Swamped Chapter 31 Page 3

You realize that more than anything else, you’re exhausted after all the running around you’ve been doing. And this mopping isn’t helping.

So you just stop. At least until Mantis leaves. Crosswinds gives you a glance, but doesn’t press the matter.

You definitely feel a bit better now that you’re not exerting yourself on top of everything else. It gives you a chance to notice things you didn’t a moment ago.

For instance, you just noticed that the fenguin’s keeping very still. That’s what they usually do when they feel threatened…

Wait, hang on a moment. Is the fenguin scared of Mantis?

That’s unusual. Your team’s trapped a few fenguins, and they don’t tend to get frightened. That’s not their normal reaction to humans or greblings, it’s their reaction to predators…

Wait. Did Mantis subdue it by force? That could explain it. Of course, it only serves to make him more unsettling – he’s not particularly muscular, after all.

Maybe it’s a good thing that he’s ignoring you. Though he’s not doing much of anything else, either; he just seems to be watching the fenguin. Maybe he’s meditating too, you can’t really tell.

Suddenly, he turns to you.

“What do you believe in?” he asks, as though he’d been talking to you the whole time.

Well. What are you supposed to say to that?

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Pertaining to what sir?