After eating over sixty swords, I’ve come to the conclusion that all swords were not made equal. First of all, there’s me, the greatest sword in existence. And then there’s these swords that I call exquisite: If I could only eat one type of sword for the rest of my life, these would be it. I can physically feel my meridians expanding when I eat them. Before, I was just a medium that transferred Lucia’s qi, but ever since that fateful night—the one where I lost my dignity—I grew meridians and a dantian. The meridians are channels that transfer qi from the dantian to all the other parts of the body. It’s a shame there were only ten exquisite tasting swords amongst the ones that Lucia and I had robbed; they all belonged to the saint-realm experts at the temple.
Next, there are the delicious swords. They have the effect of a tenth of an exquisite sword. There were twenty of them; I’m not sure who they belonged to. And lastly, there’s the alright swords. They’re as their name implies, alright. They ease my hunger at least. Sadly, I ran out of swords.
“Durandal…. Durandal…? Durandal. Durandal!”
Hmm? “Yes, Lucia?”
“You’re acting weird,” Lucia said and tilted her head. Her ears twitched, and I had the urge to rub them. So I did. “Ah. Stop it! The sun’s already up! …Actually, keep going. Mn.”
“Can you do me a favor, Lucia?”
“Of, of course!” Lucia’s eyes were closed, and her breaths were getting shorter. I should probably stop before she pushes me down and has her way with me.
“Can you help me get as many swords as you can?”
“Are you going to eat them all?” Lucia asked. Her face returned to normal after I stopped, but she was staring at my hand as if she wanted to devour it. She sighed as she met my eyes. “You’re lucky I love you more than I love money.”
It looks like my future supply of swords has been secured. Can I eat weapons other than swords? I should try it out. I didn’t feel hunger towards them, but there were a few spears and chakrams inside of Lucia’s storage ring. I retrieved a spear under Lucia’s watchful gaze and tapped it with my finger. I should be able to bite through this.
…It tastes horrible. I can’t do it. Before I could throw the spear away, someone that I completely forgot about appeared inside the room. It was Puppers, err, Gae Bulg. …When Lucia and I are…. Let’s not think about that. “Do you want to try eating this, Gae?”
“Unlike you, I don’t have my own qi.” Gae sighed as he took the broken spear. He sniffed it before chomping down on the shaft. “It tastes like crap.”
“Wah!” Lucia let out a sound that made me flinch. “My socks became softer!” Her eyes widened as she stared at Puppers. “Keep eating.”
“Y-you don’t understand,” Puppers said and cleared his throat in an attempt to regain his composure. “It tastes really, really bad.”
I understand, Puppers. Ah, I’m calling him Puppers again. Gae Bulg, Puppers, what’s the difference? They’re both two syllables long. Lucia leapt towards Puppers and tackled him to the ground before shoving the spear down his throat. Puppers was forced to bite the spear apart or choke. I’m surprised he didn’t just let himself die to avoid suffering; he dies a lot under Lucia’s care.
The door swung open at the same time Black Devil Shu’s voice said, “Junior Lucia. We’ve…. This isn’t a good time, is it?”
Lucia stopped impaling Puppers’ face and looked up at Black Devil Shu. She was still straddling Puppers’ chest with no intentions of climbing off. Lucia’s tail swished, slapping against the ground. Was she angry? “Haven’t you ever heard of knocking?”
“Uh, no? Is knocking the act of shoving a spear down a beast’s throat?” Black Devil Shu looked genuinely confused. Was knocking on doors before entering not a custom here? How barbaric. “Is … that beast even a beast? Its wearing armor and has quite a humanoid form.”
“This is my sock spirit, Puppers,” Lucia said as she stood up, but not before giving the spear one last good push that made it vanish down Puppers’ throat. “And knocking is when you knock on the door to let someone know you want to come in. Then that person can hide all the evidence of anything immoral they’re doing, and they’ll let you in afterwards.”
“But how will people catch you doing immoral things if they knock first?” Black Devil Shu asked. It seemed like a furrowed brow was a universal sign of confusion.
Lucia threw a brick at Black Devil Shu, striking his face. “The point is to not catch me doing immoral things!” Where did she get a brick from? “Anyways, what were you trying to tell me before you rudely barged in?”
“Right,” Black Devil Shu said, clutching his bleeding nose. “We’ve arrived at the restaurant. If you look out the window, you’ll see it to your left.”
Lucia skipped over to the window and pulled open the shutters. Sunlight flooded into the room along with some hints of gold. She squinted outside, and I walked up next to her. There was a building, nearly as large as the boat we were on, that had bright golden characters placed atop its roof. I knew how to read, but I didn’t understand what the characters were at all. Now that I think about it, there were a bunch of unreadable manuals that Lucia had robbed from the natives too. So it seems like there’s a written language barrier. Not like it’d affect Lucia since she was illiterate to start with.
“Hmm. Can I store the boat like this?” Lucia asked as she touched the windowsill. There was a scream as the boat disappeared and Ilya fell down from above us. I landed on the ground without a problem along with Lucia. The only one who suffered a fall was Black Devil Shu. And Puppers’ face was blue with froth coming out of his mouth, but that wasn’t from the boat disappearing.
A nice smell caught my attention. There was a small shop across the street from the restaurant. It looked like a weapon store. I’ll have to ask Lucia to go there after she eats her fake phoenix.