Rest in peace, Fluffles, you were a good boy—except when you were eating my heart devil wormies. Ah, poor Fluffles, he was eradicated by that freak. Right. That freak. I’ve never been so scared for my life! It felt like I could’ve died if he sneezed. Ilya’s really brave for being able to talk to him. Mm, well, I’m very grateful to him since he saved our asses, but he’s in a whole ‘nother realm. One day, I’ll become as strong as him! Maybe. As long as the road there doesn’t take too much effort and isn’t painful. But today, my eyes have been opened. There are some really f***ing scary individuals out there. I should just go back to the little pocket realm and hide for the rest of my life. Mn. That sounds like a good goal. I’ll have a lot of children with Durandal—after Ilya fixes him—and live out the rest of my days drinking hot chocolate while minding my own business. Right. Squirrels are hated by the Immortal Continent; I have no reason to stick around! Softie said people as scary as that immortal were going to chase after me if they found out I was summoning squirrels with my Heart Devil Apparition technique. Speaking of Softie, “I don’t want your panties, damnit!” …It feels weird to take the panties of someone I know. She should just hand me the ten spirit stones I could’ve sold her panties for instead; I have no qualms with borrowing and never returning my friends’ money! Though, for a while, Ilya was my only friend. I’m sure she didn’t mind either.
“Lucia? The immortal’s gone now, …I think. Do you want to loot those corpses?” Ilya grabbed my sleeve, separating me from Softie. Her fingers were trembling. “I’d check it out myself, but … yeah.”
You think you’re the only terrified one here, Ilya!? “Ahem. Passionate Cloud, you’re up! Go bring those bodies over here while we hide in this hole that I’m going to dig as a precaution.”
I figured out another reason why cultivators live in holes. It makes them feel safe. There’s just something about a burrow that’s comforting. Like, if you’re hiding in a burrow, there’s no chance an owlkin is going to swoop down and eat you in the middle of the night. Mm, owlkin’s don’t eat beastkin, but you know what I mean. Ah, my train of thought keeps running away! Did my giantest bone of focus wear off already? Well, that’s no biggie! If those corpses aren’t a huge trap left behind by that immortal, then I’ll have so many sky-realm experts’ heads! Wait a minute…, I’m sure their leader had a sky-realm-ranked sword! I’m sure of it!
“Chosen Lucia, I brought the corpses over. Can you move the boulder blocking the entrance?”
I know boulders won’t do much to stop that freak if he wants to hurt me, but it’s comforting to have out there blocking me from view! It’s like covering your head with a blanket even though ghosts can pass through cotton. Right, if you’re being chased by monsters, hiding under your blanket will make you feel better, but they’ll eat your face anyway and you’ll die. But at least you’ll die in comfort! …Maybe I should find another bone to carve a focus rune into. “Alright, bring them in.” I moved the boulder aside, and Passionate Cloud scrambled inside. Then I moved the boulder back into place.
“Here. I didn’t miss anything,” Passionate Cloud said. He handed me a pouch of rings before pulling corpses out of his interspacial ring. “I swear an oath to the heavens that I didn’t keep any of their items for myself.” His chest lit up for a brief moment, signaling the oath was made. My subordinates are so loyal. The disloyal ones are treated by Ilya. Mm, I make it sound like there was more than one, but there wasn’t. After the first time, no one tried to lay their hands on the things I wanted.
“Alright, like I thought, this guy had a sky-realm-ranked sword! Right? This is a sky-realm-ranked sword, right, Softie?” It’s a rapier! It’s … kind of thin. If I stick Durandal into this, will his spirit body reflect this shape…? I…, I waited so long for an appropriate sword, but … if Durandal’s p**** ends up shrinking because of this…. I can’t! Alright, I have twenty sky-realm experts’ heads. I’ll just have the crown prince get the smith to make a sword that looks exactly like Durandal’s previous weapon body!
“I don’t think she heard you,” Ilya said.
“Lucia? Hello?” Softie waved her hand in front of my face. “Yes, that’s a sky-realm-ranked sword. But it doesn’t look like the hilt is thick enough to embed Durandal’s spirit seed.”
Like I thought! This sword isn’t thick enough! Yup, that reaffirms my decision to hire that smith! “Mm. Alright.” I’ll just hold onto it for now. Oh! I’ll motivate my minions. “I’ll give this to the first person who reaches the sky realm.” And if that’s me, I’ll give it to myself! But they don’t know that. It’ll be a while before any of them reaches the sky realm anyways. I’ll be sipping hot chocolate with my kids fanning me with giant palm leaves back in the pocket realm by then!
“I still can’t believe we met an immortal.” Claw shook his head. “I think he left us alone because we’re like ants to him. It didn’t matter whether he killed us or not.” Claw sighed and clenched his fists. “One day, I’ll surpass him.”
That’s the spirit, Claw! The stronger my minions are, the easier the life I’ll have in the future. Mm, anyways, there was only one sky-realm-ranked sword. Even sky-realm experts are dirt poor, huh? Alright, let’s move this boulder out of the way and board our ship and get the heck out of here! My army of apparitions should’ve accomplished their mission of destroying the outposts by now. I really hope they weren’t hunted down by that immortal. …I didn’t just jinx myself, right? …Hmm. Oh wells, what’s done is done!
“Aroooo! Ruff! Ruff!”
Mn? It’s Mr. Feathers! He came back! And he brought back a … kid? “Mr. Feathers, the heck is this?”
“Ruff!” Mr. Feathers barked before flying towards my waist and crawling back into the pouch. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t eat that egg yet. And I hope Mr. Feathers will get along with those running fish that are still in there. I should probably eat them soon. If you keep fish out of water for too long, they’ll start to smell. Mm. I haven’t eaten in a while! It’s been three whole days! I nearly forgot. How sad would it be if I died of starvation right before accomplishing my goal?
The kid that Mr. Feathers brought back jumped up and down while shouting. He was naked, and he was covered in bubbles. Was he taking a bath before Mr. Feathers snatched him? No, why the hell did Mr. Feathers snatch a kid!? “My father won’t let you get away with this! He’s a sky-realm smith! How dare you kidnap the son of a smith!? My father’s friends with immortals! They’ll come find me and make you regret this!”
“Lucia…? It seems like your first plan worked….” Softie bit her lower lip before taking a cloak out of her interspacial ring. She draped it over the kid and hugged him. “It’s alright. We saved you from that dreadful phoenix. You don’t have to be scared, okay? We’ll take you back to your father right away.”
The kid screeched and whirled around. Then he saw Softie’s face and promptly shut up with his mouth still hanging open. “P-pretty….” His cheeks turned bright red, and he lowered his head, his eyes flitting up and down to look at Softie’s face without trying to be obvious about it but totally failing to. Hmm. Maybe I should give Softie those manuals the succubus sect gave me. I think it suits her much more than planting heart devils. Softie’s too nice to traumatize people. Wait, if I captured the child of a smith, then doesn’t that mean all my work at this battlefield has been for nothing!? I demand a refund on my time!