TGL Volume 5, Chapter 8 (2)

I wrote a letter to the ruler, and my mom had it delivered for me. I’m not sure if it’ll change anything, but it’s better than doing nothing. As for what I’m doing now, squirrels place a heavy emphasis on learning and education, so even though the school burned down, I’m still attending class. This class happens to be taking place right outside the prison. Since the principal didn’t want us falling behind the squirrels from other mountains, our whole school went on a trip to the prison to continue our classes—luckily, it wasn’t too far away; no flying boats were involved in the transport. By continuing our education outside the prison, not only would we not fall behind, but we could make ourselves feel better by protesting against injustice at the same time. 

“Excuse me, coming through,” a voice said from pretty far away. “What the heck is going on here? Why are there so many brats on the road? Did a school plan a field trip or something?” 

A squirrel with dark circles around his eyes was trying to get past the mass of students in the way. Behind him, there was a squirrel with a golden rope tied around her neck and all four ankles. Her front ankles were bound tighter than her hind ankles, forcing her to walk upright. The law enforcer stopped walking and frowned, tilting his head from side to side, trying to find a path to go through. Unfortunately for him, no matter which way he went, he’d have to step on a squirrel to get past. “Stop blocking the way,” he said. “It’s fine to go on a field trip, but you should still leave the road open.” 

“This isn’t a fieldtrip,” one of the squirrels near the edge of the crowd said. “This is a protest.” 

“A protest?” the law enforcer asked, his eyes widening. “What are you pro—?” 

“Shush!” the student said, bringing one claw up to her mouth. “I can’t hear the teacher if you babble. Can you take responsibility for the rest of my life if I fail a test because of your distractions now? What if I’m kicked out of the advanced class because I do poorly on my next exam? Do you know the difference between the normal class and advanced class? It’s the difference between sitting in a tree with a cushy job and selling my body to survive!” 

The difference isn’t quite that drastic, but she did get the point across. Without a proper education, it’s impossible to advance socially. Even if a squirrel wants to venture outside the seven mountain ranges to make a name for themselves, they have to be educated—or extremely smart and adaptable like me, and even then, I was immediately captured upon exiting. If a squirrel goes outside and tries to survive on their instincts, they’ll be slaughtered without even understanding why. 

The law enforcer stared at the student, but she was already ignoring him, her attention placed completely on her teacher. Not long after, another law enforcer joined him with another tied-up prisoner. Every squirrel heading towards the prison has already been deemed guilty, so it’s no surprise their movements were restricted. The two law enforcers whispered to each other, but I couldn’t hear a thing. “Slayersson One! This is the second time I’ve called your name.” 

Ah, I wasn’t paying attention to the teacher at all. “Seven immortals and three formations.” But as a top student, I’ve already self-studied this lesson and the fifteen subsequent lessons after it. Just a glance at the board behind the teacher is enough to know the answer to the question. 

“Alright, break it up!” a voice shouted. Beside the two law enforcers, there was now a third law enforcer. From his humanoid form, it was easy to tell he was a chief. He didn’t look too different from the chief that Senior Fluffytail had defeated. Are they required to dress and trim their furs the same way? It does seem like it. “Do you want me to arrest all of you? What kind of future do you think you’ll have with a blemish on your record? Stop obstructing the road!” 

Dozens of squirrels stood up. They were the parents of the students. Their bodies shrank as each and every one of them took on a humanoid form. They walked over the children and approached the chief with their arms crossed and stern expressions on their faces. The chief gulped upon seeing the mass of immortal squirrels approaching him, and he took a step back. “S-stop! What do you think you’re doing!? No, in the first place, why are there so many of you!?” 

I haven’t lived very long, but I don’t think this is a common sight. It’s very hard to unite squirrels, but Senior Fluffytail did it with the power of her cooking and gifts of meat. Not everyone here has tasted her cooking, but they’ve heard rumors about it. They’re coworkers or bosses or clients who’ve heard the reason why the parents are taking the day off to protest. They’re family and friends who want a taste. And as word of mouth does, the rumors spread while growing bigger in size. Everyone is firmly convinced if we can free Senior Fluffytail from prison, she’ll feed us all meat. Some people are even convinced she’ll open a meat shop and sell things at low prices. I’m not sure if she has enough to feed everyone here though. They might be disappointed, but at least Senior Fluffytail will be free. 

“I’m warning you!” the chief said while taking consecutive steps backwards. “I’ll call the supervisor! He’s sleeping right now, and if I’m forced to wake him up because of all of you, he’ll be extremely grumpy! There’s no telling what he’ll do to all of you in his rage!” 

“Call him,” one of the parents said. “We’ll be here every day. We’ll force someone to wake him up every day until he does his job properly! How can he arrest an innocent person without proof? It was quite clear his underlings set the school on fire, but he pinned the blame on someone else and even accused her of smuggling meat! It’s fine to use her as a scapegoat, but executing her too is a blatant abuse of power!” 

No, it’s not fine to use her as a scapegoat, but it’s true that such a large protest wouldn’t have happened if that were the only thing the supervisor had done. People would’ve clicked their tongues at Senior Fluffytail’s misfortune but wouldn’t have done anything because they knew she’d just get a slap on the wrist before being released. But since she was also accused of smuggling meat, people were understandably upset. 

“Fine! I’m calling the supervisor, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

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