Um? Am I dreaming? I’ve been here before! There’s the giant painter again, but there’s something different this time. There’s a small weed tickling my feet. I’ll pluck it out.
“Wait! Don’t pull on me!”
Um!? The weed can talk! Dreams are really weird. I’ll stop pulling the weed since it doesn’t want me to take it out. I’ll try talking to the giant! If weeds can talk, then the giant can talk too, right? “Mr. Giant! Hello!” I have to shout. The giant is really big, and its ears are really far away from me; if I don’t shout, it won’t hear me.
The giant didn’t say anything. It looks like it’s too distracted with drawing. Is drawing in the sky fun? It looks fun. I’ll try it! Last time, I made part of a kebab disappear. I think I can do something like draw in the sky too. I’ll draw a rabbit. Rabbits are cute; I really like how their ears look. Um, drawing is hard.
“What is that? Are you drawing a tree? When I grow up, I want to look just like that.”
Is the weed making fun of me? “It’s not a tree; it’s a rabbit.”
“If that’s a rabbit, then I’m a bunny.”
“Um, how can you see what I’m drawing? You don’t have eyes. This is a rabbit.”
“I see what you see, and I feel what you feel.” The weed wiggled. It looked like it was waving its leaves at me.
“Oh.” It sees what I see. Okay. “Mr. Weed, you—”
“Hang on, there’s a soul nearby.” Something yellow appeared on the weed’s leaves. Then, one leaf flicked the thing at me!
“That’s your portion. I—”
Um? Everything turned black. I’m waking up, but when did I fall asleep?
What happened? I’m in the kitchen. “Mommy?”
It’s not just Mommy. Auntie Ilya, my other mommy, and Big Sis Mirta are here too. “Um! I’m awake! Good morning.”
“You fell asleep while eating,” Auntie Ilya said. “Do you remember?”
“No.” I don’t remember at all! Um, did I already eat breakfast? “How come you’re here, Auntie Ilya? You always said Mommy’s kitchen gives you a headache because it’s cluttered and messy.”
“What!? I’m a very organized person!” Mommy waved her knife, and Auntie Ilya disappeared. She teleported away. She does that a lot when Mommy is upset. It’s usually her who makes Mommy upset too. “Grr. I hate it when she does that.” Mommy put her knife down and looked at me. “You took a nap while you were eating my cooking. Anyways, from now on, every day before dinner, you have to watch me cook, got it?”
Um? I always do that. “Okay. Why?”
“There’s no why, just do.” Mommy nodded, and my other mommy nodded too. Are they hiding something from me? Is there going to be a surprise? My mommies aren’t very good at hiding things. “Anyway, are you still hungry? I still have lots of mystery meat to identify!”
I remember now! Today’s my day off from school because the teachers wanted to make more money by catching invaders. I was eating food, and Mommy gave me a dish of vegetables that I didn’t like, so I went to feed it to the tree outside, and then I don’t remember anything else. Um, Mommy said I fell asleep; I think I fell asleep there. I never remember falling asleep; it just happens. “I’m not hungry anymore. I want to go find Ri and play!”
“What about your cultivation? School may be closed, but teachers aren’t required to cultivate by yourself.” Mommy grabbed my hands. “I asked Ri to become my disciple. She hasn’t decided yet, but if she accepts, she’ll learn a lot from me and pass you soon. If that happens, you won’t be in the same class as her for school.”
What? Ri is going to become Mommy’s disciple? “Then I want to be your disciple too!”
Mommy shook her head. “You can’t.”
“You can become mine!”
Mommy glared at my other mommy. “You can’t. Parents don’t accept their own children as their disciples.”
Yeah! “Why not?”
“It’s just not socially acceptable.”
“How come all the fun things aren’t socially acceptable?” Mommy always says that when I want to do something she doesn’t want me to: making Mrs. Feathers bite people isn’t socially acceptable, eating a big meal while walking isn’t socially acceptable, peeing on trees isn’t socially acceptable. It’s not fair. “I want to be your disciple too! I don’t want Ri to pass me.”
“That’s why you have to work hard in your cultivation.” Mommy smiled at me. “Don’t worry. As long as you cultivate diligently, you’ll keep up with Ri easily, but if you don’t work hard, she’ll pass you.”
“If it was socially acceptable to be your disciple, would I still have to work hard to cultivate?”
“Yes, of course.”
Oh. “Um, then why would Ri be your disciple?” If I still have to cultivate hard, it doesn’t matter if I’m Mommy’s disciple or not. “Isn’t it the same thing?”
“It isn’t,” Mommy said and shook her head. “Sometimes, while cultivating, one may get confused. A master can easily clear those confusions by answering any questions or sharing experiences. However, even though you aren’t my disciple, I can still answer any questions you have.”
“Then it doesn’t matter if I’m your disciple or not?”
Oh. Mommy is really confusing sometimes.
Big Sis Mirta coughed. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but can you teleport me back to the garden now? Yggie caught three invaders, and I haven’t really had a chance to deal with them because you two whisked me away to translate the words of a tree.”
I forgot to ask why Big Sis Mirta was here! Mommy distracted me! “Big Sis Mirta, take me to the garden too! I want to play with Yggie.”
“No!” Mommy slapped a plate of food onto the table! “No playing with plants! They’re evil. Here, eat this.”
Um? When did plants become evil? This is … tiger pie, one of my favorites!Previous Chapter Next Chapter