I’m not sure why I attacked the Great Poison Sect members right after Lucia. Is this what people call a woman’s intuition? I felt like if I didn’t support Lucia, my future would be very grim. For feeling like this, I’d like to apologize to the elders of the Great Poison Sect. At least the grudges won’t be very strong; the attacks of Shadow Devil Sect disciples aren’t tailored to kill. They’re designed to plant heart devils. That’s why there’s only three dead disciples amongst the Great Poison Sect … members…. Why are there three dead disciples!? Their bodies were completely cut into two at the waist!
“Hmm. Since they all lived, should I attack again?” Lucia tilted her head to the side while her tail relaxed completely and swished along the ground. What do you mean they all lived!?
“Um, Lucia. You see those three with their bodies cut in two?”
“Yeah. What about it?” Lucia blinked at me.
Okay. I’ve confirmed the fact that between me and Lucia, I’m not the stupid one. I was seriously worried that I might be an idiot that no one had the heart to break the news to. “They’re dead, aren’t they?”
“From that? That’s just a flesh wound.” Lucia nodded twice and propped her sword up with her shoulder. …There was blood dripping down the edge of the blade. Why was there blood? Her sword didn’t even connect with them. “They’ll be perfectly fine in a few hours if someone holds their two halves together.”
That’s not how people work…. “I, I don’t think you should attack them anymore.”
“Hmm? Ah! You’re right!” Lucia sheathed her sword and patted my shoulder. It felt like a boulder landed on my back, and I was nearly forced into the ground. “If I break their defensive items, that’ll be like breaking my own defensive items! I almost broke my own possessions, phew. I knew you were a smart encyclopedia.”
An encyclopedia? Is that what Lucia sees me as? Qi rose up from behind us, and I swallowed the words I was going to say. “G-Grandfather?”
“Chosen Lucia!” My grandfather glared at Lucia. Was he going to punish her? I think she deserves punishment. The cultural exchange is a peaceful tradition that’s been carried out for millennium. The last time someone died at a cultural exchange was over a thousand years ago. But punishing the new chosen on the day she joins the sect…, isn’t that ruining her face? “Good job! You uncovered a plot that seriously endangered the foundation of our Shadow Devil Sect. It seems like my Shadow Devil Sect is no longer feared? Is that it?” My grandfather’s qi billowed towards the sky, separating the clouds. His voice boomed through the crowd, and tingles ran down my spine. “Because the tiger doesn’t roar, you think it’s a kitten? You think you can trample on the dignity of my Shadow Devil Sect!? You slimy frogs from the Great Poison Sect, cripple your own cultivations or die by my hands!”
“Dark Devil Moonlight! Don’t you think you’re being too overbearing? This is the cultural exchange!” An elderly man dressed in white rose to his feet. Only White Crane Sect members are allowed to wear white robes. And judging by the three blue stripes on his sash, he must have an important position as an elder. The qi coming off of him is nothing to scoff at either. If I wasn’t a chosen, I’d have already hidden behind my grandfather like Lucia. …One day, Lucia will understand the responsibilities that come with being a chosen. I hope.
“As the host of the cultural exchange, I freely allowed your sects inside of mine! And the Great Poison Sect repays my hospitality by poisoning my impurity-cleansing pool? I have every right to be overbearing!”
The elder from the White Crane Sect scoffed. “Trillions of years of peace shouldn’t be ruined by one disciple’s accusations!”
“Trillion years…, how many thousands is that? That’s a lot of thousands, right, Durandal? At least a thousand-thousand thousands.”
I couldn’t help but look at the foxkin hiding behind my grandfather who was counting on her fingers. “Err, Lucia, it’s just hyperbole.” There haven’t been trillions of years of peace. There was a war between two sects just last week.
“Hyperbole?” Lucia tilted her head. “Is that a final attack?”
Durandal hit her forehead. He actually hit her! “It’s an exaggeration to make people feel more outraged than if he just spoke the truth.”
“Oh! So he’s a liar.” Lucia nodded and rubbed her forehead. “I understand now!”
“I’d rather trust my disciple than an elder of another sect!” My grandfather puffed his chest out, and heart devil worms rose out of his back, creating a giant hand above his head. “Is the White Crane Sect going to stand in my way today? Shall the five fingers of Kong County become the four fingers?”
A crane’s clear cry rang through the air as white qi rose out of the White Crane Sect elder. “You’re crazy! The other fingers of Kong County won’t allow you to do this!”
“Don’t drag the Green Lotus Sect into your problems,” a woman wearing green said. Her voice wasn’t very loud, but I could hear her as if she were standing right next to me. She snorted as a green barrier rose up around her sect’s section.
A woman wearing red shot to her feet and yelled, “The Star Phoenix Sect stands by the White Crane Sect!” Flames burst into the air, and a few sects near her scrambled away.
Boom! A beefy man wearing only a blue loincloth slapped his thigh, causing lightning to strike the gourd in his hand. “Ha-ha! If the Star Phoenix Sect is joining in, then you can’t leave our Azure Dragon Sect out of this. Whoever the Star Phoenix Sect stands by, we’ll help the other side!” He raised the buzzing gourd to his lips and drank a deep gulp before spitting out a mist filled with electricity. He wiggled his eyebrows at my grandfather. “It looks like we’re allies for today, Sect Leader Moonlight.”
Something nudged my side. What was this? A disc with brown spots on it?
“It’s a cookie.” Lucia nudged me again with the disc. “You eat it.”
“I, I thought I told you I don’t eat—!” She shoved it into my mouth! Again! Why is she always forcing impurities into me!? Oh? This tastes … amazing. Unbelievable!
Lucia pulled a couch out of her interspacial ring and plopped down, leaning back into it while sipping on a mug. “There’s a good show to enjoy!” She patted the space beside her. “Sit.”
…Am I a dog? Wait, no. How can Lucia be so relaxed after causing tensions to rise between four of the five fingers of Kong County? A great war can break out in the next moment because of her!