At last, I’ve returned to the Immortal Continent. Lucia cultivated for ten years without pause—a surprising endeavor. In that time, I’ve been incredibly bored. It’s true that I’ve lived longer without entertainment, but a weapon spirit is born to fight. It’s the whole reason for our existence. Sparring with Puppers, though interesting, wasn’t possible. The pocket realm couldn’t withstand the might of our attacks, and space shattered after the first exchange of moves. The results of the collision are still in the sky to this day. No wonder why saint-realm experts were restricted from entering.
However, I don’t have to worry about holding back any longer. “Lucia! Let’s pick a fight with someone!”
Lucia didn’t respond. She was just standing there, staring at the ground with her hands balled up into fists. Was she … crying? It’s because of Ilya, isn’t it? Lucia was meditating for ten years, and when she came out of seclusion, the world around her changed. I know that feeling all too well. But at the same time, it’s not like I can blame Ilya. What the demon said was reasonable, and she brought up fairly good points. No one wants to die. That doesn’t change the fact Lucia’s sad though. How can I cheer her up? Head pats? Ear rubs? I’ll try both at the same time.
Good. She’s reacting. Now, how to bring her back to reality while achieving my goal of wanting to fight someone. “Softie’s in danger, remember? I know you’re feeling down because Ilya didn’t want to come, but you can’t stand here forever unless you want to lose Softie too.” Perfect. With this, I can cheer up Lucia by reuniting her with an old friend while leading us towards people looking to fight. Though I couldn’t spar, I haven’t been sitting idle for the past ten years.
“Right. Softie.” Lucia sighed and leaned against me. She patted her waist. “Um? Where’d her soul lantern go?”
The soul lantern…. “Didn’t you leave it on Ilya’s desk?”
“…Shit.” Lucia sighed again. “Is that why she told me to wait? I should’ve listened! Nothing good comes from ignoring Ilya’s advice.” She shook her head. “Okay. Let’s open the way back and fetch it.”
“Why don’t you bring Ilya with you too?” Previously, Ilya didn’t exactly come out of her own free will. “Didn’t you drag her here last time?” Now that I think about it, I forced Lucia to come here as well. It shouldn’t be a problem to bring Ilya back with us. Huh? I was going to respect her decision of choosing to be independent of Lucia? Well, if the choices are a depressed Lucia and a happy Ilya or a depressed Ilya and a happy Lucia, I’d much rather deal with a depressed Ilya. For one, Ilya can’t kill me. For two, Lucia can kill me. I think those are good enough reasons to bring Ilya here against her will.
Lucia shook her head. “If she doesn’t want to be with me, why should I bring her around?”
I stared at Lucia’s socks. Maybe now wasn’t a good time to mention Puppers.
“Am I really as bad as Ilya said?”
Yes. But of course, I’m not going to say that. “As a weapon spirit, things like morality and feelings don’t affect me. As long as you say you’re a good person, I’ll believe you—even if you follow your heart and decide to kill everyone that you don’t like.”
“That’s because you’re a psychopath too.”
“Shut up, Puppers,” Lucia said. “We weren’t talking to you.” Lucia stamped her feet a few times before looking at me. She grabbed my hand, which was still on her head, and nuzzled her ear against it, prompting me to give her a scratch. She sighed and closed her eyes. Without opening them, she asked, “But, Durandal, you said feelings don’t affect you, right? Then how come you cried when Ilya gave you that letter? What was on it?”
I stopped scratching behind her ear. That…. “I didn’t cry.”
Lucia’s eyes cracked open. “Mm? But I’m pretty sure—”
“I. Didn’t. Cry.” Weapon spirits don’t have emotions. “There was a lot of dust in the letter that flew into my eyes when I opened it.”
“Durandal…, I’m not as smart as Ilya, but you know I’m not dumb, right?”
She claims to be smart, but Lucia doesn’t understand how to take a hint. “Is that so?”
“It is!” Lucia slid out from underneath my hand and glared at me. “What are you trying to imply?” Normally, I wouldn’t be intimidated by her glare, but when it’s accompanied by her hammer, it becomes a thousand times scarier.
“Nothing, nothing.” I cleared my throat. “The longer you wait, the higher the chance of Softie ending up in danger.”
Lucia narrowed her eyes at me, and I swear she adjusted the hammer by a tiny bit in her grip. What went wrong with her? Why was she using a hammer and not a sword? But I have to admit, when used to threaten someone, a hammer that’s larger and wider than her body is much more intimidating than a sword. Lucia snorted and put away the hammer. “Okay, how did I make the way back? Did I just insert my qi like this?”
Black tendrils snuck out of Lucia’s fingertips. …Was that her qi? After cultivating and meditating on her gains, her qi became much more condensed and … ominous. They snaked up into the air and touched a certain point before stretching out into a line. The line split in two, tearing apart space, revealing a black hole in the middle of the air. It was similar to the last time she opened the passage to the pocket realm, but something seemed different…. “Don’t you think there’s something off about the passage? Like it’s been tampered with?”
“Eh?” Lucia tilted her head. “Really? Ilya, what do….” She fell silent and hung her head. Then she sighed and looked at me. “Well, are we going in or not?”
I’m getting a bad feeling about this, but it’s not like we have a choice if we want to return. “Let’s go.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter