TGL Volume 5, Chapter 27 (4)

Where…, where am I? And why am I lying in a state of undress next to a sleeping red bird!? Under normal circumstances, those questions are the ones I should find the answer to first, but oddly enough, there’s a more pressing question. Who am I? It feels like there’s a gray haze within my head, permeating every space, blocking me from accessing my memories, but as I focus, bits and pieces are slowly being revealed. Disciple Gu of the Blazing Sun Sect? Bloodmoon, the wicked leader of a demonic cult? The inheritor of Supreme Immortal Eternal Night’s Divine Dream Scripture? 

Though vague, I do have a sense of who I am. Since my identity isn’t my most pressing issue, it’s time to move on to the next thing that’s bothering me. This vermillion bird…, is it a male or a female? Problematic rumors may spread about me if people discover I woke up naked next to a bird with no recollection of the previous night. Even more problematic rumors will spread if they discover the bird I woke up next to was a male. As a founding member of Senior Sister Mu’s fan club, the organization’s reputation will take a huge hit if my s*xuality comes into question. In that case, while this bird is still sleeping, I’ll gently grab its leg and expose what needs to be exposed. 

…My memory is clearly still failing me because even after checking, I have no idea what gender this bird is. In the first place, did I even know how to discern a bird’s s*x? Honestly, I don’t think I did. There’s memories of attending animal-study courses as Disciple Gu, and there’s memories of hunting and killing animals as Bloodmoon, but there’s no memory in either lifetime of identifying the gender of birds. 

The vermillion bird’s eyes fluttered open. Its leg was still being held by my hand, its body exposed in a compromising situation. “Excuse me,” the vermillion bird said. “If you don’t give me a reasonable explanation as to what you’re doing, I will swear an oath to the heavens to end your life in as painful a way as possible.” 

If I told this bird the truth, I’m not sure it’ll believe me, and honestly, I don’t think there’s any lie that can reasonably explain what I’m doing half-naked while spreading its legs apart. In that case, should I murder this bird to silence it and prevent a lifelong grudge from forming? Bloodmoon and Disciple Gu would both take that course of action, so it’s clearly the correct one. I might not know the exact situation I’m in, but like with everything in life, things should be taken and resolved one step at a time. The first step is killing this bird, but even a simple task like that should be broken down into even smaller steps. In the first place, vermillion birds are high-up on the list of dangerous beasts, and it’s not recommended to fight one without any help. 

The vermillion bird’s eyes narrowed as if sensing my killing intent. However, before either of us could respond, a hand appeared out of nowhere and grabbed the vermillion bird’s wing. I didn’t have time to think of whether or not I should release the bird before the hand made a tugging motion, completely changing my surroundings. The haze within my brain faded away even further as a familiar face came into view. Lucia Fluffytail, the squirrel that caused the demise of the quasi-immortal prodigies of the seven great sects, stared me in the eyes. Her mouth opened, and she asked, “Am I, uh, interrupting something between you two?” 

“Absolutely not!” the vermillion bird said before I could say anything. “I woke up, and this weirdo was hovering over me! As the disciple of the White-furred Tyrant, shouldn’t you have multiple life pouches? It’s not right to store different species together!” The vermillion bird looked around and blinked twice. “Speaking of different species, what’s happening here?” 

I released the vermillion bird’s leg and took a look around. We were in an enclosed room with no windows. The exit was covered by a dense black fog impossible to see beyond, and golden runes covered a set of towering doors behind me. Senior Sister Mu was standing next to Lucia, and standing across from them, there was a large group of humanoid beasts by the black fog. For some reason, they looked outraged. Perhaps it had something to do with the large, black pot in front of Lucia. 

“Listen here,” Lucia said and placed her hands on her hips. “I’m not a traitor! Just because one of your friends accidentally fell into my pot and just because one of the representatives of the human sects is helping me out and just because I’m a teensy part-human and mostly part-squirrel, that doesn’t mean I’m not on your side!” She raised the vermillion bird in her hand up. “Look at this fellow. If I didn’t support the beasts, would I have fed him a super-rare treasure to help him become stronger?” 

I think I understand what happened here. According to my memories, Lucia is a chef, and she never takes accountability for any of her negative actions. She must’ve saw a creature she wanted to eat and ambushed it before throwing it into her pot. The poor animal must’ve been a scout or someone who went ahead, and his companions discovered Lucia cooking him, leading to this situation right here. That’s odd. Through the haze in my mind, there’s a figure with white hair that I’m remembering. Wasn’t someone supposed to be accompanying Lucia? Perhaps that’s a memory from the past. 

“Excuse me,” Senior Sister Mu said. She looked beautiful as always. “While we’re wasting time bickering with each other, the group ahead of us is steadily approaching the treasure that brought us here in the first place. As the losers, we should work together to flip the situation. How about this? As compensation for the loss of your companion, I’ll give my share of the treasure to your group after we obtain it.” 

“And why would we believe you’re willing to do that?” a man with horns on the top of his head asked. “If you’re not getting any part of the treasure, why would you participate?” 

Senior Sister Mu smiled. “Isn’t that obvious? Winning Big Elder Fluffytail’s favor is enough of a reward for me. Don’t you know who her master is?” 

The group of humanoid beasts exchanged glances with one another before relaxing their aggressive postures. As expected of beings capable of becoming immortals. In the name of benefits, they swallowed their hostility quite easily.

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