These demons are harder to trick into doing things than Sophia is! I’ve tried everything: threatening them with punishment, rewarding them for good behavior, and even forgiving them for going against me, but nothing’s working at all! Do I really have to use my final resort? But if I beg the ruler to come help me out, she’ll confiscate the treasure, and without it, I won’t learn why she wanted to destroy Atlantis in the first place! Ah? Wait a second. “Hey! Let’s make a different deal!”
Can this puppet even hear me? I’m sure it can because it responded to me before, but it’s completely ignoring my great proposals! Mm, when it hears this one, I’m sure the demons inside will respond. “All I want is information. You tell me why my master destroyed Atlantis, and I’ll let you go.” To show my sincerity, I’ll even stop swinging my sword at the puppet even though it deserves it.
The puppet raised its sword, but it didn’t try to attack me. After a short pause, it asked in its deep and booming voice, “Is that really all you want?”
“Absolutely.” Right, the only reason I want the puppet is because the ruler told me information about the destruction of Atlantis was inside. This must be what the ruler meant when she told me not to think about how to destroy the puppet! I didn’t have to defeat it at all.
“That’s not even close to what I meant, but I’ll allow it.”
Hear that? The ruler’s impressed by my brain. “If you tell me why the White-furred Tyrant destroyed Atlantis, I’ll stop attacking you and stop trying to take your treasure.” The demons aren’t as smart as Ilya since they couldn’t figure out they were in a lose-lose situation earlier, so I have to repeat my demands to make sure they understand.
The puppet didn’t say anything for a bit. The demons inside were probably discussing together. I wish I could use my divine sense to peek inside the puppet, but it doesn’t work. Sooner or later, I’ll improve my soul; then, no one can keep secrets from me, and I’ll be able to keep secrets from everyone else! How long is this puppet going to keep me waiting? It’s not going to try to run or charge up an ultimate attack while I wait, right…?
“We can agree to those terms,” the puppet said after a long while passed. “Just to make sure, if we give you the information you want, you’ll let us go without any retaliation towards us or our families?”
“Yes, yes.” Jeez, twice wasn’t enough for these guys to understand, huh? “Now, hurry up and tell me what I want to know before I change my mind.” Obviously, I’m not going to change my mind. This treasure is big and strong and all, but who cares? Is it stronger than the ruler? Of course not. Since that’s the case, why do I need it? Maybe Ilya would like it, but I’m sure she can build her own giant puppet that’s just as strong once she goes through the ruler’s rare treasures.
“The White-furred Tyrant destroyed Atlantis because Patriarch Atlantis was experimenting on all kinds of beasts including squirrels,” the puppet said. “The patriarch wanted to create the strongest weapon, one that had the speed of azure dragons, the strength of white tigers, the defense of black tortoises, the resilience of vermillion birds, and the formation-ignoring properties of squirrels.”
Ah? I didn’t realize the ruler had such a strong sense of justice. Since Patriarch Atlantis was torturing squirrels to steal their abilities, the ruler stepped in to stop the cruelty! I’m not sure I would do the same if I were in her position. Then again, humans always treated me really poorly, beastkins tried to drown me and sold me to slaves, and squirrels tore apart my limbs a lot. Mm, despite the world grinding me down and trying to turn me into a selfish jerk, I’m still such a good person, huh?
“While Patriarch Atlantis was capturing squirrels to experiment on, he found a squirrel that was caught in a trap and freed it,” the puppet said. “The squirrel he freed willingly came along and made himself as useful as possible, helping answer Patriarch Atlantis’ many doubts. Patriarch Atlantis wasn’t one to discriminate; as long as someone was smart and capable, he’d take them in as a subordinate, and he had one such subordinate, a human woman who helped him research the squirrels' formation-destroying properties.”
Alright, where’s this demon going with this? Did I miss something because I wasn’t paying attention? I don’t think I did.
“During the research process, the captured squirrel and human researcher fell in love, and thanks to the contributions they provided towards building the Guardian of Atlantis, the patriarch handcrafted them a pair of wedding rings. That was a mistake,” the puppet said. “Not long after the squirrel and human had their wedding ceremony, the White-furred Tyrant discovered the squirrel she had imprisoned had been freed, and she followed his traces to Atlantis.”
Ah!? Wait a second. Squirrel and human falling in love. The ruler imprisoning a squirrel. Is this story about my ancestor!?
“When the White-furred Tyrant discovered Patriarch Atlantis had helped the formerly imprisoned squirrel find true love, she was outraged. Patriarch Atlantis even had a set of moving images recording their first meeting if you’d like to watch it.”
I’d absolutely like to watch it! “Show! Now!”
The puppet’s right eye glowed with a golden color, and a cone of light was projected out from its pupil. At the end of the cone, a holographic image of two people appeared: one was the ruler, and one was a demon. I recognized the ruler right away because she looked exactly the same back then as she does now. The demon, who must’ve been Patriarch Atlantis, said, “Who are you? Why did you attack my home?”
“You made a wedding ring for my friend,” the ruler said.
“Yes, and? Did it break?” Patriarch Atlantis asked. “If it’s still under warranty, I’ll fix it for free.”
Ah? The image disappeared. What happened? Ah!? The whole puppet disappeared! What happened!?
“Congratulations, you earned a mountain,” the ruler’s voice said inside my head. “Since you didn’t want the puppet, I’ll keep it for myself.”
But…, but I wasn’t done watching the meeting yet.
“Too bad.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter