“What’s this? What’s this?”
Lucia held out an opaque glass bottle of immortal pills and shook it in front of my face. I sighed. Ever since that battle that day…, I’ve been stuck inside Lucia’s unfinished mansion appraising items for her. Thankfully, she didn’t force me to build the mansion anymore, making Puppers do it without me. “That’s a bottle of mortal-realm immortal pills. It clears meridians and helps qi circulate better, but it’s only effective for those under the saint realm.”
Lucia sighed as her tail drooped. “So it’s worthless. Got it.” Then she stuck it into her interspacial ring. Another item appeared in her hands: a jade slip. Her eyes lit up as her tail rose once more. “What’s this? What’s this?”
…When I see her excited expression that looks like a dog that found a bone, I really find it hard to believe she’s the same bloodthirsty slaughterer from that day. Which personality is the real Lucia? I took the jade slip from Lucia and inserted some qi into it. A few golden characters lit up on its surface. “This is the Great Poison Sect’s core cultivation technique, Immortal Poison Body. It’s not worth cultivating. It makes you immune to all poisons of the same rank that you cultivate it to, but the impurities that build up will slow your cultivation to a halt. No one’s ever gotten past the saint-realm while cultivating this technique, which is why the Great Poison Sect is a second-rate existence.”
Lucia snatched the jade slip out of my hand. Her eyes widened as she hugged the slip to her chest. “Did you say it’d make me immune to poisons?”
“Your cultivation will also slow to a halt….”
“Just learning it won’t hurt, yeah? As long as I don’t cultivate it, it’ll be fine, right? Mm. Right. I’m just taking a peek.” Lucia took in a deep breath and squinted at the jade slip. “This is going to hurt a lot, but for the sake of eating food without being poisoned, it’ll be worth it!”
…I did say it wasn’t worth cultivating, right? I’m sure I said it. But Lucia only cares about the facts I can tell her and not my opinions. To her, I’m nothing more than an encyclopedia. Hah. I know this is supposed to make me feel sad, but I’m a little happy that I can be useful to someone. As long as there is a relationship that ties us together, even if it’s one between a person and her encyclopedia, there’s a chance that it can develop into a friendship. I’m sure of it! …I hope I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong. I should just give up….
“Gah! It hurts! F***! Ow! Guuuuh….” Lucia clutched her head and rolled around on the ground. Her body hit the wall, and then she rotated the other way until she hit the opposite wall. This wasn’t the first time that this happened. Other than the Immortal Poison Body, Lucia also learned the Great Earth Sect’s technique, Footsteps of the Giant, and the Longevity Turtle Sect’s technique, Impenetrable Shell, along with the Evil Flame Sect’s technique, Madness Strike. I tried to tell her that learning too many techniques wasn’t advisable and that she should focus on a single technique before learning more, but Durandal told her otherwise and Lucia completely ignored my advice. In the Immortal Continent, it’s common sense to hone a single technique to the pinnacle, but Lucia doesn’t abide by common sense. I just hope she doesn’t bite off more than she can chew and suffer from any qi deviation.
Lucia stopped rolling around and sat up. “Whew. It’s over.” She stuffed the jade slip into an interspacial ring and materialized another item. “What’s this? What’s this?”
“That’s a sword.”
Durandal grunted. “Put it to the side.” Durandal was cultivating the Righteous Sword Sect’s core cultivation technique. I wasn’t aware that spirit weapons could increase in rank by cultivating like a person, but apparently Durandal can. Puppers can’t though. I wonder why.
Lucia tossed the sword to Durandal like she was throwing a dart, and the blade sank into the floor by Durandal’s feet. Another item materialized in Lucia’s hands. “What’s this? What’s this?”
Does she not look at what she’s taking out of her ring? “That’s a spear.”
Lucia tilted her head up. “Puppers! Dinner!”
“I don’t need to eat…,” a gruff voice said from beyond the ceiling.
“Nonsense! If you don’t eat, how are you going to get fluffier?”
Puppers is an amazing fighter, but Lucia really doesn’t care about that. I feel bad for him. But I don’t understand why she feeds him spears. If Durandal is a sword spirit that eats swords, wouldn’t it make more sense for a sock spirit to eat socks? I’ll ask. “Lucia? Why do you feed Puppers spears instead of socks?”
Lucia stared at me without moving. Durandal’s eyes shot open, and a chill ran down my spine. There was a thumping sound as something fell off the mansion and onto the ground outside. I assumed it was Puppers. Did, did I say something wrong…? I don’t think I did….
“You’re a genius, Softie!” Lucia rose to her feet and tackled me. Is, is she hugging me? Is this how a hug feels like? It’s … warm. And I can feel the softness of her tail from the backs of my arms. My heart feels so fuzzy right now. I’ve never been hugged before. “Uh. Softie. Hello? Softie? You can let go now.”
“R-right. S-sorry.” Ah, my face is on fire! I’m so embarrassed. Did I really just embrace someone before marriage? What if my grandfather finds out…? I hope Lucia doesn’t tell anyone. Deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out. Ah! My heart won’t stop pounding! I, I’ve heard about symptoms like this before! Am I suffering from qi deviation!? If Lucia’s filled with impurities like I suspect, then is it possible they were transferred to me during that short period of contact? I’ll send a message to Elder Sun; he’s the doctor of the sect.
“Puppers! Eat these socks! Stop pretending to be dead, dammit!”
Why do I want to groan? Why do I feel like my stomach is trying to jump out of my throat when I hear Lucia’s voice? Could it be because of the heart devils she planted in me…? This, this is bad. Please reply soon, Elder Sun!
A message! It’s from Elder Sun! “Chosen Moonlight, these symptoms that you’re describing are not a result of qi deviation. Rather, it sounds like you’re in love. Don’t worry. I won’t tell your grandfather about this message.”
…Me? In love? With Lucia? N-no way! It’s true that I’ve never been interested in any suitor that’s ever pursued me despite their topnotch looks, status, and wealth, but, but…! I, I’m a woman! I’m sure I like men! I just haven’t met the right one! And, and … Lucia’s violent! And bloodthirsty! And wicked! And she violated me in front of the whole sect! No one could possibly ever love her except for Durandal! Yes. Elder Sun is wrong. That must be it. Even elders can make mistakes.
“Softie! What’s this? What’s this?”
Why’s Lucia so close!? “T-t-t-that’s a cauldron for alchemy.”
“Hmm? Why’re you stuttering more than usual? You alright?”
“I’m alright! Yes! Absolutely perfectly normally alright!” I, I have to get away from here! “Forgive me! I lied! I’m not alright! I, I have to check with my grandfather to make sure I’m not suffering from qi deviation!”