It’s only been a day since I released all those apparitions, but I’ve already planted several thousand heart devils without lifting a finger. Life’s great. And Fluffles isn’t around to eat all my heart devil wormies when I cultivate! That means I’m steadily growing stronger with every passing second. Soon, I’ll be able to beat the crown prince in a fight to steal his sword! But I’ll probably get enough heads before I have to do that. I’m not saying that I won’t steal the crown prince’s sword later even if I already plant Durandal into a different sword; I’m just saying I’ll do it when I’m strong enough. If an earth-realm-ranked sword is so valuable already, then won’t a sky-realm-ranked sword sell for enough to feed me for the rest of my life and more?
“Stop right there, Shadow Devil Sect!”
Hmm? What’s this? Is, is that a walking fish!? Those fiendish creatures that’ll eat me if I fall into any body of water are able to walk on land!? “Ilya! Softie! Claw! Help!” What if they’re not walking on water, but transporting invisible water around them? I’ll drown! There’s so many of them! And these people are riding on top of them! Are they mermaids? Mm, they’d be mermen since they’re male. But that’s not right. I’m pretty sure those are walking fish! They look exactly like fish and have four legs like a lizard instead of fins.
“Lucia?” Softie was the first to answer my call! I knew I could count on her! “Are we being pursued?”
“We’re being pursued by walking fish!”
“Aren’t those fish running?” Ilya asked. Mm? Where did she come from? She just appeared out of nowhere! Wait, that’s Ilya, but she looks like a generic cultivator! Her skin isn’t purple anymore! Is it really Ilya? She sounded like Ilya. …I should dissect her to check. If her brain is larger than a normal person’s, then she must be Ilya. “But of course, Lucia would be scared of fish. Don’t you eat them though? You enjoyed them at that one restaurant with the peacocks.”
Oh, yeah, that’s Ilya. Only she’ll talk to me with that sarcastic tone. I thought I noogied it out of her, but she’s very stubborn. Mm, she’s in her rebellious phase right now, but I’m sure that’ll go away once I find her a hot guy—hormones and all that, you know? Right, taking care of my minions’ mental health is very important! “I like eating fish, but only as a form of revenge!”
The cabin door leading to the deck flew open. Claw drew his sword and dashed to my side. “Chosen Lucia was eaten by fish before?”
“No! It’s taking preemptive revenge! If I ever fall into water, I’m sure all the fish will try to eat me. That’s why I have to eat them first!”
“Chosen Lucia is wise! Junior Brother Claw will keep Chosen Lucia’s advice in mind. Kill those who want to kill you before you do anything that will cause them to want to kill you. I understand.” Claw’s head bobbed up and down. He’s such a good listener! He’s my best minion yet. I’ll reward him with another pair of used panties! I’m not showing favoritism because he complimented my wisdom; I’m being completely impartial! Geniuses are always impartial.
“I said stop! How dare you rob my sect brothers and sisters while I was away!? You even stripped them and placed heart devils in every single one of them! The elders had their limbs removed and taken away! Cultivation paths like yours that rely on bringing down other people have no place on the Immortal Continent. Surrender everything you own and maybe our Great Axolotl Sect will forgive your crimes!”
Axo-what-ul? Mm. It’s probably the walking fish they’re riding on. Why didn’t I see them before if I robbed this person’s sect? Wait a minute…, I probably did rob these people, but I definitely didn’t take their limbs! “Don’t slander me! I only cut limbs off! I don’t take them with me.”
Ilya coughed. Mm. She must be feeling sick. She smells a bit like vomit too. Is she still not feeling too well from getting smacked in the head by Mr. Feathers? He was supposed to be pretty strong compared to normal people…. But I thought she was all better. Ah, it doesn’t matter. If she’s sick, she’ll magic her ailments away. Maybe it’s a side effect of turning into a generic-looking person.
“It seems like you won’t repent! Don’t blame me for being too harsh!”
Whoa. Is this guy a sky-realm expert? My tail’s telling me he’s way stronger than earth-realm experts, but he’s not strong enough to be a real threat. I’ll take his head, unless…. “Hey, are you part of Kang Country or Fang Country?”
