There’s no way Lucia’s plan will work. She didn’t even change clothes after putting on that nameplate. Wait, no, that’s not the problem with her plan! She’s the only fox—err, squirrelkin here! Her pretending to be someone else is going to end in a disaster. At most, she’ll be prevented from fighting again, right? The penalty for disobeying the rules was a hundred lashes for everyone in the disobedient person’s squad. I’ve never been lashed before.
“Stop! You’re not allowed to fight more than once a day!” And someone’s trying to stop Lucia already. Please, succeed.
“Eh? But this is my first time fighting!” Lucia completely disregarded our ally and hopped onto the stage where Beast Tamer Forest was waiting. “See, look! This nametag says Fiery Rain. The last person who was up here was Lucia Fluffytail. We look a lot alike because we’re both foxkin, but we’re not actually the same person. Mhm.”
“That’s right!” Brother Claw shouted. I nearly jumped from how loud he was. “Lucia Fluffytail is a chosen of our Shadow Devil Sect. That person, Fiery Rain, has nothing to do with our sect! She belongs to the Flaming Sparrow Sect.”
There has to be someone who’s in charge of this, right? If someone broke the rules, someone has to act as the judge. And with this many people gathered in one place, it’d be terrible if the rules were broken and a conflict erupted between the two sides. The mediator should show him or herself soon to prevent Lucia from disregarding rules that have persisted for hundreds of years.
“Hold it right there, little fox. Do you think we’re idiots?”
There! That person who’s flying in the sky. Flying’s prohibited, but since he’s up there, he has to be strong enough to disregard that rule. His nameplate says he’s from the Ascending Phoenix Sect, but I’ve never heard of them before. They must either be weak, which is unlikely given that they have a sky-realm expert, or they’re from Fang Country.
“Of course not!” Lucia shook her head back and forth. “I don’t think you guys are idiots. I just know that I’m smarter than all of you. There’s a difference!”
“…Are you trying to make me mad?”
“Me? Make you mad? I’m the one who should be angry here!” Lucia stomped her foot against the arena platform. “How dare you question my identity? This nameplate is clear for everyone to see! I belong to the Flaming Sparrow Sect, not the Shadow Devil Sect. My name is Fiery Rain, not Lucia Fluffytail!”
The sky-realm expert’s expression darkened. “I don’t recall Lucia Fluffytail ever introducing herself earlier when she faced Butcher. How do you know her name?”
“Err…, that’s….” Lucia scratched her head and glanced around. I think she was looking for Ilya. When she couldn’t find her, Lucia coughed. “That’s simple. Heart Devil Lucia is famous; everyone knows her. Yup. That’s it. She’s famous and totally well-known! I can’t believe you didn’t recognize her, and I can’t believe you’d mistake someone like me for her.” Lucia’s ear twitched, and she turned her head. “Hey! Where do you think you’re running to, Beast Tamer Forest?”
“I-I’m not going to fight someone who’s breaking the rules!” The poor frightened man turned to run, but Lucia was one step quicker. She drew her sword and brought it down with a flash, drawing a scream out of her opponent as his limbs separated from his torso. Lucia’s so domineering! That’s a really attractive trait for a man I’m interested in to have. …Wait, Lucia’s not a man. Nor am I interested in her! Lucia waved at me. My face is on fire! Will she notice? I, I—
“Claw! Come harvest this head for me!”
Maybe she wasn’t waving at me…. I’m not disappointed!
“Yes, Chos—Lady Fiery Rain!” Brother Claw nearly ruined Lucia’s disguise as he ran up to the stage and beheaded Beast Tamer Forest without hesitation. If I had volunteered to harvest Butcher’s head, it’d be me up there on that stage with Lucia right now…. She’d be depending on me instead of Brother Claw. I shouldn’t have promoted him to fourth-in-command! Wait, no. I wouldn’t murder people just to gain Lucia’s favor. I’m not that kind of person!
“Audacious! You dare to break the rules and kill another one of my Fang Country’s men? Descending Phoenix Claw!” The sky-realm expert shot down like a bolt of lightning, colliding into Lucia. She yelped as her robes were burnt away, but she didn’t seem injured.
“Bastard! What the f*** are you doing!?” Lucia shouted as she grabbed onto the sky-realm expert’s wrist. “Breaking Madness Fist Strike!” With a crack, Lucia’s free hand struck the sky-realm expert’s nose, causing his face to crumple inwards like dented metal. “I just fought a duel! We’re only allowed to duel one person a day! You’re the one forcing me to break these rules by attacking me! Stupid pervert, how dare you burn my clothes off!?” In a flash, Lucia pulled robes out of her interspacial ring and donned them in one motion. Then she removed the sky-realm expert’s robes while taking his ring off of his finger. Is, is he dead?
“Hey, Claw,” Lucia said. “Cut his head off for me.”
Brother Claw was standing in a daze, but he flinched at Lucia’s voice. “Yes, Lady Fiery Rain!” With a short cry and a leap, he swung his sword down. …If the sky-realm expert wasn’t killed by Lucia’s punch, then he’s certainly dead now. Unless he’s a body cultivator, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. But how did Lucia defeat him in a single strike? Was he already weakened?
“Lu—Fiery Rain!” Ilya shouted while cupping her hands around her mouth. “Bring me his body so I can make stuff out of it!”
…I really wish Ilya would stop using body parts in alchemy. People will associate our sect with a bunch of murderers! Though they might respect us as long as we’re strong, the instant we show any hints of weakness, a lot of people will point fingers at us and try to tear us apart! …With Lucia’s blatant disregard for the rules, Brother Claw’s kill-happy demeanor, and Ilya’s insistence on experimenting with dead bodies, our sect’s reputation is already in the gutter. This isn’t the type of prestige I wanted our sect to have!