TGL Volume 5, Chapter 26 (5)

Leaping is easy, but leaping when the ruler’s stopping me from leaping is tough! Her control over spiritual energy is better than mine, so it makes sense she’s good at stopping me from moving spiritual energy around. Even if it makes sense, that doesn’t mean it’s fair! How am I supposed to leap away from her attack when my spiritual energy can barely leap two feet away? 

“If you can figure out a way to make leap work while I’m suppressing you, it’ll be impossible for anyone on your level to keep you trapped in place,” the ruler said. “I believe in you. You can do it.” 

The ruler might believe in me, but I don’t believe in myself! Then again, if the ruler believes I can do it, then that means there has to be a way. She wouldn’t have that belief if it wasn’t possible! Isn’t she supposed to be my teacher? “Can you give me a hint?” 

“Try condensing your spiritual energy,” the ruler said. “Right now, your spiritual energy represents a rod. You wouldn’t use a rod to cut a piece of meat, right? You’d use a knife. Focus your spiritual energy into an edge to cut through mine. If that’s too difficult, you can focus it even more, make it resemble a needle.” 

Why didn’t the ruler start off by telling me how to do it instead of watching me struggle first? Mm, it’s probably because of her rule of fun. If I have fun watching people struggle while doing things, there’s no way the ruler—as a fellow squirrel—doesn’t enjoy watching people struggle too. Well, at least she told me how to do it in the end. Let’s see. First, I make a shell of myself with spiritual energy. Then, I … flatten part of the spiritual-energy shell to make a blade? Go! Leap! …I mean, it works? Instead of leaping two feet away, my spiritual energy leapt four feet away. That’s still not far enough to escape from the ruler’s stick attack. 

In that case, I have to focus the spiritual energy even more! Instead of making a blade with it, I’ll make the bottom of an ice cream cone! Spiritual-energy shell, leap! Mm, the ruler was right. Ice cream cones travel further than swords. As for how far, eh…, I think it’s still not enough to escape from the ruler’s attack. Am I doing something wrong? I’ll sneak a peek at Mrs. Mu’s lackey. He’s … doing even worse than me? Even with an ice cream cone design, his spiritual-energy shell barely travels as far as my regular spiritual-energy shell. “What’re we doing wrong?” 

“You’re doing nothing wrong,” the ruler said. “My control over spiritual energy is just way better than yours. If you were to leap against someone with the same amount of control as you, your leaping range would be much greater than it is now.” 

Mm? So, no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to leap out of the stick’s attack range? “Since I basically mastered the advanced version of leap, you won’t use the stick to beat me because I can’t escape from it anyway, right?” 

“That’s right,” the ruler said. A moment later, the massive stick vanished, and I swear the ground rose by a few inches. “Using the stick won’t help you become proficient at leaping. Instead, we’ll be using this.” A strange device appeared in the ruler’s hands. It looked a little like … a crossbow? 

“Is that a crossbow?” 

Great question, Mrs. Mu’s lackey. 

“To be precise,” the ruler said and beamed at the two of us, “this is a repeating crossbow. The best part about it is it doesn’t even need any crossbow bolts to fire.” She placed her hand on top of the device, and a beam of spiritual energy shot out of it! It hit Mrs. Mu’s lackey in the shoulder, going straight through his body as if he weren’t even there. I’m really glad she brought him along because if he weren’t here, then I’m sure that’d be me clutching my shoulder and bleeding on the ground right now. “As long as I keep inputting spiritual energy, it’ll keep firing.” 

That actually seems pretty strong! “Can I have one of those?” 

“I’ll give it to you once you master geometry,” the ruler said and nodded at me as if she thought I’d know what geometry is. What is geometry? Ilya told me big words are usually made up of smaller words. Let’s see. Geometry. Try to geome? Yeah, I don’t get it either. “Geometry is a part of math.” 

…Suddenly, I don’t want the repeating crossbow anymore. Who needs it anyway when there’s long-range Breaking Blades? 

“Maybe you’ll change your mind after being shot by it a few times,” the ruler said and pointed the device at me. “Ready?” 

Isn’t Mrs. Mu’s lackey still injured? How can we be— 

“Set.” 

—ready? Wait! 

“Go!” 

Gah! Run! Mm!? I can’t run? 

“This is leap training,” the ruler said. “It’d ruin the point of training your leap if all you’re going to do is zig and zag away.” She’s firing the repeating crossbow, but luckily, she was only shooting Mrs. Mu’s lackey. I’m starting to think she has something against him, but as long as she doesn’t have something against me, I’m wiling to turn a blind eye towards her abuse. “If you don’t start leaping soon, I’ll shoot you next.” 

Leaping! I’m definitely leaping! I’ll have my spiritual-energy shell leap over there, and I’ll teleport away from my spot! “Ow!” What the heck! I leapt, but she shot me anyway! Mm, I think she went easy on me because the spiritual-energy bolt bounced off of me instead of going through me. 

“Don’t make your end destination obvious,” the ruler said. “If you only send out one shell, isn’t it obvious where you’ll go? Send out more. As with all combat, this is a game of wits. I predict where you’ll leap, and you leap where you think I didn’t predict where you’d leap.” 

…Is she trying to make my head hurt on purpose?

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