Phew. That was a good meal, but I feel like I ate a lot more than I usually do. Well, I did warn Ilya’s dad to eat soon otherwise it’d all be gone. I think he got a piece or two. Now, let’s see how much my strength improved. Why isn’t there a convenient way to check? Like a stone that measures qi when I place my palm on it, or a magical orb that shifts colors depending on my strength. I guess I’ll have to do this the old-fashioned way.
“Lucia,” Ilya said as she wiped her hands on her napkin. “What are you doing?”
I raised mini-DalDal over my head, keeping my arm straight while pointing it at the ceiling. “Testing my strength.”
“Don’t test it here!” Ilya shouted. “Are you trying to destroy the dining room!?”
Wow, when did she become brave enough to start shouting at me? And it’s not like I was going to swing mini-DalDal or anything, I was just increasing the weight, jeez. Ten tons … eleven … thirteen … eighteen … twenty-two … twenty-seven … thirty…!? Oops. I dropped it.
Ilya screamed as massive fractures spread along the floor. Well, I’m rich enough to pay for it, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Anyways, thirty tons! That’s more than twice what I could lift before. Those beast cores were super useful. Does this make me a divine warrior? “Unrelenting Path of Slaughter!”
Ilya screamed again before stiffening. Her eyes rolled up to the top of her head, revealing their whites. She fell over backwards like a log, and froth appeared in the corners of her mouth. What brought that about? I didn’t even attack her. But there’s this super-ominous aura surrounding my body. It looks like strands of blood are floating around me. And according to the mirror that’s conveniently placed in the dining room, I can tell that my aura’s taking the shape of a cute goat’s head, horns and all.
“Devil,” Ilya’s dad said. He was looking at me with wide eyes.
“Devil?” Aren’t I supposed to be a divine warrior? Shouldn’t I look more like an angel than a devil, the heck? I’ve been swindled! It’s definitely Durandal’s fault for giving me a defective path to follow. What else changed? Ilya’s not awake, so I can swing my sword a few times! I’ll blame it on her dad if anything bad happens. “Unrelenting Path of Slaughter: Breaking Blade!”
I lifted my sword into the air, focused my qi into it, and swung downwards. When my qi entered the blade, blood-red wisps of mist leaked out of it. When my sword cut the air, a howl filled the room as a massive, red vertical line slashed outwards, cutting through the ceiling and wall of the dining room. Holy shit. Silence filled the air until a few clattering sounds broke it. Bits and pieces of the ceiling were falling onto the floor. Then, without warning, the whole room collapsed inwards, burying me under chandeliers and stone rubble. Of course, I saved Ilya, but I have no idea if her dad was okay or not. Eh, he’s a ninth-circle magician, he’ll be fine!
A head popped out of the rubble. “What was that?” Ilya’s dad asked me as he shook his head. His expression froze when he looked off to the side. I followed his gaze. Holy crap! Did I do that? I’m amazing! Look at that beautiful fissure in the ground! I even split a cloud in half, a f***ing cloud! As far as the eye could see, there was a straight blue line leading into the horizon. Everything in its path was split: the ground, the trees, the clouds, a few houses, a field of grain. I know I said this before, but damn, I’m amazing. I think it’s safe to say I became a divine warrior.
“Was that magic?” Ilya’s dad asked. “I know some magicians who specialize in wind magic that can do something similar.”
“She’s a warrior, Father!” Ilya said as she wriggled out of my grasp. When did she wake up? Maybe it was the loud noises. Her eyes widened as she looked around before staring at me. “Did you do this?”
“Uh, nope.” Deny everything! “Your dad did it, right?” Maybe winking at him will make him catch the hint.
“It was all Lucia,” Ilya’s dad said.
Ouch, that was cold.
“Duke!” someone shouted. “What happened? Are you alright!?”
“It’s nothing,” Ilya’s dad said to the approaching servant. “There were some minor complications. For now, just clear the rubble. Have Matthew hire an architect to draft up a design to rebuild the dining room. Ilya’s birthday is in a month, I want this fixed by then.”
“Duke!” another voice shouted. “What happened? Are you alright!?”
They care about Ilya’s dad a lot, huh? How many more times am I going to hear those two lines? Maybe four or five more.
“Everything’s alright,” Ilya’s dad said.
“Duke!” a third voice shouted. “The prisoners escaped! What happened? Are you alright!?”
“The prisoners escaped?” Ilya’s dad asked. “Didn’t I cut their legs off?”
“The array holding back their mana was destroyed by something!” the servant said. “All I saw was a flash of red and the wall was gone. I couldn’t do anything; the prisoners all worked together to cast a large-scale teleportation spell.”
Hmm, flash of red. That was me, right? Oops.
“Did you uncover any more information before they left?” Ilya’s dad asked. He dusted himself off while standing.
“All their words have been recorded,” the servant said with a nod.
“Bring me the report,” Ilya’s dad said. He turned around to face me. “Thank you for the meal, Lucia. It tasted delicious. But next time, please refrain from destroying my dining room.”
No punishment? Sweet! These must be the perks of becoming a divine warrior!
“Wait, Father,” Ilya said and grabbed her dad’s sleeve. “Are those imposter bandits a serious problem?”
“Serious?” Ilya’s dad rubbed his chin. “I’m not sure. But there’s been a lot of unrest in the capital recently, and I think I uncovered the culprit behind it. The Flopsy Gang.”
Flopsy Gang? Why does that sound so familiar…? Snow! That bastard! I’ll rip him to shreds!