With the power of Lucia, somehow, we were invited into the imperial city’s royal palace. The royal palace is larger than my father’s territory back at home in terms of overall acres, which just goes to show how large that giant’s femur bone fragment was. I still can’t believe a giant of that size existed and walked the earth. I mean, seriously, just a portion of its femur reached the clouds. That’s a walking disaster! Surely, if giants were common and had places to live in, then I’d be able to see those structures from anywhere on the Immortal Continent, but I can’t. Ugh, forget it. I’m only obsessing about the giant because I was wrong and the wall was actually a bone.
We, the whole dozen people who made up the Shadow Devil Sect representatives, were shown a place to stay while the royal family prepared the King Province Exchange and cleaned up the mess caused by the wall disappearing. Luckily, one of the previous emperors had foresight and set up a substitute defensive formation over a thousand years ago just in case the wall was destroyed. I don’t know why they’re so trusting of something from that long ago in the past, but it’s not just the royal family who’s like that. Apparently, all the sects adhere rigidly to tradition, believing that the things left behind by their ancestors were greater than anything they themselves could ever come up with. It’s such a stupid train of thought! Innovation is key! Without innovation, magic wouldn’t exist! It’s funny how the Immortal Continent is the one that’s stuck in the past despite my home being the one that’s the pocket dimension. Well, it’s not like I can’t understand their logic. Some of these sects’ ancestors became immortals. If they follow in those immortals’ footsteps, then won’t they become immortal themselves?
And now Lucia’s staring at a ring that suspiciously looks like a royal crest. “Lucia, what are you doing?”
“I’m trying to figure out how this interspacial ring works,” Lucia said and squinted at the bow and arrow design. She flipped it back and forth, up and down, before sighing. “It’s a mystery.”
No. You’re just an idiot. When did I become so bitter? Ahem, anyways…. “If you’re trying to open it like it’s an interspacial ring, and it’s not opening, then what should that tell you about the ring?”
“That there’s a secret mechanism that needs to be unlocked first!” Lucia growled at the ring before biting it, breaking off the tip of the arrow with her teeth. “Hmm. That didn’t work either.”
I’ll try to slowly guide Lucia to the right answer. If I tell her it’s not an interspacial ring straight out, she won’t believe me. But if she comes to the conclusion herself, then she’ll realize it really isn’t an interspacial ring. “Are all rings interspacial rings?”
“They can be.” Lucia stopped fidgeting with the royal crest and stared at me. “You can turn this into one, right?”
Well, yes, I could. But creating interspacial rings leaves one completely drained of mana for a while, so I’ve avoided it ever since doing it the first time. “I can, but I won’t. Alright, so if every ring has the potential to be an interspacial ring, then that means some rings currently aren’t interspacial rings, right?”
“Right….” Lucia furrowed her brow. Was she going to understand soon? Her head tilted to the side as the wrinkles on her forehead disappeared. “But it’s impossible for this ring to not be an interspacial ring. Why would they make such a fancy ring and not make it hold stuff too?”
Well, I tried. “Some people like useless things. It’s like assigning value to gold because it’s shiny. Gold’s worth has nothing to do with its capabilities. That crest isn’t an interspacial ring, so you can stop trying to open it now.” Seriously, for the past three hours, she was making strange clicking noises while puzzling over it. She consumed the largest bone of focus ever in existence, but it doesn’t matter if she’s focused so intently on something that’s wrong.
“What? No way! It has to be an interspacial ring!”
“Is that ring on your finger an interspacial ring?” I pointed at the ring Lucia wore on her left ring finger. She made a matching pair for herself and Durandal a while back.
“No. It’s a disguise! When people want to steal my stuff, they take it instead of the real ring that’s hidden.”
“Right. And why can’t other people do that?”
Lucia’s eyes widened to the size of saucers. “I was tricked! Quick Shot is such a slimy bastard! How dare he fool me with a fake ring!?”
A soft cough echoed through the room. Softie opened her eyes and smiled at me with a look of disdain. I was being looked down on? “Actually, Lucia was right. It’s an interspacial ring. It’s just bound to Emperor Yi and Lucia’s qi isn’t condensed enough to shatter a sky-realm expert’s sealing mechanism.” Softie walked over to Lucia and placed her hand on top of the interspacial ring. “Don’t listen to Ilya, Lucia. She’s wrong.”
This bitch. Now I remember why I became so bitter over this past year. She’s trying to steal my spot by Lucia’s side! Everything she says about me is to discredit me. She never says anything good about me. Phew. Calm down, Ilya. Softie’s just a jealous, selfish child because of her upbringing. Since I became her grandmother’s disciple, she thought I was taking her place in her grandmother’s heart. You’re mature and responsible, Ilya. There’s no reason for you to be mad at someone who’s so immature.
Lucia’s brow wrinkled. “But Ilya’s never wrong.”
Softie’s voice softened as she whispered into Lucia’s ear like some kind of courtesan in bed, “Wasn’t she wrong about the wall not being a bone? Don’t you believe me? Once you become a sky-realm expert, you’ll be able to open this ring.” Softie’s eyes narrowed for a second as she gave me a sly glance without turning her head away from Lucia. A little smirk appeared on her lips that quickly went away as her face softened once more when Lucia turned to face her.
That settles it. I’m going to murder her in her sleep one day. It’ll be tough since she’s technically stronger than me, but I’m resourceful. There’s plenty of ways to go about it. I could pretend to be Lucia, sneak into Softie’s bed, and stab her in the throat when she tries to do immoral things to me. Don’t think I don’t know how you look at Lucia, Softie! And Lucia won’t believe me if I try to expose Softie’s crafty nature. No, she might believe me, actually, but she’ll say something stupid and fuel her narcissism like, “It’s only natural for Softie to fall so in love with someone as perfect as me that she became jealous of you!” Well, it’s not like Softie’s trying to harm Lucia. The only person she’s trying to get rid of is me. But I’ll teach Softie her place with this newfound skill I picked up.
“Ooh, whatcha doing, Ilya?” Lucia ears perked up as she turned her head towards me. I had taken out the cauldron that my master had given me.
“Crafting immortal pills that taste like chocolate.” That’s right! I know all of Lucia’s vices! There’s no way Softie can ever hope to compete with me.
“Make me a batch! No! Make me two batches!”
“You can’t eat those, Lucia!” Softie tugged on Lucia’s sleeve. “The impurities inside of them are too high!”
Lucia snorted. “Impurities this, impurities that. You always say the things I do build up impurities, but nothing ever happens to me!” In a flash, Lucia appeared by my side and stared into the cauldron, drool leaking from her mouth as I added the component that made it taste like chocolate, which was, well, chocolate. A cold gaze caused a shiver to run down my spine, and I raised my head to take a look at Softie, who was glaring at me like a snake. I gave her a smug smirk in return. Don’t dish out what you can’t receive! Wait. I’m supposed to be mature. Mm. Oh wells, I just turned sixteen. Cut me some slack.