Life is suffering. I am living. In conclusion, I am suffering. Why is Durandal’s training so brutal!? I’m already the best! Let me slack off! Please. …I wish I didn’t learn these techniques when he told me to. “D-Durandal. I’m tired.”
“If you have the strength to speak, you have the strength to do another thousand Madness Strikes.”
Speaking doesn’t require that much energy! “If I do any more Madness Strikes, I’ll go insane! I haven’t eaten for the past three hours!”
“Excellent. The more unstable you are, the easier it’ll be to learn Madness Strike properly.”
This is abuse. Durandal tricked me and stole my interspacial rings and buried them somewhere. So I don’t have any food! Or focus bones! Or strength bones! Or, most importantly, food! And every time I try to attack Durandal to beat the location out of him, he slips into mini-DalDal and I can’t do anything! If I had my spirit-restraining ropes, I could stop him, but the ropes are inside the interspacial rings. I’m so hungry that I could probably eat Softie, but she ran away to her grandfather! Why don’t I just stop practicing and go find some food to eat? Because Durandal threatened to kill himself to withhold sex from me for a week. Like I said, I’m being abused. Durandal said he’d give me food only if I’m able to do 60,000 Madness Strikes in a day. I’m going to starve to death. This is how the legend of Lucia Fluffytail ends: Died of starvation. Huh? I could just find food anyway and not have sex for a week? Not possible. I’d die even faster.
Well. The only thing I can do is Madness Strike this board. Yup. This board. I pulled it out of an interspacial ring, and Softie told me it was a Madness Strike practicing board. It’s a giant square that’s about as tall as me, and it has a lot of spikes organized in neat rows and columns. All I have to do is stick a spirit stone inside of a hole, and the board lights up with fancy colors. The light creates a snake-like pattern through the spikes, and I have to swing my sword as hard as I can while following the colorful path. It’s maddening. What kind of sword slash doesn’t cut in a straight line? Sheesh. And every time I hit one of the spikes on accident, they screech really loud and hurt my ears.
Five thousand six hundred thirty-two…. Five thousand six hundred thirty-three…. Five thousand … seven hundred…? F***. I lost count. “Durandal! I lost count! I can’t focus without focus bones or food!”
“I guess you’ll just have to start from the top.”
Don’t smile at me like that, you sadist! I’m going to cry. I, I wonder how tasty dirt is. Would it be immortal dirt since this is the Immortal Continent?
“Don’t eat the ground, Lucia.”
I wasn’t going to! I was just digging. Sometimes people bury acorns and forget where they buried them; I might uncover a treasure trove if I dig in a random spot. Oh!? I found a barrel of wine! I don’t know what kind of wine it is, but it smells like a gift from the heavens! Anything’s a gift from the heavens when you’re starving!
“Lucia. Are you going to drink that?”
Gah! Look away, Durandal! “N-no. Of course not.” I’ll distract him and drink it really quickly. “Look! It’s a really kickass sword over there!” He didn’t fall for it! It’s my barrel of food! I earned this! “Stop! Let go!” Eh? It vanished? Did he store it inside of the interspacial ring? Hah. This isn’t fair. The heavens sent me a drink, but the devil stole it away.
“Don’t be like that, Lucia.” Durandal patted my head and rubbed my ears, but my stomach growled instead. There’s no pleasurable feelings from this at all! I’m going to cultivate the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique. How did it go? Some qi over there, some over there, there too. Loops and squiggles. Some more loops and spirals down to the stomach. And all done! Come to me, heart devil wormies!
…That’s a lot of them. The sky turned completely black. Jeez. Are there that many people who have me in their hearts? It’s nice to know there are that many people who care about me, even if it’s a murderous kind of care. It’s no different from Durandal’s so-called personalized and specialized training that he created out of love just for me. …Who says I’m bitter? Ah, all my feelings of frustration and annoyance are being washed away by these cute little wormies. And replacing it is … more frustration. Why does Durandal insist on being a monk?
“Eh?” Oh. It’s the sect leader. “Hey. What’s up?”
“I forgot to pass you the higher levels of the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique. Seeing your … cultivation reminded me.” The sect leader handed me a jade slip. He raised an eyebrow at the Madness Strike practicing board. “Isn’t this the Evil Flame Sect’s? No, never mind. I suppose you have a lot of spoils after, uh, what you did. Please, never do that again. Dealing with all the lesser sects and the headache it’s given me….”
It’s Durandal’s fault for starting the battle. I didn’t tell him to do anything, but everyone thought I did. I’m being framed! Now that I think about it, Durandal’s not a very good person, huh? He’s a no-good, mean bully. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m in love with him, I would beat him up! Wait a minute. If Durandal can torture me under the guise of training me out of love, can’t I do the same to him? I’ll beat him up in the name of love! “Durandal! Madness Strike!”
The essence of the Madness Strike is anger. The angrier I am, the more effective it becomes. According to the knowledge I gained from the green light in the slip, anger constricts everyone’s meridians and slows qi circulation. When I get angrier and angrier, the pressure on my meridians builds up. At the peak of my anger, I forcibly channel all my qi and explode it outwards! It synergizes really well with Breaking Blade, doubling the power at the very least. And with the Madness Strike practicing board, I can control the trajectory of my strike like a whip! …Just kidding. If I do that, the muscles in my arm tear and that’s painful, so I’d rather not. It’s okay if I do it during practice, but it’s definitely not okay in a real fight. Not like I’m fighting Durandal seriously though; this is a love tap! That’s why it’s okay to rip my muscles apart to avoid his guard. This is to vent all the frustrations that’ve built up!
…And he disappeared into mini-DalDal. Goddammit. I need some catharsis before I die of frustration! “Sect Leader, spar with me! Madness Strike!”
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