When I was back in the Ravenwood army, the worst thing a soldier could be called was an army dog. It’s probably the same here. I have to enrage and provoke them more and more until a true expert comes out. And even if that doesn’t work, which it will, we’re still going to the capital. According to Softie, we’re three days away if we continue flying at our current pace. Hmm. But why aren’t those soldiers chasing me? “They aren’t following?”
“Your roaring technique knocked them out,” Softie said. “Do you not know your own strength?”
Hmm. Well, that’s that. Next!
And just like that, three days passed by with only fourteen different groups of soldiers trying to stop us. The strongest were some earth-realm experts, but they didn’t put up much of a fight after getting hit by a hammer. No one puts up a fight after being hit by a hammer. Fighting’s actually gotten really boring. I should hunt some beasts or something. I never thought I’d be bored of living a luxurious life. Well, not really! “Let’s go to that fancy-looking restaurant. I bet they sell good stuff.” With all these riches I have on me, it’d be wrong not to spend it all. Money is meant to be spent. Mhm.
“Chosen Lucia, won’t we be arrested the moment we land?” the disciple on the steering wheel asked. He didn’t have a very memorable face or name, so I don’t know him too well. I actually can’t recognize anyone except for Softie and Ilya. The necklace of intelligence only helps my smartness, not my ability to remember people’s faces.
“No, we’ll just beat them up if they try.”
“But, Chosen Lucia, you have to think of the consequences,” the disciple said. “We’re wearing the clothes and crests of the Shadow Devil Sect. If we break the law, it will reflect poorly and possibly cause our sect a lot of grief.”
…Hmm. I hadn’t thought about that. I’ve always been alone without any responsibilities for other people. I belong to a sect now; I have to act mature and responsible like the mature and responsible person I am! “Okay. Then we’ll wear the clothes and crests of the Bloody Bull Sect. I have lots of robes for everyone but no underwear. You have to supply your own.” I picked the Bloody Bull Sect because I’m using their hammer. If I’m going to impersonate someone, I have to impersonate them properly! Why didn’t this disciple mention this earlier? Well, the Bloody Bull Sect’s robes are grey, so the color is close enough. We’ve been Bloody Bull Sect members this whole time!
“I-is this morally correct?”
“It’s totally fine. If we impersonate people and do bad things, we’ll plant heart devils in the people we’ve impersonated! And planting heart devils is always morally correct.” That’s what Softie told me. She said something along the lines of planting heart devils is immoral if you don’t cultivate the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique, but if you have the technique, you shouldn’t feel guilty since cultivation has many paths and only God can judge whether a path is right or wrong. It sounds like some faulty rationalization, but it absolves me of sin, so I like it!
After convincing everyone to change clothes, we finally landed the boat for the first time in a while. Sometimes it gets really stuffy in there. Sure, there’s rooms with bathrooms for everyone on board, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s like staying in a very large cage. A comfortable jail is still a jail after all. And as the disciple on the wheel predicted, we were surrounded by soldiers the instant we landed. I retrieved my trusty hammer and brandished it over my head. “Make way for the Bloody Bull Sect!” Why don’t I just stick Durandal into this hammer? I like this hammer a lot. It’s much, much more satisfying to hit someone with it: their bones go crunch! But if I hit someone with mini-DalDal, there’s no sound or physical feedback. They just scream with their limbs gone. Hmm? Does that make me sadistic? Of course not! It just proves I’m part squirrel. Squirrels crack open nuts; we don’t slice them.
“Lay down your weapons and peacefully surrender!”
Softie groaned as she clutched her chest. Everyone groaned as they clutched their chests! What was going on? There was a lot of qi pressing down on us, but it wasn’t that unbearable … for me. Where was it coming from? That man! Is he a sky-realm expert? Mm. My tail is a bit perky, but it’s not completely stiff. I can take him!
“Oh-ho? You’re still standing?” the person who I suspected to be a sky-realm expert asked. He was bald with a scar cutting horizontally across his face. A large portion of his nose was missing, and his teeth were made of gold. “I am Fierce Fire, guard captain of the imperial army!”
Oh…, so this was the guy who was supposed to give me the earth-realm-ranked sword…. Hm. Hmmm. Hmmmmm. What do I do? If I beat him up now, can I report to him later…? But if I surrender now, then I’ll be admitting I’m a criminal. Ah, why are decisions so hard to make? Well, right now, I’m part of the Bloody Bull Sect! All I have to do is beat him up, escape, switch my clothes, and meet him later as part of the Shadow Devil Sect. I’m so glad Ilya gave me this necklace of intelligence or I wouldn’t have come to such a clean answer! “Hup! Breaking Madness Hammer Strike!”
