1 Chapter 1

It all started on a moonless night, even stars had disappeared leaving that infinite black ocean all alone above the sky. The all-encompassing silence was soon broken when a random heavy storm came from nowhere to wreak havoc as if the heavens themselves had decided to punish every living being in the Underworld for daring to oppose their will. Strong winds threatened to devastate the whole city, knocking down several trees that were said to be older than most devils and more powerful than some dragons. Countless rooftops were destroyed, leaving countless citizens at the mercy of the elements.

The torrential rain flooded several areas of the village and hundreds of houses were lost, but what still burns in everyone's memory were the dozens of lightning bolts that fell from the sky and struck the greatest mansion in all the Underworld. They didn't understand that the heavens were greeting their new emperor. Since my birth I was recognized as the sovereign of fire and wind by the heavens themselves.

At least that is what the servants in the mansion are legally forced to say when their friends and acquaintances ask about me. Since I am the only reason why paid vacations are even a thing for their sorry asses, they know better than disobeying my orders.

My name is none other than Riser Phenex, the third and youngest son of the greatest family to ever bless the desolate lands of the Underworld, the noble Phenex Clan. Words such as talented, good-looking, sophisticated, hardworking, brave, and chivalrous existed for the sake of describing me. Some fools may accuse me of being overly proud and arrogant, but they are just unable to understand that self-awareness is also a virtue.

My peerless bloodline makes me naturally stronger than most, and I am a genius even by my family's standards. Without the need to put a single ounce of effort, my future is already secured.

...That was what I foolishly believed at the time, but then my previously blind eyes saw Mount Tai.

At the tender age of nine, I came across with a certain book from the lower realms while I was looking for some beauties in China. To say that the holy words contained in the book were enlightening would be a gargantuan understatement.

The book narrated the adventures of a young master, someone from a powerful and well-respected family, with a phoenix bloodline just like mine. That talented, good-looking, rich and magnanimous young master suffered a lot in the hands of those pesky assholes beloved by the heavens who would try to steal his treasures and seduce his wives at every chance they got. Even though the young master was merciful enough to merely cripple them for the crime of standing in his way instead of just killing them like they rightfully deserved, those shameless MCs would always try to get revenge on the innocent young master.

A whole new world revealed itself before my eyes. Not only did the author share secret cultivations manuals, and powerful techniques, but he also offered several pieces of advice to all the young masters who were fortunate enough to pick the book before it was too late. This sacred guide for young masters was exactly the thing that I needed to survive the heavenly tribulations waiting for me.

For a very long time, I have followed its instructions religiously, training myself to the bone and reaching the peak of the Foundation Establishment Realm despite my young age in order to be ready for all those MCs planning my demise.

After years of closed-door cultivation, it was finally the time for the first logical step in my plan to avoid ruination, visiting my fiancé for the first time. While I personally believe that it is still too early to seduce my thirteen years old fiancé and teach her the benefits of dual cultivation, my somewhat unfilial family kicked me out of my room before I could share my thoughts with them.

...

Rule 27:

A young master should always avoid arranged marriages if possible. Those things always end with a beloved by the heavens MC trying to ruin everything by stealing the bride in the middle of the wedding ceremony after crippling/killing the groom in a duel.

Of course, sometimes it is impossible for a filial young master to avoid getting a fiancé. In that case, you MUST seduce her by any means necessary.

If you manage to accomplish this, you will get a loyal wife that will share your bed with a smile as sweet as a peach and won't try to stab you in your sleep. At that point, she should be open to the idea of you having a few concubines...just make sure to tell her about them beforehand.

...

To this day I still cannot understand the necessity of going through all these troubles when she is already legally bound to me, but since the holy book insisted, I am now on my way to earning my fiancé unconditional love.

Fortunately, teleporting magic made the act of visiting another devil's household quite easy, so the visit would not affect my cultivation schedule.

My fiancé was just as beautiful and sophisticated as I expected if not more, a serious and cold-looking girl who could only be described as a jade-like beauty. She was a delight to the sore eyes.

She is also dressed like a Magical Girl for some reason.

But she looks cute in those clothes, so it is fine.

I was a bit surprised at first when I learnt that Sona Sitri, the heir of the Sitri Clan, was my fiancé. Not only they were one of the highest-ranking devil families, having the title of Prince, but one of the current satans, Serafall Leviathan, was related to them too.