Darn. That sucks. I won’t get anything from this encounter! Unless…. “Hey, is that a sky-realm-ranked sword?”
“It’s the peak of earth realm!”
“…Are you wearing sky-realm-ranked boxers?”
“I’ll kill you!”
Guess not. …Does this person have anything worth taking? Mm, well, I guess I’ll just take his ring. Sky-realm experts tend to have a lot of stuff. They’re like hoarders because they’ve lived for a seriously long amount of time. “Ilya, burn away any invisible water on the ground.” I don’t believe those fish are actually walking! This is a trap to lure me into my weakest terrain! But I’m too smart to fall for it.
“It’ll be hard to boil away water,” Ilya said. “Can I just freeze it instead?”
“There’s no water…,” Softie said. Ah, this is why this necklace of intelligence is so great. Only Ilya and I are actually able to perceive the trap. Maybe Ilya should make one of these for Softie. It’s hard for geniuses to associate with people way below their intellect sometimes—such a tough life we live. I’m sure Ilya knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Ilya leaned over the side of the boat and pointed her palm at the running fish cavalry. “Ice, halt my enemies. Frost Nova!”
And just like that, every single one of those walking fish stopped moving as waist-high ice appeared around them, completely covering their legs and lower belly. I knew there was water there! The riders were thrown off from the sudden stop, and that’s when I leapt down to deal with them. How dare these people attack us and stake a claim on our stuff? It’s immoral to try and rob beautiful women like me and Softie! Mm. I’ll take their walking fish too. Into the pouch they go!
“Chosen Lucia, may I harvest their heads? This sky-realm expert is bound to seek revenge on you. Perhaps he isn’t strong enough, but there’s no telling whether or not his uncle is strong enough. Or his father. Or his grandfather. Or any members of his extended family who’ve gone off to make a name for themselves and will conveniently return to seek vengeance on someone who’s wronged their family while they were away. If we get rid of these troubles now, no one will know it was us.”
“Eh? But then how will we rob the rest of his family if they don’t seek us out?”
“Chosen Lucia raises a good point.” Claw lowered his head. “It’s a bit regretful for me to let such a great chance to improve my strength slip away. How about we harvest all but the weakest person’s head? That way, I’ll be able to grow in strength to serve you better, and the rest of their families will find out.”
“Mm…. That’s a good idea….” But murder is wrong. And these people are our allies. The crown prince said internal conflict was completely okay as long as it was outside of the camp, but I, as an upright person, do not approve of wanton killing. There’s—ah! Claw cut the person’s head off while I was thinking! “What are you doing!? You didn’t let me finish my sentence!”
Claw blinked and wiped away the blood that had spurted onto his cheek. “But you said it was a good idea?”
“I wasn’t done speaking yet!”
“I apologize, Chosen Lucia.” Claw lowered his head. “Punish me as you see fit.”
What am I supposed to do? Cut off his head in retaliation? That’d be a waste of my favorite subordinate! “Ah, fine, whatever. You shouldn’t cry over spilt acorn stew. You should lap it up instead because you should never waste acorn stew!”
Claw raised his head. “That means I should give the body to Sister Ilya, right? Waste not, want not?”
And this is why Claw’s my favorite minion. He understands my food analogies! Ah, but I should still be mad at him for killing someone like that! Killing is wrong. Bad, Claw, bad. “Give me back those panties as a punishment.”
“We should make these people swear oaths to the heavens to not speak about what happened here today,” Ilya said. “You don’t want our allies hating us too. If anything, we can have them say they were ambushed by an enemy party that broke the rules of engagement. And before you say anything about robbing them, they already told us their name, the Great Axolotl Sect. Just go over there and rob them when you want. It’s not like sects are very portable.”
Well, if Ilya says we should do something, then we should do it because she’s most likely right. “You heard that, Claw. Have them swear oaths to the heavens.” I’ll check our surroundings just in case someone’s spying on us. Oh? That’s a statue that looks like a formation entrance! That means we’re at the second battlefield! Mm, first things first. I’ll break the statue to weaken my future opponent!