The slightly less than twenty sky-realm experts paused in their tracks. Wow, they actually listened? I wasn’t expecting them to stop. Now, what can I say that’ll get us out of this pinch? Lucia, Softie, and Claw have all frozen up from the overwhelming pressure. I’m not sure why I’m the only one not affected, but that means I’m the one who has to get us out of this mess.
“A saint-realm junior is able to resist us? Interesting. What did you want to say?” the man closest to Lucia turned towards me and smiled. I’m guessing Lucia wasn’t being aggressive because she knew she wouldn’t be a match for all of them. She’s a lot like an animal in that regard. She’ll only pick fights she can win.
“This goes against the contract between our two countries.” That’s right! These sky-realm experts’ actions are violating the rules of engagement that the crown prince had given us through the navigator. I read it all and thought it was bullshit, but that doesn’t mean I forgot them right away. “Aggression will not be tolerated between the two countries unless the acts of aggression take place on the battlefield in the form of a one-on-one duel.”
The smiling man turned to the older one hovering above him. “Is this true?”
“Yes, those were the terms we agreed upon.”
“If we capture them all now, will anyone find out?”
“That is highly unlikely, Young Master.”
“Then capture them all and don’t let anyone find out.”
This lawless bastard! He’s just like Lucia! “Stop! We’re direct subordinates of Crown Prince Single Sky. If you capture us, our crown prince won’t be very pleased.”
The smiling man blinked and turned towards the old man again. “Will that be a problem?”
“Yes. Since Sun Fire died, we’re down a sky-realm expert. The crown prince of Kang Country holds a lot of sway. If he truly is angered by our actions, he’ll gather their experts to face us.”
The smiling man’s eyes lit up. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance he won’t get mad at us?”
Why is he exactly like Lucia!? Hah…. I think the better question to ask is why are all the strong people so irresponsible? Alright, if this man is like Lucia, then he must have a vice. “Have you ever heard of hot chocolate before?”
“Are you addressing me?” the smiling man asked and raised an eyebrow. “No. What is this hot chocolate?”
“It’s a very tasty drink fit for immortals.” Alright, that may not be true right now, but once Lucia becomes an immortal, it’ll be the perfect line of advertisement. “Would you like to try some?”
“Fit for immortals? A saint-realm junior has something like that? Very well, serve me a plate of this … hot chocolate.”
“It’s a drink. Here’s a cup of it.” They weren’t wary of me at all when I went up to the smiling man, who I assume is their leader. They probably didn’t think I could do anything to them, and that was true. I didn’t even bother poisoning the cup. I just pray that this man is as stupid as Lucia. If he likes the chocolate, I’ll offer him the recipe in exchange for our freedom.
“Peculiar smell,” the leader said and swirled the hot chocolate with small motions of his wrist. He brought the cup to his lips and took a sip. His brow wrinkled, and he spat the hot chocolate onto the ground. “This is filled with impurities. Disgusting. No immortal would drink something like this. No, no cultivator would drink something like this! Their cultivation would slow by hundreds, no, thousands of times. You realized poisons wouldn’t work against me, so you tried to sabotage my future?”
…Well, this plan horribly backfired. “W-wait. But how was the taste?”
“Huh? The taste? It tasted like impurities.”
Alright. I tried. I mean, there’s another vice I can try. I pointed at Softie. “Will you let us go if I offer her to you as a wife?”
“Oh? She’s certainly very beautiful, but my cultivation partner would murder me,” the leader said and shrugged. “If this is all you had to say, then I’ll proceed with capturing you now.”
“Stop right there!!!”
I think my ears exploded. I can’t hear anything. Yeah, there’s blood pouring out of my ears. And it wasn’t just me; everyone here has blood flowing out of their ears, eyes, and nostrils. What the hell is going on? Someone shouted and this happened? I’ll heal my group first. Light, answer my call, Restore!
“—yaaaaa! Oh? I can hear again.” Lucia swiveled her head around before blinking at me. “Good job blowing out their eardrums, but I still don’t think we’ll win if we fight them.”
“No, I wasn’t the one who did that.” Did Lucia really think I could wound this many sky-realm experts at once? Just what does she see me as…? Her demands for me are definitely going to be impossible to fulfill in the future.
“If it wasn’t you, then who was it?” Lucia tilted her head. The sky-realm experts, who had retreated and were standing away from us, seemed to have fixed their injuries as well by consuming pills.
“What was that?” their leader asked. “Was that an immortal?”
The old man hesitated before nodding. “I think so, Young Master. But why would an immortal come to a battlefield like this?”
“You f***ing squirrel! You think you can get away after stealing my food!? Let this devil teach you the true meaning of fear! That’s right. Run, run! See if you can escape from my ultimate technique!”
From between a cluster of trees that were blocking our view, a gigantic squirrel made of heart devil worms jumped out, running straight towards Lucia while making loud clicking sounds. Lucia’s eyes nearly bulged out of her head. “F***! Are you serious!? Don’t f***ing run over here! Run towards them! F***!” Lucia whirled around and grabbed me and Softie while sprinting as far away from the squirrel as she could. The other sect members were stunned for a bit, but they quickly ran after us as well. The squirrel, however, ran in the opposite direction towards the group of sky-realm experts. It leapt straight at their leader and dove into his chest, shrinking down to fit inside his heart.
“Beastly Corruption of the Seven Virtues, God-Slaying Beam!”
I saw it clearly since I was slung over Lucia’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes with my head being tickled by her invisible tail. A massive pillar of black light engulfed the sky-realm experts and everything around them, and just as quickly as it came, the pillar disappeared. I wasn’t sure if I blinked or not because it was over in an instant. The sky-realm experts slowly fell forward onto their faces, unmoving.
Loud laughter boomed overhead as a dark figure appeared above the corpses. He was dressed in pitch-black clothes, but his skin was extremely pale, sickly even. His eyes were red, and he had two horns protruding out of his forehead just above his eyebrows. “Eat that, you stinking tree-rat! I don’t care if you’re a squirrel or a buddha. No one touches this immortal’s meal!” His head turned to the side, and his eyes met mine. The next second, he was right in front of my face. If it weren’t for all the times Lucia popped up in front of me for no reason, I really would’ve screamed. “Hey. Got any snacks?”
Lucia stiffened and stopped running. The front of my robe was wet from the sweat that was profusely leaking out of her back. I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Y-yeah.” Even I can’t stop myself from stuttering when confronted by an immortal! I slipped out of Lucia’s stiff grasp and reached into my interspacial ring, pulling out the first food product I put my hands on: a barrel of hot chocolate. “H-here.”
“Oh! This is hot chocolate!” The immortal’s eyes lit up as he popped off the top of the barrel. “I haven’t seen this stuff for over ten thousand years. Sweet. As thanks, you can have all that crap.” He put the lid back onto the barrel and gestured at the sky-realm experts lying on the ground. “Watch out for squirrels, yeah? They love tormenting smart people like you.”
Before I could respond, the immortal vanished. Squirrels love tormenting people like me? Well, that’s true; just look at Lucia. But did this really happen? We were about to be captured by a group of sky-realm experts, but an apparition that Lucia released on one of her crazy whims stole the food of an immortal and brought that angry immortal over to us, and the angry immortal smote it along with all the sky-realm experts who were trying to capture us. That’s a bit … bullshit-like? If anything, I thought we would be saved by the crown prince or a group of sky-realm experts. Life’s weird sometimes. Like a poorly written story.
“What’s up, Softie?”
“I, I think I soiled my panties.”
“…I didn’t need to know that.”
“B-but I…, I thought you’d want them….”
…People are weird too.