TGL Volume 5, Chapter 4 (5)

I never thought there’d be a day when this annoying box trick would work on anyone else other than me, but today’s the day! Now I know why that old man didn’t stop using it against me when I told him to. It’s too damn fun! “Behold! What’s in the box!?” 

Every time I whip out the box, this squirrelkin stops whatever he’s doing to take a sniff, and I use that chance to—“Flaming Blade!”—hit him real hard. His defenses are a bit tricky to deal with though. My sword can’t cut him, which is fine, but he’s still able to walk around after I hit him, and that’s not normal! 

“Stop it! Damn!” The squirrelkin glared at me and clutched his nose, the spot I’ve been focusing on hitting the most. “If you tell me what’s in the box, I’ll be lenient with you when we get to the station; you’ll get the comfy jail cell and not the damp one that smells like wet fur. As chief, I might not be the one determining your punishment, but I can put in a good word to the jury and judge for you too. What do you say?” 

Can I believe him? If it was me in his position, would I believe myself? Hmm…. “Promise?” 

“I promise.” 

“Alright.” Even if I show him what’s in the box, it doesn’t matter. I’ll take it out and open it for him. “Here! It’s a piece of roasted duck with cumin and soy sauce!” 

The chief exhaled and nodded. “I promised to be lenient with you, but that doesn’t mean this fight is over!” He charged at me, but before he could even take two steps, I pulled out my other secret weapon! 

“Behold! What’s in this other box!?” 

The squirrelkin paused and sniffed the air. 

“Flaming Blade!” Direct hit! Even if my attacks aren’t disabling him, I can tell they’re working. Compared to earlier, his face is much more swollen, and there’s even some blood coming out of his nostril. At this rate, I’ll defeat him before the day’s over. Ah! He’s trying to back away, but I won’t let him! Like the voice in my head once told me, never negotiate. Always attack. Evade everything. Don’t defend. Simply slaughter! …Hmm. It’s really weird that I’m remembering random things; usually, once I forget about something, it’s gone for good unless someone mentions it, and even then, I probably won’t remember. As I thought, it must be the crispness of the air that’s making my brain clearer. 

“That’s it! No more playing around,” the squirrelkin said. His eyes turned completely green, the white bits included, and his body swelled up. “Swamp Toad Possession!” 

What’s going on? Isn’t he a squirrel? I thought all squirrels were supposed to fight the same way! Why did this guy suddenly become as hideous as a frog!? The squirrelkin, err, frogkin? The squirrel-frog thing’s cheeks bulged out, and the loudest croak I have ever heard in my life escaped from his mouth. Not only were my ears ringing, but my nostrils and eyes were stinging too; his breath smelled really, really bad! Hmph! Just because he turned into a frog doesn’t mean my secret weapon won’t work on him! I have hundreds of boxes, and I’m sure the contents of at least one of them is attractive to squirrel-frog things! “Behol—” 

Blop! 

Ah! His tongue moves really fast; it stole the box right out of my hand before I could even react! He ate my fried chicken, and he didn’t even leave an opening for me to strike! Hmph! I don’t believe he can do it again. “Behold!” 

Blop! 

…Okay. I guess it doesn’t matter what I believe. How about this then? I’ll take out a bottle of poison, and— 

Blop! 

—he ate it! Ah? Why did I have a bottle of poison? It’s actually super delicious fruit juice, but it also happens to be poisonous. Since I’m immune to poisons thanks to that technique Durandal trained into me by forcing snakes to bite me, I can drink the poisonous fruit juice just fine. The poison isn’t very lethal though. Ilya only almost died, but she ended up fine after the doctor took a look at her. 

“You…. What did you feed me!?” 

As expected, it’s working! The squirrel-frog thing’s skin is turning dark green, and purple veins are bulging on his exposed skin. “I didn’t feed you anything. You stole my fruit juice yourself.” That’s right. Food thieves deserve every upset stomach they get! It’s not my fault he stole my food. 

The squirrel-frog thing clutched at his neck. “Antidote! Give me the antidote!” 

Antidote? “I don’t have an antidote.” Why would I need one of those? The poison doesn’t affect me, and even Sophia knows better than to randomly drink and eat things out of my interspatial ring. 

“What do you mean you don’t have an antidote!?” 

Mm, squirrels really are slow. “When someone says they don’t have something, that means they do not have it.” I really don’t know how to explain it in simpler terms. If he still can’t understand it after an explanation that even Sophia can understand, then he’s hopeless. I’m not calling Sophia stupid! She’s just young and can’t understand some things because she doesn’t have enough experience. 

The squirrel-frog thing pointed at me while making a gargling sound. Then, he stiffened and fell over, landing on his back with his hindlegs pointed straight at the sky. Foam frothed out of the corners of his mouth, but his eyes didn’t change. They were still completely green, so it was hard to tell if they even moved. 

“Chief?” one of the subordinates asked and bounced over to the squirrel-frog thing’s side. “Are you alright?” The large squirrel nudged the frothing chief with his toe. “Chief?” 

“She killed the chief!” a different subordinate said. “She poisoned him to death!” 

“Don’t worry, guys,” the last subordinate said and scurried over. “I know how to cure him. It’s this medical technique called bleeding. We’ll cut his veins open and let all the poisoned blood out. Then, we’ll give him a blood-replenishing pill, and he’ll be back to normal in no time.” 

“Are you sure that’ll work?” 

“Trust me! I’m a doctor.” 

“Huh? Aren’t you a law enforcer like us?” 

“Yeah, but I dream a lot about being a doctor. I spend as much time sleeping as I do awake, so I have the same amount of medical experience as I do as a law enforcer!” 

…Does that count? I’m not sure it does.

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