TGL Volume 5, Chapter 1 (3)

When that silver-robed lady told me about a runaway squirrel, I thought she was referring to a squirrelkin like me! Who knew she was actually referring to an actual squirrel? Mm, maybe he’s not an actual squirrel; he’s quite large, a little like Mrs. Wuffletush, but his fur is red, and he’s plumper too. What’s weird is he can speak like a person when Mrs. Wuffletush could only growl. Speaking of Mrs. Wuffletush, it’s been a while since I last saw her, huh? Who was the one taking care of her? Rin…? Reena…? Eh, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure they’re fine! 

“Excuse me, ma’am,” the squirrel said. We were sitting inside of a restaurant. For some reason, it emptied out when we entered, and the waiters were fighting with each other to see who’d take our order. Of course, they were fighting to be the one helping us, not fighting to avoid serving us. “Who are you?” 

To avoid suspicion, this squirrel and I didn’t talk with each other until now. “I’m Lucia Fluffytail, and I just ascended to the immortal realm not too long ago. About….” How long ago was it? 

“Six or seven hours ago,” Durandal said. 

Right! “Yep, that long ago. Let’s cut to the more important stuff. Who are you? What’s the deal with squirrels in the immortal realm? Are we not being hunted?” 

The squirrel sitting across from me tilted his head. “I’m Slayersson One. As for”— 

“Wait.” What kind of name is that? “How does your name work? Is that what your parents call you? They really named you One?” 

The squirrel froze and stared at me with a terrified expression. I wasn’t even threatening him! Why’s he so scared? Mm, maybe he has social anxiety. Perhaps he’s never spoken to a squirrelkin girl as cute as me before! Unfortunately for him, I’m taken. Ah, he’s saying something. 

“My surname is Slayersson because I’m the son of Slayer, my father. My parents call me One because I’m their firstborn child.” The squirrel stared at me with a furrow in his brow. “When a squirrel accomplishes something of note, they’re given a name by the tribe. I understand why you may be named Fluffytail, but what does Lucia mean?” 

This silly squirrel, he doesn’t even know the meaning of Lucia. “It means the bestest and cutest squirrelkin girl in the world.” 

The squirrel coughed and averted its gaze. 

What exactly was that supposed to mean!? Should I hit him? No, I can’t. I bet squirrels are super gossipy, and if I hit one of them, wouldn’t the whole community find out? “Say, how many squirrels are there in the immortal realm? What’s the tribe like?” 

The squirrel…, eh, should I still call him that? He did tell me his name. But what kind of name is One? I think I’ll just call him Slayer. Mm, but that’s his dad’s name. Alright, Slayer Junior it is! 

“Sorry, she has a habit of letting her mind wander.” 

What’s Durandal apologizing for? Did the waiter ask me what I wanted to eat? Normally, I’d order one of everything on the menu, but I don’t know how expensive this place is! It feels weird not being the strongest in the world anymore. I have to squish down my desires in order to survive. Well, it’s not like I haven’t been in this position before. Wait a second! “My mind doesn’t wander!” In fact, I feel super clearheaded for some reason. Maybe it’s the air in the immortal realm? It’s supposed to be special, I think. It lets immortals use super scary techniques that can melt my body. …I have to learn one of those. Won’t I be bullied for not having something like that? Mm, what was Slayer Junior saying?

Slayer Junior looked at me. “Should I repeat everything?”

“Yes,” Durandal said, answering for me.

Slayer Junior fidgeted back and forth, shifting his weight from hindleg to hindleg. It wasn’t very convenient for him to sit on any chair, so he had pushed them away and was sitting on the floor instead. “I don’t know too much about the world; my parents were very strict and didn’t let me out often. I know squirrels are like royalty amongst beasts since we’re strong, but we’re not allowed to leave the tribe grounds without permission. From what my parents told me, squirrels occupy seven mountain ranges, and there’s one tribe of squirrels living on each range. I don’t know if the other tribes are like mine, but the leader of my tribe is a bit strict, and the environment isn’t very good for independent thinking.”

“That’s great because Lucia doesn’t think at all.”

“What the hell, Durandal?” Does he want to die? Why does he have to poke fun of me in front of another squirrel? Mm, I think it’s best for both of us if he temporarily goes out of commission.

“We haven’t sparred since I became an immortal,” Durandal said and smiled at me. “Should we have a bout before eating?”

“We haven’t sparred because you pretended to be braindead!”

“Would I have done that if you hadn’t Soul Scoured me?”

Ah, he’s still upset about the Soul Scouring. It’s not like I actually damaged his brain! He was just pretending to be injured, so it’s like I never wronged him at all. If anyone should be upset, it should be me! He abandoned me for so long by faking an injury!

“E-excuse me,” a voice said from off to the side. It belonged to the waiter who won the stick-drawing lottery to serve us. “Is now a good time to take your order?”

“Of course!” Rather than looking at the menu, I looked at Slayer Junior. “What’s good around these parts?”

Slayer Junior shrugged. “I’ve never been to a restaurant before,” he said. He looked around before pointing at one of the waiters peeking through a door behind the counter. “Why don’t we eat him? He looks meaty.”

Hold up. Now, I’m no Ilya, and my brain can’t think of ten things at once like her, but even I can figure out why this dumb squirrel got arrested. The plan was to use this squirrel as a guide on how to navigate the immortal realm, but why does he seem even more clueless than me? Will that silver-robed woman from the jail refund me if I return this squirrel to her…?

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