“Junior Lucia! What are you doing!?”
What the hell was Mr. Shoe shouting about!? Did he not see that huge f***ing crowd!? “Fleeing! What does it look like?”
“Why are you shouting at me!?” I don’t like it when people shout at me! I don’t need his help panicking; I can do that just fine by myself, thank you very much. “No one told me there’d be that many people waiting for me!”
“I told you that you’d receive a welcoming ceremony befitting a chosen!”
“I don’t want to be a chosen anymore!”
“You don’t want to be a chosen anymore?”
…Wait. Mr. Shoe sounds like a middle-aged man. Durandal sounds like the s**iest man in the world. Ilya sounds like a teenaged girl. And Puppers is out of commission. So who the f*** just spoke in a grandfatherly voice!? “Who are you and how did you get on my boat!?”
The stranger that appeared out of nowhere cleared his throat while stroking his beard. “This is my boat.”
“Huh?” That’s not possible. It’s mine. I stole it from Mr. Shoe; thus, the boat is rightfully mine. Everyone knows the rules: finders, keepers. I’m not going to let this delusional old man try to stake a claim on my boat!
“Elder Shu greets the sect leader!”
He’s the sect leader? He looks like the friendly acorn-stew-selling grandpa from next door. Minus the cute ears and bushy tail, that is.
“Junior Lucia! Why aren’t you greeting the sect leader?”
Eh? “Um. Hi.”
“Not like that!”
“Don’t worry, Elder Shu,” the friendly grandpa said with a smile. “She’s not from around these parts. Perhaps they aren’t as stiff with formalities in the heaven and earth plane. Junior Lucia….”
“Do you mind stopping the boat?”
I do. I mind very greatly. If I don’t rush away as fast as I can, I’ll be assimilated into that mob of people dressed in black robes. It’s like attending a funeral, f***! What welcoming ceremony befitting a chosen? It’s like they were seeing a corpse off! …But judging from the look the grandpa’s giving me, if I don’t stop this boat, I will become a corpse. Is this grandpa strong? How strong is he? Should I hit him once to see how strong he is? I’m going to do it. “Receive my attack. Unrelenting Path of Slaughter: Breaking Blade!”
Mr. Shoe shouted, but the grandpa wasn’t flustered at all! He raised one arm, and a black shield made of the worms that looked like the heart devil qi thingies appeared out of nowhere. I don’t believe a flimsy shield made of worms can stop mini-DalDal! Full power! Five hundred tons!
My beliefs were wrong. How did a flimsy shield made of worms stop mini-DalDal!? The grandpa smiled at me as something pushed me away from him. “Not bad, Junior Lucia. But it’ll be a few more decades before you can hope to compete with me. Let me see you channel the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique.”
“…Can I refuse?”
“Refuse? Why?” The friendly grandpa tilted his head as the shield disappeared. “Didn’t Elder Shu say you cultivated it to the ninth layer in a single day?”
“The ninth what?” The cultivation technique has layers? Oh right, it does. I learned everything about the technique through that glowing light, but I also mentally chose to block everything about the technique because of how traumatizing it was to learn and use it. It was really painful, okay? “Mm. Maybe I did cultivate it to the ninth layer. But it was too painful! I don’t want to use it anymore.”
“Painful? Ah.” The grandpa nodded and smiled at me. “It’s only painful the first time, Junior Lucia. The next time you use it, it’ll feel pleasurable.”
He wants me to say it, doesn’t he? Phrasing it like that, how am I supposed to not say it? “So it’s like s**?”
Mr. Shoe buried his face into his hands. The grandpa didn’t say anything, but his expression was a bit stiff. Okay, it was very stiff. He set up that punchline! It’s not my fault! I, I guess I’ll just channel the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique to distract him. Mm. Let’s do it. Hopefully, the grandpa’s right and it ends up not being painful. Okay, qi, do your stuff! A few loops over there, some swivels over here, some circles around the stomach…, hmm, this doesn’t feel right…? Does it change every time I do it? Well, that’s okay. Five circles around the stomach instead of four! And we’re done.
The grandpa was still looking at me with a stiff face. No, he was looking past me at Mr. Shoe. “Elder Shu, did two heart devils just….”
“Yes.” Mr. Shoe hung his head like a dejected puppy. “She…, yes. Yes…. I want to cry.”
Ooh, that tingles. The two worms from Mr. Shoe and one worm from Ilya disappeared inside of me, but unlike last time, it didn’t hurt! It really didn’t hurt! Fill the skies and enter me, heart devil wormies! …Any second now. No? Maybe I can’t harvest heart devils from the heaven and earth plane? That’s a bummer. Ah, there’s a few worms heading here now. One, two, three, four, five…, they’re moving too fast! If I had to guess, I’d say there were twenty of them. That’s so little….
The grandpa gasped. “There’s so many heart devils gathered in two days! Elder Shu didn’t judge your natural talents incorrectly.”
Whew, so many tingles. It’s a shame it’s still daytime otherwise I’d vent on Durandal right now. I wonder if immortals can make the sun disappear at will. Hmm. Well, even if it was nighttime, it wouldn’t be appropriate because we’re back at the sect. …We’re back at the sect? But I didn’t command the boat to move! This grandpa’s too sneaky!
The grandpa stood at the bow of the boat, his robes flapping in the wind. I have to admit, he looks cool. I bet Durandal would look even better though if he took that same pose. “Everyone, I’d like you to greet the new chosen of our sect, Lucia Fluffytail!”
“We greet Lucia Fluffytail!”
The boat shook from everyone shouting at the same time. I’m getting shivers. This … is so awesome! It’s not scary at all since they’re all greeting me! I, I like it. Worship me more!
“I disagree with her placement!”
Eh? Who’s raining on my parade?