TGL Volume 5, Chapter 6 (4)

“Hey! Sorry I’m late; a few law enforcers were interrogating me, but after I gave them a cooking pot and some food, they let me go.” 

Senior Fluffytail is an extremely good liar. It was obvious she Soul Scoured the poor law enforcers and wiped their memories, but other than me, no one else knows. As expected, Senior Fluffytail’s eyes met mine, and I couldn’t help but nod my head a little. 

The teacher stared at Senior Fluffytail for a bit. “They let you go?” he asked and raised an eyebrow. Then, he shrugged. “If everything’s resolved, then that’s good. More importantly, have you gotten familiar with our texts yet?” 

“Familiar,” Senior Fluffytail said and bobbed her head up and down. “Absolutely familiar.” 

Even though law enforcers tended to be squirrels who didn’t perform well academically, that didn’t mean they weren’t capable of solving basic math problems. If Senior Fluffytail took their knowledge while she was erasing their memories, it’s reasonable to assume she knows as much as an average graduate now. 

The teacher blinked. “That’s good,” he said after a moment. “Since that’s the case, you can hand back their homework while I conduct today’s review.” 

Senior Fluffytail glanced behind herself. What was she checking for? After a bit, she nodded as if someone had spoken to her, and she went to the pile of papers the teacher had placed on the ground. She picked them up and squinted her eyes as if the letters weren’t the size of her fists. I understand that a humanoid form is ideal for cultivation, but why don’t immortals transform into humans with a larger frame? I’ve always found it a little odd for a squirrel to shrink so much after becoming stronger. After reading for a bit, Senior Fluffytail raised her head and squinted at our nametags which were placed on our desks. Even if she’s knowledgeable, she still reads incredibly slow. 

“Fire! There’s a fire!” 

Huh? Is this a drill? 

“This is not a drill! There is a fire near the base of the tree! Everyone, please, remain calm and exit the tree in an orderly manner!” 

We don’t conduct fire drills very often. In fact, I think I’ve only done it once. We’re supposed to listen to the teacher’s instructions and jump off the branch in an orderly manner. If it’s done in an unorderly manner, some people may die from being trampled. It’s weird though. How is there an actual fire that warrants evacuating the tree? With the principal around, it shouldn’t be an issue to put out some simple flames. Unless … the flames aren’t simple? There’s someone I know who can produce so-called squirrel flames, and that person is … still trying to hand back homework? 

“Immortal Fluffytail, you can put those away for now,” the teacher said. He clapped his front paws together. “Everyone, settle down; there’s no need to panic. Devourersdottir Three, put that bucket of glue down. Even if it’ll burn up in the fire, you’re not allowed to drink it. Smithsson Seven, make sure your homework is properly put away. Don’t think you can use the excuse of it catching on fire to avoid having it graded.” 

The teacher walked to the edge of the branch and peered over the side. He brushed aside a few leaves with his paws and stared down. Faint wisps of smoke rose up from all around; although they were thin, they were long and moved like tendrils grasping around. The smell reminded me of the time my mom messed up cooking an acorn pie. The teacher glanced back at us, and upon seeing we were all sitting around, well-behaved, he turned his attention back towards the layers of the tree below. In case of a fire, the squirrels on the lower levels of the tree were to evacuate first, and since my class was at the very top, we had to wait until the end. 

“Teacher, are we under attack?” 

“No,” the teacher said, not even bothering to turn around to answer my fellow classmate. “As long as the ruler is here, no one will ever attack the seven mountain ranges.” 

“Then why is the school on fire?” 

“My brother told me his class was going to have an important exam today,” Devourersdottir Three said before the teacher could respond. Right next to her, there was a bucket of glue. “I think someone in his class set the school on fire because he wasn’t prepared for the exam.” 

“Woah, that’s such a good idea! Why didn’t I think about that last week?” 

“Probably the same reason why you would even think it’s a good idea: you’re dumb.” 

“Be quiet,” the teacher said, slapping his tail against the branch. “It’s almost our turn. I want all of you to form a nice single file line; Immortal Fluffytail, if any of them step out of place, you have my permission to beat them.” 

Senior Fluffytail blinked, but before she could even comprehend what the teacher told her, everyone rushed into place, forming a neat line starting at the teacher’s back and ending with me. Senior Fluffytail looked around before coming over. Although I wanted to ask if she was related to the fire, it was better if I didn’t. Squirrels had sharp ears, and I didn’t want to say something that could be misconstrued. 

“What are we lining up for?” Senior Fluffytail asked in a whisper. 

“We’re going to jump off the branch and descend towards the ground.” Has Senior Fluffytail not been paying attention at all this whole time? It seems like she’s distracted by something. Perhaps her anxiety of setting the tree on fire is catching up to her. 

“Why don’t we just teleport down?” 

“It’s too messy that way. The classes will be separated, and people might get hurt if everyone teleports at once.” 

Senior Fluffytail scratched her head. “Aren’t squirrels supposed to be selfish? Why isn’t this an every-squirrel-for-himself situation?” 

Senior Fluffytail really does understand squirrel nature pretty well. “We are selfish—which is exactly why we’re following instructions and not teleporting to save ourselves. If we don’t want to be beaten, we listen. It’s that simple.”

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