The Orc's Awakening c41
Updated: Sep 27, 2021
Chapter 41: Orc Meets Writer
Orukus: “(snort) Shana…..this is a little…..”
Shana: “It’s fine! Please! I’ll never get a chance like this to see it all come together in real life!”
We were all in the nearby open field next to my hideout.
Before us was a very elaborate miniature world of castles, knights, and other assorted miniatures that Noir made.
Me, Noir, Ayse, and Layla were all holding a stack of papers. It's a script for a play.
This all began last night during dinner when we were telling Shana about our miniature battles. Layla was pretty excited at the concept of seeing actual live-action battles between armies where she could control different aspects. War and Battle simulator games were very common in my time, but as with most games, there were limitations. You couldn’t blame the coders though. It was hard enough getting 100 players on the same field to do battle royals.
But with the magic and sprites here, we could theoretically make wars between thousands of figures. It would be a little tedious making each figure, but once Noir had a template of an example of a soldier, I left it to the sprites to mimic it and duplicate copies which was incredibly fast and accurate. I wouldn’t have to manipulate each one either. We could opt to give the figures very simple commands to execute or take over one and lead the charge as an actual General on the field. It was really entertaining.
So we were all getting pretty hyped up on the possibilities when Shana asked me for some pen and paper after dinner. Apparently, she spent most of the night writing the script for a play she had in mind.
In a sense, it was a mix between role-playing, playing house, and playing with action figures.
Although I was past 40 in my previous life, here, I'm only a few......weeks(?) old. I'm a newborn infant dammit. I can play with kids' toys if I want to.
The script she made was about an epic between two countries ー a country of Wind and Fire, and a country of Water and Earth.
Both have been at war for years, and the ruthless, backstabbing, and cutthroat tactics of the Wind and Fire armies have dwindled the Water and Earth armies, and the Water and Earth Kingdom had their backs against the wall.
It’s written centering around a princess of the Water and Earth, and overall, it’s a pretty entertaining epic.
Noir and I wouldn’t have a problem participating except….
Noir: “...........why am I the Evil Queen of the Wind and Fire Country?”
Yeah, Noir was cast as the main antagonist, and I was actually the General of her army - she confided and depended on me to carry her through this war, and it was pretty obvious from the get-go, where this was heading.
Shana: “Sister Noir! It’s just a play! Somebody will have to play the villain in an epic! You were just perfect for this character!”
Noir's mouth twitched at the corners as she had a pained smile on her face.
I kept my mouth shut. In movies, there are some roles where the writers create the role with a specific actor in mind. This would be one of those cases, but I don’t want Noir’s daggers stabbing me in the back anytime soon as she yells "care to elaborate on that?!"
Noir: “I don’t have a problem with my role…...it’s more about…...the relationships she’s entangled in…..”
Shana: “Sister Noir! Stop whining and please cut to the scene!”
Director Shana had fire in her eyes. She was like a madman drunk on passion and dead set on seeing her creation come to life.
There was no stopping her.
I handed her a director's cap, large avian sunglasses and a megaphone. It suited her well. Shana looked confused at first, but not wanting it to break the momentum, she dawned the gear of the legendary movie directors of my time and lifted the megaphone to her face.
Layla was also petrified in place reading through her sections.
Ayse seemed to be in a great mood. She got cast as the Hero of the story.
Shana: “Okay, here we go!”
Under the full light of the moon, a stocky man in a full suit of dark, black armor walked down the hallways of a dimly lit castle.
The night was eerily quiet and the clunk of the General’s armor chimed rhythmically as he entered the Queen’s throne room.
It’s weird to be in a different body, but it also felt natural as well. The armor I wore looked menacing, but still upheld a certain amount of dignity. It was the look of deadly power and authority.
I approached the Queen sitting on her throne and kneeled before her in a soldier’s fashion.
My physical body was reading the words on the page, so it was like reading subtitles.
General Orukus: “My Liege”
I leave my head bowed and stay kneeled.
Noir, sitting on the throne in a fabulous dress of crimson and black, holds a foldable hand fan with an Eagle and Dragon, and…..
Noir: “.....do I really have to?”
Looks really reluctant all of a sudden.
Noir: “Okay, okay!!”
She opens the fan to cover her face for a moment, and when she closes it, there is a ravenously gorgeous woman with a wicked smile on her face.
Queen Noir: “Leave us.”
With a quick shake of her fan, the guards in the room immediately depart, and we are left alone.
The night remained still and the only thing that could be heard was the soft breathing of the two lone figures.
The Queen rises from her throne and gracefully descends the steps of her throne to approach the General kneeling down.
Queen Noir: “It’s just the two of us now.”
General Orukus: “My Liege...please, there may be spies watching and listening…”
Queen Noir: “(chuckle) Do you really think so after all this time? Or is your reluctance because of the atrocities I have committed?”
