TGL Volume 5, Chapter 20 (5)

Okay, seriously, how badly was I tricked? I thought I was supposed to be the arrogant young master. Everyone was supposed to walk on eggshells around me, afraid I’d tattle to my master about their bad behavior. I never thought so many people would look down on me for no reason other than being weaker than them. And this blue-robed weirdo doesn’t even feel that much stronger than me! Was the ruler … wrong? People aren’t as scared of her as she thinks they are. What if she was lying to me about her status this whole time!? What if humans can kick squirrels’ butts any time they wanted to? I’ll take a glance at the ruler’s face to see what she’s thinking…. 

And the ruler is frowning. I’d frown too if I were in this situation. What if I went to Sophia’s school in disguise and saw her being bullied by the other students even after telling them she was my daughter? I think I’d kick the snot out of them before doing horrible-but-justified things to their parents. Is the ruler going to do something? I must be psychic or she must be reading my mind because she’s moving! 

“Excuse me,” the ruler said and took a step forward. While she did that, more and more people dressed in blue robes were streaming over and landing behind the first blue-robed person in a neat formation. The ruler swept her gaze over the people standing in the crater. “I have a question for everyone here.” 

The leader of the blue-robed people raised an eyebrow. “What? Are you displeased? Have you never heard of the Flowing Water Sect? There’s only one thing you need to know about us: what we want, we get.” He puffed his chest out and clasped his hands behind his back, resting them just above his butt. His eyes narrowed as he smiled at the serious-looking woman, who was bleeding from her head. “Isn’t that right, Mu Yin?” 

“Ahem.” The ruler cleared her throat, and a shockwave echoed out of her, shaking the whole crater and everyone inside. “I’m the one asking questions here. I thought something was fishy when we met with your elders outside, but it seems to me like none of the members of the younger generation of humans and demons have any fear in their eyes when squirrels are mentioned.” Her voice softened, and she tilted her head to the side. “Why is that?” 

The blue-robed man scoffed. “In which dimension does the victor fear the loser? Squirrels were banished to the seven mountain ranges by humans, and they don’t dare to take a single step outside of their given territory. Those that do are slaughtered without mercy. Tell me, why should we be afraid of livestock?” 

The ruler’s eyes widened, and she blinked a couple of times. Her brow furrowed. “You think … squirrels are the losers?” 

The blue-robed man scoffed again, and he gestured towards one of his underlings with a tilt of his head. The underling came forward. “The facts speak for themselves. When our elders were fighting them thousands of years ago, they might’ve been impressive, but evidently, our elders killed off all the brave squirrels, leaving only the cowardly behind. The remaining squirrels were so afraid that they chose to live in isolation and begged for us to leave them alone. Now that the White-furred Tyrant found a disciple for herself, she wants to flex her strength as if she hasn’t been defeated before? Please. Don’t joke around with us.” 

Mm, it’s barely there, but there’s definitely this feeling in my chest that’s a little bit like happiness. I’m pretty sure there’s a word for it; it’s not that hard to describe. When someone’s about to get their a** kicked by my teacher, I feel really great because it’s not happening to me. Schadenfreude! That’s the word. It’s such a strange word compared to other words, isn’t it? Almost like it’s written in a different language. 

“Lucia.” Mm? The ruler’s looking at me funny. I don’t think I’ve seen this expression on her face before. “Eat this.” The ruler placed a black pill in my hand. On it, there was a red skull, and underneath that skull, there was a line of writing. It was small, and I didn’t understand most of the words because whoever wrote it had terrible handwriting, but I’m sure two of the words were “warning” and “death”. 

“You, uh, want me to eat this ominous-looking pill?” No matter how I see it, this is a punishment. Wasn’t the blue-robed fellow supposed to be on the receiving end of the ruler’s wrath? Why is it suddenly me? “Are you sure you don’t want me to feed it to someone else?” 

The ruler looked at me. For some reason, it felt like her eyes were interspatial objects because they grew larger and larger until my whole vision was filled with the same black as her pupils. A white monstrosity, err, squirrel, a large white squirrel that must’ve been the ruler appeared in the darkness and roared at me. “Eat it.” 

As expected, the pill tastes gross. Ah!? I ate the pill!? I didn’t even have any time to think about whether or not I wanted to eat it! Was that a special technique the ruler used on me just now? Hang on…. Isn’t that the mind-control technique I’ve been looking for to command Durandal!? The ruler knows how to do it!? Oh. Oh, no. It feels like my innards are on fire. Where are my painkillers? Mm? All the bottles are empty? Right…, the ruler fed me all of them when she was cutting apart my body and taking out my brains. 

“Is it painful?” the ruler asked. She grinned at me. “What I fed you just now was a special kind of berserk pill developed by a troubled woman. It removes the property of your body that prevents spiritual energy from binding to your qi without your conscious input. At the same time, it combusts your vitality, turning it into qi. If you don’t want to die from an excessive amount of spiritual energy entering you, you have to vent it all out. Conveniently, there’s a whole group of volunteers looking to pick a fight with you right here.” 

It burns. It hurts. Everything in my vision is blurring. The ruler’s saying something, but it feels like there’s cotton stuffing my ears. Her words are just a blur too. Can sounds even blur? Ugh! If I don’t do something to get rid of all this heat building up inside of me, I’ll explode! Mm? Something cold just entered my hand. Isn’t this … a hammer?

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