This past week was hell. There’s simply no other way to describe it, and I’m very good at describing things! Not only have I been practicing Madness Strikes, but I’ve also been working on my Impenetrable Shell and Footsteps of the Giant. Durandal said I only had a week to improve my strength, so he decided to, as he calls it, expedite my training. That means practicing all three at the same time.
Footsteps of the Giant is actually a pretty neat technique that I like a lot. When the giant walks, who dares bar its path!? That’s the technique’s motto. Doesn’t it sound super-duper awesome and perfectly tailored for me? Anyways, it’s really useful. I extend tendrils of qi out of my feet as if I’m a tree and my qi tendrils are roots, and by doing so, I’m firmly rooted into place and can’t be moved. Actually, I can extend qi tendrils out of any part of my body and stick them into any object other than the ground even though Softie said that wasn’t supposed to be possible unless I had really, really large meridians. Supposedly, the meridians in normal people’s feet are large, so it’s easy to send qi out of them. I guess that means I have really, really large meridians, or I’m special. I knew I was special. Only a special person could find the Godking’s legacy! …Bryant wasn’t special because he died.
Ahem. Anyways, like I was saying. I can walk on walls and on ceilings with the Footsteps of the Giant. Eh? I wasn’t saying that? Well, I just said it. I can firmly root myself in place by spreading my qi into the ceiling. So of course, Durandal’s had me perform everything upside down, including Madness Strikes, eating, sleeping, and even nighttime activities. It’s extremely difficult when only one person is able to glue themselves to the ceiling. I’m really glad I have a tail that works like an extra limb. Who wants to be a weak-tailed crowkin anyway?
As for Impenetrable Shell…, it’s like an Armor of Slaughter that I have to focus on using. It’s hard. I can barely follow a single train of thought; how am I supposed to multitask with an active shield too? But to train the Impenetrable Shell, Durandal’s been helping me. Helping…. Right, he’s definitely helping…. Gah! He’s just using this practice as an excuse to beat me up and test his techniques! I’ve been hit by more sword techniques in this past week than I’ve taken shits in my life! And I can’t even kill him because then I’ll be punishing myself if he disappears for a week. Life’s not fair. Humph.
Why haven’t I been practicing the Immortal Venom Body? That’s simple! When Durandal tried to get the snake to bite me again, I bit it’s head off. Mm. Squirrels and snakes have a very volatile relationship. The one who doesn’t want to be bitten must bite first! I’m sure that’s a saying somewhere in the world. If not, then it’s a saying now. Softie’s been throwing a lot of sayings at me, stuff like: What’s seen can’t be unseen; please don’t strip me. And, there is no medicine for regret; please stop stripping me. And, the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire, stay strong, Soft Moonlight; please stop touching me, Lucia. All these sayings are so profound. I wonder what Softie’s trying to tell me. I’m sure I’ll figure it out one day.
But who cares about one day? The hellish week is finally over! It’s time to set off and placate some sects! Durandal told me I received a mission to eradicate the sects, but Softie corrected him. I have a list of four hundred sects to visit and fully infest with heart devils. People can’t be angry at you if they’re completely terrified of you, right? Terrorizing when brought to the extreme is also a form of placating. Mm. Softie told me it would be a good experience, and from what I can tell, since the whole Shadow Devil Sect is filled with sadists, a good experience for them is defined as torturing others to plant heart devils in them. Clearly, they want me to torture the lesser sects.
“You’re thinking too hard again, Lucia. Steam’s coming out of your head.”
Eh? It’s Ilya! “Ilya! Why are you here?”
“You’re … crushing me….”
Hmm. After eating over a thousand aurochsen, my physical strength increased again. I can’t be blamed for hugging Ilya too hard. “Oops.”
Ilya sighed and cast a healing spell on herself. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of those. I’ve asked Softie if she had any healing spells because the snake also bit my tongue when I bit its head off, but apparently healing techniques aren’t very common amongst Immortal Continent natives. They use drugs instead. Lots and lots of drugs…. During this week, I’ve seen Softie eat seven whole bottles of pills, and all she did was sit cross-legged in her cave. Of course, I couldn’t let her live life like that, so I dragged her out every so often when it was time to eat. For some reason, she gets really annoyed when I do that, and she even spat out blood once, but all her resentment disappears when I stuff her face with food! As a trustworthy food peddler once told me, the fastest way to cheer someone up is through food! Now that I think about it, every time I asked that peddler a question, the answer was always buy more of my food. Well, food’s never not solved any of my problems, so she was right!
“Did you hear any of what I just said?”
…Was Ilya talking? “Uh. You said I was crushing you. Mm.”
Ilya sighed again. “You never change. I’m not sure why I expected you to.” She shook her head. Did she grow a little taller? Maybe I shrank…. “Are you listening now?”
“Yes! Loud and clear!” I’m paying attention. Mhm. Focus, Lucia. Pretend you consumed a focus bone. How does that feeling feel like? Hmm. Ah, Ilya’s mouth stopped moving. I’ll just nod and pretend I heard. “Uh-huh. Sure. Got it.”
Ilya slapped her forehead with her palm. Then she sighed again. That’s three sighs in less than two minutes! She must be feeling pretty sad, huh? I wonder if it’s because she misses her dad. How does it feel like to miss her parents? I’m sure I felt it way back when but repressed those memories because they were too miserable. Mm. I’ll rub her ears to cheer her up.
“W-what are you doing?”
There’s no way Ilya can escape from my grasp! Ah, but I still haven’t figured out what she was here for. “So. Why are you here?”
“Can you let go of my ears?”
I can, but I won’t. So I shook my head.
“My master forced me to volunteer for the sect placating mission that you’re in charge of. Besides from me, there’s another hundred thousand disciples who’ve signed up.”
Wait. “I’m in charge of the mission?”
“Am I?” I thought I was just a bystander! If I’m in charge…, then that makes everything better! “That means everyone has to listen to me, right?”
“Well, yeah. Listening to the chosens was part of the task description.” Ilya’s face changed. What kind of expression is this? It’s hard to tell because I’m playing with her ears and the skin around her eyes keep moving. “Please, order the disciples around responsibly.”
“Hah? You think I’m not a responsible person?”
“No, I don’t think that. I know you’re not responsible.”
Hey! I’m very responsible! If I wasn’t, would I have been put in charge of this mission? Hmph, hmph. I’ll show Ilya what it means to be a chosen of a sect! As a chosen of the sect, I have to…, uh, be responsible or something. Yeah. Softie tried telling me, but I was too busy trying not to die from Durandal’s attacks so I wasn’t listening. But the sect leader trusts me to teach these lesser sects their place! And I can’t betray that trust. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t gain anything from it, so I won’t.