The guard captain raised his sword and directly clashed against my hammer. And he wasn’t even pushed back! “You think such low-grade techniques with an even lower-grade weapon can compete with my imperial swordsmanship?”
Low-grade techniques? Durandal gave me these! Don’t you dare insult Durandal’s gifts to me! “Again! Eat my strike!” My hammer roared as it crashed against the guard captain’s sword, but he didn’t budge again! What the heck!? How does such a tiny body have so much strength? He’s only a little bit bigger than me! “Again!”
There’s something weird. There’s no satisfying hit when my hammer collides with his sword. It feels like I’m punching a pillow. If I had mini-DalDal, I could make my strike even heavier, but I don’t! There’s only one thing to do: keep on attacking! As long as I have the initiative, he won’t be able to do anything. Left! Right! Up! Down! My attacks aren’t working, but he can’t hit me either. Ah! He’s off balance—here’s my chance! “Breaking Madness—” …Ah? I dropped my hammer?
“Lucia!” Softie shouted.
Gah! Shit! I didn’t drop my hammer; this bastard cut off my arms! How did he do that!? “Puppers! Sneak attack, go!”
Puppers sprang out of my socks with his cloth spear in hand. With a roar, he lunged towards the guard captain and stabbed. I only saw it for a brief moment, but the guard captain’s sword flashed and returned to its original position. Puppers’ head fell off! But in the time it took the guard captain to dispatch Puppers, my arms regrew. This is scary…. I’ve never lost my arms in a fight before.
“A body-practitioner! And you’ve reached the earth-realm. Impressive, but you’re no match for a sky-realm expert like me.” The guard captain smiled as he kicked aside my fallen hammer. That weighed ten tons! No one’s been able to kick it aside as if it weighed nothing! “What do you say? Do you surrender?”
What do I do? If I teleport away, I’ll be leaving Ilya and Softie behind…. Ah, this is really, really scary! Even my Armor of Slaughter and Impenetrable Shell can’t stop his attack. And I can’t even see it either. Maybe my Heart Devil Apparition will work? But that’ll give away my identity…, unless I shout out a fake name. “Super-Secret Bloody Bull Technique!”
A tiny predator sprang out of my chest and rapidly grew in size until it was as large as the flying boat. It roared and clawed at the guard captain with its sickle-like nails, ripping apart the air. The guard captain raised his sword, but right before it made contact with my heart devil predator’s claws, the predator disappeared and reappeared in front of the other soldiers. What are you doing, apparition!? You should be targeting the strongest one!
“Audacious! How dare you resort to sneak attacking my subordinates?” the guard captain glowered at me before whirling around to strike at my apparition.
Now’s my chance! While the guard captain’s back was completely exposed, I reached into my interspacial ring, pulled out the first thing I touched, and threw it as hard as I could. With a swish, a pair of wet panties struck the back of the guard captain’s head with a sickening splat. …I thought I picked up something solid. Veins bulged on the guard captain’s head as the panties slid down, leaving behind a clear liquid residue on his bald scalp. The guard captain whirled around and glared at me with completely bloodshot eyes, his lips bared like a wild animal.
“Uh…, that’s not what I meant to do….” Before I could make up any more excuses, the guard captain appeared right in front of my face. There was a familiar piercing pain in my chest…. F***! How many times am I going to be hit in the heart!? Ah? Gah! He’s twisting his sword! This f***ing sadist! Stop it! I grabbed his wrist and squeezed. There was a loud crunching sound followed by a shrill scream. Eh? He stopped? I thought this man was stronger than me…, how come he can’t escape from my grip?
“As if I’d do that, moron!” I kept one hand on his wrist and grabbed his elbow with my other hand. There was another crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! “I’ll teach you to stab me in the heart, damnit!” Crunch, crunch, crunch. Grind, grind. Crunch! Ooh. This is pretty fun. It’s like tenderizing aurochsen meat. If aurochsen meat screamed, that is.
“Captain Fire! Someone, stop her!”
Screams and more screams filled the air. My apparition was still having fun bullying all the weak people. The Shadow Devil Sect disciples were grouping up and fighting for their lives against the other soldiers. The guard captain was squirming around like a worm as I pinched his bones into powder. This is his retribution for stabbing a woman’s breast! How dare he try to mar my beauty? Ooh. This is a fancy-looking interspacial ring; I’ll put this in a safe place. I’ll take this sword out of my heart too. Ugh. It’s such an awful feeling to have metal cut and scrape against my bones and heart. It makes my spine tingle in an unpleasant way. Now I’m mad again! How dare he stab my b***!? Err, heart! How dare he stab my heart!? Crunch, crunch, crunch.