TGL Volume 5, Chapter 3 (3)

I can’t believe I’m back already. Two nights, one day, and one morning have passed since I’ve been gone. I thought I’d have my freedom for three days at the very least. I can’t even say I saw or experienced many things in the outside world. Sure, I got captured by a group of human immortals, but I can’t necessarily brag about that, right? That’s more like a stain on my history that I’d want to hide in the future. I did learn one thing though: flying boats might very well be the worst form of travel to ever have been invented. 

“So, this is your home?” Senior Fluffytail looked up at the branches of the tree my family was staying on. “It’s actually pretty spacious, huh? It’s way bigger than that irresponsible lady’s.” 

“Of course. The woman you abused belonged to a nameless family. No one in her family line has done anything of worth.” 

“I didn’t abuse anyone,” Senior Fluffytail said and threatened to slap my snout with her palm. “I was just educating. Abuse in the form of education is called negative reinforcement, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Senior Fluffytail tilted her head. “So, uh, there’s no door. How do we go in? Do we knock? Shout? Climb up?” 

“We just climb up.” 

“Hmm, there’s not much privacy here either, huh?” Senior Fluffytail scratched her head before placing her foot on the tree trunk. Then, her other foot stepped onto the tree trunk, and her body fell backwards until she was parallel to the ground. She walked up a few more steps before turning her head to look at me. “What’re you waiting for? If I don’t go up with you, they’ll think I’m a weirdo.” 

I’m sure Senior Fluffytail would get along pretty well with my parents. There’s no way they’ll think she’s weird. She’s just as airheaded as the both of them, and they’re all so easily distracted. If anyone’s treated as weird, it’s me. Well, it is a bit odd to literally walk up a tree whilst parallel to the ground; I’ve never seen anyone do that before. “How are you doing that?” 

“Doing what?” Senior Fluffytail asked. She turned and blinked at me when I caught up to her. She pointed at her head. “You mean how am I moving my ears in opposite directions to listen to my surroundings better?” 

“No, all squirrels can do that.” 

Senior Fluffytail blinked at me. Her brow furrowed. “Huh. Interesting,” she said and rubbed her chin. “Humans always got so impressed and fascinated by how I could move them.” 

“Well, in case you’ve forgotten, we’re in the squirrels’ promised land. Practically everyone’s a squirrel here. You won’t impress anyone with your tail or ears.” 

Senior Fluffytail blinked again. It’s becoming quite clear that she has more non-squirrel companions than squirrel companions. “Practically everyone?” Senior Fluffytail asked. “Who’re the non-squirrels living here?” 

“Oh, welcome back, One!” a voice said from above before I could answer. “You were gone for so long that the masters thought you ran away from home.” 

“Is that … a giant spider?” 

Once again, before I could reply, an answer came from the human-sized spider above. “No, my lovely squirrel overlord, I’m a regular-sized spider of the red-eyed race. However, I do have a cousin from the giant spider race that’s as large as a small mountain; if you’d like, I could introduce you to her.” 

I coughed. Since I can’t speak faster than anyone, I’ll just cough to claim my place in the conversation. “Senior Fluffytail, this is Omb. She’s my pet spider. My mom’s had her since way before she even met my dad. Don’t hurt her, please.” With that, Senior Fluffytail should know Omb isn’t a snack that can casually be eaten at any time. I’ve seen the things Senior Fluffytail has eaten; I wouldn’t put it past her to try and eat a spider. 

Senior Fluffytail snorted and glared at me. “What kind of person do you think I am?” she asked. “Do you really think I’d hurt someone’s pet for no reason? And stop calling me senior!” She looked up at Omb. “Nice to meet you, Ohm.” 

“It’s pronounced Omb like in tomb or womb or bloom.” I mispronounced Omb’s name once, and my mom got upset at me. She cut my sleeping time in half for three days as punishment. 

“That’s what I said,” Senior Fluffytail said, snapping her teeth at me. 

There was no need to do that; I was just trying to help. Of course, I knew better than to vocalize those thoughts out loud. I’d probably receive an answer pertaining to how she didn’t need any help because she was doing perfectly fine on her own. …I think I’ve been treating Senior Fluffytail as if she were my sister instead of my mom, and I’m beginning to think I should’ve done it the other way around. It’s Senior Fluffytail’s fault though. She doesn’t act like an adult at all, and she knows even less things than my sister! 

“As I was saying, nice to meet you, Ohmb,” Senior Fluffytail said and waved at Omb. “My name’s Lucia Fluffytail! When I was traveling, some guards stopped me and told me they caught a runaway squirrel. Luckily for Slayer Junior here, I helped some people earlier that day, and they happened to pay me just enough to bail this criminal out!” Senior Fluffytail threw her arm around my neck and hugged my head close. “Now, we’re best of buds, and I’m here to help him get home.” 

“Thank you for rescuing One,” Omb said and clacked her chelicerae together. She leaned close and whispered, “However, I recommend you don’t call him Slayer Junior in front of the masters. They won’t take too kindly to it.” 

Senior Fluffytail released me and turned her head towards me with a furrow on her brow. “Why didn’t you tell me that?” 

And here comes the blame because squirrels can do no wrong. “I’ve told you many times to stop calling me Slayer Junior.” 

“But you didn’t tell me the reason!”

“I did.” 

“You didn’t tell it to me in as good of a way as her!” 

…I’m not even sure what to say to that. I probably didn’t. Omb is much, much older than I am. I’m not as experienced as her in, well, anything. Of course, she’d do a much better job of explaining things than me.

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