Lucia has this special aura about her that … attracts trouble. It’s part of why she’s so suitable for cultivating the Heart Devil Cultivation Technique. I’ve only known her for a little more than over a year, but I’ve experienced more world-changing events with her than I have in my whole life. When she first arrived, she started a great massacre at a cultural exchange. Then she started a reign of terror, pillaging and uprooting sect after sect until finally eradicating the Red Phoenix Sect completely. She was just as unruly at the King Province Exchange, murdering all the delegates of the Righteous Buddha Sect. And now she’s crippling officer after officer in Kang Country’s army. If these beatings weren’t taking place at the arena of grudges, Lucia would be executed for treason. I wish she wouldn’t rob her opponents’ swords though….
“Who’s next?” Lucia asked. She was standing on the bloody stage, leaning against her hammer’s hilt. The head of the hammer was resting on the ground, bits of flesh and bone coating its metal surface. Lucia’s tail swished against the stage’s surface, her fur turning red, and she swept her gaze over the officers and soldiers who had come to watch. “No one?”
The arena of grudges was silent as people shifted their eyes away. A dull thudding sound echoed through the air. Was someone clapping? I turned my head towards the sound. A man, who resembled Heavy Sky, was applauding at a deliberate pace while walking towards the stage. “You must be Lucia Fluffytail from the Shadow Devil Sect. My brother told me he found a talent worthy of serving under me. It seems like he wasn’t wrong.” Instead of wearing a purple cloak with a clasp like his brothers, the crown prince had on a dark-green military uniform. It was loose without wrinkles, a little like a robe, but at the same time, it portrayed a sense of dignity. The belt on his waist had four blue stripes on it, signaling his rank as a general. My grandfather made me study the norms of the army after Lucia won the King Province Exchange for our sect.
Speaking of Lucia…, she looked tense. Her tail was puffed out like a hedgehog, and her shoulders were slightly hunched as if she were staring at a puddle of water. She’s very suspicious of water. “Right,” Lucia said as her feet slid back by an inch. “Fat Sky sent me here to be your subordinate. You’re the crown prince?”
“Fat Sky?” the crown prince asked and raised an eyebrow. He mumbled, “Heavy, fat, I suppose they’re almost similar in meaning.” The prince coughed. “Yes, I’m the crown prince, Single Sky.”
“Your name is Single?” Lucia asked. She was still steadily inching backwards. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t staring at her feet. Every other part of her body was stiff. Why was I staring at her feet? B-because…, just because, alright? “Wait, no, that’s not important. You have a sky-realm-ranked sword, right?”
The crown prince gestured towards the sword hanging from the belt on his waist. “I do. Why? Did you want to try to take my sword as well?”
The people that Lucia had stripped and robbed flinched at the crown prince’s words. Lucia was definitely going to try. After all, this is what she came here for. She grabbed her hammer’s hilt and raised it into the air. Then it disappeared. Huh? It disappeared? Why? Lucia coughed and shook her head. “Of course not! What kind of person do you think I am? I don’t take people’s swords unless they do something to deserve it. Mhm.” She coughed again. “But if you happen to have a spare sky-realm-ranked sword, I wouldn’t mind if you gave it to me.”
Lucia … was giving up? No way! She’s fought against plenty of sky-realm experts without backing down. Maybe there’s a special reason that Lucia’s taking into consideration. But Lucia never thinks before she acts…. No, that’s not true. She makes plans all the time, but she looks like she acts without thinking to fool her enemies. I always thought she was a simple person, but looking back, everything she’s done really has worked out in her favor. If she’s not a genius pretending to be a fool, then doesn’t that mean I, the person who’s achieved nothing, am more useless than a fool? Lucia’s plotting something right now and taking away the crown prince’s sword goes against her designs. That must be it.
The crown prince chuckled. “I do happen to have a spare sky-realm-ranked sword, but I can’t just hand it over to you. Everyone here is striving for it, after all. But with enough merits, you can earn it, or you can even hire Kang Country’s sky-realm smith to personally forge a weapon for you.”
“Hmm?” Lucia tilted her head. “How do I get merits? Can I take them from people?”
A faint smile appeared on the crown prince’s lips. “You’re quite the interesting woman. It’s possible to take merits from other people in a sense, but it’s easier to earn them yourself. You receive merits for every enemy head you bring back. You can take the heads from your allies, or you can kill the enemy yourself. If you want to hire our sky-realm smith, you’ll need to bring back the heads of ten sky-realm experts or ten thousand earth-realm experts’. If you just want the sword without any personalization, it costs five sky-realm experts’ heads or five thousand earth-realm experts’.”
“Five?” Lucia asked. “That doesn’t seem like a lot. I can count that high on one hand! That actually sounds pretty easy.”
“Fang Country only has twenty sky-realm experts deployed at the moment,” the crown prince said. “And they don’t move often; they’re the final line of defense. You’ll have to create a great ruckus to draw them out, but they’re a bunch of cowards; all of them will come out to suppress you if you do.”
That makes sense. The longer someone is alive, the more attached to life they become. There’s no reason for them to risk their lives in a battle. I imagine our side’s experts have the same thought process. Neither side wants to make the first move—that’s the nature of this perpetual battlefield. The weaker people fight under the supervision of the strong.
Lucia stared at the crown prince’s sword. Then she squinted at his face before sighing. “How strong are they compared to you?”
“Most of them are weaker, but three of them are on par, and one of them is barely stronger.”
Lucia scratched her head. “Then what about panties?”
Lucia bobbed her head up and down. “How many heads do I need to exchange for sky-realm-ranked panties?”
I don’t think the army supplies underwear.
The crown prince shook his head. “We only have saint-realm-ranked boxers.”
…Why does the army supply underwear?
Lucia clicked her tongue. “Darn.”