TGL Volume 5, Chapter 14 (2)

This training is a little weird. It’s even harder than meditation. I have to watch a bird cultivate, and I’m supposed to copy its method of circulating its spiritual energy. The ruler Soul Scoured me, and she knows everything about me, so how in the heck does she expect me to copy a bird when I don’t even have wings? Sometimes I have trouble copying people, and they have two arms and two legs just like me! Maybe there’s a trick to learning this process that I don’t know about? Mm, I already know how to solve a dilemma like this. When things seem impossible…, yell at the ruler for help. “Teacher! Help. I have no idea how I’m supposed to do this.” 

Out of nowhere, the ruler appeared with the gold bird she had caught earlier. Could she really hear me shout no matter where or what she was doing? That’s a really scary power. How does she do it? Is she paying attention to everything she can? I can see and hear things that’re far away, but I tune a lot of things out because paying attention to everything at once is basically impossible. I’d get distracted too easily. Speaking of which, what’s the ruler doing? Is she going to cook that bird? I thought she was going to let me try with Sir Pot. 

“What seems to be the problem?” the ruler asked, dropping the golden bird onto the ground. She looked at the red bird standing in the center of the room. It was cultivating just like the ruler had instructed it to. Mm, the ruler is smart, so she should figure out the issue immediately. First of all, the bird’s too small. Second of all, it has meridians in its wings, and I don’t have wings, and there’s meridians in my arms, but the bird doesn’t have arms. Things just don’t add up. The ruler looked at the red bird; then, she looked at me. After a bit, her eyes lit up. “Oh! Oh, right. I almost forgot.” 

Mm, it sounds like the ruler knows what’s the issue. It’s a little concerning how she forgot something so important though. What if she forgets something in the future, and it causes me to explode? Hmm, she could probably patch me back together; from what I’ve seen so far, the ruler can do anything. Ah? She can do anything, but why did she take out a knife? I’m pretty sure that’s the same knife she used before to stab me and do something weird with my blood…. “Teacher? Uh, are you by any chance going to stab me?” 

“Stab you?” the ruler asked and tilted her head. “Not quite. Stabbing might be part of the process, but there’ll be way more slicing and carving than there’ll be stabbing. I know you’re scared of getting stabbed, so I’ll do my best to limit how many times it happens.” 

Limit the number of times I’m stabbed. “How about … you don’t stab me in the first place? Please?” There’s something wrong with the ruler. She’s way too stab-happy. I’m supposed to be learning how to control spiritual energy through observation of this bird; a knife has absolutely no place in the classroom! That’s what that teacher back in the school taught me before I used a knife to cut some meat. He changed his mind after that. I think he thought I was going to stab a child or something, but I’d never do that. At most, I’d threaten them to scare the living bejesus out of them. 

The ruler beamed at me, and my vision froze in place. She walked towards me, but my eyes couldn’t follow her movements. Did she freeze me? She did this to me once when I first met her and tried to resist being stabbed! What happened to being a friendly teacher? What happened to not stabbing me anymore!? I know we technically didn’t have a non-stabbing agreement in place, but isn’t she supposed to respect my wishes after I address her as teacher? 

“You’re quite lucky you’re my disciple,” the ruler said and nodded to herself. She’s speaking to me, but I can’t even respond because I can’t move any part of my body, lips and throat included. Mm? Can I even breathe? Did my heart stop? I think it’s still beating. “Without guidance or someone to do it for you, forming a perfect spiritual energy circulation channel is impossible. It’s like trimming a hedge to make it grow in a healthier manner. A hedge can’t trim itself; someone else has to do it.” 

Am I hearing this right? The ruler is going to trim me like a plant with that scary-looking knife of hers? Mm, it’s just a regular-looking knife, but every knife looks scary when it’s pointed at my immobile body! What part of me is even trimmable!? 

“You’re struggling an awful lot,” the ruler said and blinked at me. “Do you have something you’d like to say before I start?” 

“Stop, stop, stop!” Ah, I can move my mouth again. Okay. I probably can’t change the ruler’s mind about cutting me like I’m some kind of bush, but I can definitely get her to make the process painless! “Can you feed me some painkillers? Or maybe we can skip this whole thing and eat some kind of delicious-looking fruit similar to the one you used as bait?” 

“I’ll feed you fruit during the process,” the ruler said and patted my head. Why did she have to use the hand she was holding the knife with to do that? I felt the blade rub up and down my ear! “After all, you’ll need a lot of energy to recover from your injuries. As for painkillers, sure.” The ruler took a few pills out of her interspatial ring. Wait a second. Aren’t these my pills? They have my special mark on them! Mm? Why do I mark my painkillers? So I don’t mistakenly consume something else, duh. I didn’t know the ruler could access my interspatial ring; she’s not even touching me either! Aren’t these rings supposed to be private?

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