TGL Volume 5, Chapter 27 (5)

Mrs. Mu is kind of an amazing person: she’s strong; she’s just a teensy-bit less pretty than Softie—which is a huge compliment; and she’s good at tricking people into doing the things she wants! I really expected those beasts to get mad at me when they found their companion cooking inside Sir Pot. Ah? Why am I cooking their companion? In the first place, I didn’t know he was their companion! In the second place, when I’m feeling hungry and unable to decide what kind of protein to add, and a ferret decides to jump out of the darkness and into my cooking pot, I’m not going to question the gift the heaven’s prepared for me, alright? I might get struck by lightning. 

In the third place, by the time the other beasts came through the black cloud of mana floating in the stairway, the ferret was already dead. What was I supposed to do? Take him out? That’d be such a waste! Ah? Aren’t I concerned about the guts and the fur and all the gristle I’m supposed to remove before cooking an animal? …Nah. Sir Pot can get so hot that he can cook anything to the perfect, melt-in-your-mouth consistency—even a rock can be tenderized much less a ferret! On an unrelated note, rock’s taste really bland unless I add a lot of salt. 

Ah? How did I get from thinking about Mrs. Mu to thinking about cooking rocks? That’s weird, but the two must be related because I somehow did it. Anyway, as I was saying, Mrs. Mu is kind of an amazing person! These animals were super upset at me, but now they’re doing everything they can to help me advance through this underground tower! I’m not sure if tower is the correct term, but we’re going deeper under the surface, and there’s a lot of floors. Surprisingly, only the first floor’s stairway was blocked by the black mist. I haven’t had to use my Unrelenting Path of Slaughter since. 

“Be careful,” Mrs. Mu said. “There’s a killing array up ahead.” She glanced at the humanoid beast with a glossy turtle shell on its back. “Even with your defenses, it’s hard to say if you’ll be able to escape with your life.” 

The humanoid turtle snorted and crossed his arms in front of his chest. “You’re looking down on my black turtle clan too much,” he said. “Defense isn’t the only aspect I’m good in. Watch how I handle this array on my own.” 

How did she do it? Not only did Mrs. Mu make the turtle-man step forward on his own, but she didn’t even threaten him with violence! I’m not sure I could do the same. Mm, at this point, she should … offer him encouragement? 

“If you take too long, I’ll step in to deal with it myself,” Mrs. Mu said and took a step back while crossing her arms over her chest. 

That didn’t sound encouraging at all, but the turtle-man’s all fired up! He’s growing bigger while running into the middle of the room; he’s … turning into an actual turtle! Tortoise? I’m not sure, but whatever he is, if I cook him, I could probably feed a whole village and have leftover stew for a midnight snack! Is it wrong to cook a beast that can transform into a human? The ruler definitely wouldn’t have a problem with it because she eats humans too, but I can’t do the same! Even if I’m starving, at most, I’d rob a human to buy food to eat; after all, I’m a civilized person. 

Plink, plink, plink, plink, plink! 

The instant the turtle stepped into the middle of the room, hundreds of blades made of spiritual energy appeared and slashed at him. The blades were very practical because they looked like swords without handles. Right, instead of handles, they had a second sharp and pointy edge at their ends. Since no one was holding them, it made sense. In the future, if I ever conjure up a hammer made of spiritual energy, I’ll remember not to bother with making a handle. Err, at least, I’ll try to remember. 

Something brushed against my side. Ooh, this person is awfully short. Is he a mouse? He could be a rat. Well, whatever he is, he wants something from me. “What’s up?” 

“This junior greets Big Elder Fluffytail,” the mouse-rat-person said in a high-pitched voice. “I was wondering if it’s true squirrels are unaffected by formations.” 

Hmm. I think Ilya was always complaining about how the formations on the door of her lab never worked at keeping me out. I never really tested it out though. Teacher! Am I unaffected by formations? 

“Most of them,” the ruler said inside of my head. She was walking way behind the group. At some point when I was cooking the ferret, she disappeared because she wanted me to mingle with the other beasts without them being intimidated by her. “Some nefarious individuals in history have designed formations capable of targeting squirrels.” 

Ah? Like who? 

“You don’t have to worry about that,” the ruler said. “When I catch wind of them, I make sure to exterminate them and anyone who might know about their research.” 

You don’t catch them? 

“Not every smart person is easy to control,” the ruler said. “They already have plans of dealing with squirrels in mind since they created formations to do just that. Keeping them around is like playing with fire. If I were younger and didn’t have to care about the rest of the squirrels living in the seven mountain ranges, I’d definitely keep them.” 

So, what I’m hearing is the ruler wants me to hold onto those people for her instead. Got it. Anyway, this mouse has been staring at me with big, round eyes for quite a while now. His puppy-dog look kind of reminds me of Sophia’s. “Yes. Squirrels are unaffected by nearly all formations.” 

“Wow!” the mouse-rat-person said. “Then how come you aren’t leading the way?” 

Mm, suddenly, this mouse doesn’t look that cute anymore.

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