I found Mr. Feathers a wife! She’s rainbow-colored, and her name is Mrs. Feathers. She kept insisting it was something else, but I couldn’t pronounce it because there were too many chirps and whistles, so her name is Mrs. Feathers now. I bet Mr. Feathers will be really happy when I introduce them, mhm. He might not’ve been the smartest bird, kidnapping someone that I didn’t need to kidnap anymore, but at least he tried for me. That’s right; he’s a much better person, err, bird than Ilya! Once I get my hands on her, I’ll squeeze her and stuff her into a box. That’ll teach her to call me a bully. Hmph, hmph.
“Boss, we finished looting their ancestral grounds, training centers, treasury, and martial arts pavilion. What next?”
Mm? Who’s the boss? Right, I am! The prisoners aren’t calling me Miss Lucia anymore. They’re calling me boss because, in their words, “Gangsters show their loyalty to their leaders by calling them boss; that’s why we’re calling you boss, Boss.” I don’t know why they’re calling themselves gangsters though…, we’re all good people who were unjustly imprisoned by the evil Rainbow Phoenix Sect. Mm, that’s right.
“Please, I have a family! You can’t take all my wealth!”
“Your wealth or your life: take your pick!”
…We’re good people. Anyways, what’s next? I wonder. Do I even have any plans other than stuffing Ilya into a box? It feels like I’m forgetting something….
“Don’t we have to save Softie, Lucia?”
Ah! That’s right! We have to save Softie! “Why didn’t you remind me earlier, Durandal!?”
“I was distracted.” Durandal glanced at himself. He was covered in blood from head to toe. Now that I think about it….
“By any chance…, the fact that Ilya thinks I’m a violent bully…, don’t you think that has something to do with you?” Yeah…. I never really thought about it before, but isn’t it Durandal’s fault that I’m violent? Which I’m not. I’m not violent. Okay, let’s rephrase that. Isn’t it Durandal’s fault that Ilya thinks I’m violent? All my life, I grew up as a poor, innocent, abused slave with no mean thoughts. But then I met Durandal, and, suddenly, I became a bully in Ilya’s eyes! It’s completely his fault; just look at him, he’s covered in blood! What kind of good person would be covered in blood?
Durandal wiped his hand on his robes before putting it on my head. “You shouldn’t blame others for problems with yourself.”
That’s…. “But it’s completely your fault that I’m this way!”
Durandal sighed. “Didn’t Ilya mention this? You not talking responsibility for your own actions? I’m sure she did. Why are you blaming me in the first place? Have I ever told you to beat up people that you don’t like? Have I ever led you astray?”
“Maybe you didn’t say it directly, but your actions—”
“Nonsense. Look, doesn’t Softie need to be saved right now? Are you really going to worry about this when Ilya isn’t even here? How about you ask her if it’s my fault when you see her again? You know she has the answer to everything.”
“Why does it feel like you’re trying to avoid—”
“You!” Durandal pointed at a person standing behind me. “Which way to the Shadow Devil Sect?”
“Uh, I, I don’t know.”
“Shadow Devil Sect?” Mrs. Feathers asked. She had shrunk down to the size of Mr. Feathers. Apparently, being big took up a lot of her energy, so she shrank whenever she wasn’t fighting. It’s perfect because she attracts too much attention when she’s large. “Which one? The Immortal Continent is huge and vast; many sects share the same name if they’re decades of travel apart from one another.”
Durandal looked at me. “Which province was the Shadow Devil Sect in?”
Uh…. “Long County? No, that doesn’t sound right. Mong County? Fong County?” Gah, where’s Ilya when you need her? Thankfully, there’s someone else who’s slightly okay at remembering things better than I can. “Puppers? Where’s Softie’s province?”
Kong County…. Nope, doesn’t ring a bell. “Are you sure? That doesn’t sound right. If it did, then it would’ve been the one, but it isn’t, so it’s not.” Mm, sometimes Puppers can be counted on, but most of the time, he can’t. Oh wells. “Mrs. Feathers, why don’t you list off places where there are Shadow Devil Sects, and I’ll tell you to stop if I hear a familiar one.”
“Kong County, but you already said that one wasn’t it. Pang County in Cloud Province. Yang County in Deepwater Province. Ling County in Bamboo Forest Province. Ming County in Qin Province. Deng County—”
No, the one before that.
“No, the one before that.”
“Ming County in Qin Province?”
Yes, that’s the one.
“Yes! That’s the one.” It’s definitely that one. My instincts are telling me it is! Or it’s that weird voice that I’ve been hearing that keeps telling me to kill people…. “Right, Durandal? Puppers? Ming County sounds familiar, right?”
“First time I’m hearing of it.”
Tch. And they claim my memory is terrible, but look at them both being wrong. Hah. “It’s settled then. We’re going to Ming County to save Softie!”
Mrs. Feathers stared at me with an odd expression. “Are you sure?”
“I’m never not sure!” Except when I am, which is sometimes, but usually I’m not. Mm. “How far away is Ming County from here? No, where is here anyway?”
“We’re in Sun Province which is a part of the Sunrise Empire. Qin Province is in the Sunset Empire which is about a hundred thousand kilometers from here, not close but not far either.” Mrs. Feathers nodded. “I have citizenship in both empires, so traveling across the border shouldn’t be an issue. With an average flying boat, we should arrive in about a year.”
“A year!?” Softie will be dead by then! “Isn’t there a way to get there faster?”
“There’s a teleportation formation in the sect’s ancestral grounds that’s left behind as a last resort for escape. You can use that, but it’ll be expensive.”
Softie’s life … or money. Softie’s life…? Or money…. Hah…, looks like Softie’s going to go into debt paying me back. “Alright, let’s take that formation.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter