The idea behind Lucia’s punishment is simple. At the start of the training, she’ll fail to complete a large number of Breaking Blades, but as time goes on, she’ll be able to do more and more as her body becomes accustomed to the feeling of exploding out with qi. Increasing my weapon body’s weight will make it harder for Lucia to accomplish her next set, but the plan is to have her growth outweigh those effects until the weight of her sword is at just the right level. Once she can do 100 in a day, the next phase of her training will begin.
It’s been several days since I invaded that base filled with royal guards and took back Snow’s hoard. Snow’s been considerably less grumpy now that his items are back; though, I don’t like the way he looks at Lucia’s new dress and bracelet. To be fair, they were his in the first place, but he did give them up in a deal. If it weren’t for me, he wouldn’t have gotten any of his magic tools back. Speaking of magic tools…
“More please!” Lucia held out her bowl with her cheeks bulging like a chipmunk’s. The outline of her body seemed to be shaking, blurring the lines between her and reality.
“Lucia…,” Snow said and held his head. “I die a little every time you use haste to eat your food faster. That’s not what my dress was made for.”
“What’s the matter?” Lucia asked and tilted her head. Her hair moved so fast it seemed like it teleported. “The dress was made to cast haste, and I used it to cast haste. And like I said, more please!”
Snow sighed as he ladled her another bowl of stew with a heavy dose of potatoes. In a second, the contents of the bowl disappeared. “More please!”
“Lucia…,” Snow said with tears in his eyes. “I haven’t eaten anything yet.” Poor Snow. Good thing I don’t have to eat as a spirit. I think I really would starve with the amount Lucia eats. Where does all that food go? Maybe it’s converted to qi. That would make the most sense.
“Sorry, law of the jungle,” Lucia said and snatched the ladle out of Snow’s hand. “First come, first serve! The weak don’t eat. Lucia’s the best, yada yada.” The simmering pot of stew vanished without a trace as Lucia’s stomach bulged outwards. “Don’t cry, Snow. I need this more than you do.” Lucia picked up my weapon body and raised it into the air with one hand, which was a little ridiculous since it weighed over 3,000 pounds.
…Is today the day Lucia accomplishes 100 Breaking Blades? Yesterday, she reached 75, and the day before that she made it to 56. She might actually do it before we even make it to the southern pass. Well, at least she’ll have a technique to fight against beasts with. She can’t say I haven’t taught her any once I make her fight a spirit beast.
“You just thought of something cruel you could subject me to, didn’t you?”
Lucia noticed? Were we that in tune with each other that she could tell what I was thinking? “You’re overthinking things. You still have 73 times left.”
“I know! Today’s the day you’re going to stop adding weight!” Lucia cheered as she performed a Breaking Blade, destroying the foliage in its path. A tree in the distance creaked and groaned before falling to the ground with a massive crash. Let’s hope no one reports the destruction we’ve caused in the forest so far. People would think a spirit beast passed through or something.
“72! 71! 70!” Lucia panted as three strikes were performed in succession, tearing apart the earth, revealing the brown beneath. …Maybe people would even think a divine beast passed through. “Phew. If I do 35 more by dinner time, I can use haste once again to eat faster, and then wrap up the last Breaking Blades before the day’s over. I can do this!”
“Then … I’m not having dinner either?” Snow asked. Hey, don’t cry. Aren’t you supposed to be a gang leader? “It’s been four days since I’ve eaten!”
“That’s okay,” Lucia said and patted Snow’s back with my weapon body, causing the poor rabbitkin to wince in pain. “You’re part rabbit. Rabbits can hibernate, right?”
“Rabbits don’t hibernate!” Snow glared at Lucia. “I can’t believe I swore to follow you. I thought you would’ve been at least an impressive person considering Durandal chose you.”
“Lucia’s impressive in her own ways.” Only I can make fun of Lucia. “Don’t look down on her.”
“Yeah! I’m impressive in my own ways.” Lucia smiled at me. It’s a good thing her face has become less lewd after all the training she’s done. She’s almost like a normal person now. …Not that I’d have many references of normal people. Roland was abnormal and Cottontail was equally strange. And all my spirit brothers were combat freaks—every single one of them. “But can’t you just make more food? If you know I’m going to eat a lot, why don’t you just make enough for yourself too? I almost felt bad for taking away your meals, but it’s not my fault you didn’t think of such an obvious solution.”
“You think I didn’t try that!?” Snow shook his head and stared at his feet while mumbling, “Don’t argue with unreasonable people. Don’t argue with unreasonable people. Don’t argue with unreasonable people.” He closed his eyes and exhaled. “I did make more food. Every single time. This lunch you just ate was enough to feed a family of ten.”
“What, no way?” Lucia glanced at the fireplace. There were ten empty pots laying around. “Maybe ten really small people…, so it’s like a meal for a family of five.”
“That’s beside the point!”
Poor Snow. He hasn’t figured out how to deal with unreasonable people yet. The secret is to be even more unreasonable. That’s how I control, err, persuade Lucia to do things. I learnt from the best after all. If Roland claimed to be the number two most unreasonable person in the world, no one would dare claim to be number one.
“Well. Even if it’s beside the point. The food energizes me more than it’d energize you, so I need it more. Only 69 more strikes to go!”
It’s a good thing Lucia’s fired up. I wonder how enthusiastic she’d be about her next exercises.