Just like I thought, people were way ahead of me when it came to robbery! When I plundered those people at the entrance to the camp, I only found a couple of heads that weren’t worth anything because they had already been robbed before reaching the camp. But now, I get to do the robbing before those people are robbed before reaching the camp! Battlefield? Fighting honorable duels? Screw that! I’ve already gathered over three hundred earth-realm experts’ heads and we haven’t even made it to the second battlefield yet. There were even more saint-realm people’s heads, but they’re worthless since they can’t be exchanged for what I want, so I gave them to Ilya to do whatever she does with body parts.
How many people did I have to rob to get that many earth-realm heads? There were too many to count, but we encountered seventy-four different sects! There are so many people on the Immortal Continent; it’s great! There are so many people to rob and bully and plant heart devils in. This is paradise. I’m not quite sure I want to go back home anymore, but I have to drop Ilya off at least. She has a dad, so I guess she wants to see him. Mm. I wouldn’t know. The only family I have is my husband, Durandal! We’re not married yet, but that doesn’t matter. Once I stick him in a sky-realm-ranked sword, I’m going to have Ilya experiment on him until he becomes virile, then I’ll trap him with kids!
Ahem. Anyways, there’s only three thousand seven hundred heads to go! Unless I get lucky and get another sky-realm expert’s head from the next battlefield. It turns out that every sect is assigned a navigator by the crown prince. Since I lost mine somewhere along the way, I borrowed the other sects’ navigators. They tried to run at first, but after keeping them tied up in the deepest levels of the boat where Ilya does her alchemy stuff, they changed their tunes pretty quick. They’re at least eighty-percent cooperative! And when they’re not cooperative, I throw them overboard. Because of that, I only have fifty navigators left out of the original seventy-some.
Mm. And I’m supposed to be cultivating right now. But for some reason, Fluffles is outside of my body even though I didn’t use Heart Devil Apparition, and he’s eating every single heart devil wormy that’s flying my way! How am I supposed to cultivate if this stupid technique stops me from cultivating!? “Fluffles, damnit! Go eat something else!”
Fluffles is a terrible squirrel: He doesn’t eat acorns. He doesn’t drink acorn stew. And he doesn’t even look at my hot chocolate! Mm. I guess he isn’t really a squirrel, huh? He’s made of heart devil wormies. And he’s eating heart devil wormies…. Cannibal? First Ilya, now Fluffles? Why am I surrounded by such weird people? Well, anyways, it doesn’t seem like I’ll make much progress if I keep channeling this Heart Devil Cultivation Technique, might as well take a break to eat!
“Hmm? What, Fluffles?” Is he upset I stopped? He already ate a whole skyful of worms! “If you want food, go get it yourself. Stop eating my cultivation.”
“Rr….” Fluffles stood on his hindlegs and sniffed the air. Then he leapt over the edge of the boat. Like black lightning, he disappeared in a flash, leaving behind a trail of afterimages that disappeared when I blinked. Was he really going to hunt his own food? If he eats heart devil worms, doesn’t that mean he’s going to plant some first? Then that means I’ll have planted them as well since Fluffles is part of my technique…. This is amazing! I can traumatize people without even lifting a finger! Wait a minute…. What if I use Heart Devil Apparition again? “Heart Devil Apparition!” …And another squirrel popped out! This isn’t Fluffles, right? Hmm. Nope. His ears are slightly different. And his tail is less plump. Great! “Alright, Fluff Two, if you want to eat, you’re going to have to hunt your own food. Got it?”
Fluff Two nodded and jumped over the side of the boat, running in a different direction from Fluffles. This…, this technique is the greatest thing ever! “Fluff Three, come on out!”
“Seven Hundred Thirty-Three!”
“Seven Hundred Thirty—”
“Lucia? What are you doing?”
“—Four.” Ah, it’s Softie. Fluff Seven Hundred Thirty-Four sprang out of my shadow and sniffed Softie. Before she could grab him, Fluff Seven Hundred Thirty-Four leapt into the air and spread his limbs … and flew. Hmm. He was a flying squirrel, huh? Interesting.
“Was that an apparition? Even Grandfather’s apparition isn’t as solid.” Softie’s forehead wrinkled. “But what did you mean by Seven Hundred Thirty-Four?”
“That’s Fluff Seven Hundred Thirty-Four.” I thought it was pretty self-explanatory. “Heart Devil Apparition! And here’s Fluff Seven Hundred Thirty-Five.”
Softie’s already pale face turned even paler. “You’ve released close to a thousand apparitions? What are they doing?”
Fluff Seven Hundred Thirty-Five jumped overboard and dug into the ground. Was he a mole or a squirrel? Mm, well, I guess there aren’t many directions left for them to go. The more areas they cover, the better it is for me! “They’re planting heart devils in people for me.”
“Wait…,” Softie said and placed her hand on her forehead. “Each apparition needs a hundred thousand heart devil worms to act as its base. And you summoned over seven hundred of them. Right. You do have that many heart devil worms to spare. I forgot how slow your cultivation was compared to a normal person’s because of your impurities.”
I’m not impure! I’m very chaste and moral and cute! If I were a horrible person, my apparitions wouldn’t look so darn adorable. Something this cute can’t come out of an impure person!
“But, Lucia, is it a good idea? Doesn’t this count as causing a big commotion?”
“Eh, I’ve only summoned less than a thousand squirrels, no big deal. At most, they’ll only terrorize one sect each. Probably. But there’s a lot of sects, right? A thousand sects is like the last drop of acorn stew in your bowl—almost unnoticeable.”
“…Did you say squirrels?”
Ah! “Ahem. Foxes. I said foxes. There are less than a thousand foxes.”
Softie’s eyes widened to the size of saucers. “Call them back! Call all the squirrels back!”
“Uh, can’t do that.” Mm. I don’t know how. And if I don’t know, then it’s not possible.
“Squirrels are being actively hunted by immortals! If they notice, you’ll be hunted down by immortals, Lucia! Immortals!”
What. I was never told this! The crown prince is scary enough as a sky-realm expert, and people scarier than him are going to hunt me down!? I have to call them all back! “Fluffs, assemble!”
It didn’t work. Mm, in any case, I can always deny being a squirrel. I’m a foxkin!