Originally, the plan was to have me marry Rias Gremory due to my father's long-standing friendship with the head of the Gremory Clan, but in the end he decided against it. He apparently thought that Sona Sitri would be a better option since she is already used to dealing with very special people like me, which makes perfect sense, her sister is the greatest female expert from the devilkind.

The engagement also made sense from a purely financial and political standpoint. The Sitri Clan owned the most advanced medical facilities in the Underworld, which makes them valuable allies for the Phenex Clan to have since my family had the monopoly over the best medicine in the world, the phoenix's tears. My marriage with the girl will assure the birth of a new power block that even the most powerful of sects will be forced to respect.

She was hot too, which was a big plus in my books.

"My apologies for the delay. My parents told me that I could choose between welcoming you or visiting my older sister." She sighs in defeat just like my parents do everytime I explain the meaning of Dao to them. "I regretted my choices midway."

"That makes sense, my little wife." I lie as easily as breathing like most good husbands do whenever their wives complain about something they don't understand.

Some lesser men would mistake the sharp look Sona is giving me with a cold glare, but years of indoor training made it easy for me to deduce that she is trying to gaze at my cultivation in a subtle manner, proving that she may be worthy of holding the title of my wife.

"At least this one isn't as loud as her." She mutters to herself.

"I wouldn't want to scare my little wife too soon." I brightly smile at her. "It wouldn't be proper for a young master to do so unless they are courting death. But don't worry, I will never bully you."

This causes her to wince for some reason.

"Please, not another one."

Ah, my higher cultivation must have shaken her a tiny bit. Not that I blame her for that, it was a natural reaction after all.

"I suppose that I shouldn't beat around the bush anymore. I hold no intentions of marrying someone that cannot challenge me intellectually. Therefore, I believe it is only logical for us to compete in a chess game to determine if you are truly up to the task unless yo-"

"That is fine."

"That...was easier than I first expected. I was planning to convince you by appealing to your pride." She confesses dumbfounded.

I shrug, unbothered by that. "Happy wife, happy life."

For a moment she looks like she is about to say something, but then shakes her head and puts an expensive-looking chess board in front of me.

At this point, it was hard to hide my smirk. This lovely girl has eyes but failed to see Mt. Tai. Most people tend to forget that cultivation not only enhances one's physical body and soul, but also one's brain. As someone who reached the Foundation Establishment Realm, I possess a 630.000 IQ at minimum.

Gloating about my victory is certainly tempting, but that would only cause a rift between us that MCs could use to try to cuck me in the future.

"I just happen to have mastered the art of playing Xiangqi, also known as Chinese chess. My apologies, but this isn't a battle you can win." I just can't help myself.

I look at the board and then at Sona.

"These aren't the right pieces."

Her left eye is twitching.

"We are playing REGULAR chess."

This...is just a small tribulation; nothing that I can't fix by acting like an exemplary young master.

"How do you play this thing?"

As a humble and magnanimous young master, it is my duty to allow her to guide me through the basics of this lesser game.

Instead of immediately kicking me out of the room, Sona stares at my handsome face in silence for at least five minutes.

The rumors about my fiancé are clearly wrong. Comparing her to a jade-like beauty is an unforgivable understatement. A fair skin that should only be compared to the purest snow on a winter afternoon. Her chest, while lacking in size, was a perfect fit for her slim figure that reminded me of those fairy sisters from the holy book. And what she lacks in the boobs department, she makes up with those delightful legs of hers that are begging to be fondled.

Oh, she is speaking.

"...is why, in the light of the current situation, I have decided to teach you everything that you should know about chess."

I probably should have paid attention to her words, but I honestly don't regret my choices. Those legs were worth it.

"Should we start now?"

"No. I need to prepare a schedule for your lessons. It would a stain in my reputation if I were to offer suboptimal lessons after you accepted my challenge so easily." She smirks in a way that, while can't be described as coquettish, is certainly somewhat not cold like before. "Let's see how far you can go."

"All for the sake of a meaningful and fair challenge." I shake my head in amusement. "Truly, the more I speak with you, the more I like you."

Sadly, she is now frowning again like a proper jade-like beauty.

"Flattery will get you nowhere."

"But it is the truth as far as I know it. As payment, I will make sure to teach you everything about cultivation. Someone as hardworking as you will have no problems at defying the heavens' will and come back stronger than ever."

