TGL Volume 5, Chapter 2 (1)

I’m a little disappointed. Back at home, reading fantasy stories while I pooped was my only escape from my daily studies. When I wasn’t pooping, I wasn’t allowed to do distracting things like have fun, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to be having fun while pooping, but it wasn’t like my parents watched me use the bathroom; thus, the bathroom became my only source of respite. 

In the stories I read, the main character would always encounter trouble at a restaurant when they went on adventures. Usually, they’d catch the attention of a young master, and there’d be friction between the two, ultimately culminating in the young master’s demise. The conflict would spread from the younger generation to the older one, and soon, the great-grandparents of the young master would come out to squash the main character. Either I’m not a main character, or all those stories I’ve read have lied. Nothing interesting happened in the restaurant at all. I even used a lame excuse to skip eating because I wanted to be prepared for any eventuality. 

“Whew, I’m stuffed!” 

Maybe it isn’t me? Usually, the conflict between the main character and the antagonist is sparked by the main character’s female companion. I think the companion I picked up might just not be the ideal type to catch young masters’ eyes. 

Senior Fluffytail’s eyes narrowed at me. “You’re thinking something rude about me, aren’t you?” 

“What? No, of course not! Senior Fluffytail must be mistaken!” How did she know? Is she a mind reader!? Immortals are able to achieve things that seem impossible to the average person. Perhaps her ability is reading the thoughts of others. If that’s the case, wouldn’t she have gotten rid of me much earlier on? It shouldn’t be the case. The disdain on my face must’ve been too obvious. 

“You better not be,” Senior Fluffytail said, her eyes still narrowed. She slapped the table with her palm. “And stop calling me a senior! I might be a mother, but I’m not that old!” After a bit, a small burp escaped from Senior Fluffytail’s mouth, and she climbed to her feet. “Alright, let’s go.” 

“Where are we going?” 

“Ah? To your home, of course,” Senior Fluffytail said. “I picked up a runaway squirrel, so the only responsible thing to do is return the runaway to his parents. Isn’t that obvious?” 

I guess that’s something a reasonable and responsible immortal squirrel would do upon seeing me, but why does it feel wrong when it comes out of her mouth? “Don’t you have, um, anything better to do? I wouldn’t want to waste any of your time; I can make it back without you. I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be running away from home anymore.” 

“I, in fact, do not have anything better to do,” Senior Fluffytail said and beamed at me. 

I knew I was an unlucky person. The odds of encountering an immortal squirrel outside the seven mountain ranges was already extremely low. Encountering one that’s also not busy? What kind of immortal wasn’t busy? Doesn’t she have any responsibilities? I thought all immortals were important people. If they weren’t cultivating in seclusion, then they were at least guarding treasuries or skill libraries. “You said you bailed me out of the jail because you wanted me to help you get used to the immortal realm, right? The seven mountain ranges are a tiny, closed-off region within the whole realm, and once you enter, it’ll be very difficult for you to leave. Wouldn’t it be better if we explored the rest of the immortal realm? That way, I won’t have to return home so early, and you would see more of the world.” 

Senior Fluffytail’s brow furrowed, and she stroked her chin while walking out of the restaurant. I wasn’t sure if she was considering my words or if she was thinking about something else. From what I’ve seen, she suffers from the same ailment that plagues many of my fellow peers and elders: an inability to focus and pay attention. It’s part of the reason why I wanted to run away from home in the first place. 

“Well?” 

Senior Fluffytail didn’t react to my prompt. Well, if I can’t convince her, perhaps I can convince her companion, Durandal. He has a strange name as well, and it’s a bit awkward to pronounce. Luckily, squirrels can vocalize things pretty well. “Senior Durandal, what do you think about my idea? Humans like yourself aren’t treated very well by squirrels. Going to the seven mountain ranges is just asking to be bullied.” 

Durandal raised an eyebrow at me. “When you ran away from home, what destination did you have in mind?” 

Destination? I did have one of those in mind, but before I could get very far, I was captured. “I was going to the frontlines. It’s a region of space separating the demons from the humans. My father obtained his name there, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.” 

“You want to become like your old man, but you don’t want me to call you Slayer Junior?” 

When did Senior Fluffytail start listening in? If she’s heard me tell her not to call me Slayer Junior, why does she insist on doing it anyway? “That’s right. I want to earn my name. Only failures who can’t achieve anything by themselves need someone to give them a name, so stop giving me one when I haven’t done anything yet.” 

Senior Fluffytail clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes. “Well, only morons insist on doing things the hard way when there’s an easy way out right in front of them.” 

“But when a group of morons collectively agree on something, that something now has value when achieved. So, while it may seem moronic to you, that’s only because you can’t see its worth.” 

“The worth decided by a group of morons?” Senior Fluffytail snorted. “Not interested.” 

“I’m surprised your head’s feeling spry enough to win an argument,” Durandal said, declaring my loss despite the argument not being over yet. 

“Right?” Senior Fluffytail asked. “I’m surprised at myself too! It really feels like the air in the immortal realm is crisper or something. My head feels really clear.” Her brow furrowed, and she whipped her head around to look at Durandal. “What do you mean you’re surprised I’m winning an argument!? I always win!”

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