TGL Volume 5, Chapter 13 (3)

I’m not sure if I’m doing this right. I’ve never used a fishing rod to catch fish before, and without that experience, how am I supposed to know if I’m using the birding rod correctly? The ruler said it’s beginner-friendly; as long as I don’t let go of the rod, I should be able to catch whatever took the bait. All I have to do is turn this little wheel by grabbing a lever that sticks out of the side. “Why is it so hard to turn sometimes?” Is it stuck? 

“The bird is fighting back,” the ruler said. She was sitting next to me, putting a fruit on a hook. “When that happens, instead of forcibly going against it, release the tension in the line. Let the bird fly free for a bit, and when it’s tired, reel it in again.” 

Ah? How does that make any sense? “Shouldn’t I just keep reeling in?” That’s what turning the wheel with the lever is called apparently. “It’ll get tired faster that way, no?” 

“That only works if your spiritual energy is abundant,” the ruler said and lifted her own rod. The golden fruit dangling off of it looked awfully appealing. I wonder what it tastes like. Isn’t it a bit of a waste to use something like that as bait? Right, bait should be worms or organs or unwanted bits of fruit. Ah. It’s gone. The ruler cast her rod, and the fruit vanished into a spatial tear. “I’m supporting your line with my spiritual energy, but if you were to use your own, the line would snap due to the tension. Birding is a test of patience, and it’s a great way to train your spiritual energy, but for now, you should focus on learning the basic principles.” 

A test of patience…. Why am I birding again? “Can we go hunting instead?” Right, rather than wearing down a bird, wouldn’t it be much simpler to smack it with my sword and call it a day? 

“We could go hunting if you want,” the ruler said and wiggled her rod. “But we can’t go hunting as a replacement to birding. According to my encyclopedias, fishing is the best way for a beginner to master control over spiritual energy. All the humans who started out as fishers are better at manipulating spiritual energy compared to their peers. Unfortunately, you’re terrified of water, so we’re birding instead. It’s almost the same thing as long as you have me here to open some spatial cracks.” 

Hmm. Well, all I can really do is listen to the ruler. Rather than complaining, it’s better to follow her instructions to show her how hard I’m working. That way, I’ll see Sophia sooner! Ah? Speaking of seeing things, why is the line turning red? 

The ruler patted my shoulder. “I’m making things even easier for you,” she said. “When the line turns red, it means the tension is too high, and you should release a bit. When the line turns green, you should reel in as fast as you can. When the line turns from green to yellow, it means the tension is increasing, and the line is about to turn red soon. If the line turns black, it means the line would’ve snapped if you were reinforcing it with your spiritual energy.” 

Ah? Isn’t this— 

“It’s similar to your Path of Slaughter, right?” the ruler asked and beamed at me. “When I looked through your memories, you were good at following colors. Just do the same here. Pay attention to how each color feels, and by the time you finish catching this bird, you’ll be able to bird just fine with your eyes closed.” 

Red, release. Green, reel in. Seems simple enough. …This is getting a little boring. “How long does it take to catch a bird?” 

“That depends,” the ruler said and jerked her rod back. She grabbed the lever on the wheel and spun it. “Some birds are stronger than others. Some get tired more easily. Some are further away. There’s a lot of factors, but for your current bird, if you follow the colors perfectly, it should only take an hour or two. In the future, you won’t have the assistance of my spatial tears, so it could take days to weeks to catch one bird.” 

Days to weeks to catch one bird? I’ll have to sit here for days, spinning this lever without letting go of the rod? I’ll die of starvation. “Hey, Teacher, you’re like super smart and super strong and capable of doing anything, so … can’t you come up with a way for me to train spiritual energy through cooking instead?” Right, if I can train while cooking, I won’t starve to death at least. 

“Your line’s turning black,” the ruler said. Ah. I wasn’t paying attention. “Also, flattery is nice, but it won’t get you out of birding. It’s too important for your future. You want to be able to do anything you want in the immortal realm like you’ve done in your two lower realms, right? To do that, you have to become a transcendent beast like me.” The ruler clasped her birding rod with her feet and let go of her left hand. Then, she patted my head. “Remember. I’m your teacher; that means I can be your friend at times, but it also means I have to do what’s best for you even if you don’t want to do it yourself. It’s similar to how you treat Sophia.” 

Mm? Similar to how I treat Sophia? Doesn’t that mean the ruler is acting like my mom? Is this how moms are supposed to act? I had a mom a long, long time ago, but my memory of her is really hazy. In fact, I can’t even remember what color her fur was, much less what her face looked like. Mm, she was probably beautiful because she gave birth to someone as gorgeous as me. Ah! The line turned black again. Birding isn’t difficult; it’s just paying attention that’s the hard part!

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