TGL Volume 3, Chapter 15 (6)

“Mm, so you told me about the squirrels, but … what can I do with this fur?” It might be a squirrel fur, and maybe I’m distantly related to the squirrel it belonged to, but I know my relative or ancestor wouldn’t want part of itself to go to waste! Mhm. Definitely. It’d totally want me to put it to good use.

“I’m not a craftsman, Boss,” Mrs. Feathers said. “Without thumbs, it’s hard to do dexterous stuff like that.”

“Can’t you turn into a human?” the barkeep asked before I could say anything. “Most beasts, when they reach a certain strength, can transform into a human. And you’re already this strong.”

Mm? Beasts can transform into people? What the heck? Since when? “If I eat a beast that transformed into a person…, am I eating a person or a beast?”

“Boss, beasts are people too…,” Mrs. Feathers said. “They can think and feel. They also have families, you know? What’s really the difference between a human and a beast? Thumbs? You shouldn’t be eating people nor beasts.”

If I can’t eat beasts, then I’ll starve to death! But I’m not going to argue with Mrs. Feathers to make her feel less suspicious. It’s not like I want to eat her … completely. Just a small taste? She regenerates flesh pretty easily! It’s not an abnormal request. Nope. Anyways…. “What about the fur? What can I do with it?”

“Didn’t I say I wasn’t a, oh, right.” Mrs. Feathers paused midsentence. “I can’t turn into a human until I become an immortal. The stronger a beast is, the later their human form manifests. And since I can’t craft anything, I never bothered learning about materials and their uses. In the first place, phoenixes don’t wear or use anything you thumbed creatures so enjoy.”

“But … why not?” Wouldn’t Mrs. Feathers get even stronger if she did? Imagine if Mrs. Feathers had a hammer like mine! She … probably wouldn’t be able to fly too well. But I can fly perfectly fine with it! “Mrs. Feathers.”

“What is it, Boss?”

“Don’t you think I’m a better bird than you?”

“…Sure.”

The barkeep cleared his throat. “Say, Boss…, I’ve been wondering.”

“Hmm? What is it?”

“Weren’t you going to stop by my family before heading towards the capital’s teleportation formation?”

“Uh….” Did he ever mention that before? I don’t think he did. “No.”

“Isn’t that a little too cruel even for you?”

“Walking builds character! If you want to go home, then walk!” When I was being trained by Durandal, he made me walk everywhere too. Mhm. This’ll be good training for him. It’s not cruel if it’s training. That’s how Durandal always justified treating me poorly like shooting arrows at me while I was stepping on top of bamboo spikes. Eh? I’m not treating the barkeep poorly. Who said that? I even loaned him the Despair God’s armor!

The barkeep fell silent. A moment later, he nodded at me. “Then, at the capital, can we stop by a post office? I’d like to send my younger cousin a letter explaining that I won’t be going back and it’ll be a while before we can see each other again. She won’t like it, but in this situation, there’s nothing else I can do.”

“You can always walk back,” Mrs. Feathers said.

Right? Nothing else he can do, my ass!

“The capital is over seven mountains away from Dragonhead City. Even if I don’t encounter any demonic beast that wants to eat me, it’ll still take half a year to return.”

“Training in the mountains is good for you.” How long did I spend killing things in a mountain range after Durandal absorbed the poison that Snow put in me and died? I don’t remember, but it was a pretty long time. And I got super strong in that time too. “Right. Like I thought, killing and eating magical beasts is the best way to grow.”

“…Aren’t you part beast yourself?” Mrs. Feathers asked. She turned her head towards me while still flying forward. “Boss, you really aren’t planning on eating me, right?”

“…No promises.” Just one taste can’t really be called eating, right? Mhm. It can’t. Like snacking isn’t eating, tasting isn’t eating either. Anyways…. “Are we at the capital yet?” I want to see Softie! With Durandal being an asshole, Ilya being an asshole, and Puppers being Puppers, it’s been lonely recently. Hmm? How am I going to find out where Softie’s located? That’s simple! Ask Durandal? Of course not! I don’t have to rely on him. Besides, he’d probably trick me into going somewhere else to loot more tombs or something. It turns out, there are places you can go to buy information! All I have to do is pay some spirit stones to find out which country Softie’s in, and that’s that. Of course, the spirit stones are being added to Softie’s debt to me.

Ah! I was sidetracked. Back to the squirrel fur. Let’s see…. It’s soft and furry and feels a little like Mrs. Wuffletush. She’s a squirrel, right? She might be called a predator, but she’s definitely a squirrel. How come she isn’t super strong? Well, she was super strong back when I was super weak, but how come she’s not as strong as me now? Maybe predators aren’t squirrels…. Like peacocks supposedly aren’t flaccid phoenixes and are a completely different bird. I’m still not convinced about that. “Mrs. Feathers.”

“…Yes, Boss?”

What was that hesitation, hmm? I’ll ignore that for now. “Are there any peacocks in your family? Like a distant cousin or brother maybe.”

“No…?”

“Oh.” Maybe her family’s small? “How big is your family?”

“They’re about the same size as me.”

Mm? “That’s not the big I was asking about!”

“Oh. I figured that’d be the big you were asking for since you don’t really like making sense.” Mrs. Feathers’ wing looked awfully tasty. “Don’t bite me, Boss! Stop, I was wrong, okay!? We’re going to crash! I’m an only child! I have three cousins! That’s it, I swear!”

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