We’re almost at the camp! I’m one step closer to accomplishing my goal! Once I hand over these heads, I’ll order up the best sword ever for Durandal to inhabit. Then, once he’s all solid and manly and not a spirit seed anymore, I’ll flee back to the pocket realm! This necklace of intelligence let me realize something while I was daydreaming. Only a sky-realm expert or above could open the path back home. I might not be a sky-realm expert, but there are so many that I can kidnap and threaten that it doesn’t matter! Just look at all these heads I harvested. As long as the sky-realm expert isn’t as abnormally strong as that crown prince or that person who got obliterated instantly by the immortal, then I’m super-duper confident that I’ll be able to browbeat them into my whims!
And this time, I have no intentions of letting Durandal bully me as he pleases! I’m not going to fall for his threats of refusing me s** any longer! Ilya already made me a spirit-restraining rope out of sky-realm experts’ hair. There’s absolutely no way for Durandal to escape my bed! So, even if Durandal wants me to cultivate longer, become stronger, or work harder, I’m not going to listen to him. Hmph, hmph. Let’s see how he’ll threaten me now. I still haven’t forgiven him for dragging me into this Immortal Continent against my will! Mm, actually, I’m a little less angry about that since this place turned out to be like a paradise filled with fat sheep, but that encounter with the immortal nearly made me crap my pants. My principles won’t allow me to forgive Durandal for forcing me into such a dangerous place! What was that lunatic thinking anyway? How could a weapon spirit be so cruel as to force his cute and defenseless master into such a conniving, bloodthirsty, and perverted world! If it weren’t for my quick wits and sharp thinking, I’d definitely have gotten the short end of the stick somewhere. Mm, that saying doesn’t really make any sense. Isn’t a stick just one giant end? How do you get the shorter end of a single end? Ah, whatever. As a genius, I shouldn’t criticize other people’s lack of common sense; it’ll make me look arrogant, which I’m not.
“Captain of the Shadow Devil Sect Squad, Lucia Fluffytail, requesting permission to enter!” We made it to the camp! Mm, Softie said there was a giant defensive formation around it. I wonder what I’d have to break to weaken the person controlling that formation. The battlefield formations had statues, but I don’t see any statues around here. Hm. Maybe I could summon an apparition to eat its boundaries. But why would I do that? This formation’s helpful! It let me rob many people in the past. I didn’t get much out of it, but that doesn’t matter because robbing people is fun. Err, good practice! Robbing people is good practice. I rob people completely out of necessity! Only a sadist would rob others for enjoyment.
“Dismount from your boat first before entering the camp.”
Oh, right. I forgot about that. But this is a carriage! Eh, carriages aren’t allowed inside either, so that excuse wouldn’t work. Hah. I guess I’ll have to walk like a peasant. Wait a minute. I have a mount! Where are they…? Mr. Feathers didn’t eat them all, right? Ah, caught one! “Alright, running fish. If you don’t want to be eaten, you’re going to obediently be my mount, got it?”
“Can I have one too?” Ilya appeared out of nowhere! Well, everyone appeared out of nowhere since I stowed the boat into my ring.
“Ah, yeah, sure.” I pulled out a second running fish for Ilya. It was bigger than the first one, so I hopped onto it and gave the first one to Ilya. The leader of the group has to have the best things; otherwise, she’ll lose all respect! This applies to everything, including mounts—even if the mounts are fish with legs.
“I want an axolotl mount too! Give me one!”
Ah. It’s the spoiled brat that Mr. Feathers kidnapped. Wait, no, I shouldn’t be thinking of him as a spoiled brat! Let me try that again. Ah. It’s my ticket to a sky-realm-ranked sword that Mr. Feathers picked up off the ground. Mm, sky-realm-ranked sword tickets should be treated with respect too. I’ll give him a mount as well. I have at least ten running fish stowed away in my pouch; letting him use one won’t hurt.
“Are those the mounts of the Great Axolotl Sect? They came back the other day without their leader. They wouldn’t say anything to save face, but it was obvious their leader had died and their mounts were taken from them. Why are those axolotls with you?”
Oi. Is this guy a doorman or a detective? Just do your job and let us in, dammit! “That’s none of your business. Are you going to let us in or not? I have something super important to report to the crown prince!”
“…Please proceed, the defensive formation has been deactivated.”
That’s more like it. Durandal’s already been gone for so many weeks. I don’t have the patience to answer some random side character’s questions! If it weren’t for the fact that Durandal might change appearance if I stick him into the sky-realm-ranked rapier, I would’ve already planted him inside of it. “Alright, fishy, to the crown prince!” My running fish mount didn’t move. “Mm. You probably don’t know where he is either, huh?” That’s okay! I’ll use that roaring technique that Quick Shot taught me. “Crown Prince! Crown Prince Single! Single Sky! Eternal Bachelor Sky! Mr. Bachelor! Mr. Eternal Bachelor Crown Prince Single—”
“Who’s shouting this late at night!? I was about to breakthrough a bottleneck in my cultivation!”
Ah? I thought cultivators didn’t sleep. Why would it matter if I shouted at night or not? Mm, but I smell a lot of blood for some reason. Don’t tell me they all coughed some out because of my shouting. Cultivators get internally injured by the strangest things.
It’s the crown prince! “Hey! I have these twenty sky-realm experts’ heads! I want to select my reward; hire that smith for me!”
The crown prince stiffened. He looked angry before—for some unknown reason—but now he looks shocked. That’s right, be amazed! I might not have done any work to get these heads and leeched off an immortal, but the merits belong to me! The crown prince swallowed and stretched his hand out to touch one of the heads. It was the Fang Country’s experts’ leader’s. “This, this is Crown Prince Fang. You claimed his head?”
“Yup! These guys cornered me, but I called on the help of my immortal buddy and he wiped them out instantly! Then he gave me the heads. Turn them into sky-realm-ranked swords from a smith, please! They have to look like this!” I gave the crown prince the blueprint that Ilya had created based on Durandal’s previous appearance.
The crown prince took a step back. “You’re friends with an immortal…?”
“Are you going to fulfill your end of the bargain or not? You said ten heads for one sword. I want two! They have to look exactly the same and be made of the same materials.” The second sword is for Durandal himself. Weapon spirits are supposed to use weapons similar to their weapon bodies, but Durandal couldn’t because his sword was lost or something. I bugged him about it, but he wouldn’t tell me where his sword went, so I stopped asking.
“Right…. I’ll contact our smith right away, but it may take a while because his son was kidnapped.”
“This guy?” I grabbed the spoiled brat, err, free ticket, wait, no, smith’s son, and held him up in front of the crown prince. “I saved him from a phoenix. Mm. Definitely. He said he’s the son of a sky-realm smith.”
The crown prince’s eyes nearly fell out of his face. “You, you are quite the capable woman, Captain Fluffytail. Th—”
Wait! “Hold on! Ilya! Are you listening?”
“What is it?”
Okay, she’s listening. I nodded at the crown prince. “Repeat what you just said.”
“You’re quite the capable woman, Captain Fluffytail?”
“Did you hear that, Ilya!? I’m capable! And you said no one would unironically call me that.”
“You heard me when I said that…? And this doesn’t count.” Ilya flinched when I showed her my fist. “I mean, it counts, alright!? It counts! You’re very capable.”
Just like I thought. Hmph, hmph.