TGL Volume 5, Chapter 9 (3)

I got squished. Luckily, the ground was soft, so instead of turning into a pancake, I sank into the dirt instead. Still, it’s not a good feeling! First, I’d like to apologize to all the bugs I’ve ever stepped on. Second, I’d like to punch the supervisor in his smug face! Unfortunately, I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon; he’s way too strong! He’s like me, and I’m like Ilya—he can bully me whenever he wants because he’s ridiculously powerful! Luckily, it doesn’t seem like he wants to finish me off. What is he even doing? After I got hit, my vision went white, and I could only hear a really loud ringing. I know. He’s waiting for me to recover before finishing me off! Maybe he’s like me and has a specific someone to cut off people’s heads. 

Mm? My vision’s clear, but something still doesn’t seem right. Why does the supervisor look so … terrified? That’s not the expression a victor should have, unless…? Did his attack force out my potential, making me completely unrivaled in power!? …No, that doesn’t seem to be it. He’s looking up, but I can’t see what he’s looking at. Alright, I’ll use this chance to escape while he’s distracted! I’ll teleport away, and … ah? My tail’s stuck on something, but I’m in the sky, so what is—? “Ack! Who are you!?” A stranger’s grabbing my tail! Wait, why am I even in the sky? I wanted to teleport along the ground! 

The stranger scanned me with her eyes. She looked like a human with white ears and a white fluffy tail. There’s a lot of transformed squirrels down in the crowd; they have fur on their arms and legs, and their fingers are basically like claws, but this stranger was more human-looking. Only her ears and tail betrayed her identity as a squirrel. Was she a half-squirrel, half-human too? 

“I’m the ruler,” the stranger said. “Who are you?” 

“You’re the ruler?” She’s the ruler? Isn’t the ruler supposed to be an invincible squirrel? Isn’t she supposed to be like a thousand-feet tall with claws made of the sharpest metal in the world? A single one of her steps should cause earthquakes, and when she sneezes, immortals have to defend or else they’ll die. How come she looks so … average? “Uh, I’m Lucia Fluffytail.” 

The ruler squinted at me. Then, she took out a knife and—why did she take out a knife!? Ow! F***! She stabbed me! “What the hell!?” 

The ruler ignored me and placed a cup against my arm right below the hole she poked in my shoulder. “Oh? You heal pretty fast. It only filled a quarter of the way.” 

Is the ruler crazy? Why—ow! She stabbed me! Again! “Gah! What are you doing!?” 

“Stop squirming,” the ruler said, and then, I couldn’t move my body! It was even worse than the way the supervisor held me; at least, with him, I could still roll my eyeballs around. With the ruler’s technique, I can’t even look at my arm! “Half a cup should be enough…. No, I should get some more just in case.” 

Why?!? …I got stabbed again. It hurts, and it hurts even more because I can’t let the pain out through my shouts! That’s how it works. If I stub my toe, I have to curse and shout to make the pain go away. I have to shout even louder when I’m stabbed, but the ruler isn’t letting me! 

“There,” the ruler said and raised the cup of blood in front of her face. Her eyes glowed, and white lines appeared around and inside the cup. She swirled it a few times, and a furrow appeared on her brow. Then, she pulled out the knife and stabbed me again! This time, instead of collecting my blood, she poured the cup of blood back into my arm. When that weird action was done, she tossed the cup away over her shoulder and stared me in the eyes. “Who’s your ancestor?” 

I can move again, but I’m not sure if I want to. And what kind of question is that? How am I supposed to know who my ancestor is? “Um, I’m not sure.” 

The ruler raised an eyebrow before placing her hand on my head. Why does this position seem so familiar? I don’t think anyone’s ever grabbed my head like this before, so why…? Wait a second. Isn’t this what I looked like in the memories of the people I Soul Scoured? Yeah! That’s exactly what the ruler’s posture looks like. I think she’s … Soul Scouring me!? I don’t feel anything though. Has she gotten so good at Soul Scouring people that they don’t even know their minds are being searched? 

“Yes, I have,” the ruler said and released my head. 

…I’m scared. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way. I wasn’t scared of the supervisor because I knew all he wanted to do was kill me, but I can’t even tell what’s going on in the ruler’s mind! That’s right; the unknown is way more terrifying than the known. Did I forget anything? I got Soul Scoured, but I think I remember everything, but how would I know for sure? Do I Soul Scour myself to see if any memory bubbles have been burned? 

“Ahem.” The ruler cleared her throat. “I understand the situation now, but there are two sides to every story.” She waved her hand, and suddenly, the supervisor was next to me! The ruler placed her hand on the supervisor’s head and stared into his eyes. A moment later, the ruler clenched her hand, and the supervisor’s head exploded! Blood shot onto my face, and a familiar iron-like taste entered my open mouth. Ah? Ah!? What just happened!? 

The supervisor’s body hit the ground. It was especially loud because everyone was dead silent. “The supervisor was collaborating with humans, unfairly exiling squirrels for small offenses in return for rare resources,” the ruler said. “As such, I executed him. A new supervisor will be instated shortly.” The ruler turned her head towards me, her eyes narrowing as her lips curved up into a smile. “As for you…. What should I do with you?” 

…Let me go? Please?

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