TGL Volume 5, Chapter 31 (5)

Lucia’s changed quite drastically. She’s still a muscle-brained idiot, but behind that happy-go-lucky attitude, there’s something masking its presence. Thanks to the Ten Thousand Thoughts Technique, I can direct a portion of my thoughts to analyzing Lucia while using the rest of my brain to communicate with Lucia’s master without seeming like I’m distracted. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Senior.” 

“Hmm.” 

I’m not sure what that “hmm” is supposed to mean, but seeing as she didn’t suppress me immediately, this should count as a successful greeting. The ruler looks a lot like Lucia, but perhaps most squirrels have a similar physique when taking a humanoid form. Along with Lucia’s master, there’s another individual outside of the cabin, but seeing as he wasn’t given a proper seat inside, he doesn’t seem like an important individual. Regardless, it’d be rude not to greet him. “It’s nice to meet you as well, Senior.” 

“Oh, he’s not a senior,” Lucia said, her eyes taking a quick glance at the squirrel, wearing a what-I’m-suspecting-to-be terrified expression. “He’s a kid my teacher’s training to be not scared of heights.” 

In that case, I’ll take a necklace out of my interspatial ring and offer it to the poor child. Since his eyes are closed, I think I’ll put it directly around his neck for him. “Take this necklace as a gift from a senior to a junior then. It looks plain, but this necklace is imbued with a courage-boosting spell. If you squeeze the pendant, it should help you feel less anxiety in these kinds of situations.” 

The squirrel with the white star on his forehead opened his eyes and grabbed at the necklace’s pendant with his furry paw. It gave off a dim golden glow, and honestly, that’s all it did. Courage-boosting spell? That’s just some nonsense I came up with, but placebos have been proven to work fairly well on squirrels. Unfortunately, my sample size of squirrels I’ve experimented on is only two: Lucia and Sophia. If my placebo necklace works on this poor individual as well, then I might be onto something. 

“T-thank you, Senior,” the squirrel said. He clutched the pendant and took a quick peek to the left. His chest expanded as he inhaled roughly through his nose, a strangled sound coming out of his throat. After three seconds, he exhaled. “It, it works! My legs aren’t shaking when I keep my eyes open!” 

Well then, that’s promising information. Now, there’s just one more person I have to greet. “Is the dragon we’re riding on a senior?” 

“Err.” Lucia scratched her head and glanced at the white-haired squirrelkin. “Teacher?” 

“This dragon is on the cusp of maturity, so it’s still technically a junior,” Lucia’s master said and stared at me. There was a faint smile on her lips. “But you don’t have to give it a gift; it’s just a mount we abducted to get here.” 

So, essentially, it’s like Mrs. Feathers. Knowing Lucia, this dragon won’t be able to escape its fate of being stuck by the squirrelkin’s side. Since that’s the case, he and I are practically in the same position. It can only help me if I establish a friendly relationship with it, but I’m not sure what kind of gift dragons like. I know it’d be ecstatic if I could grant it freedom, but that’s not possible. I’ll have to go with the second-best default option: a bag of cookies. I’ll teleport in front of its face and hover in the air. “Here’s a greeting gift for you as well, Junior. Life might seem bleak now, but if you think about it, it could be a lot worse.” 

The dragon stared at me. “Who do you think I am? I might’ve been captured by a supreme immortal, but I still have my pride. Are you insulting me? What am I supposed to do with an earthly snack?” 

“Bribe squirrels? These are Sophia’s favorite cookies, and Sophia’s the daughter of the disciple of the ruler of the squirrels, so….” 

“You…, actually, that’s a really good point,” the dragon said and snatched the bag of cookies out of my hands with one of the long whiskers on its face. “Thanks.” 

Alright, the greetings were successful. Now, the question is why did Lucia bring me up here in the first place? It doesn’t feel like I was brought here to negotiate or handle trivial matters; for some reason, I get the feeling Lucia’s showing me off like I’m some sort of prize. I understand her showing off Sophia that why, but why am I up here too? And it’s not only me; Softie’s here as well. Seeing as she didn’t give gifts to the juniors or greet Lucia’s master, she’s frozen in fear. I thought her poor social skills faded away during her time as vice-sect leader, but she still has moments where she turns useless, huh? 

The white-haired squirrelkin gestured towards me and Softie with her arm. “Do these two understand what they have to do?” 

“Nope!” Lucia said and shook her head. “I wasn’t really listening as well, so, uh, can you explain to them what you told me to tell them earlier?” 

Okay, maybe Lucia hasn’t changed that much. I wonder what kind of task Lucia has in store for us. 

“Lucia did well, and she earned herself a mountain,” the white-haired squirrelkin said. “She wants to move her whole sect there, and as the ones responsible for everything sect related, the two of you will have to handle the logistics of the transfer.” A pouch appeared in the squirrelkin’s hands before floating towards me. “You can store everything and everyone in here for now. Once you’re ready to depart, come back up to this cabin. Don’t forget anything because I don’t want to make a second trip.” 

Packing up the whole sect to bring to the immortal realm? What about my thousand-immortal-army plan? I haven’t even finished conquering all of the Immortal Continent yet. Being under the protection of the squirrels might be better than having an army of a thousand immortals when it comes to staying safe, but still…. Ah, forget it. Squirrels get what they want, and everyone else gets screwed; I’m no stranger to this game. “Guess I’ll start packing then.”

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End of Volume 5. Thanks for reading!