General Orukus: “My Lady! Never….! You know that…….that…………”
Shana: “Mr. Orukus!!”
EEK?! Okay, okay!!
I feel my face blush into a deeper red than Noir’s dress.
General Orukus: “You know that my love for you…...will never change!” I see Noir spread her fan to hide her blush as well……..holy crap, she’s an incredible actor.
General Orukus: “The blood that has been spilled….has been spilled by my hands! If anyone should be held responsible, it is me!”
Queen Noir: “Death that was commanded by me, my dear and faithful General….This war has gone on too long, and…..we are in too deep to turn back now.”
…………...I feel Shana prod my actual body with her megaphone. GEESH! Okay!
I immediately rise up to hold Noir’s hand and meet her eyes.
General Orukus: “Even if we lose, I WILL protect you….we could go to the mountains in the north….we could…..finally be together…….”
Noir’s hands were shaking and her face was steaming red…..that’s amazing that she can do that on cue.
Noir: “YーYou know that...we could never escape should we lose the next battle…..”
General Orukus: “I may be a commoner, but I am a man of my word. Regardless of the outcome……..”
General Orukus: “R-Regardless of the outcome, I will always be by your side. Even in death, I will be your sword and shield against the cruel fates that have always faced us…...always……<GULP>....my dearest Noir.”
Noir turns her face towards me and holds her face incredibly close to mine. There are tears welled up in her eyes as she looks longingly, DESPERATELY into mine as if asking me to kiss her.
She holds the moment for a bit too long, and Shana gives her a poke.
Realizing her mistake, Noir lets go of my hand and turns her back on me.
Queen Noir: “TーTomorrow is a big day. You should get your rest, My General.”
Seeing her step away, I feel my hand naturally reach out for her, but my subtitle reads differently.
General Orukus: “YーYes, My Liege. I…..will take my leave now.”
And I walk out of the throne room with heavy steps.
Queen Noir: “My General…...if we are victorious tomorrow…...then……...then maybe we can……”
Shana: “ANNNNNND SCENE!! Thank you, Mr. Orukus! There were some awkward pauses in your delivery, but we’ll move on for now! Sister Noir, that was an incredible performance! I really felt that love and bond between the Queen and her General! Please keep it up!!”
Our consciousness returns fully to our bodies, as our clay figures are moved off the board.
Noir: “YーYeah….no problem…”
Noir’s still fanning her face with a plain foldable fan. I guess she did put her all into her acting. If she’s putting all that effort, I better up my game as well. I would hate to do something half-heartedly when others are putting their all into it.
Shana: “Okay, we’re cutting to the Water and Earth Castle!”
Shana swung her megaphone wildly into the air as we prepared for the next scene.
With that, the earth shifted, and a new scene appeared on the board. Unlike the dark, gloomy castle of the Wind and Fire, the Water and Earth country’s castle used pristine white marbles, and even in the night scene (we blocked the sunlight to control the lighting), there was a sense of serenity and peace…..
In a similar scene, Layla in silver-white armor walked confidently down the castle corridors.
Unlike my clunky armor, hers moved silently and smoothly.
She dismissed the guards standing outside the door with a curt nod and knocked on the door.
Princess Shana: “Come in.”
Layla: “Princess Shana, I wanted to report that all is going as planned. It is a gamble, but I believe victory is possible.”
Princess Shana: “So many will die even if we succeed….” General Layla: “Sacrifices must be made. The lives of all the Kingdom are depending upon your leadership. The soldiers swore an oath to give their lives for you. It is time to make them uphold…...their…..oaths…..”
Layla: “Shana…..I’m not……” Shana: “SISTER LAYLA! YOU’RE DOING GREAT! DON’T STOP NOW!!” Shana prods her off-scene as Layla cringes in her role…...
I don’t think it’s a miscast, but I keep my mouth shut, and Noir gives her a weak thumbs up with a strained half-smile on her face.
We’re all in this boat together.
General Layla: “(sigh)...fine….(cough) It’s time we make them uphold their oaths…”
Princess Shana: “But…….” General Layla: “Shana!” Layla’s voice is harsh, as if scolding a child, and Shana flinches and shrinks back in surprise.
Layla sees the fear in Shana’s eyes and turns to the side to cough to recompose herself.
General Layla: “Shana, you are the princess of this Kingdom. People look to you to give them assurance. You need to be strong. You can’t show them that you have any hesitation or fear in your eyes.”
Layla grabs Shana by her shoulders and peers into her face.
General Layla: “When this is all over, we can finally get……….get………….Shana～”
General Layla: “(cough) When this is all over, we can finally get mーmーmarried. I will take the mantle of King, and you will be free to do whatever you want……..does anyone else think this guy is a real <POKE> OW! Okay! I’m sorry!”
Layla tries to place a hand on Shana’s cheek, and Shana turns her face away quickly.
Layla looks hurt and angered by the gesture, and lets Shana go.
General Layla: “I am the Lord of the most powerful noble house in this Kingdom. No one can oppose our marriage.” Princess Shana: “You mean, no one can oppose the decision without facing your wrath….do you think I do not know of your doings behind the scenes?”
General Layla: “My dear princess, all actions have consequences. That goes doubly for nobles, and we must execute swift judgement for any who step out of line.”
I chew on some popcorn and give some to Noir as our pity turns into amusement.
Princess Shana: “Consequences that seem to conveniently turn a blind eye to your personal actions, Sir Duke.”
Yeah, Layla was cast as a guy. The irony is incredible. I had to quickly turn away when Layla noticed my stare and scowled at me.
General Layla: “(sigh)....regardless of your ‘feelings’, dear princess, you are the heir to the throne, and you will marry me in the end. No one will forgive you, ESPECIALLY if you try to be with that barbaric heathen!!”
Princess Shana: “You will not insult the Hero of this Realm! Sir Ayse has saved us on multiple occasions!”
Shana off-scene lifts her disciplinary megaphone in the air with puffy cheeks and fire in her eyes. Layla lets out one of the deepest sighs I have ever heard her do.
Orukus: “You think she’ll do it?”
Noir: “She has to. Shana’s not giving her a choice.”
General Layla: “That Hero of yours is a WOMAN! Don’t you dare think that giving her a noble’s rank, a MAN’S RANK, has not caused divisions among the noble families! Divisions that I PERSONALLY had to settle because of your careless actions!”
Princess Shana: “She has earned that with her blood, sweat, and tears! I will not for a moment, have you dismiss her as nothing less than YOUR EQUAL!”
General Layla: “...........you……….you’re serious……...you are seriously going to abandon CENTURIES of established tradition?! Do you think people will tolerate a Queen with a WOMAN by her side?!”
Princess Shana: “She is more of a man than you could ever be, DUKE!”
Both parties stand out of breath at an impasse.
General Layla: “Fine…..we will leave this for now. This will be all for naught if we lose the battle tomorrow. Good night, your highness.”
Shana turns her back on Layla without saying another word.
The action is infuriating to Layla, but she leaves without another word.
Orukus: (HOLY…….CRAP…………..this is getting good.)
As the door slams, Shana wipes tears welling up in her eyes.
After a moment, she hears something hit the window.
She quickly runs to the terrace to look out into the Castle gardens.
Hero Ayse stood in a wild leather armor and a hooded cape over her shoulders.
She waved a casual hand at Shana and quickly climbed the walls up to stand on the terrace with her.
Shana jumped into Ayse’ arms and buried her face into Ayse’ leather garments.
Ayse looked a little surprised, but gently held her and patted Shana on her head as if to calm a child.
Shana shook and trembled as she tried to hold back her tears, and Ayse bent onto one knee to look into Shana’s face.
Hero Ayse: “Why…….are you……….crying?”
She gently wiped Shana’s tears with her finger and asked with a concerned expression.
Princess Shana: “It’sーIt’s just too much…..all of this……..tomorrow’s battle…...the marriage with the Duke……..I can’t…….I can’t Ayse! I just can’t do this any more!”
Shana breaks out into hushed sobs as she cries into Ayse’ shoulders.
Ayse quietly strokes the back of Shana’s head and lets her cry for a little while.
Hero Ayse: “Princess.”
Finally, Ayse breaks the moment with a word.
Princess Shana: “YーYes….?” Hero Ayse: “I…….am here.”
Ayse gestures and points to her heart and then points to Shana’s. It is the gesture of [family] of Ayse’ tribe from the Wildlands, a tribe that was wiped out by the Wind and Fire Country. The gesture symbolized that you were connected no matter what - even beyond death.
Princess Shana: “But……..but what if you die?! What if you perish in tomorrow’s battle?! What if I never see you again?!”
Ayse places a finger on Shana’s lips to quiet her.
Hero Ayse: “I…….am……...always…….with you….”
With that, she gives Shana a single flower. A small sunflower. It was Hero Ayse’ favorite flower that she always picked and gave to Shana.
She gently places the flower into Shana’s hands.
Hero Ayse: “Always….”
Princess Shana: “YーYou promise? Do you promise, Ayse? That you will always be with me?” Ayse nods at Shana’s words and embraces her tightly once more.
There is a knock on Shana’s door. It was one of the guards checking in on her.
Princess Shana: “I…..I better go…..promise me. Promise me, Ayse, that you’ll come back alive tomorrow.” Ayse only smiles at her and places a hand on her cheek, caressing it gently. And with that she turns around and jumps off the terrace and disappears into the night.
Princess Shana: “Please…...be safe…….the gods of Water and Earth go with you, Hero Ayse.”
Shana: “AAAAAAAAAND SCENE!! Good job everyone!”
We all let out a deep breath as we take a break and prepare for Act 2.