Hmm. Maybe, just maybe, I messed up. And Ilya says I don’t know how to admit my mistakes. I made a teensy-tiny misjudgment about this man who’s currently being choked by my arm. It turns out, he was actually the emperor. Who knew? There’s no reason for an emperor to wander around looking like a sixteen-year-old! That’s just asking to be mistaken for someone he’s not! Right. This isn’t my fault. This is the emperor’s fault. I’m sure he’s not sixteen; he’s using some kind of disguise that makes him look younger. …I wonder if he’ll teach me it—not that I look old enough to need it.
“Father, is this the expert who stole our wall?”
And now there’s a giant group of princes and princesses hovering nearby the boat. If all of them shot me with arrows at once, then I’d be screwed! It’s a good thing I have this human shield.
“No! Don’t be stupid. This foxkin’s merely an earth-realm … expert.” Emperor Yi struggled in my grasp, so I tightened my grip. I can’t let my only safety insurance escape!
“But she’s suppressing you….” One of the princes at the front, that didn’t resemble Emperor Yi at all was leading the pack and doing all the talking. Emperor Yi’s so lucky to have this many children. Even after trying with Durandal for over a year, I’m not even pregnant! It can’t be that I’m sterile, right? That’s impossible. I can be shot in the heart and regenerate! Surely my eggs are just as sturdy. Then is it Durandal’s issue…? Maybe I should have a doctor see him. Mm. I’ll do that as soon as I plant him in a sword. Oh! Sword! Emperor Yi’s a sky-realm expert. Surely he has a sky-realm-ranked sword. I’ll check through the interspacial ring I stole later. I might not even have to kidnap a blacksmith’s child. Hmm. Emperor Yi’s such a long name. I’ll call him Yiyi from now on.
“This isn’t suppression,” Yiyi said and glared at his son. Honestly, his son looks like the father, and he looks like the son. Maybe women in the Immortal Continent like childish-looking men? How else would Yiyi have so many women? Clearly, everyone’s an immoral pervert. Ah, it’s tough being the only normal person, but thankfully, I already have a lot of experience ignoring everyone’s looks. “This is friendly skinship.”
That’s right! This is a friendly gesture totally not meant to incapacitate people! I nodded twice to play along. But why was Yiyi helping me out? I know! This is all about face! He can’t go around saying he, a sky-realm expert, lost to me, an earth-realm expert. That’s…. Holy crap. I’m amazing, aren’t I? Are all sky-realm experts this weak?
“Then … you’re courting her, Father? Is now the time? The great wall has gone missing!”
“Hey, Yiyi. Are you really courting me?” I’m taken! And I already told him he was unattractive!
“Court your mother! You’re the one who tried to seduce me first!” Yiyi glowered at me. I could feel his gaze piercing me. Literally. Lasers of qi were shooting out of his eyes and burning my skin. “And what did you just call me? Yiyi? Only my first wife, the empress, can call me that!”
“What action did I take to seduce you, damnit!? I know I’m beautiful, charming, naturally attractive, and irresistible, but I didn’t even give you a single hint of affection!” It looks like I have to rename Yiyi. How about … Quick Shot? Right, it has the same number of syllables and accurately reflects his nature. It’s perfect! “But fine. I’ll call you Quick Shot from now on, alright?”
Quick Shot twitched and blood flowed out of his mouth like vomit. “W-who’s a quick shooter!? Just because I have a lot of children doesn’t mean I have no stamina!”
What does children have to do with stamina and shooting arrows quickly? There’s something wrong with Quick Shot’s head. I might not have wiped out his memories when I smacked him, but I certainly addled something. Mm. I even planted a heart devil into him just now. For some reason, planting heart devils in people always make them vomit out blood. Maybe the heart devil literally resides in the heart like a lump and forces out excess blood? Nah. Even I know the heart isn’t connected to the mouth! I learned that through a lot of dismembering of beasts. “Yeah, yeah, okay, whatever. Just tell your children to go away, okay? They’re really intimidating with all their bows drawn.” When I gave Quick Shot an extra squeeze, all the princes and princesses drew their bows.
“What are you unfilial children doing, point a bow at your own father!?” Quick Shot shouted. Qi flew out of his mouth like shockwaves, pushing back his children and causing their faces to turn red. Wow. I wonder if I can do that. I’ll try it! I’ll call it Breaking Shout!
I’ll put all my qi into the back of my mouth and…. “Testing!” It worked! Qi flew out of my mouth like the shockwave from an explosion and collided into the group of flying people. They were knocked so far away that I couldn’t see them anymore. Whew. If I do this every time I shout out a sword technique, I’ll get too tired too fast. That took up a lot more energy than expected.
“You … copied my royal family’s secret Dragon Roar Technique….” Quick Shot stared at me in awe. I’m sure that’s awe and not fear. And what secret technique? How is it even close to a secret!? Anyone can figure it out in one glance!
“If you wanted to keep it a secret, you shouldn’t have done it. Mm.” I nodded. Damn. I’m so wise when I’m focused. Well, I’m always wise, but only when I’m focused am I able to enlighten other people with my wisdom.
Quick Shot’s face fell. “…It took me ten years to learn that.”
What? Really? “Uh, I know I’m a genius who learns really quickly, but, um, maybe you’re just an idiot?” Oh! The heart devil grew even more! It’s just begging me to harvest it. I wonder how strong I’ll grow from a sky-realm expert’s heart devil. I haven’t been cultivating the technique because it’s too upsetting to use when Durandal’s not around to relieve the frustration that comes with it.
“…You’re really infuriating, do you know that?”
Me? Infuriating? That’s a first. “I think you mispronounced infatuating.” Mm. That must be the case. Anyways, I have a mission to accomplish! “Quick Shot, when are you going to start the King Province Exchange? I need to win it as a backup plan!”