My future little wife is so happy with my offer that she is now covering her face and groaning out loud in order to hide her shyness. That is adorable.

~~~~

The rest of the meeting with dear Sona went better than one could expect, which means that she didn't try to kick me out of the room and actually talked with me for a little longer. That is way better than the standard young master's experience according to the book.

Unfortunately, there is no time to celebrate. As I explore the Sitri Castle, appreciating the beautiful and ancient paintings that decorated its walls before leaving, I suddenly feel a dangerous tribulation approaching faster than I can run. There is a time in the life of any cultivator when he defies the heavens' will only to find out that he isn't ready for it yet and I am definitely not ready for this bullshit.

"Oh, you must be my precious and pure So-tan's fiancé." A dangerous person whose smile doesn't reach her eyes greets me. "Nice to meet you, Riser Phenex."

Serafall Leviathan is widely known as the most powerful female devil in all history and the perfect soldier who possesses a higher kill count than the other three satans combined. As someone who has reached the Emperor Realm, she is not someone to be underestimated even if her magical girl clothes make her extremely appealing to the eyes. That in itself isn't a bad thing, but she is clearly staring at me as if I were a toad lusting for swan's meat.

I am feeling so scaroused right now.

Maybe she thinks that I am planning to turn her sister into a devil cauldron, something that I would never dare to do since I like to live...and because that is a bad thing to do, I guess.

That's it. A young master should always keep his head up and have some pride.

"It is an honor to meet Serafall Leviathan." I greet her back with a deep bow.

Then again, the biggest source of pride for any respectable young master is his ability to survive tribulations at any cost.

"There is no need to act so stiff; you can call me Levi-tan." She giggles in a cutesy manner that sends shivers down my spine. "Now, I heard that you were talking with So-tan. How did it go?"

"Senior Sister Levi-tan, this young master was challenged by Junior Sister Sona to a board game. Since this lowly young master was ignorant about the ways of regular chess, Junior Sister decided to take the matter in her own hands and teach me how to play so the challenge could be both fair and an opportunity of growth for us."

At this point I am mentally preparing myself to become another one of those countless young geniuses who tragically died before they could truly reach greater heights.

"My So-tan is really kind and diligent." The dangerous empress sighs tiredly instead, something that my love for not dying is very grateful for.

"She will become a top tier cultivator in the future."

"What? No! That is totally uncute, my So-tan must follow my example and become a magical girl. She was born to wear that skirt."

I choose to deliberately ignore how flushed her face is while visibly fantasizing about her younger sister. A much higher cultivation realm would be required before I touch that with a ten-foot pole.

"But...isn't a magical girl just another path in the search for immortality?"

"That would be an oversimplification. A true magical girl is someone that gives herself up to be able to share the core of her being with the world; we don't care about something as pitiful as immortality." Her eyes were filled with a passion that I have only seen in my second older brother when he speaks about his fetishes. "We can become the flame in the cold darkness or the gentle shadow in the desert. The only limit for us is the one that our heart chooses."

To think that Senior Senior Levi-Tan would decide to share her path with someone who she has just met! I am moved beyond words.

"They say that is easier to destroy the gods in the temple than killing the gods in your heart. If anything, it sounds like magical girls are bound to fail in the task of freeing themselves from those gods and then become gods by their own merits." I share my own thoughts with her in a show of respect.

- You cannot become buddha if there is already a buddha in your heart. You can't reach the heavens if you follow the heavens' will. -

"That's short sighted. When a magical girl says that she fights in the name of love, she isn't talking about the ideal of love imposed by world, nor something as small as a god of love. No, she fights with her own love for the sake of her own love. It doesn't matter if it is a love as pure as Madoka's or Homura's villainous obsession. A magical girl is beyond good and evil."

"That...actually gave me a lot to think about. There is Buddha; there is Dao; and there is magical girl."

It seems that my own understanding of the great Dao and the universe is still shallow and faulty.

"I have to go and speak with So-tan. Make sure to think about what I have just told you."

I bow once again to this wise senior.

"Senior Sister, Levi-tan. You have this young master's eternal gratitude."

I have learnt so much, yet there is sadness in my heart. Despite Senior Sister's kindness, I know, deep in my heart, that the path to become a magical girl and my own path to immortality are meant to clash in the future.

Serafall Leviathan and this young master are fated to become enemies.

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