TGL Volume 5, Chapter 16 (1)

I was stuffed into a bag. Before that, I was put on display with all my meridians and private parts exposed for all the world to see. And before that, I was thrown out of my childhood home by my own parents, left to fend for myself because of my uselessness. However, none of those traumatic events can diminish the vermillion flame seed’s brilliance burning within my soul. Thanks to the Fire Heart, which the White-furred Tyrant and her disciple surprisingly let me keep, my latent potential has increased exponentially; I’m no longer the talentless weakling who was thrown out of the nest. I’m now the future leader of a clan … who happened to be thrown out of the nest during his childhood. It might sound bad now, but in the future, it won’t be an embarrassment for me; it’ll be a shame on my mother and father for not recognizing greatness. 

Since my vermillion flame seed has finally ignited, I can breathe out my first breath of vermillion flames. Even though I’m excited and desperately want to find out if my flames have any special properties, I have to hold myself back. Evidently, the bag that Lucia stored me in once belonged to someone else, perhaps a bird just like me. There’s already a nest in here, and there are a lot of random trinkets lying around—most of it just junk, honestly. If I had to take a guess, this place used to belong to Mr. Feathers Number One or perhaps even Mrs. Feathers, my Lucia-proclaimed fiancée. Nothing in this bag will survive a breath of my vermillion flames, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the bag itself was destroyed as well. If any of those things happen, the relationship between Lucia and I will become quite strained. Honestly, I wonder what our relationship is like. Is it still one between hunter and prey? Or has it become something more like owner and pet? Regardless, I don’t want it to get worse. 

Whoever was inhabiting this bag previously must’ve had a good relationship with Lucia because there’s a neat formation over here. I might not be a formation master capable of reading runes or deciphering effects, but despite all that I can still figure out how to operate this thing. Its user interface is very friendly. It’s a rectangular talisman floating beside the bed within the nest. Runic formation scripts cover every inch of the talisman except for one corner that’s fluttering loosely about. Anyone with half a brain can figure out it’s a flap, and any brave individual, like myself, would naturally lift the flap up by the corner to see what’s going on. This formation is brilliant because that’s exactly what happens. Lifting the flap is the same as lifting the cover off the bag; I’m able to see and hear what’s going on outside. If I poke my head out, I’m sure it’ll be exposed to the outside elements. With this, I can technically leave at any time I want. 

“Oh, hey, Mrs. Feathers’ Future Husband,” Lucia said and looked down, her eyes meeting mine. “We were just talking about your relatives.” 

The Flameborne clan? Why would two squirrels be discussing them? Then again, I’ve heard squirrels are prone to gossip. Where did I hear that? From my gossipy mother and aunt of course. Perhaps it isn’t just gossip, and they’re discussing ways to invade the heavenly cliffs. “Are you discussing ways to ruin their livelihoods or eradicate their children? If so, I’m sure I can be of some help. I might not know much about the rest of the world, but I’ve lived on the heavenly cliffs for over three hundred years.” 

“What in the world?” Lucia asked and furrowed her brow at me. “We’re talking about your relatives, not about ways to get rid of them.” 

“Oh.” That’s a shame. My path to greatness would’ve shortened greatly if I managed to borrow the strength of the White-furred Tyrant. 

“Don’t mind him,” the White-furred Tyrant said. “Vermillion birds are extremely cold and calculating despite the heat of the flames running inside their veins. For them, benefits are greater than relationships. If their child isn’t sufficiently talented, rather than spending resources on their child, a vermillion bird would throw their child away and start over with a new one.”

Lucia blinked and without warning, her hand was wrapped around my neck. She pulled me out of the bag and held me up in front of her. Hasn’t anyone ever taught her how to hold a bird before? Is this why the two previous birds in her life aren’t with her now? I can’t blame them. “You were thrown out of your nest?” 

…Is she going to make fun of me? 

“Well, that’s alright,” Lucia said. “My parents sold me to slave traders, so I guess we’re both pretty unlucky, huh? Don’t worry, Mrs. Feathers’ Future Husband. You’re my buddy now.” 

Am I being comforted? I can’t remember the last time something like this happened. What an odd sensation. Is the relationship between us getting better? In that case…. “Since we’re buddies, do you mind changing my form of address?” 

Lucia placed me down on the table between her and the White-furred Tyrant. “Change your form of address? You mean your name?” Lucia asked before dismissively waving her hand at me. “It’ll happen in the future when you get together with Mrs. Feathers. Then, you’ll be Mrs. Feathers’ Husband.” 

I wasn’t expecting anything, yet I was still disappointed. 

“Ahem.” The White-furred Tyrant cleared her throat. It was obviously a measure to get Lucia’s attention because there’s nothing in the world capable of getting stuck in the tyrant’s mouth. “So, other than the vermillion bird clans, the dragon clans will also be present. Those two races are prouder than most, and the tribute they pay to me isn’t that great, so you don’t have to watch out for them in the ancient ruin. If they’re about to get killed, just let them die.” 

Lucia’s going to an ancient ruin where vermillion birds and dragons will be in attendance? “Are you taking me with you to the ruin?” I didn’t think it’d happen so quickly, but it seems like I can enact some vengeance.

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