Mm, there might not be a cold sensation inside the fog, but there’s definitely a warm sensation when leaving it. How odd. Maybe the branch of the world tree heated up after exiting which made my foot warm in turn. My head’s out of the fog, so I’m pretty sure I can breathe now. All the boats that we had been watching earlier were now oriented towards me. Did they really have to turn their boats around? I’m not sure how many spirit stones are needed to do that, but it’s definitely not free! What a waste. Well, I can’t blame them. This is a pretty unique entrance; no wonder why the ruler enjoys appearing like this. If I had this smoke machine and world tree branch while I was still a substitute teacher, I could easily get all the students’ attentions without the use of food. …But the fog would probably paralyze them and stop their hearts. Eh, I’ll use something less deadly like water or ale instead of whatever poison the ruler put into the fog maker.
Ah, right. The ruler wanted me to do something. She’s probably poking my back to get my attention because she doesn’t want to order me around while she’s pretending to be my maid. Okay, let’s see, arrogant young master…. How do I portray myself as one of those? Ah! I know. I’ll pretend to be one of those very hittable people that get on my nerves sometimes. I’ll straighten my back, tilt my head so that my face is pointed at the clouds above, and roll my eyes down to look at everyone. Right, Ilya explained it to me. Arrogant people have nice-looking noses, so they always try to look at it even when they’re talking to people. …Now that my brain is cleared of impurities, I’m seriously questioning Ilya’s explanation. She can’t be serious, right? What other things have I taken seriously that were jokes she played on me? The next time I get my hands on her, I’m definitely going to Soul Scour her and find out.
I’m sure I think faster now after the terrifying operation, but apparently, the ruler’s still not satisfied. Alright, I’ll clear my throat, and now that I have everyone’s attention, I’ll do as the ruler asked and announce my status as her disciple. Ah? Wait a second. If I’m trying to copy those arrogant young masters, I can’t announce my name by myself. Ilya explained this too. People don’t talk to ants, so why should a young master talk to a peasant? That’s what servants are for. “Puppers.”
“Speak for me.”
“Yes, Lucia.” Puppers, the reliable sock spirit—who’s totally not a servant—appeared next to me. Puppers raised his arm, and something dark flashed past my vision. Out of nowhere, a grayish spear ended up in Puppers’ hand. He slammed the but* of the spear down, smashing it against the world tree branch with a huge thud.
“Listen up!” Puppers shouted, practically roaring. Do wolves roar? I thought they howled. Hmm. A gray aura rose up from the but* of the spear, circling around Puppers’ body. He pointed the spear in the general direction of where everyone else was at. “This is Lucia Fluffytail, the first and only disciple of the White-furred Tyrant! Unless you think your seniority is greater than the White-furred Tyrant, the ruler of all the squirrels and guardian of all the beasts, you shall address her as Big Elder Fluffytail!”
Big Elder Fluffytail? What in the world? Senior Fluffytail is bad enough because it makes me sound old, but now Puppers is calling me old and fat? I’m going to punch him as soon as we’re out of the public eye. If I punish him in front of everyone, they’ll think I’m a joke who can’t control my subordinates. Did Puppers do that on purpose? Now that I think about it, aren’t wolves supposed to be cunning? He’s definitely messing with me.
“Be glad Big Elder Fluffytail is taking time out of her cultivation to grace you all with her presence!” Puppers said, still roaring in a deep voice. “She’ll accompany you inside the ancient ruins, and be warned, if anything happens to her, the White-furred Tyrant’s been looking for an excuse to harvest meat for her people. For the slower ones amongst you, that means the White-furred Tyrant will butcher and cook everyone here if something negative happens to her beloved disciple.”
“That does sound pretty appetizing,” the ruler said from her spot next to me. She was still holding the hem of my dress to keep it off the ground. Why is this robe even dragging against the ground? Nobles really aren’t very practical, but then again, they don’t have to be because there’s an endless number of people available to do things for them. I think I’m finally starting to understand why nobles wear clothes that’re almost impossible to put on without a maid helping them. It’s because they can. Is this sensation what Ilya refers to as enlightenment? Only geniuses get enlightened, and I just got enlightened, so…. I was right! I am a genius. I always knew I was, but now I finally have proof.
Wait a second. Appetizing? “Do you eat humans?”
“Hmm? I’m a pureblooded squirrel,” the ruler said. “I’ll eat anything smaller than me and anything I can rip up to be smaller than me. In fact, there was a pretty desperate time in the past where I even ate other…, hmm, never mind. I don’t want to scare you.”
The ruler was about to say she even ate other squirrels, wasn’t she? That’s one of the only things she can eat that’ll scare me. I guess I’d also be scared if she ate a whole lower realm, dirt and all—that’s terrifying, right? Ah! Some boats are heading this way. “What do I do?”
“I prefer hands-off instruction,” the ruler said. “I’ll let you decide what to do. Remember, I’m just your servant.”
Hands-off instruction my but*! Who was the one that used their hands and a knife to recreate my meridians? Who’s the one that had their underlings repeatedly lay their hands on me to beat me? Hmph! Well, fine, I can deal with this situation without the ruler’s help; after all, I used to be a sect leader. Ah, no, wait, I still am a sect leader. That’s right, there’s no way I can fail at this with the people skills I’ve gained from being a leader.Previous Chapter Next Chapter