The ruler’s residence is really huge. It’s a really, really big tree. I think Slayer Junior told me it was a world tree, the kind of tree that I can obtain a core from to make a virility pill to fix Durandal’s penis problems. Now that I’m actually seeing the tree in person and not just the pill that gets made out of its core, there’s no wonder why it can produce miracles. The tree is practically a miracle itself! Not only was the room I was meditating in inside of the tree, but the ruler’s thinking room is inside of the tree too, but that’s not the amazing part! The amazing part is that those two rooms were just leaves!
That’s right. This tree is almost like a castle; no, this tree is way better than a castle. I’m walking along a branch, but it feels like I’m walking through the hall of a mansion. It’s even larger than the halls in Ilya’s dad’s home. There are so many branches and thick leaves above me that it feels like there’s a ceiling even when there’s not. I was really surprised that I couldn’t see this tree from Slayer Junior’s home since it’s so massive, but apparently, there’s some kind of formation that prevents it from being seen from outside. Mm, the ruler said concealment wasn’t the main purpose of the formation, but I wasn’t really paying attention because I was too busy staring at the tree. Maybe the main purpose is defense or something, but who cares! Since I’m the ruler’s disciple, this tree is practically my home now too!
I wonder what’s in this room over here…. I say it’s a room, but it’s really just a leaf. To go inside, all I have to do is press my hand on the part that sticks out of the branch and will myself to teleport. Like that! Hmm. What is this place? There’s a bunch of … bags? Yeah, those are bags. There’s a bunch of bags hanging from the ceiling, and it’s really, really dim in here. For a second, I thought those bags were bodies, but the ruler doesn’t have any weird hobbies. …I hope. Anyways, what are these bags for? Mm, it seems like mushrooms are growing out of them. Is this a mushroom growing room? It must be because there’s nothing else in here. Are these mushrooms tasty? The ruler wouldn’t grow things that aren’t tasty, right?
“Are you sure you should be eating random mushrooms?”
“They aren’t random.” Ah? Wait a second! Who said that? Where!? Hmm? Why can’t I see anyone?
Oh! There’s a spider hanging around on the ceiling! What’s with squirrels and pet spiders? These spiders aren’t even the cute kinds of spiders either! This one is even pointier than Slayer Junior’s pet spider. What was her name again? Boom? Womb? Hmm. Well, it doesn’t matter! Knowing one spider’s name doesn’t mean knowing them all. “Hi. Who are you?”
“I’m Soulspinner,” the spider said. Its feet clacked as it walked down from the ceiling to the floor. Mm, more like skittered. Do spiders walk? Or are they always running…? I’m not sure. I don’t think I’ve ever really stared at one long and hard before. Anyways, this spider is a little creepy. There’s a tattoo on its back of a screaming man’s face. Maybe that’s his face? Is Soulspinner a guy or a girl?
Ah, right, I should introduce myself. “I’m Lucia Fluffytail, the ruler’s new disciple.”
“So I’ve heard,” Soulspinner said. Mm, he’s speaking, but the sound’s not coming from the man’s face on his back. Or hers. I’m still not sure. The two spiders that I’ve heard speak kind of sound the same. “Are you sure the mushroom in your hands isn’t random? In case you didn’t know, these are Anguish Wood Ears.”
Anguish Wood Ears…. Mm, nope, doesn’t ring a bell. However, even if I do eat them, I should be fine! I’m immune to—according to Ilya—basically all poisons and venoms I’ll encounter on the Immortal Continent. Mm? Just on the Immortal Continent? Is that right? I should be immune to poisons from the immortal realm too, no? If I’m not, then why’d I suffer through so many snake bites? Just in case, I should probably make sure I know what I’m eating…. “Anguish Wood Ears are…?”
“They’re a kind of fungus that grow under certain circumstances,” Soulspinner said. “Without an appropriate amount of anguish and suffering nearby, it’s impossible for them to grow. If you eat them without any preparation, your soul will go through unimaginable torture.”
…Well, I’ll just put this wood ear back on the bag. Ah, it won’t stick. Hmm. I’ll put it on top of another wood ear and pretend like the fact it’s unattached has nothing to do with me. “This is the ruler’s home, right? Why’s she growing something like this if all it does is torture souls?” With the ruler’s strength, she doesn’t need external objects to help her torture people. She can Soul Scour them or break all their bones; these mushrooms seem a little pointless.
“When prepared properly, Anguish Wood Ears can improve the quality of one’s soul,” Soulspinner said. “They’re quite valuable, and the ruler uses them to trade for other resources.”
Hmm, I guess growing mushrooms for a living isn’t that bad. “So, you’re like the guardian of these mushrooms?” If they’re valuable, then they definitely need to be watched over by a guard.
“Guardian? No,” Soulspinner said and chuckled. At least, I think the spider was chuckling. It was more like a series of ominous rumbling and clacking sounds. “No one’s strong enough to steal things from the ruler. I’m the caretaker of the mushrooms. Without me, it’s not practical to produce the suffering and anguish required for the Anguish Wood Ears to grow.”
Soulspinner is anguished and suffering? I hope he’s getting paid a lot for it! Ah? Did one of those mushroom bags just wriggle and jerk around? Mm, it’s probably because of Soulspinner’s movements. His webs are keeping the bags hanging up. Welp. “Anyways, it was nice meeting you, Soulspinner! I still have a whole bunch of other rooms to explore, err, I mean, things to do, so I’ll be going now. Bye!”
“Take care, Lucia Fluffytail,” Soulspinner said and skittered back up to the ceiling. Mm, he seems to be a pretty hard worker. The next time I visit, I’ll bring him something nice to eat.Previous Chapter Next Chapter