It’s Softie! Just like her name says, she’s really soft! Ah? Did I hug her too hard? There’s some white froth coming out of her mouth, and her eyeballs rolled up. Um…. This should fix her! “Here, eat this.” While I was figuring out which pills could be used for hangovers, I found a couple that healed me. It should work on Softie. And … it worked! “Welcome back!”
“L-Lucia? I….” Softie blinked at me, and her gaze was a little out of focus. “Shouldn’t I be welcoming you back?”
“Err…, yeah.” Mhm. Oh? What’s going on? There’s so many people! Is this a formation? And is that Claw? He looks … almost exactly the same as before. Softie looks mostly the same as before too! Did ten years really pass? Maybe Ilya conspired with Durandal and Puppers to trick me…. “How long has it been?”
“Ten years.” Softie didn’t let go of me even though I let go of her. Was she … sniffing me? Her cultivation technique from that pervert sect was supposed to be really weird…; maybe she’s cultivating? “But, um, Lucia? What are you doing with the guardian beast of the Rainbow Phoenix Sect?”
“Oh, I beat her up, so she started following me.” Mm, that pretty much sums up my relationship with Mrs. Feathers. “Her name is Mrs. Feathers.” Ah! That’s right! I named her Mrs. Feathers so she’d get along with Mr. Feathers. Where is he? “How’s Mr. Feathers doing?”
Softie’s face cramped. “Mr. Feathers…, he….” Her eyes glistened, and she stopped talking.
“He … what?”
Softie took in a deep breath. “He passed away.”
What? Passed away? “To where?”
A tear ran down Softie’s cheek. “He died, Lucia.”
That’s … possible? It’s fine though; Mr. Feathers is a phoenix. Phoenixes can’t actually die. They just turn to ashes and poof! They’re back after a short period of time. Or so I’m told. I’ve never actually seen it for myself…. “Oh. So, where’s his ashes?”
Softie shook her head. “He didn’t leave any ashes behind. I’m sorry, Lucia. He died while saving me.”
Mr. Feathers … died? For real died? Phoenixes can’t die! “Mrs. Feathers, phoenixes can’t die die, right? They only fake die?”
“If that were the case, the world would be filled with phoenixes and nothing else,” Mrs. Feathers said. “Ironically, the best way to kill a phoenix is with stronger phoenix flames. And since some humans cultivate phoenix flames, it’s not impossible for them to hunt phoenixes down.”
No way…. “Who killed Mr. Feathers?”
“It happened when the Rainbow Phoenix Sect attacked us,” Softie said and sighed. “Two sky-realm experts were about to kill me, but Mr. Feathers sacrificed himself to push me out of the way.”
“The Rainbow Phoenix Sect, huh? I’ll destroy it!” Wait a second…. Rainbow Phoenix Sect?
“Boss…, you already destroyed my sect,” Mrs. Feathers said.
“Eh?” Mrs. Feathers is a rainbow-colored phoenix…. “You’re from the sect that attacked mine?”
“It seems like it.” Mrs. Feathers raised her eyebrows. “Small world, right, Boss?”
Hmm? Did I avenge Mr. Feathers already? What the heck? “What about those two people who killed Mr. Feathers? What happened to them?”
Softie wiped away her tears with the back of her hand. “Sister Ilya vaporized them with her … anti-Lucia cannon.”
Oi. What’s with that oddly specific cannon name? But if the people that killed Mr. Feathers are dead…, and if I already destroyed the sect that those two people were from…, who am I supposed to take my anger out on? Err, I mean, how am I supposed to help Mr. Feathers rest in peace? I even captured—no, I even found a wife for him, but now he’ll never know what it’s like to be married. Hah…. Poor Mr. Feathers, killed by his future wife’s underlings. “Maybe I should send Mrs. Feathers to the afterlife to accompany him…?”
Violent coughing interrupted my train of thought. Mrs. Feathers seemed to be choking on something. It makes sense. Phoenixes don’t have teeth! If they eat something larger than their throat can expand, they’ll choke. Mm? Does Mrs. Feathers even need to eat? I’ve only seen her eat the fish from the tombs. Have I been forgetting to feed her? Nah, she can speak and think! She’s practically a person. If she’s hungry, she’ll feed herself.
It’s still a shame about Mr. Feathers though, but if he died, then he died. It’s always sad when someone dies. I’ll miss him. Eh? I’m not sad about other people dying? Well, duh. If I was sad about every death, then I’d be sad all the time since people are always dying, and being sad all the time is no way to live. Just look at Durandal. He’s been sighing a lot more, which means he’s depressed, but he won’t even come out of my sword to let me help him. Hmph. Anyways. “Where’s Ilya?” Softie said Ilya’s anti-me cannon vaporized two sky-realm experts. That must mean she’s here!
“Sister Ilya fled the sect yesterday. I think she went to Pill Valley’s headquarters, but I don’t know for sure.”
Ilya fled? Was something chasing her? Whatever she’s running from, it must be really scary. Like a ghost. Actually, ghosts aren’t that scary anymore now that I can punch them to death, err, nonexistence…? Right, punch them into nonexistence. Maybe I’ll go help Ilya later, but for now, I have to tell Softie all my problems! “Softie.”
For some reason, Softie’s face went really red when I grabbed her shoulders and stared into her eyes. There was a bunch of people watching us too since we fell to the ground, but they weren’t saying anything. “You won’t abandon me, right?”
“Abandon you?” Softie’s eyes went wide. “Why would I ever do that?”
Phew. “That’s good. Stay by my side forever, okay?”
“O-of course!” Softie nodded twice before stiffening. Her expression hardened, and she seemed to be staring past my shoulder. “Who are they?”
Hmm? Who’s who? I turned around, and the barkeep along with Treasure Finder’s bald friend were climbing off of Mrs. Feathers. “Oh, those are … the barkeep and the bald friend.” What were their names again? I forget, but those aren’t really important.
Softie glared at the barkeep, and he stumbled back a few steps. “I’m Long Chen,” the barkeep said, “but you can call me the barkeep like Boss does.” Sweat rolled down the barkeep’s forehead, and Softie was still staring at him. Does she like him? Ooh, that’d be an interesting development. Maybe I’ll try to get them together.Previous Chapter Next Chapter