TGL Volume 5, Chapter 4 (1)

Wow, these law enforcers are so trusting! They didn’t even continue questioning me after I said no. Well, it’s not like I lied. I didn’t rough up a family of three! I only hit the parents. If the child was beaten, it certainly wasn’t my fault. It’s the little snot’s fault for throwing rocks at my boat. With such a relaxed law enforcement team, isn’t collecting protection fees a viable option to getting rich? Ah, I don’t know if I can bring myself to charge a squirrel protection fees. They’re so poor that they can’t even afford to eat meat every day. It’s not like in the Immortal Continent where cultivators chose not to eat meat because it'd give them impurities. Slayer and Fighter like eating meat, but it’s just too hard to come by in the seven mountain ranges! Right, with so many squirrels eating everything, it was just a matter of time for there to be nothing left to eat except grains of immortal rice. This rice seems to exist everywhere. 

Fighter swept the empty plates off the table, knocking them over the edge of the branch we were seated on. It was a big branch, wide enough for a dining table and room for several squirrels to sit around it. There weren’t any safety railings, but those weren’t necessary. What kind of squirrel would fall out of a tree? 

“So, what are your plans?” Fighter asked. “You want to go home by using the teleportation gate, but you probably don’t have that much money on you since you just arrived on the mainland, right? You’re already an immortal, so it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find a job here. If you want, I can introduce you to my boss. As long as you work and save your paycheck diligently for a few centuries, it won’t be impossible for you to use the gate.” 

Work and save my paycheck for a few centuries? I haven’t even been alive for one century yet! If Sophia grows as fast as I did, then she’ll be a complete stranger by the time I get home! No, working diligently and saving money won’t get me anywhere! By the time I’m done saving, it’ll be too late. “Is there a faster way to make money?” 

Fighter scratched her head. “Well, that depends on how educated you are. Becoming a teacher is a pretty lucrative profession. However, it’s very difficult to get a teaching job, and you’ll have a lot of responsibilities placed on you.” 

Teaching…? “Wait, why are teachers so important? Can’t you just shove knowledge into people’s heads with jade slips?” 

“A teacher’s job goes beyond teaching,” Slayer said, gesturing broadly over his head with his front legs. “If everyone’s given the same jade slip filled with the same knowledge, they’ll still live vastly different lives. A teacher guides someone into becoming the best person they can be.” 

Hmm. This doesn’t sound like a job for me. I know I’d make an awesome teacher, but my students will be heartbroken after I leave to go back home. I’m too nice of a person to do that to them. “Are there any other professions that make quick and fast money?” 

Fighter furrowed her brow. “Becoming a teacher is the best way to make money in a legal manner that’s open to people of all statuses. Since you came to the mainland with no background, your position in society isn’t very high; there’s no way you’ll be able to become an elder of the tribe.” 

Fighter looked at Slayer, and then the two squirrels looked at me. “The other ways of making money are … dangerous and toe the line of the law,” Slayer said and cleared his throat. He lowered his voice to a whisper. “You can become a meat smuggler. Only certain people selected by the ruler are licensed to sell meat. The supply doesn’t meet the demand, and there’s a lot of money to be made as long as you don’t get caught.” 

Selling meat? Why is that illegal? It shouldn’t be illegal! How can a ruler prevent her citizens from eating meat? It just isn’t right. Although it might be illegal to smuggle meat, it’s not wrong either. But…. “What happens if you get caught?” 

“Death penalty,” Fighter said and grimaced. “I won’t go into the gruesome details, but let’s just say the execution is far from painless.” 

Death penalty for selling meat!? Why are the punishments always so extreme? Speaking of which…. “What’s the punishment for robbery again? And what happens if someone does accidentally die during a small scuffle you’re involved in?” 

“Only selling meat and other animal products without a license are punishable by death,” Fighter said. “Minor infractions like robbery or squirrelslaughter are punishable by community service; you’ll be forced to work without pay in any kind of job: becoming a teacher’s assistant, shoveling poop, collecting trash, porting goods. However, if you continue committing crimes and show no signs of remorse or stopping, you’ll be branded and exiled from the seven mountain ranges—the same punishment as you’d receive for committing murder. Humans and other beasts tend to leave squirrels alone thanks to the ruler’s prestige, but if you’re branded….” Fighter drew a line in front of her neck with one claw. 

Hmm, community service isn’t so bad. “Why is selling meat such a heinous crime?” The punishment is even worse than murder’s! Is selling meat really so bad compared to killing another squirrel?

Slayer and Fighter shrugged. “It’s the ruler’s decision. Most people think it’s to keep the people she wants in power in power. They get all the profits for sourcing and selling meat. With such a huge financial advantage, the people they care about are guaranteed to be better than the rest of the populace.” 

That’s unfair! Mm, but it’s not my problem, so who cares? …Wait a minute. It is my problem! I need to make money! 

“Fighter! Slayer!” 

Mm? Someone’s shouting from down below? Fighter poked her head over the side of the branch. 

“You know you can be punished for harboring a criminal, right? Send her down. If I have to go up there myself, the two of you will be held accountable as well.” 

“Tch.” Fighter clicked her tongue and raised her head to look at me. “The dirty raccoons called for backup. They must’ve been intimidated earlier and didn’t want to act without their chief. He might be ugly and stinky and detestable, but he’s still an immortal.” 

“You know I can hear you, right? Send her down. Now!”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter