It seems like in the short period of time I was separated from Sophia, I wasn’t the only one who became a disciple. “So, Ilya, someone told me you forced my daughter into becoming your disciple, eh? What’s that all about, hmm?” There’s no reason from Ilya to take in Sophia; after all, Ilya’s a very ambitious person, and I don’t think raising a disciple is one of the things on her agenda. Besides, if she really wanted to teach and gift Sophia things, she didn’t have to become her master to do that.
Ilya cleared her throat. “There’s been a misunderstanding.”
“A misunderstanding?” Mm, how’s Ilya going to convince me not to punish her for taking advantage of Sophia while I’m not there. She’s not going to try to distract me with an acorn, is she?
“Yes, a misunderstanding,” Ilya said and nodded. “The misunderstanding is you believe Softie is a reliable person who tells the truth when, in reality, she’s an envious snake who’ll say anything to make me look bad in your eyes. She’s jealous of the fact Sophia really enjoys my teachings, and she wanted to use you to get back at me.”
“Are you calling Softie a liar?” Because that’s what it sounds like Ilya’s saying. Has Softie ever lied to me before? Hmm. There might’ve been a few times she lied to me when it came to taking care of Sophia: like when I made a really tasty dish for Sophia once, and I found traces of it on the corners of Softie's lips, and she claimed she fed the whole thing to Sophia. “Well, there’s one way to verify this!”
“You’re going to Soul Scour Softie?”
Ah? “Well, there’s two ways to verify this!” This is why I missed Ilya. She always has answers to every problem even if she’s not always nice when giving them. “I was thinking I could just ask Sophia.” Speaking of Sophia, she’s hugging me really tightly with her head buried in my chest. …And I think she’s snoring. “Sophia, are you asleep?”
“It’s not difficult to wake her up,” Ilya said and pulled a jar out of her interspatial ring. She opened the lid, and a strong smell of acorns flooded the room. Sophia’s tail twitched, and her head wiggled from side to side before leaning back to stare at me. Her head whipped around to stare at the jar in Ilya’s hand.
I’m not sure how I feel about Ilya treating Sophia like she’s some sort of animal. I mean, it is an effective way to wake her up, but it still feels a little wrong! I’ll worry about that later though. “Sophia, here.” I’ll give her a really tasty fruit I got from the ruler. Now, while she’s eating and feeling relaxed, I’ll ask my question! “Softie told me you became Ilya’s disciple. Is that what you wanted?”
“Mm-hmmm!” Sophia agreed while munching with her cheeks full. Her eyes were wide and completely focused on the fruit in her hands. Even though her arms were occupied, her legs were still wrapped around my waist, keeping her suspended on my body, and she was considerate enough to lean far enough back so that the fruit juices dripped on herself instead of me. After swallowing what was in her mouth, Sophia beamed at me. “Auntie Ilya’s a really good master!”
Softie said Ilya tricked Sophia into becoming her master. In that case…. “She didn’t offer you sweets to become her disciple, did she?”
Sophia shook her head.
“Did she threaten to do bad things to you if you didn’t become her disciple?”
Sophia shook her head again.
“Mommy, I’m very smart,” Sophia said, staring right at me. Well, isn’t it obvious she’s very smart? She’s my child after all, and I’m brilliant. Sophia nodded at me. “I’m not that easy to trick.”
Mm, Sophia might be smart because she inherited my brains, but is she really smart enough to outwit Ilya? I wonder if there’s a way to find out like a test Sophia can take to compare herself to Ilya. The ruler might have something like that; she does have a solution to everything I’ve asked for, and even if she doesn’t, I can get those guys in her thinking room to come up with something! Alright, that settles it. In the future, I’ll have to give a test to Sophia and Ilya, and if Ilya does better on the exam than Sophia, then I’ll punish her for tricking my daughter!
“Lucia? How are you … feeling?” Ilya asked. What was with that hesitation? Maybe she actually wanted to ask me a different question instead like whether or not I’m going to punish her. If I keep her in suspense, she’ll be sure to sweat a bit, so that’s what I’m going to do!
“We can figure out how I’m feeling later.” Now, let’s begin the great migration plan! That’s what I’m calling it, but really, I’m just going to ask a couple people I know to see if they want to come with me to the immortal realm. For the first step of the plan, I have to trick Sophia into wanting to go! “Did you like the fruit, Sophia?”
“Yes!” Sophia said. She was licking the leftover fruit juices off of her fingers. I’m pretty sure the fruit was supposed to come with a core, but it’s gone, so I’m going to assume Sophia ate it while I wasn’t paying attention to her. “Do you have any more?”
“I don’t, but my master does.” As everyone knows, the quickest way to manipulate someone is through their stomach! “Do you want to come with me to go meet her? Since you look so cute and adorable, I’m sure she’ll pamper you by giving you lots of stuff.”
“I like stuff,” Sophia said and nodded.
“Great!” I’ll just grab onto Ilya over here—ooh, her shoulder’s awfully tense—and teleport on up to where Softie was. Then, I’ll grab Softie with my other hand and teleport on up to the ruler! “Teacher! I’ve brought some people to meet you!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter