Lucia went off to break the entrance to the battlefield’s formation, leaving Brother Claw, Ilya, and me behind to make these people swear their oaths. But I have a feeling that the Great Axolotl Sect members won’t comply that easily since Brother Claw murdered their leader. They look extremely angry. If Lucia didn’t shatter their elbows, wrists, and knees out of habit, I’m certain they’d try to kill us. Their leader died, their mounts were stolen, and all their belongings were taken away. I’d be angry too if I were in their position.
Brother Claw pointed his sword at the nearest Great Axolotl Sect member. “Swear an oath to the heavens. You’ll never communicate to anyone the events that’ve occurred today.”
“I refuse!” the man shouted. “You’ll have to kill me before I leave the young master’s death unavenged!”
Brother Claw shrugged, raised his sword, and chopped down in one swift motion. The man’s head flew into the air, eyes and mouth still wide open. Blood spurted out of his neck, splashing onto Brother Claw’s shoes. How could he just kill them like that!? Lucia told him not to! …But she’s too busy breaking the statue over and over again to notice or care about what’s going on here. Then it’s up to me to say something!
“Brother Claw! Lucia said she doesn’t like pointless killing. Isn’t this why we’re having them swear oaths to the heavens? So we don’t have to kill them?”
“Chosen Lucia gave me orders to make them swear oaths. She never specified how I should do it, or how many should survive. The greatest way to spur people on is to threaten their lives.” Brother Claw pointed his sword at another Great Axolotl Sect member. “Swear an oath to the heavens.”
“I will never communicate to anyone the events that’ve occurred to me today. Let the heavens be my witness.” The man’s head was lowered, and tears dropped from his eyes. His chest flashed once with white light, and the sky lit up for a brief moment. The oath had taken effect.
Brother Claw grunted and pushed the man over to the side. Then he looked at me. “See?” Before I could respond, he had already approached another person. There were at least a hundred people who had come to challenge Lucia. It’s a wonder how she disabled them all so quickly. Well, not really. She’s done it millions of times back in Kong County. I don’t think I’ll ever find anyone who can break joints as efficiently as Lucia.
“I won’t swear an oath. I won’t! The young master didn’t deserve to die! I can’t swallow this injustice!”
Brother Claw exhaled through his nostrils and lifted his sword. I can’t just watch him cut down a crying woman who can’t even resist! My grandfather always told me cultivation could never be wrong. Planting heart devils in people to advance in strength was perfectly alright even though it lowered the other person’s chances at immortality. But a technique that required another’s death to advance in strength? Surely, that can’t be right. Though, who am I to judge? The road to immortality is paved with bones and blood. But this woman is a mortal-realm disciple! Brother Claw will gain nothing from killing her!
“Why are you stopping me, Sister Moonlight?” Brother Claw turned his head towards me. My whip was coiled around his arm, holding back the sword that was less than an inch away from the poor disciple’s neck. “I am merely following Chosen Lucia’s orders.” Brother Claw’s eyes held no anger, no curiosity. No respect. Just indifference, as if he were staring at an ant. Why was he looking at me with a gaze like that? I’m not insignificant!
“There are other ways to follow Lucia’s orders! As the second-in-command, I will not let you indiscriminately kill people!” Lives are precious. If someone dies, the impact will affect everyone around them. People shouldn’t be treated like nothing just because they’re weak. …That’s a bit hypocritical coming from me since I follow Lucia, huh? She’s the greatest abuser of power, but she tries not to kill people! I think. I really want to believe Lucia kills people out of ignorance. She’s not a bad person; she’s just an idiot sometimes.
“Right, Sister Moonlight is second-in-command and can order me around. Then I’d like to challenge you for your position. After I beheaded Sun Fire, I surpassed your cultivation level, Sister Moonlight. Shouldn’t I replace you as chosen?” My whip uncoiled as qi exploded out from Brother Claw’s arm, freeing his limb.
“Hmm? Is this infighting? Were we allowed to challenge people to claim their spots?” Ilya finished putting away a corpse and looked up. “No one told me I could do that. How about you give me the title of second-in-command and both of you can fight for third?”
…Why would Ilya want to join in on this fight too? “You’re not satisfied with where you are? Everyone respects you and no one orders you around.”
“Yeah, that’s true,” Ilya said with a nod. “But I just don’t like being someone else’s subordinate, even if it’s in title only. Call it a result of my upbringing.”
“Hey! Aren’t you guys done yet?” Lucia shouted from her spot by the statue. “I’ve been waiting for you to get over here already!”
“We shouldn’t keep Chosen Lucia waiting,” Brother Claw said. “I’ll kill them all to speed things up. Our fight will have to wait.”
“If you’re going to kill me, then I’ll take you with me!” one of the Great Axolotl Sect members said as white light poured out of him. He’s going to self-detonate! An earth-realm expert’s self-detonation isn’t something I can block!
“Hey, stop right there,” Ilya said. As if her words were a prayer answered by a god, the light around the expert’s body dimmed. Just above his groin, there was a bloody icicle that pierced through his front to his back. Ilya had stabbed his dantian, releasing all the pressure built up by the gathering qi and crippling the expert at the same time. She clicked her tongue and muttered, “The last time someone exploded on me when I was interrogating him, I nearly died. You think I’d let someone explode on me again? Unlike Lucia, I learn from experiences.”
“Guys? What are you doing? I’m going to start without you!” Lucia shouted and kicked the statue that had repaired itself for the hundredth time or so, breaking it again.
“If you wish to live, swear an oath to the heavens, or my Junior Brother Claw will really kill you all.” Maybe Brother Claw was right. The best way to persuade someone was by threatening to kill them. And I have to take the fastest method to keep Lucia from waiting. “Please, swear the oaths. I don’t want to see you all die for nothing.”
“Oh! She’s like an angel! How could we refuse the young lady crying for us? She cares about our lives.”
I’m not crying! My eyes are naturally this watery!
“Don’t cry, young miss. We’ll swear the oaths.”
Brother Claw tilted his head and sheathed his sword. “How come you listen to her, but not to me?”
“Because you’re ugly.”
“She’s beautiful. She must be an angel. An angel wouldn’t lie to us.”
“Yes, that’s right. Young miss, please, exchange messenger signatures with me.”
…I’m starting to think I was born in the wrong sect. Wouldn’t the Seducing Succubus Sect have been a much better fit for me? Lucia did exchange some used underwear for their techniques…. If I learned them, maybe I could seduce Lucia as well? A-as practice! I’d try to seduce Lucia as practice!