“So Lucia’s been training the Madness Strike by continuously using it without rest…, and you want her to do this how many times?”
“Sixty thousand.” It’s a reasonable amount. If she does one every second, she’ll still have seven to eight hours of free time left in the day. She can spend six hours eating, one hour doing nighttime activities with me, and the last hour for rest. It’s upsetting that I have to motivate her by denying her pleasure, but I’ve already come to accept the laziness and lack of ambition from Lucia.
The sect leader stroked his beard. “That’s a completely unreasonable amount. The sect elders of the Evil Flame Sect only practice the Madness Strike three times a day. Any more than that, and their bodies will break down. It doesn’t matter if Lucia’s a body practitioner; unless her meridians have been strengthened as well, she’ll likely suffer permanent injuries from doing this.”
After Lucia’s little spar with the sect leader, Lucia went back to practicing against the training board. There is no doubt in my mind that she’s picturing the light on the board as the sect leader’s face. She didn’t take very kindly to the heart devil worm crawling down her ear, but it did increase the strength of her Madness Strike by leaps and bounds. As for Lucia being injured from attacking…, I don’t think that’ll happen. Call it a hunch. “Lucia will be fine. Trust me.” I have no basis for this statement, but I don’t think I’m wrong. Maybe it’s because Lucia’s dumbfounded me so many times before. “Isn’t that right, Lucia?”
“F***ing die. Madness Strike!”
Yup. With that much anger inside of her, there’s no way she’s suffering from any injuries. “See? She’s perfectly fine.”
“Well…, I can’t deny she’s done a lot more than should be possible,” the sect leader muttered. His hand shifted from his beard to his moustache. “Alright. I shouldn’t judge her with common sense. But why are you, a weapon spirit, overseeing her training? Doesn’t she have a teacher?”
“I am her teacher.” Yes, I’m a weapon spirit. That’s all I have been, and that’s all I will ever be, but I’m a damn good weapon spirit. I think. Of every weapon spirit I knew, I was the best, so that’s pretty damn good if I may say so myself. “I’ve brought her this far.” Right. Lucia’s merits are my merits. Without my teachings, Lucia would still be a luggage carrier back in the Ravenwood army. Would she? If one day, she happened to learn about qi, I think she’d have developed quite nicely without me, but I did impart multiple techniques to her. Regardless, I was the one who brought her up when no one else saw her worth. Disregard the fact I only picked her as my master because she was the only beastkin amongst the people who found me.
What was that raised eyebrow about, hmm? It’s like a wiggling caterpillar taunting me. “Are you looking down on me?”
“Ah? No, no. It’s just that … it’s like the blind leading the blind? You’re weaker than her, but you’re her teacher. It makes sense for an immortal to tell someone how they became immortal, but for a mortal to explain to a mortal how to reach immortality…? Do you see what I’m getting at?”
…His words make sense even if I don’t like them. “What are you trying to say?” Is he just here to criticize me? Or is he telling me my methods of teaching Lucia are wrong? I don’t think my methods are wrong at all. Lucia’s been upgrading her strength via beast cores and repetitive actions; if something isn’t broken, then you don’t need to fix it. Lucia managed to get a ton of beast cores during that little scuffle, but I’m still sorting through them all before I let her consume any. She wanted to consume them all at once, but I don’t want her to experience a sudden growth. She has to establish a firm foundation first. Hence the practice.
“Quite frankly, it seems like Lucia needs someone to guide her,” the sect leader said. The small smile on his face made me want to punch him. “A master, if you will. One of the ancestors of our sect has taken an interest in her and would like for her to become his disciple. What do you think, Junior Lucia?”
“You f***ing die too. Madness Strike!”
Well, it seems like Lucia’s sincerely upset. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this angry before. It’s true that she throws tantrums and whines a lot and gets irritated when someone touches her food, but she never lets her anger stew like this. Maybe I pushed her a little too far with this training? But I have to push her at least this much; this Immortal Continent is a very dangerous place. Lucia has no sense of urgency, no drive. Even after facing the bow-wielding earth-realm expert, the first thing she wanted to do was eat instead of train. She should want to grind earth-realm experts underneath her feet without breaking a sweat! Or is that just me? Am I the one that’s too hasty? No, that can’t be. I’m training just as hard as Lucia is. But I do eat those exquisite swords while cultivating…. Alright. Fine. “Lucia. Take a break and have something to eat.” I unearthed the interspacial ring that I buried in a top-secret place. When I turned around Lucia was directly behind me, staring at me with wide eyes. Her tail flickered back and forth as her gaze dropped to the ring in my palm, and her nose twitched as she sniffed the air.
I held my palm out, but instead of taking the ring, Lucia flinched and stepped back. Her eyes narrowed as her tail straightened. “…What’s the catch?”
Really. Am I that untrustworthy? “If you don’t want to eat, then that’s fine too. You still have 53,000 Madness Strikes to go.”
“Eat! I’ll eat!”
I couldn’t see Lucia’s movements clearly, but the next moment, she was holding the interspacial ring and hugging it to her chest while staring at me with wary eyes. “What are you looking at me like that for?”
“You’re being nice. And that’s infinitely scarier than when you’re being mean.” Lucia’s head bobbed up and down. “You poisoned my food to help me train in the Immortal Poison Body like the green light said, didn’t you?”
“I did no such thing.” I really didn’t. Just what exactly have I done to earn this distrust? Let’s think back to the very beginning. I taught Lucia by placing spikes underneath her while she sat in a horse stance. I trained Lucia by shooting arrows at her while she danced atop bamboo spears. I encouraged Lucia with lots of head pats. I transferred poison from Lucia to myself when she was dying. I sparred with Lucia to help her incorporate her beast cores faster. I trained Lucia’s Armor of Slaughter by throwing her out of a carriage and had her chase after it. I broadened Lucia’s horizons by forcing her to come to the Immortal Continent. Looking back on all this…, I see way more positives than negatives. There’s no reason for such a bad relationship between me and her to exist.
“I’m going to eat ten aurochsen.”
You don’t need to tell me how much you’re going to eat. “Then eat ten aurochsen.”
“Are you sure you’re okay with me eating fifteen aurochsen?” Lucia bit her lower lip as she took a step back, still holding the interspacial ring to her chest.
“Eat however much you need to replenish your strength.”
“Are you really Durandal?”
“If you’re done eating, then give me back the ring.”
“Eating! I’m eating!” Lucia ran away and instantly set up the grill that Ilya made for her. She placed an aurochs on top of it, and then she created an additional fifty bonfires. She skewered some aurochsen and positioned them over the flames with experienced movements. There wasn’t a single wasted motion. If only she could be that dedicated towards training….
“…Is she cooking our battle mounts? I know I’ve seen this before, but I just want to make sure.” The sect leader and Softie stood off to the side, just staring at Lucia. “How many days will she have to spend at the impurity-cleansing pool to purge all of this…?”
“The pool’s still out of commission, Grandfather.”
“Don’t worry. I sent the two remaining Great Poison Sect members to nullify the poison. And I’ve already made a deal with the Azure Dragon Sect for more impurity-cleansing fishes.”
Softie looked like she wanted to say something, but she held it back. Lucia thinks Softie is being abused by her grandfather, but from what I can tell, he shows his care in a very strict manner. He just has to encourage her more often. I wonder how he does it. It’s easy for me to boost Lucia’s morale by rubbing her ears and tail, but Softie does not have a tail. She has ears though. Hmm. Well, taking care of Softie’s not my problem. I already have my hands full with Lucia.