TGL Volume 5, Chapter 5 (4)

Learning is tough. It’s practically impossible without someone around to guide you! It’s no wonder why teaching is such a profitable career over here. Speaking of which, it shouldn’t be difficult at all for me to become a teacher. I became a master blacksmith by Soul Scouring a blacksmith—ignore the fact I haven’t made any weapon by myself yet—so I should be a master teacher in no time at all once I Soul Scour the fluffy fellow at the head of the class. Ah? That’s illegal and breaking the law? Well, some laws are meant to be broken. Honestly, who bans the sale of meat? That’s such a dumb rule. Just thinking about it is making me angry. And hungry. I’ll just take out a piece of meat, and…. Why’s everyone staring at me? 

“Is that meat?” 

The squirrel sitting behind Slayer Junior suddenly got very close to me. “Where did you get it from? It smells completely different from the meat my dad has at home.” 

“Oh, I brought this with me from the lower realm. Do you want some?” If there’s anything I have an abundance of, it’s meat. It’s a shame I can’t sell it though. If I sold all the meat in my interspacial rings at these inflated prices the squirrels buy them at, I’m sure I could make my way home immediately with the sales money. Unfortunately, the punishment for selling meat is execution, and I don’t want to die, so…, yeah. I can give it away to people for free though. Right? Right!? “Wait. It’s not illegal to hand out meat for free, right?” 

“It’s not illegal unless you use it to bribe someone,” the teacher said. When did he get by my side? Well, no, everyone’s been making their way over ever since I took this steak out. There are even a few heads poking up from the sides of the branch. Do those squirrels belong to another class taking place lower down on the tree? “The punishment for bribing someone with meat is much harsher compared to bribing someone with cash. That being said, if you extort someone of their meat, it’s the same punishment as extorting someone of cash.” 

The ruler really has something against meat, huh? Well, that’s alright. It’s not illegal to hand it out. I have a few interspacial rings full of meat. Just in case something happens like in the one-in-a-bajillion chance I get lost, I won’t starve to death. Food doesn’t go bad in interspacial rings, so it’s not like keeping them there forever is a bad thing, but even though Ilya assures me the meat is fine, it still feels a little weird eating years-old fresh meat. Ah? If my food is years old, why am I going to feed it to the kids? Ilya said it was fine; they’ll be alright. Besides, they’re squirrels. Their stomachs are tough. 

“Sir Pot, come out!” Right, I’ll just dump twenty aurochsen in here, one for each person. Add some seasoning, throw in some acorn ale—wait, no, don’t do that, Lucia. Right, I’ll just stick with Sophia-safe seasonings like salt and chili peppers and garlic. Ooh, I can throw in some butter, and while I’m at it, why not add some honey? Perfect! Some glazed aurochsen, all ready to eat. It’s nice how fast Sir Pot can cook things. “Alright, kiddos, line up, one at a time. There’s enough for … all of you?” Somehow, the number of squirrels has multiplied. Not only are there lots of kids, but there’s lots of adults too! “Where the heck did all of you come from?” 

“Who are you?” an unfamiliar squirrel asked. “Why are you cooking meat over here? Are you trying to cause a disruption on purpose?” 

“That’s the principal of the school,” Slayer Junior said, whispering to me. 

Oh. “I’m Lucia, an assistant teacher. I’m cooking meat over here because … I can?” No one said I couldn’t cook meat here, and there weren’t any rules about cooking meat, so…. 

The principal of the school glared at me. A wisp of vapor drifted out of Sir Pot’s opening and caressed the principal’s snout. Her nose twitched, and she made an audible gulping sound. “I suppose there aren’t any signs forbidding someone from cooking up here,” she said and walked over, pushing the crowd out of the way. She leaned over Sir Pot and stared inside. “But, you’re a suspicious individual. Right, to make sure you’re not harming the children, I’ll risk my life to test the food for poison first.” Before I could stop her—she must’ve been an immortal because she moved really fast—she took a whole aurochsen out of the pot and scampered away, disappearing from view. …What happened to testing the food for poison? 

“Right,” the other adult squirrels said. “As teachers, we can’t stand idle as our principal risks her life.” They rushed forward as well, and soon, there weren’t any aurochsen left inside of Sir Pot. The kids stared as the teachers fled; then, all their watery eyes turned towards me. As a good person, how can I ignore these stares? 

“Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where that came from.” I’ll just dump some more aurochsen into Sir Pot and throw in the seasonings. With Sir Pot, the repetitive part of cooking turns less repetitive. “Make it exactly how I made it earlier.” 

“On it,” Sir Pot said, the sauce inside of him burbling. 

One of the kids stared at me with wide eyes. “Senior Lucia, are you a meat smuggler?” 

“No! Absolutely not. And don’t you say that again. False accusations can get people killed!” Sheesh, these kids; they don’t know to watch their mouths. What if I get punished for doing a good deed like feeding starving children luxurious foods? That’d be awful! Well, it’s not like I get rewarded for doing bad deeds, so there’s no way the opposite can happen to me. Mm, there’s no way people can mistaken me for a meat smuggler. Would a meat smuggler feed a whole school meat for free? Exactly. They wouldn’t.

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