Where am I? What happened? I’m lying on a bed and…. Oh. That’s what happened; I remember everything now. Where’s Lucia? Well, for now, I’ll recover the qi that I lost. Hmm? That’s odd. I’m able to draw on qi that’s not Lucia’s? Is this what the qi of the world feels like? I’m not sure if this is a side effect of reaching the legendary realm or a side effect of last night’s activities. Either way, I’m not complaining. And it seems like I can still draw on Lucia’s qi too. But it’s different, like something potent and dark has been added. How did everything change so much after a single night? I feel stronger too, but once again, I’m not sure if that’s because of reaching the legendary realm or not.
I finished my meditation and climbed off the bed, putting on the robe that was hanging over a chair. I left the lakeside house and frowned at the sight that greeted me. Treasures were scattered about the table outside, and two chairs were knocked over as if the occupants had been in a hurry to get away. Where is Lucia? She can’t be that far since I haven’t been transported back to mini-DalDal. And Lucia removed that spirit-restraining cuff too, so that’s not stopping me either.
A scream coming from the nearby woods drew my attention. No doubt, that’s where Lucia was. I didn’t recognize the owner of the scream, so I didn’t need to rush over. I strolled through the garden, admiring the thousands upon thousands of spirit seeds scattered about like dew on grass. For some reason, the trees that produce Lucia’s acorns and cocoa beans have a really high rate of growing a spirit seed. They’re supposed to be common in places with high concentrations of mana, but there must be something special about Lucia’s lands that increase spirit seed appearance. Ilya says it’s due to the predators’ poop.
Lucia had been trying to create, as she calls it, super-duper soft and fluffy underwear, but every single seed she’s planted into her clothes has turned out to be a male spirit, so she gave up. Now, the seeds are just left in her garden to make it sparkle and look pretty. I don’t mind. It means less competition for Lucia’s qi. Sure, she has an abnormally large amount, but I don’t like sharing. I’m quite a selfish person, aren’t I? Maybe if the world were a nicer place where strength didn’t rule, people could afford to be nicer, but until then, it’s every person for himself.
More screams rang through the air, but I didn’t pick up my pace. While training in mini-DalDal during this past year, screams coming from outside were a weekly occurrence. Lucia’s been rounding up slave traders and throwing them into her dungeons. She says she does it because slave traders are all rich, so it’s cost-effective way to make money for the least amount of effort, but I know she has a soft spot for slaves. She even frees the slaves and let them run her acorn and chocolate plantations, giving them a place to sleep and earn money. Of course, I could be wrong and this is all just her giant ploy to have an infinite supply of acorn stew and hot chocolate, but I don’t believe Lucia’s intelligent enough to think up something like that.
A few fireballs and lightning bolts appeared in the air above the woods where the screams were coming from. That’s odd. The presence of the predators prevented magic from being used. Unless Ilya was the one casting the spells. I paused and shielded my eyes from the sun, trying to get a better view of the magic being cast. I’ve learned to recognize spells and their strength based on their outer appearance. After all, the best way to defeat your enemy is to know him inside and out. But a spell appeared in the sky that I didn’t recognize. A massive palm made of golden light smashed past the clouds and crushed the fireballs and lightning bolts. It descended past the trees, breaking down a few treetops before disappearing from my view. What was that? A giant?
Before I could head towards the woods, a voice came from behind me. “Senior Brother, look at all these spirit seeds! There must be hundreds of thousands!”
I turned around while placing my hand on the hilt of my sword. It was a simple, one-handed sword with nothing special about it. It wasn’t even enchanted. Before one relied on outer forces, one had to rely on themselves. If I could become undefeated with an ordinary weapon, how strong would I become if I used an extraordinary weapon? I scanned the field of spirit seeds, but no one was there. When I raised my head, there were four people standing atop swords hovering in the air. How garish. At least it made sense when Ilya created boots that allowed a person to fly. Who thought standing on top of a flying sword would be a good idea? One strong gust would be enough to knock someone off to their death.
The swords lowered, and the four people dropped to the ground. They were wearing clothes that seemed a bit out of place: long trailing sleeves, thin and robe-like, a wide cloth belt to prevent the robes from falling open. The four men gave me one glance before they crouched down and started picking spirit seeds off the grass as if they were beggars in a street. Well, there was only one thing to do, really: Kill. Lucia might not think those spirit seeds are valuable, but they’re still her property. And no one is allowed to take advantage of Lucia—only I can do that. I placed my left hand on the sheath of my sword and gripped the hilt tighter. The sword flashed in the sunlight as I drew it and cut with it in a single motion. “Breaking Blade.”
A beam of crescent blue qi flew towards the four people. They raised their heads and glared at me, a barrier appearing around them out of nowhere, but my qi cut through the yellow light as if it was paper. It cut through their bodies just as easily, and their torsos separated from their waists, slowly tumbling forward as their eyes widened in shock. Right before my qi was about to hit Lucia’s lakeside house, it ran out of energy and dispersed. I’m not like Lucia who’s unable to control her power. Blood pooled through the garden, causing the spirit seeds on the ground to glisten with a red light.
A misty substance leaked out of one of the bodies, congealing into a humanoid form that tried to fly away. With a simple wave of my arm, I bisected it, causing it to disperse into golden droplets that fell to the ground. Was that a ghost? I kept my sword unsheathed as I poked around the four corpses, looking for treasure. Clearly, these people weren’t from this world; I’m an expert at plundering clothes, but it’s my first time seeing some designed like this. That didn’t stop me from discovering four interspacial rings though. While I was at it, I picked up the swords used for flight and tested their weight with a few swings. They clearly weren’t meant for fighting. Warmth flowed through my palm from their hilts and something deep inside me roared. …Was that my stomach growling? It can’t be. The first time I feel hunger, it’s due to a sword? That’s cannibalism. They did seem awfully appealing though, so I brought one of the swords to my mouth and took a bite. …It was delicious. Before I knew it, the four swords had disappeared into my stomach. Warmth flowed through my veins, and I’m not sure if it was my imagination or not, but I felt stronger. There sure were a lot of strange things going on today. Even now, dozens upon dozens of people standing on flying swords were rushing to this area from the distance. …I hope those swords taste just as good. No wonder why Lucia’s ruled by her stomach.