Phew, that was a good drumstick. Mm, I want to finish all of it, but I have to save some of it for Sophia. What if Sir Pot can’t cook phoenixes, and what if the ruler doesn’t give me any more? Sophia will be so down if she learns I ate a phoenix and didn’t save any for her. Ah, just thinking of Sophia makes me miss her so much. I wonder how she’s doing. Ilya better not be bullying my daughter or letting anyone else bully her. Mm, the only thing I can do to see Sophia faster is be obedient and listen to my teacher. Then, she’ll repair the teleportation gate for me to go home. How much do I have to learn for her to finally let me free? Hmm. I’ll ask! “So…, about that teleportation gate….”
The ruler’s smart enough to figure things out even if I don’t finish my questions. She smiled at me. “Oh, don’t worry about it. My finest formation masters are working on repairing it. Did you want to send another letter? In a few days or so, the teleportation gate should be repaired enough to receive letters from your home as well. Of course, this function will unlock sooner the harder you work.”
The ruler told me the people who’re repairing the teleportation gate will work harder and faster if they see me working hard, but I haven’t seen them at all! How are they supposed to know I’m working hard if they don’t see me do it? Maybe they’re watching me through their formations. Formations are basically like magic. I don’t know how they work, but they seem like they can do anything. Those teleportation-gate repairers are probably watching me eat right this second. After all, the ruler doesn’t need to lie to me. If she says working harder will make the gate recover faster, then it must be true.
Ah! Right. Meditating was supposed to help me focus, so why does my mind still wander so much? Hmm. I’m probably not meditating enough, but that can’t be helped. It’s boring as heck! Why can’t meditation be counting how many spoonfuls of soup I’m drinking instead of counting while breathing? …Why can’t it? “Teacher, I have a question.”
“Does meditation have to be breathing? Can I meditate with eating or sleeping?”
The ruler raised an eyebrow and sat up while leaning forward. She placed her hand on my head, grabbing my scalp like it were a ball. “Sorry,” she said and took a seat. “Your question wasn’t articulated well enough, so I Soul Scoured you instead to see what you meant.”
That’s awfully convenient. It’s actually really super convenient. More people should learn how to Soul Scour others. If that happens, I won’t have to work so hard to convert my thoughts into words! Mm, anyway, I wonder if my idea is possible. The ruler seems to be thinking about it. Rather than rushing her, I’ll just wait here in silence. What if I say something and it ruins her train of thought? Then, I’d have to stick with the original boring way of meditation.
After a bit, the ruler nodded at me. “I think it’s doable,” she said. “After all, meditation is just a training exercise to focus your attention. The breath is commonly used as a target of focus because it’s usually an unconscious action. For you, there does seem to be a better method.” With a wave of her hand, a pie appeared on the table between us. “You’re going to breathe in, take a bite, and chew ten times. Then, you’re going to breathe out, chew ten times, and swallow. Then, you’ll simply repeat the process until the pie is finished. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a pie. You can use any food you’d like.”
“It’s that easy?” Can eating really be meditation? If that’s the case, I’ll be a master of focusing my attention in no time! I’ll try it right now! Breathe in, and bite! Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom…, uh…, how many times did I chew just now? I’m not sure, but this pie tastes really good! I wonder what’s in it. Lemon? Mm, it’s lemony but not exactly. It could be a fruit from the immortal realm that I’m not familiar with. Ah! I swallowed before breathing out. Alright, this might be a little harder than I thought.
“Keep practicing,” the ruler said and smiled at me. “Although this form of meditation might be a bit more difficult, I think it’s better suited for you. For now, however, we can put meditation aside. Although training your focus is useful, there are still other things that need to be done.”
Mm? “Like what?” I’ll store this pie away for now. I can save a slice for Sophia.
“Like training your immortal techniques,” the ruler said. “You’ve seen a few before, and with your Secret Phoenix Rebirth Technique acting as a foundation, it won’t be too difficult to develop your style.”
“Do you remember your fight with the law enforcement chief who used the Swamp Toad Armor and Swamp Toad Possession?”
That sounds familiar. Was that the chief I poisoned? Mm, he should be fine by now; his doctor underling must’ve finished curing him. “I remember.” I always thought his style was a little weird. “I have another question. If he’s a squirrel, why’s he fighting like a toad?” Shouldn’t he have had some tree squirrel armor or ground squirrel armor instead?
The ruler blinked before smiling at me. “Isn’t it simple?” she asked. “We’re all squirrels here. We’re already naturally good at fighting like squirrels and fighting against squirrels. A good way to introduce some variance is through different techniques. Without variance, we’d be too predictable, and we’d easily be bullied by humans and demons alike.”
Mm, I guess that makes sense, but…. “Why copy a toad?”
The ruler shrugged. “It was that chief’s personal preference. As for you, you’ll be copying a vermillion bird.” She pulled out a rod with a string attached to it from her interspatial ring. “Have you ever gone birding before?”
Birding? I didn’t even know bird could be a verb!Previous Chapter Next Chapter