TGL Volume 5, Chapter 2 (4)

I’ve learned the Art of Claw and Tail! Unfortunately, it’s not very useful for me because I don’t have any claws. As for the movements that include my tail, well, those follow up on the claw movements, so those don’t really help me either. I’ll just scrub the whole thing from my memory. I’ll close my eyes really hard, and … done! What were we talking about? Ah, that’s right! We’re almost to the land of the squirrels. Eh? Who’s driving the boat if I’m over here learning from Slayer Junior? Durandal and Puppers are sparring off to the side, so that only leaves one person! Sir Pot. Not only can he cook things super well, he can also take command of flying boats. He said he can operate any formation that I can, but that’s not very impressive because I don’t even need my fingers to count how many formations I know. Zero. See? No fingers. 

Surprisingly, the trip to the land of the squirrels—which is a much better name than the seven mountain ranges, if I may say so myself—isn’t a decade-long journey. It’s actually really close by. It makes sense because Slayer Junior didn’t escape very far before being captured. I guess I got really lucky with the location the door in the sky was positioned. Maybe it even knew I was a squirrel, so it purposely opened the exit at the place that it did. That must be it. Good things happen to good people. 

Kaboom! 

What the heck was that!? Did Sir Pot drive us into a mountain? “Sir Pot? What’s going on? Oh.” Since I teleported to the ship’s wheel, I got a clear view of what we crashed into. Err, more accurately, I got a clear view of the creature that grabbed us. “This thing is….” 

“It’s a cloud strider,” Slayer Junior said from his position at the center of the ship. He was still hugging the mast for dear life. “It’s an insect that uses clouds to obscure itself from view. It usually hunts birds, but larger ones have been known to eat flying boats.” 

So, this branchlike thing wasn’t a plant after all! It was an insect’s leg. Ew. Well, I’ll just smash it. “Flaming Hammer!” There! All done. 

“Senior Fluffytail?” 

Ah? “What did I say about calling me senior?” No, seriously, what did I say? I can’t remember what I threatened to do to Slayer Junior if he called me that again. Was I supposed to throw him off the boat? Or maybe I was supposed to shave his fur off. Hmm. Well, it doesn’t really matter. He’s a squirrel; I can’t blame him too much for forgetting what I told him. Eventually, I’ll scare this bad habit of calling me old out of him. 

Slayer Junior cleared his throat and averted his gaze. “By any chance, were those phoenix flames you used just now?” 

“Hmm? No, of course not.” I’m quite obviously not a phoenix. Even if I’m using the Secret Phoenix Rebirth Technique to produce flames, they’re still made by me, a squirrel! “They’re squirrel flames.”

 “Squirrels don’t produce flames.” 

Is there something wrong with Slayer Junior’s eyes? I know his brain can’t match up to even half of Ilya’s, but his eyes should be working, no? “Didn’t you just see me create fire? Look, I’ll do it again.” Right, if I hold my palm up like this and circulate my qi towards my hand, all I have to do is use the Secret Phoenix Rebirth Technique to make my qi combust, and … fwoosh! “See? Squirrel flames.” 

Slayer Junior’s gaze shifted to the fire in my hand. After staring at it in silence for a bit, he raised his gaze towards me. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. His brow furrowed, and his eyes pointed towards the fire again. One of his paws let go of the mast, and he stroked the fur on his chin with the tips of his claws. It seemed like he made up his mind because he nodded at me. “Can you teach me how to do that?”

 “Err, sure.” Actually, how do I teach him? Wait a second. This isn’t right. People have methods to store their techniques into a jade slip, but how come I don’t know it? I’ve never even encountered anything like it! I mean, I know I don’t read or identify the technique slips I conveniently come across, but Durandal and Ilya would definitely let me know if there was an ability to assault someone’s mind with random knowledge! “Do you know how to hit people with your thoughts?” 

Slayer Junior’s brow furrowed. “Is having a strong soul a requirement to learning how to use those squirrel flames?” 

A strong soul? When did we even mention anything about souls? As expected of a squirrel, he so easily went off topic. “How about you answer my question first?” 

“Didn’t I just answer it?” Slayer Junior asked. 

“No. What’d you say?” 

“I asked if having a strong soul was a requirement to learning how to conjure squirrel flames.” 

Is that an answer to my question? …What even was my question? All this thinking is making my head spin. Normally, it’d make my head hurt, but since I’ve been diligently cultivating the Secret Phoenix Rebirth Technique like Mrs. Feathers recommended, the pain in my brain’s been dulled to a low throb instead. Ah! Fire! Right, that’s what we were talking about. “I don’t know any other squirrelkin who can produce flames, and of all the squirrels I know, I’m probably the one with the strongest soul.” Disregard the fact that I don’t know many squirrelkin or squirrels. Of course, Slayer Junior doesn’t need to know that. If I show weakness, he’ll look down on me, and I refuse to be looked down on by both humans and squirrels! 

Slayer Junior gestured towards himself with his free paw. “What do you think about the strength of my soul?” 

How am I supposed to tell how strong his soul is? Soul…. Soul Scour? Right, if someone has a strong soul, Soul Scour’s supposed to backfire on me. “I can check your soul’s strength with a Soul Scour.” 

“…No, thank you.”

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