TGL Volume 5, Chapter 9 (4)

This is my first time seeing the ruler in person. There really is a big difference between seeing her in my history textbook and seeing her with my own eyes. The depiction was extremely accurate, which was surprising because it was published quite a long time ago, but it wasn’t able to fully capture the ruler’s aura. If the supervisor was like the noon sun, then the ruler is like the sky. Even without wanting to, it’s impossible to not notice her. 

“She’s so cool!” Devourersdottir Three said, staring up at the ruler with bright eyes. “I wonder how many buckets of glue she can drink without stopping!” 

…Sometimes, I’m ashamed to be in the same generation as my peers. There’s something wrong with Devourersdottir Three’s head. 

“She can probably drink more glue and eat more homework than the whole class combined,” Smithsson Seven said. His eyes were glittering too when he looked up at the ruler. “Do you think she’ll notice any of us?” He waved his paw, and surprisingly, the ruler waved back, causing Smithsson Seven to gasp and fall over onto his back. “She waved back at me!” 

Was that I coincidence? I’ll try waving too. Unexpectedly, the ruler really did wave back! I didn’t think she’d be so free to entertain children. As the ruler, shouldn’t she be focused on more important tasks? Then again, she does have supervisors working for her. It wouldn’t be surprising to learn most of her tasks have been delegated away. What exactly is she doing though? After brutally executing the supervisor, whose body is still on the ground, she’s now chatting with Senior Fluffytail? Since the supervisor was executed, does that mean Senior Fluffytail is innocent? I thought we’d have to protest for several days, but who knew the whole thing would conclude so quickly? 

“She’s looking this way,” Branchtrimmersson Three said. “Do you think she noticed my potential and decided to take me in as a disciple?” My buddy stood on his hindlegs and waved his front paws in the air. 

The ruler already waved at us. Why would she continue looking this way? For some reason, she seems to be looking at … me? Senior Fluffytail is pointing at me too. They’re far away in the sky, so it’s possible I’m seeing things incorrectly. There’s no way the ruler is actually paying attention to me specifically. I’m just a smarter-than-average squirrel. The ruler waved her hand, and my surroundings warped. I know this feeling. I’m being dangled in the sky again! Why!? The ruler’s holding me by the scruff of my neck like I’m a disobedient child! 

“Yeah, that’s him!” Senior Fluffytail said and beamed at me. “Oh, he’s afraid of heights by the way.” 

The ruler stared at me. “Yes, I’m aware.” 

If you’re aware, then why did you have to bring me up into the sky!? Of course, I don’t have the courage to say that thought out loud. No one’s brave enough to question a transcendental beast, and my brain certainly isn’t damaged enough to question her either. “G-greetings, ruler.” 

“I got your letter,” the ruler said and smiled at me. She tapped my forehead with her pointed finger, and a fuzzy sensation ran down my face. “Thanks for your hard work.” 

Writing a letter might be difficult for other squirrels, but I wouldn’t really classify it as hard work. However, I know better than to express my opinion around others. Luckily, my parents taught me manners; otherwise, I really wouldn’t know what to say. “Y-you’re welcome.” It’s a shame I can’t stop myself from stuttering. In fact, my whole body is shaking. Can she please put me back down onto the ground? I think she’s trying to reward me, but at the same time, this is one of the worst punishments I can receive. 

The ruler chuckled, and before I knew it, my surroundings warped again. Being teleported is a strange experience; everything blurs into a giant swirl of colors, from the blue and white of the sky to the earthy colors of my fellow classmates. I didn’t even have time to orient myself before I was swarmed and surrounded, everyone staring at my forehead. 

“Wow!” Devourersdottir Three said, staring right at me with her bright, round eyes. “I’m so jealous!” 

Jealous? Jealous of what? 

“What did you do, Slayersson One?” Branchtrimmersson Three asked. “Why did the ruler bless you?” 

Bless me? When the ruler touched my forehead, did something happen? I don’t have a mirror, but luckily, the surfaces of Devourersdottir Three’s eyes are pretty reflective. There’s … a white star on my forehead? It’s a bit hard to see because the reflection isn’t that large, but I’m pretty sure the ruler marked me with her symbol. I wanted to exam myself more, but Devourersdottir Three’s cheeks flushed red, and she shied away from me while turning her head to the side but keeping her eyes on me. She raised her paws in front of her face and mumbled, “You’re staring too much.” 

“A-ah? S-sorry.” I’m still trembling from my temporary appearance in the sky. “Uh…, um, the ruler blessed me because I wrote a letter to her telling her about the situation with Senior Fluffytail.” 

There was a smacking sound coming from Nobleheartsson Two slapping his own forehead. “Why didn’t I think of that?” he asked before looking around. “Was Slayersson One the only one who wrote a letter to the ruler?” 

My classmates exchanged glances with one another before looking at me. Their gazes were different from the ones that I was used to. It wasn’t the gaze of indifference that I’ve grown up with for the majority of my life, and it wasn’t the gaze they gave me when they wanted to ask for food that Senior Fluffytail had given me to distribute. Were they looking at me with … respect? Despite my brilliant mind, this is a first for me. I thought meeting Senior Fluffytail was my misfortune, but it seems like I was wrong. I couldn’t help but look towards the sky; unfortunately, it was empty, Senior Fluffytail and the ruler no longer there. I wonder where they went.

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