“Sect Leader Fluffytail is awake!”
Hmm? Where am I? All I remember is barely crawling down the mountaintop after surviving my tribulation and … talking to Softie. Did I fall asleep? Mm. I’m on a mattress in the center of the sect. Whew, I hope people didn’t see me drool. It’s a good thing I don’t snore; otherwise, people would stare. But Sect Leader Fluffytail? Who’s that? I knew Fluffytail was a completely normal name when Ilya told me it was strange! If even a sect leader has the same last name as me, then it has to be an acceptable one. Mm.
Softie reached towards my face and wiped the crud out of my eyes. “Good morning, Sect Leader Fluffytail.”
Me…? “Sect leader?”
“That’s right,” Softie said and smiled. “Since you became a sky-realm expert, you’re the strongest person in our sect. My grandfather made an announcement: from this day forward, you’re our leader. Your display of leadership skills, conquering Kong County, winning the King Province Exchange, obtaining many merits at the Gates of Hell, all contributed to his decision.”
…When Softie puts it that way, doesn’t that mean I’m amazing? With my charisma and charm, I swayed a group of a million people, putting them under my rule! That’s a whole million people! That’s a thousand thousands! And I always thought I’d amount to nothing while I was growing up, but look at me now.
“I’m glad you’re happy about it, Lucia,” Softie said. She lowered her head. “I was worried you might not like it. My grandfather didn’t ask for your opinion before making you sect leader, but it seems like he made the right choice. The fate of our sect rests on your shoulders; I believe in you, Lucia.”
The fate of the sect…. Wait, wait, wait! Isn’t this actually a huge responsibility!? I hate responsibilities! One time, I was responsible for watering that noble’s plants back when I was little, and I watered it too much so it died! Then I was beaten with a wooden stick. Right, responsibilities aren’t good things. But I like the sound of Sect Leader Fluffytail…. I know! I’ll make Ilya responsible for everything important, but I’ll pretend I’m the one making all the decisions. I’ll make Ilya my puppet ruler! …Or does that make me the puppet? Hmm.
Ah, wait. Ilya wants to go home to the pocket realm; I can’t make her my puppet. Can I take the sect with me? Nah, there’s not enough space for them. I think. Mm, there definitely isn’t. And am I staying in the Immortal Continent to watch over them? I wanted to hide in the pocket realm where immortals wouldn’t be looking to slaughter me…. Is the joy of being sect leader more important or is my life more important…? Hmm. Why is this decision so tough? It’s probably because Ilya’s necklace of intelligence stopped working.
“Lucia? Hello, Lucia?” Softie waved her hand in front of my face. “Did you hear me? My grandfather wants you to deliver a speech for your inauguration. We decided to hold a banquet for you on the night of the day you woke up, which is tonight. There’s still some time before it starts; do you want me to help you come up with something?”
“A speech from me? What am I supposed to say?” I’ve never prepared a speech in my life! I remember listening to a noble’s speech once while walking through the market. I was amazed at how he could speak so much without forgetting his lines! Later, I found out he was just reading off a scroll in his hand. But I can’t do that—memorizing a long speech is impossible and reading is even more impossible! “Mm, alright, Softie. Make and deliver the speech for me, thanks. That’s my first order as sect leader.”
“I can’t do that, Lucia. This is your speech! It makes no sense for me to deliver a speech in your stead.”
I took off the bracelet that Ilya had given me and wrapped it around Softie’s wrist. “This thing lets your appearance change into anything you want. Just turn into me so people think I’m the one delivering the speech; problem solved! Oh, and give it back when you’re done.” I have more important things to do than preparing a speech. Like fixing Durandal! If it weren’t for his sobbing ass, I wouldn’t’ve suffered so much during my tribulation! Mm, but I have to find a private place to fix him. The chosens’ mountain! No one’s allowed there except for me and Softie.
“Lucia, wait!” Softie said.
But it was too late. I already teleported away. Good luck with the speech, Softie; I believe in you! Alright. “Durandal, come on out!”
A sobbing spirit appeared in front of me. He cried about his insecurities, but I’m not going to say what they were because they should be kept private! Anyways, what did Softie say the fix was? Cold water? Let’s hope it works. I pulled a barrel of cold water out of my interspacial ring and dumped it onto Durandal. He yelled and stiffened while standing up. He whirled around to face me, pulling out his sword at the same time. “Lucia? Weren’t we dueling just now? Why am I wet?”
“Because you’re turned on?”
“…Did something happen? The aura you’re giving off is … different.” Durandal frowned and completely ignored my comment. Rude. He glared at me, and his killing intent washed over me, but my tail didn’t stiffen. Hah! Now that I’m a sky-realm expert too, I don’t have to be scared of him anymore! Everything is right in the world.
Let’s test how much stronger I got! “Breaking Madness Blade Strike!”
“Incredible!” Durandal shouted as he raised his sword to block mine. “I don’t know what happened, but you improved, Lucia. Path of the Sword: Ascending Phoenix Slash!” His sword turned red and flames appeared on its blade! Why didn’t he teach me something as pretty as that!? Our swords collided. There was a giant bang, and Durandal … went flying away. He crashed into a cliffside, and the whole cliff collapsed on top of him. Did he die!?
The rubble rustled and a hand poked through the top of the debris. Durandal coughed as he dug himself out, blood pouring from of his nose, mouth, ears, and eyes like a fountain. He looked freaking scary! He coughed up a few mouthfuls of blood before shaking his head. “Lucia. That’s not enough to defeat … me….” Then he vanished. I felt him reenter new-mini-DalDal with my qi. I guess he did die…. Ah, the struggles of being a genius. Finding a sparring partner is impossible. But wow, I really did get super strong! I should’ve cultivated without impurities a lot earlier. Then I could’ve beaten up that crown prince of Kang Country to take his sky-realm-ranked sword without needing merits. But if I didn’t set out to obtain those merits, would I have planted enough heart devils to become this strong? Mm. Well, you know what they say! Good things happen to good people. I deserve this strength!
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