TGL Volume 5, Chapter 3 (4)

Slayer Junior has a pet spider. Even though he told me she was a pet, she doesn’t really feel like one. First of all, what kind of pet can talk to you and give you advice? Pets are meant to be talked at and cuddled! They aren’t supposed to respond with words. The vibe Omb gives off is more like a person rather than a pet; I don’t think I could ever raise an intelligent person like Omb as a pet. It’d feel too much like taking care of a freeloader bumming off my stuff. Well, moving on. “Are there things I should watch out for when I meet your parents other than not calling you Slayer Junior? Are there any weird customs squirrels do?” 

“To squirrels, our weird customs are normal,” Slayer Junior said. “Only non-squirrels would think the things we do are weird. Also, I don’t think I’m the right person to ask because I don’t know enough about human culture to compare the differences.” 

Hmm, that makes sense. I’ll stare at Omb instead of Slayer Junior until she responds. 

“I’ve lived with squirrels all my life,” Omb said. Her voice is surprisingly pleasant for a spider. I thought it’d be harsher and scratchier because she’s a pretty sharp-looking spider. Some spiders are fuzzy and cute like tarantulas, and other spiders are pointy like … non-tarantulas. Omb’s not the fuzzy kind. “If you do something impolite, I can inform you, but I don’t think I can give you any advice on how to behave.” 

Hmm, if only Ilya were here, then I wouldn’t have to worry about misbehaving. She’d tell me exactly what to do, and I’d do it perfectly without messing it up. Probably. Ahem, no, most definitely. Well, there’s one thing that I can’t mess up no matter what. Greetings and first impressions. “How do you address your parents, Slay—err, One?” 

“I call them Mom and Dad,” Slayer Junior said. Even though One is much easier to pronounce and say, I still prefer the name Slayer Junior. With Slayer Junior, I can’t confuse his name for anything, but One can cause some confusion. For example, if I’m fighting a group of people and tell Durandal to hit one for me, what if he hits Slayer Junior instead of one of the baddies? If I tell Durandal to hit Slayer Junior, there’s no confusion at all. Mm, while I was thinking, Slayer Junior’s lips kept moving, but I wasn’t listening to anything he said at all. Well, it must’ve not been that important. 

“One!” a feminine voice said from behind a large leaf. The leaf rustled and moved to the side, revealing a squirrel that was as small as the squirrel that had thrown rocks at my boat. “Where were you? Were you constipated? Is that why you were gone for so long?” 

A deep sigh escaped from Slayer Junior’s mouth. “Hello, Two,” Slayer Junior said. “No, I wasn’t constipated. I ran away from home, but I got caught before I could get very far. Next time, I’ll be gone for much longer.” 

“What? Why did you run away?” Two, the small squirrel, asked. “How come you didn’t take me with you? I want to run away from home too!” 

Is running away from home part of the process of growing up as a squirrel? When I was still a slave, I wanted to run away from home, but Slayer Junior and this even more junior squirrel aren’t slaves! I can’t blame them though. I’m sure being forced to learn is much worse than being a slave. I know because I’ve been both! 

“One ran away from home!?” A squirrel that looked like a larger version of Slayer Junior rushed down from the treetop. “What were you thinking!? Do you know what could’ve happened to you beyond the mountain range? More importantly, you missed a whole day of studying!” 

“One missed a whole day of studying!?” Another large squirrel rushed down from the treetop. Her fur was a lighter shade of red than Slayer Junior’s and the previous squirrel’s. “What were you doing, Slayer?” the lighter-furred squirrel asked the larger version of Slayer Junior. “How could you let me down like this?” 

Slayer Junior’s dad glared at Slayer Junior. “How could you let me let your mother down like this? What were you thinking? Do you even think? You have to consider the consequences of your every action before you do them! How many times do I have to tell you this?” Slayer Junior’s dad turned to look at me. “And who are you?” 

How was I supposed to address Slayer Junior’s dad again? Right. “Hi, Dad. It’s nice to finally meet you!” 

For some reason, the family of squirrels froze along with Omb. Then, the picturesque scene was broken by Slayer Junior’s mom slapping Slayer Junior’s dad across the face! Her eyes turned red, and she glared at him. “You never told me you had another family! Why did you hide this from me!?” 

“Another family? What?” Slayer Junior’s dad blinked several times as visible question marks made of some kind of steam circled around his head. “I have another family, but that’s the one I belong to! I’m not hiding anything from you, Fighter!” 

“The proof is right there!” Slayer Junior’s mom, who I think is named Fighter, said and pointed at me with her claw. “You told me humans were icky, and there was no way you’d fall in love with one because they didn’t have fur, but look at her! Your daughter is half-human, half-squirrel, and she knows you’re her father!” 

How does Slayer Junior’s mom know I’m not full squirrel? Is there a sign floating over my head that she can read? Hmm. Nope. Ah! Something sharp poked my tail! Oh, it was just Omb. 

“Are you Slayer’s illegitimate child?” 

“Huh? Heck no!” At least, I don’t think I am. My parents weren’t giant squirrels; then again, it feels like my memory has been failing me…. Maybe I remembered wrongly? 

“Then why did you address my master as Dad?” 

“Because that’s what Slayer Junior told me to call him.” 

“I didn’t say that,” Slayer Junior said, letting lies slip out of his mouth like air. “I said I call my parents Mom and Dad. I didn’t tell you to call them that.” 

Slayer Junior’s mom and dad stopped wrestling with each other. They must’ve engaged in battle when I was distracted by Omb. Slayer Junior’s mom stared at me, her paws still holding onto Slayer Junior’s dad’s neck furs. “You’re not related to Slayer? Then, who are you?” 

“Her name is Lucia Fluffytail,” Omb said before I could respond. “She found One outside and brought him back home.” 

“Oh,” Slayer Junior’s mom said and released her husband. “Why didn’t you say so sooner? Things almost got bloody.” 

Hmm. For some reason, this squirrel seems really familiar. She reminds me of someone extremely unreasonable…. Eh, it must be a coincidence. I don’t know any other squirrel except myself and Sophia, and there’s no way either I or Sophia are unreasonable.

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