“Who’s that woman? It seems like it’s her first time here.”
“She can only blame her bad luck for being chosen by Butcher. Maybe he’ll spare her if she begs.”
What are these people saying? Spare me? Is this Butcher person scary? My tail is completely relaxed! There’s no way this guy can be scary. Maybe if I was a cookie, I’d be scared of him. He’s kind of pudgy, and it’s clear he snacks a lot. I thought cultivators didn’t eat because they were masochists or something. How did he get fat?
“At least she’s not a beauty. It would’ve been truly unfortunate if that young miss who was beside her was chosen instead.”
Oi. Which f***er called me ugly just now? It was that guy with the blue robes and…, why does he look so generic!? There are so many people who look exactly like him! There’s no way I’m going to remember him to teach him a lesson! Mm. Fine. Every person in those blue robes and white bandana is going to be stripped and thrown into a dungeon once I get the chance.
“Nervous? Look around all you want, little fox. No one’s going to help you,” the fat man in front of me said. He was wearing a white robe, but it was covered in bloodstains, so it was red and brown and black. And he was using meat cleavers as weapons. “People call me Butcher! I’m an earth-realm expert who’s killed over twenty earth-realm experts and over thousands of saint-realm fodders in the ten years I’ve been here! What’s wrong? So scared that you can’t even speak!?”
Mm. I’m having a hard time deciding whether I should use a hammer or an earth-realm-ranked sword. It’ll be so much more satisfying to hit him with the hammer, but then he’d go flying and it’d be a pain in the ass to drag him back so my minions can harvest his head. But if I use a sword, I could cut off his limbs and I wouldn’t have to go through that hassle. But it’ll be so much less satisfying without the crunching sounds. Hah…. Why do I have to make such tough decisions? Being too good at so many things is so hard sometimes. Sword…. Hammer…. Sword…? Hammer…. Sword…. Fine, sword it is.
“Lucia! Watch out!”
Eh? He’s running at me. Did the battle start? I wasn’t ready! Why didn’t anyone tell me it started!? This stupid cheater is trying to sneak attack me! “Madness Strike!” …And there goes his legs. He didn’t even try to block or dodge! I think he said he was an earth-realm expert? Great! Please, deity watching over my life, let every earth-realm expert be as weak as him! Struggle to grow strong? F*** that! I’m not handicapping myself to artificially increase the difficulty like Durandal wanted me to. If I had a choice to fight a tiger or a baby duck, I’d pick the baby duck every time!
“Gah! My legs! My legs!”
Mm, I have a lot of fights to do today. If I didn’t have this necklace of intelligence, I might’ve done something stupid like Madness Strike a defenseless target! That’s such a waste of qi. I’ll conserve my strength and remove his arms with my bare hands instead. I’ll grab his bicep right here … and place my foot on his chest like so … and pull!
“Ah!!! Ah!!! My arm! She’s insane! Somebody, help me!”
And I have to remove his other arm too. Can’t be too careful. Mhm. What if he pulls something out of his interspacial ring? Just because someone only has one arm doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous! I can’t stop praising this necklace of intelligence. I’m so glad Ilya made it for me. It must’ve saved me at least three hours of trouble with the extra brain power it gave me.
Okay! He’s completely disarmed! Literally. It should be pretty safe to drag him back now. Hmm. Why’s everyone so quiet? Ah! It’s because I made my debut, isn’t it? They’re awestruck by how powerful I am. Hmph, hmph. Let’s see these people call me ugly now! I dare them.
“L-Lucia. Why did you bring him over here…? You’re supposed to take a tribute or take his head….”
“Yeah, I want to take his head, but I don’t want to kill him, you know?” Killing is wrong. Well, no, not all killing is wrong. Murder is wrong. Mm, killing to eat is completely fine. “I don’t want my reputation to be that of a murderer. That’s why, one of you should do it.”
“I’ll do it!” Claw shot to his feet and cupped his hands at me. “I’m cultivating my family’s secret technique that allows me to take the qi of the people I kill. Please, allow me, Chosen Lucia!”
What!? Stealing the qi from the people he kills? How vicious! That’s the technique of an immoral murderer! “Can you give me that technique too?”
Softie tugged on my sleeve. “It’s a secret family technique. It’s impolite to ask that.”
“That’s not a problem, Chosen Lucia. I already swore to accompany you even through the depths of the underworld,” Claw said and bowed. “But this technique can only be cultivated by a man; otherwise, you’ll explode. Do you still want it?”
…What is this sexist cultivation technique? “Err, no. I’ll pass.” Exploding is the last thing I want to do. Actually, no, I don’t want to explode at all.
Claw nodded at me before crouching next to the unconscious Butcher. He raised the sword I gave him into the air and chopped down with a grin on his face. …There’s something wrong with Claw. He’s not normal. Definitely not normal. Who smiles when he kills someone? Claw grunted and grabbed Butcher’s head. “Here you go.”
Well…, at least someone’s willing to harvest heads for me! I’d feel bad if I made someone unwillingly become a murderer, like Softie. But since Claw doesn’t seem to have any qualms about killing people, it all works out. I’ll just stuff this head into my interspacial ring and wait for the next duel.
“I, Beast Tamer Forest, challenge any earth-realm expert or below!”
“Dibs! I call dibs!” There’s a lot of people named Forest for some reason. I swear he’s the third or fourth person I’ve met so far. Or I could just be remembering things wrongly again. Mm. Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s my turn to fight again!
“You can only fight once a day, Lucia!” Softie grabbed my sleeve before I could run up there.
“Eh….” Right. That prisoner did say those were the rules, and there’s an awful lot of people here. If I didn’t follow the rules, then they could all attack me at once! Teach these people warfare? Harvest everyone’s heads with reckless abandon? F*** that! I’ll die if this many people gang up on me! I’ll follow those rules, but I’m not going to slow down! With this necklace of intelligence, I’ve easily come up with a loophole! Err, ingenious idea! It’s not a loophole. Nope. “How do you read this?”
“This nameplate?” Softie asked. “Flaming Sparrow Sect’s core disciple, Fiery Rain.”
“Okay! I’ll just wear this nameplate like so…, and now I’m no longer Lucia Fluffytail. I’m Flaming Rain!”
“Fiery Rain!” There’s no way my foolproof plan can fail! “I, Fiery Rain, accept your challenge, Beast Tamer Forest!”