The Orc's Awakening c50
Chapter 50: The Bug Kid
Legios: “Ew. Gross. Why’s it so stretchy and soft? Bugs feel so much better.” A small kid was sitting on my shoulders and pulling and stretching out my cheeks.
My mask and armor was completely off, and I let him do whatever.
It was more troublesome arguing with him.
Legios: “Ew. Gross. Why am I even touching this? It’s so blubbery. Bugs are better.” Then please stop already. Thankfully, I can minimize the pain, so it’s not that much of a problem, but it’s annoying asーー
The kid’s been going at this for quite some time now. Though he says he’s grossed out, he’s been squeezing and playing with my cheeks like some sort of stress ball.
Legios: “Ew. Seriously. What’s up with you? You’re an Orc but you don’t smell as bad as one. You still smell bad. Bugs smell better.”
He’s been going on and on about this. I asked him, and it has something to do with the general categories of Monsters.
Simply put, Monsters can be categorized into infinitely minute categories, but in general, they can be lumped into plants, underground, beasts, bugs, and underwater creatures.
This kid was all about the bugs being superior to the other categories.
He began tapping on my cheeks to make it jiggle and looked highly amused.
But if I asked him if he liked playing with my cheeks, he would flatly deny it and then furiously go at my cheeks again..
Orukus: “(snort) How long are you going to do this?” Legios: “Until my strength comes back. You made me spend every bug and now, it’ll be some time before I can recover. Bugs are still better than beasts. Don’t think, you won. It was a draw.” He twisted my cheeks like he was ringing water out of a dirty rag and slapped my scalp in frustration.
Orukus: “(snort) Are you a [Guardian] like Gramps, the Ent?” Legios: “You know the old geezer? Yeah, he’s pretty strong, but bugs are stronger.”
Just like a kid, he didn’t really answer my question. Though, to be honest, I really didn’t need him to confirm.
The thick cloud of insects disappeared, and only a few butterflies, moths, and beetles crawled around the kid’s body. I guess eventually, he’ll collect more and more bugs until he becomes that cloud of bugs again.
Legios: “If you know the geezer, why are you still here? He’s not stronger than my bugs, but he’s still pretty strong.”
Orukus: “(snort) He’s been helping me.” Legios: “HELPING YOU?! WHY?! You’ll ruin everything!”
Orukus: “(snort) Ruin what?”
Legios: “EVERYTHING! What’s that old geezer thinking?! You’ll break this world!”
Orukus: “Break it? How so?”
Legios: “I don’t know! You just will! You’re not normal! You’re just not!” Orukus: “(snort) But bugs are still stronger than me, right?” Legios: “WELL YEAH～ DUH～ What are you, stupid～? Of course they are! Bugs are the best!”
The kid jumped off my shoulders to collect a few more dragonflies that flew by. The insects would pause, and then attach and fly around the kid.
Once he was done collecting, he would come back on my shoulder to mess with my cheeks again. This time, he was squeezing them into balls and slapping them against my temples. .
Kid’s got creativity. I’ll give him that.
Orukus: “(snort) So can’t you stop me before I break the world?” Legios: “I ALREADY TRIED! BUT YOU CHEATED! Why are you still around?! You don’t HAVE to be here. You could have moved on already!”
Orukus: “(snort) Moved on? To where?” Legios: “I DON’T KNOWー! Why are you asking me so many questions! I’m just here to send people off! Wherever they go afterwards is their business!”
Orukus: “(snort) Send them off?” I didn’t like the sound of that.
I recalled how quickly this world was fading from my sight.
Legios: “DUH～ That’s our job! The light fades, and their souls need to move on. I send my bugs, and they move on! You don’t even know that?! That’s why bugs are better! They know EVERYTHING!!”
Orukus: “(snort) What if they don’t want to move on?”
Legios: “I DON’T KNOWー! Why are you asking me this?! The light fades, and it’s time for them to move on!”
Talking to this kid is like……..well, talking to a kid.
Orukus: “(snort) What light?”
Legios: “YOU KNOW! THE LIGHT! It sort of looks like this!” And he jumps off again and after looking through the shrubs, produces one insect. He cups it into his hand and offers to show me a peek by opening his hands just slightly.
Not knowing what else I was supposed to do, I peek inside his hands.
After a brief pause, I see a faint glow appear and then disappear. It was the light of a firefly.
Legios: “SEE?! Now you get it? There’s light and then there’s no light. When there’s no light, it’s time for me and the bugs to do our job.”
He let’s the firefly go, and it circles briefly above his head and flies into his hair.
Orukus: “....(snort) I still don’t understand…”
Legios: “UGH! Forget it! You’re too stupid to understand anyways! That’s why bugs are so much smarter!!”
The kid threw his arms into the air in an exaggerated show of surrender. He jumped off my shoulders, landed, and stomped off in frustration.
Gramps: “I see that you’ve met our local Entomologist.”
Gramps popped out standing right beside me.
My heart nearly jumped out through my throat!
Orukus: “(SNORT!!) Gramps?! You nearly gave me a heart attack!!”
Gramps: “As if that would be enough to kill you.”
Orukus: “(snort) And what do you mean by that?!”
The kid jumped onto Gramps and started swinging from his arm.
Legios: “Grandpa! Why you letting this Pig live?!”
HEY! What's that supposed to mean?!
A flash of when Gramps and I first met crossed my mind and anxious shivers crawled up my spine.
Legios: “You’re breaking the rules, aren’t you?! I’m going to have to tell on you!!”
Gramps: “I’ve already spoken to the higher ups. There are no issues.”
Legios: “STOP LYING!! There’s no way they would be okay with this!! Why are you protecting him?!”
Gramps: “I am protecting no one. The Master simply thought that this would be far more amusing.”
The kid looked really flustered and scratched furiously at his hair with both hands.
Legios: “I don’t care what he says!! This guy took out all my bugs!! He’s way too dangerous!!”
Uh, it was self-defense?
I instinctively raised my hands up in a gesture of helpless surrender.
Gramps: “I will take full responsibility for this man’s actions.”
Sticking his tongue out, the kid ran off into the woods and disappeared.
Gramps let out a sign as he scratched his leafy, afro head.
After a moment, he turned around to look at me.
Gramps: “I guess it cannot be helped. Come.”
Gramps stretched out his hand towards me.
At the time, all I saw was his hand. The rough bark was smooth enough to hold and yet the texture of the wood reminded me of ancient wrinkles you would see on the elderly.
I took his hand.
The wood felt uncomfortably cool to the touch like touching a living skeleton as my fingers wrapped around.
If someone saw me from a distance, they would have noticed a sudden gray mist that blanketed the space we stood in.
Everything the mist touched was shrouded in fog, and disappeared from sight.
It touched my Orc body, and in its place, a small child stood in my place.
We began to walk, and the fog only thickened.
It soon swallowed everything around us, but at the time, all I saw was Gramp’s hand in mine as my feet moved forward.