TGL Volume 4, Chapter 11 (3)

“Great job, Yggie!”

Rustle, rustle.

Apparently, there’s people invading Ilya’s sect; killing one of them and claiming a head can get me ten thousand contribution points. Those are really, really useful! Without them, I’ll be tossed out of my home. Ilya actually charges me contribution points per month for food and board, unbelievable, right? Luckily, taking care of these plants allow me to live peacefully and buy the occasional treat to help Yggie grow. Thanks to all those treats, Yggie’s grown strong enough to protect himself from most things!

“Please, show mercy.” There’s a group of three people on the ground. They’re missing their legs, and their arms are tied behind their backs with some vines, but other than that, they’re still healthy. “We surrender.”

Yggie caught them. He has the ability to command the plants in the garden, and a lot of the plants in the garden have a tendency to eat people’s legs. I’ve experienced it a couple of times. It’s only horrendously painful the first couple of times; I got used to it after that. Though, when my legs grow back, the pills I take have a side effect of making them unbearably itchy for the next few days. What? Am I going to feed these invaders the pill? Of course not! They came in trying to uproot my plants! Trying to uproot my plants is like uprooting my babies! It’s okay for Ilya to harvest them because their roots are left intact, but even harvesting them is like killing my own children.

“Please, we can give you all kinds of wonderous techniques—”

“I don’t want them.”

“A-are you sure? You’ll easily ascend to immortality with them.”

“I’m not really into that whole immortality business; it sounds like a scam.”

One of the men stared at me with an open mouth. A worm almost crawled into it. It’s a good thing it didn’t because I’ve seen what those worms can do. His innards would’ve been turned to mush in an instant. “You think immortality is a scam? What the hell do you mean by that?”

“It’s something people came up with to trick other people into fighting for them.” Yep. Ilya claims immortals are real, and if you learn these magical techniques, you can live forever. However! I’ve seen what she does to those so-called immortals. She sends them off to fight other immortals, and it’s not uncommon to hear about them dying. If I learn any of these special techniques, there’s no doubt in my mind Ilya will enlist me in her army.

The man stared at me. Then, he shut his mouth. He exchanged glances with his friends, but they didn’t seem to want to say anything either. Right when I was about to have Yggie knock them out, four people appeared out of nowhere.

“Mirta! There you are. Come here.”

What? Where…?

“Talk to it!” Lucia said and pointed at a black tree. I think she teleported me into her backyard.

“Hello.”

Rustle, rustle?

Lucia grabbed me and shook me. My vision blurred, and I struggled to get free, but it didn’t work. “Well? What did it say?”

“Stop shaking her; she can’t speak.”

Ugh…. Lucia finally stopped. Did she get even stronger since the last time I saw her? Where am I, anyway? Softie, Ilya, Lucia, and Sophia are here, but it seems like Sophia’s asleep. They seem to be waiting for me to translate? Why are they trying to talk to a tree? They never do that. “The tree said, ‘The f***? A not-deaf person?’”

“Great! She can speak to it!” Lucia pointed at Sophia. “Ask the tree what the hell it was thinking when it tried to kill my daughter! If it doesn’t give me a way to cure her, I’ll chop it into little bits and turn those bits into poop-digging sticks!”

“Hey there, you understood what she said, right?”

Rustle.

I knew it. A tree like this definitely understands human speech. “Alright, so why did you do it?”

Rustle, rustle. Rustle? Rustle, rustle.

“Seriously?”

Rustle. Rustle, rustle, rustle.

“Huh, that makes sense.”

Rustle, rustle.

“I got it, thanks.”

“Well?” Lucia grabbed my shoulders, but before she could shake me, Softie stopped her. Then, Softie shook me instead! These two barbaric parents! Ugh, I’ll forgive them for now because I’d probably react the same way if Yggie had collapsed.

“Okay, so the tree said it was a blessing.”

Lucia glared at the tree. “A blessing? Sophia’s dying!”

Rustle.

“It said, ‘Oops’. Wait!” Wow, Lucia pulled out her hammer extremely fast. “The acorn it dropped into Sophia’s body was a fertilized one. As long as a soul approaches Sophia, the acorn will attract it and take it into her body before destroying it and turning it into nutrients for her.”

Lucia froze mid-swing. “Huh? Why does that sound like a good thing? If that’s the case, why did Sophia collapse?”

“If the acorn isn’t fed any souls, it’ll try to eat Sophia’s.”

“So it’s a curse!”

Rustle!

“Wait!” I don’t know why I’m pleading so hard for this tree’s life.

Rustle, rustle, rustle.

“Squirrels and soul-devouring trees have a symbiotic relationship. Squirrels inherently have weak souls, and soul-devouring trees have physically weak bodies while they’re young. Squirrels usually commit wanton murder, and those people turn into nourishment for the soon-to-be sapling. As a gift, the acorn takes part of those souls and uses them to strengthen the squirrel’s soul.”

“Wait a minute…. You’re saying this is a special technique to get stronger by killing people!? One of the techniques I really wanted to learn but couldn’t because of sexism!?” Lucia grabbed an acorn off the black tree and smushed it against her forehead. “Why didn’t it work?”

Rustle.

“It has to be a fertilized acorn, and those only appear once every thousand years.”

“Gah! Why is life so dang unfair!?” Lucia waved her hammer a few times, and the air exploded. A few clouds in the sky dispersed. “Phew. Okay, so Sophia’s not dying, right? All she has to do is slaughter a bunch of people!”

Softie glared at Lucia. “That’s not a good thing!”

Rustle.

“She can slaughter animals too. Anything with a soul is acceptable. In fact, she doesn’t have to slaughter them herself. As long as she’s nearby upon their deaths, she’ll take in whatever souls are around.”

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