All I did was ask one question, one innocent little question about her being rejected by my ancestor, and the ruler went completely out of her mind! She told the supervisors to beat me twice as much as before! Well, those weren’t her exact words, but that’s what the outcome became. The worst part is there’s nothing I can do at all to stop the pain. I’m too weak to defend myself. I’m too slow to run away. My soul is too fragile to do anything to their brains. I’ve tried everything: Despairing Blade, Heart Devil Apparition, Tides of Blood, the box trick, and nothing works! These squirrels are simply too strong! It’s not fair. I struggle even while doing my best, but they don’t even have to do anything except smack me, and I lose! “I give up!”
The squirrel in front of me stopped moving and tilted her head to the side. “You give up?” She squatted down next to me and picked me up with her two front paws. “You can’t give up. The ruler said you’re supposed to spar until she comes back.”
I don’t care what she says! If her words are unreasonable, then I don’t have to listen to them. Mm, well, actually, I do if I don’t want to make my life harder, but life is already hard at this moment! “Okay, how about this? You beat me up, and I’ll lie here.”
The squirrel stared at me. Then, she wrapped one paw around my body, and another paw around my arm. “Are you sure you don’t want to resist?” she asked. “I’ll pull your arm off if you don’t.”
Although I’m scared of pain, I have to be brave! Also, I ate a lot of painkillers during that meal with Slayer Junior. I ate four whole bottles. I can’t even feel my eyes when they blink. Can I normally feel my eyes when I blink? Hmm. I’m not sure, but the point still stands! Nothing can hurt me. “Go ahead! You were going to rip my arm off regardless of whether I resisted or not.” Yep. That’s the main reason why I’m giving up. If struggling leads to pain, and not struggling also leads to pain, why would I struggle and waste my energy?
The supervisor stared at me. Then, with a really loud pop and a series of crackling sounds, my arm was torn from my body. Thankfully, I didn’t feel a thing. It’s still terrifying as heck though! My arm was ripped off, and even though I didn’t feel anything, I still heard and saw everything. I didn’t know seeing and hearing was half the trauma; I thought pain was the whole thing! The supervisor rotated me around and wrapped her paw around my other arm. “Are you sure you’re giving up? After your arms, it’s going to be your legs, and by the time those are gone, your arms will be back. I’ll tear those off and repeat the process over and over until the ruler returns.”
“Do your worst!” Mm. That’s right. All I have to do is close my eyes and block my ears. Closing my eyes is really easy. Blocking my ears is a bit harder. Can I block it off with qi? I’ll send some qi into my ears and—
Snap! Crackle, crackle, crackle, crackle, crackle! Pop! Pop! Pop!
—the sounds became even louder. My goodness, is my arm making all those sounds? That’s a bit terrifying. Even if I can recover, can I recover back to perfect health…? Okay. I’ll just try to ignore all the sounds, but that’s easier said than done! Luckily, the ruler taught me how to meditate. Instead of listening to the sounds, I’ll just focus on my breathing! …Is this why she taught me to meditate? She can practically read the future; I wouldn’t put it past her to teach me a technique I need in the future now. …Isn’t that all techniques? Hmm. My brain works doubly fast when my limbs are being torn off. I wonder if it’s a side effect of eating too many pills. Anyways, focus, Lucia. Breathe in. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
Pop! Pop! Snap! Crack!
Breathe out. One. Two.
Three. Four. Five.
Breathe in. One. Two. Three.
“What’s going on here?”
Four…? Was that the ruler. Mm, at the risk of traumatizing myself, I’ll open my eyes. Ah! It is the ruler. She’s standing over me.
“Your disciple gave up,” the supervisor said and gently placed my body onto the ground. She glanced at the severed limb in her paw before putting it down next to me. It’s a bit weird seeing my own foot from this angle. Did she have to put it right next to my face? “So, she told me to do whatever I wanted with her until you came back.”
The ruler blinked and looked at me. “You gave up? Why?”
Is that even a question? “Because nothing I do matters!”
“Are you sure?” the ruler asked and raised an eyebrow. “Did you try everything?”
Did I try everything? I’m pretty sure I tried everything. If there’s something I haven’t tried, then it’s something that I couldn’t come up with in the first place! “Yes. Absolutely. I tried everything, and nothing worked, so I gave up.”
“But you didn’t try everything,” the ruler said and patted my head. Her hand moves a lot like Durandal’s does. Did she steal his head-patting technique while Soul Scouring me? “I’ve been watching you the whole time. You didn’t use your greatest power.”
My greatest power? Right. My greatest power can only be one thing! “I cooked for them, but they don’t eat!” That’s right. How is my greatest skill going to work if they can ignore the temptation of my cooking?
“Ah, you silly disciple,” the ruler said and scratched behind my ears. She definitely stole Durandal’s technique! “That’s not your greatest power.”
Cooking isn’t my greatest power? “It’s not? Then what is?”
The ruler beamed and pointed at her face with one finger. “Isn’t it me? What’s the point of having a master otherwise? When you’re backed into a corner, all you have to do is shout really loudly for my help.”
…Huh? “Would that even work?”
“You’ll have to try to find out,” the ruler said with a twinkle in her eyes.
I feel like she’s tricking me. If she’s anything like Ilya, she’ll make me beg for her help and then heartlessly reject me. “Can you help me beat up those supervisors?”
“Call me Teacher.”
Ah? I thought the ruler would make me call her master, but teacher isn’t so bad. It doesn’t have anything to do with slavery. “Teacher, can you help me beat up those supervisors?”
The ruler climbed to her feet, and at the same time, all the supervisors were pressed to the ground face first. “Of course. How can I allow anyone to bully my disciple? What kind of master would I be?”
…But weren’t you the one that told people to bully me in the first place? Mm, I won’t point that out. If I do, she’ll probably do to me what she’s doing to those supervisors.
Crack! Pop! Bang!
"Ack, please, stop! Why!? You told us to!"
Yikes. That seems like it hurts.Previous Chapter Next Chapter