Swamped Chapter 31 Page 2

“Strange as it may sound, it mainly eats honey. Its tough skin protects it from the stings of the desert bees, so when it finds a hive, it just digs in, grabs the honey, and goes back under the sand. Then the bees work on repairing their hive. And since they don’t often move it, the fenguins tend to raid the same few hives over and over.”

“Doesn’t sound like that works out too well for the bees,” Crosswinds muses. “But it’s gonna be tough to get ahold of some honey for this thing.”

“I saw some bees outside earlier. Probably more displaced desert dwellers. You Marshguards have tough armor, you should be able to raid the hive without too much trouble.”

“Assuming we can find them. And assuming they haven’t gotten so confused about being in the swamp that they haven’t made honey yet, or it’s got weird swamp stuff in it that the fenguin doesn’t like.” Crosswinds grumbles. “Well, I guess it’s Mantis’ problem, since he’s the one who brought it in.”

They walk over to the note and scrawl “IT EATS HONEY” on it.

“All right, he’ll see that sooner or later. Now, let’s get to work.”

Well, you’re not happy about it, but you start mopping.

It’s not long, though, before someone walks in. There’s something about him that gives off the air of a priest, and not just the way he’s holding his hands in front of him.

“Hello, Mantis,” Crosswinds says, sounding annoyed. “Finally came to take care of your new pet, huh?”

“Alas, my work has kept me busy,” Mantis says. He glances briefly in your direction, but doesn’t seem to react. “Is that your handwriting I see on my note?”

“Yeah. Found out from her,” Crosswinds says, pointing directly at you.

“Honey, is it? Very well. I will send some of my junior disciples to retrieve some. I understand we have been having some minor trouble with some bees as of late, perhaps we can locate their hive.”

There’s something unsettling about how unconcerned Mantis is. He doesn’t seem to care at all about your presence, which is more than a little odd. Even if Razor filled him in for whatever reason, you’d expect him to have some reaction to actually seeing the intruder.

Whatever the reason for his calmness, it’s making you uneasy. You wonder if you should do something, or perhaps you should just continue mopping the floor and wait for him to leave.

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You are not seen as a threat. Might as well make the most of it and learn more about them.