can get set up somewhere else," he stated.
Felix looked at John quizzically. "You expect them to spend the spirit stones on gardening?" He asked as he downed his own cup. He then held out his cup to John.
John filled his friend's empty cup while looking confused. "Of course, good fertilizer and plants aren't cheap. Everyone thinks it's easy to garden, but it's a lot of work!" He complains. Flinging his arms at the garden he continues, "Our budget is never enough and then those bastards complain that we don't have ingredients! It's their fault you know? They see plants in the wild and swallow them whole. It's like they are demonic beasts without brains. If they don't preserve the plants, they'll all go extinct. But then it's our fault when they can't get ingredients for their pills!" John rants while waving the bottle around violently.
Felix rubs his head exasperated. "No, well I mean won't they use the spirit stones to buy cultivation aids? Like pills and techniques?" he asked the enraged gardener.
"What? Wouldn't that be a waste though?" John halted his flailing with a look of bewilderment on his face.
"Are you insulting them? Any cultivator would want to advance as quickly as possible. You've reached the belfry stage so you should understand." Felix retorted.
"Why would I understand? Because I've reached the belfry stage? It just takes time and patience to reach this level. Even if this event didn't happen, I could go no further. So what's the point of wasting a bunch of pills?" John asks as he downs some more wine.
"Fine, you're right. I still think they'll use the spirit stones for cultivation though," Felix gave in as he continued to drink.
They spent the night drinking and reminiscing. Soon the sun rose, and it was time for Felix to make his escape. "Now listen it's not my fault if the inscription doesn't work. I've done everything correctly. So if it fails you only have yourself to blame. There isn't a need to haunt me," Felix persuaded.
"I'll haunt you for sure even if it is my fault," John harrumphed. "Now get out of here," he said.
"I guess I won't be seeing you," Felix says as he turns away. As leaves, he gave a wave without turning around.
"Unless I have to haunt you, good riddance," John says as he turns away.
Thanks for reading!
This was ending up being a huge chapter so I'm splitting it. This one is a bit short because of that though. The next chapter (which was part of this one) is almost done. If I hadn't split the chapter it would've been like 2500 words.
Anyways I'll finish it when I wake up.
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