Kera cheered up significantly after carving into the orc for a while. From what I could surmise it seems like the quality of the hide and bones were better than she had previously thought. It was rather surreal to watch the orc slowly disappear as Kera put the parts she stripped off into her bag. By the end, Kiel couldn’t even stand to look at it anymore. It certainly turned into a rather gruesome sight when most of its skin came off. The only real parts that were left mostly untouched were the joints. Even its nails were stripped. After her meticulous work, I asked her if she planned on selling the parts off.
“What?! Do ya know how rare northern orc hide is?! This is all mine!” She enthusiastically answers puffing her chest out
“Can we just go? That smell is really starting to get to me…” Kiel lets out meekly with a sickened look on his face
“Me too… How much longer till I can have some?” Kurobe asks about ready to pounce on the leftovers
“You sure you can eat this thing? It doesn’t look… sanitary.” I saw giving the corpse another one-over
“…” Mana continues to stare at the orc
From the beginning she had a rather somber mood about her when she arrived. Even whilst the others were freaking out she seemed somewhat calm, if not sad. Looking at her now she has a look that I would even call pitiful as she gazes upon the orc’s corpse.
“What’s up? Something bothering you?” I ask
“…There were ones like this back home. They would attack anybody, even Mana. Teko would always tell Mana to close her eyes then there would be this bad smell… This smells a lot like that. Mana knew what Teko did to them, but it still makes Mana sad when they get hurt.” She explains on the verge of tears
I wrap my arm around her and nuzzle her into me to comfort her.
“You saw a lot of this inside the dungeon too… but the outside has a lot of fighting. Nobody really gets along, and everybody argues. If we don’t want to get hurt we have to get stronger.” I say trying to sound worldly
As much as I’m trying to give her piece of mind, I honestly haven’t come to terms with this whole thing either. Killing isn’t exactly easy. Especially since I know that there are monsters like the goblins out there that would just as happily take peace if presented the opportunity. Who knows, maybe that Orc was the same way. Just because something attacks first and ask questions later doesn’t mean they wouldn’t prefer not to fight at all. Even if they are mindless though, the only reason they fight is for survival all the same… I can sympathize at the least.
“Mana needs to become stronger?” She ask breaking free from my nuzzling just enough to look up at me
“Yup, strong enough to protect ourselves, and more importantly our friends.” I say as I let go of her
“Alright everybody, let’s go! We need to make it back to town before the guild hall closes so we can collect the reward!” I say cheerfully throwing my hand into the air in an attempt to change the mood
“What?! You plan on returning today?! What do you intend to do about the corpse though? If we report that we killed it without disposing of the corpse then they won’t give us any reward! They will fine us for the damage!” Kera questions as she places down her various tools
“Dispose of it? Why would we need to do something like that? Shouldn’t nature take care of something like that?” I ask confused at her concern
Sigh “That logic might work for small hunting prey and the like, but do you have any kind of idea what affects a corpse this large rotting would have? Widespread disease for miles, attracting ravenous predators to the area making an even bigger mess, and with that much rotting flesh around the undead would likely start popping up as well. Whatever issue that orc was posing would be trumped in comparison to what leaving this thing here to rot would cause.” She explains as she rubs the bridge of her forehead
She seemed pretty annoyed so I decided not to chime in that there was still blood on her hand.
“I see… Then should we bury it or something?” I ask trying to think of a solution
I really want to go ahead and get my compensation already. I have something that I need to do as well…
“I don’t think they would fine us if we buried it, but it won’t stop the undead issue and we would have to dig pretty deep to prevent the other two problems from happening. Rather than spend a day or two digging a deep enough hole it would be a lot easier to just cut down a few trees and build a bonfire out here in the opening and burn the corpse. The remaining meat should be stripped from the bones by wildlife within a few days so there won’t be any rotting.” She continues as she looks around for a suitable spot
“So all we have to do is burn it to a crisp then we can leave?” I ask perking up a bit
“Ya, why?” Kera responds with a bit of concern
“Fal-Kei-Tera Earth manipulation.” I say without responding as I move my hands outward to direct the magic
I begin to lower the earth beneath the orc moving it to form walls near the edge of the forming crater. It’s quite draining moving this much earth at once, but somehow I can feel my limits. I can still handle a bit more than this.
“Wait, what are you doing? Not that I’m anything short of baffled by the fact that you are doing all this, but how does it relate to burning the corpse?” She asks in a tone between confused and amazed
“Wow! Mano can make the ground move!” Mana chimes in as she watches in pure amazement
“Can’t talk. Have to concentrate.” I say attempting to sound strained
As much as it is legitimately tiring to do this, I really just said that so I didn’t have to explain. It’s easier to just show them.
After lowering the orc far enough I begin to pull over and harden the earth walls from around it, leaving it in a cavity. I elongate the earth over the center upward into a large flume. I make several holes in the top of the cavity before I lower my hand in relief.
“I *huff* present to you the *huff* orc oven!” I say presenting my creation as I attempt to catch my breath
I take a moment to compose myself before I continue.
“Now for the final touches. Fal-Su-Feir Fireball!” I yell out as I throw my hands towards the top of the funnel
Three green fireballs appear above my head.
“Fal-Su-Feir Fireball! Fal-Su-Feir Fireball!” I continuously repeat
With each new cast 3 more fireballs appear above my head and the weight on my mind to control them increases. I continue this process until I feel I can no longer control more. The final count ended up being somewhere around 30 I think, but by the point I finished I couldn’t really count anymore past the mental pressure.
“And go!” I yell out as I move the fireballs all at once
I send each one down the funnel, and as they reach the bottom and explode each one creates a flash of light through the holes in the top. Eventually, the light becomes constant and an intense smell begins to emanate from the oven.
“…being inconspicuous is a totally foreign concept to you isn’t it princess?” Kera asks as she places her hand on my shoulder and shakes her head.