TGL Volume 5, Chapter 24 (1)

I’m not sure if it’s me or if it’s this hammer, but whacking people has never felt easier. Could it be the tips the ruler gave me about using my core more? Maybe it’s the blinding light the serious-looking woman is giving off; since these people don’t have sunglasses, it’s harder for them to see. Well, whatever the reason, I’m feeling great! Since I’m only practicing my graceful fighting with a hammer, I’m not using my spiritual energy to create squirrel flames. For some strange reason, people run away way faster when they see me chasing them with a flaming hammer compared to a non-flaming hammer. 

“Bend your waist more. Don’t be afraid of falling over; use your tail to maintain your balance.” 

If I bend my waist anymore, my head will be at the same height as my feet! But I’ll try it anyway because the ruler said so. Right, I can’t pretend like I didn’t hear her because she’s reading my mind right now. I wonder when she’ll stop. Is there a method to counter someone’s mind reading? There probably is, right? Otherwise, a supreme immortal would read another supreme immortal’s mind, and that supreme immortal would read the first supreme immortal’s mind, and then they wouldn’t know whose thought belongs to who anymore! 

“Wait, please, I’ll give you everything I have!” 

Bang! 

Oops. I was too busy thinking, and I didn’t really pay attention to what this person was saying before I hit him. Well, it should be fine. Ilya’s stuff was already pretty rusty, damaged, and old. If this guy has a treasure that I accidentally damaged, then I can just blame it on old age. I’d check, but the ruler’s here to give me advice on swinging my hammer, not on looting people. Luckily, I have helpers capable of taking my defeated opponents’ things for me. “Puppers, Durandal. There’s stuff to loot.” 

Alright, now that I don’t have to worry about retrieving my loot, I can focus completely on perfecting my graceful fighting technique. Surprisingly, it takes a lot more energy than I expected to fight gracefully. I have to always be moving. Even when I finish an attack, I’m not supposed to stop and assess the damage I did; I’m supposed to spin and flourish my hammer to show off. …Alright, fighting gracefully is a huge hassle. I’m not sure I even want to do it anymore. 

“It is a hassle, isn’t it?” the ruler asked from her spot on the jet. Even though she was so far away, it felt like she was speaking right into my ear. “I’ll teach you an ancient technique created by squirrels which was passed down through the ages; it’s called ‘the only truth is strength.’ If you want people to think you fight gracefully, then all you have to do is declare it. If anyone disagrees, beat them until they agree. As long as you’re stronger than the person you want to convince, this technique will work for any claim you make.” 

Ooh, that’s a pretty good technique. I feel like I already knew how to do it though. Mm? Have I ever forcibly changed facts with strength before? Of course not…. Right, if I don’t remember doing it, then it didn’t happen. Anyways, now that I don’t have to fight gracefully, I should wrap this up! Some good ol’ teleportation and hammer swinging should be enough to deal with these people. “Flaming Hammer!” 

Fwoosh! Bang! 

Ah? I know teleporting is fast, but this person didn’t react to my attack at all. That’s odd. Even Mrs. Feathers put up a little bit of resistance when I ambushed her like this. As an immortal, this person’s been slacking too much! 

“No, it’s because he was conditioned by your previous movements,” the ruler said. “After seeing you clobber thirteen people gracefully, he didn’t think you’d move through teleportation since you hadn’t done it before. There’s a trick you can try with conditioning your opponent as its basis: attack from the same direction multiple times; then, when your opponent least expects it, pretend to attack from the same direction but do a different attack at the last second.” 

Is the ruler really a squirrel? Maybe she’s part crow. She’s way too smart for a squirrel. Actually, she is like really, really, really old. She’s probably encountered tons of smart people and copied the things they did that worked, and now, she’s passing on those tricks to me because I’m her beloved disciple. I wonder how many people she defeated with this conditioning trick. 

“Oh, I never use it,” the ruler said. “People can’t block me directly; there’s no need for me to feint or resort to tricks. You’re still a bit weak, so you have to be a bit underhanded to win fights.” 

Am I weak? If I’m so weak, why am I defeating these people like they’re garlic on a chopping block? They’re not even capable of resisting. 

“You’re beating up the followers,” the ruler said. “It’s like how people can easily defeat Puppers and Durandal, but when they have to challenge you, they’ll lose. If you want to fight someone who can resist, switch opponents with that glowing woman over there.” 

Mm, I think I’d rather not. The serious-looking woman is still fighting that old man and a middle-aged man. They’re working together to defend against her attacks, using shadows to block out her light. They look like tricky opponents; I’ve never fought anyone who could control shadows before. How would I even fight someone like that without a technique like the serious-looking woman’s? Now that I think about it, aren’t these followers from the whatever shadow sect as well? How come they aren’t using shadows to fight with me? 

“They’re being suppressed by the Blazing Sun Sect woman,” the ruler said. “She’s using her control over spiritual energy to manipulate most of the energy in the region. There’s barely any left for everyone else to use.” 

Control of spiritual energy lets people do that? No wonder why the ruler wants me to focus so much on meditation.

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