After being released from the torture-like pain, I couldn’t move a single joint.
As I listened to the conversation between the two Furu members, I was stunned by the sight of my own body reflected in my compound eyes, now adorned with bright red patterns despite not having fully developed pigmentation yet.
When the door opened and closed again, the old man picked up my body with a pair of tweezers.
I didn’t resist or struggle, partly because it was too much effort to move, but also because I reasoned that since they had gone to all this trouble, they wouldn’t kill me.
I wondered where they would take me next, but was surprised to find myself in a box meant for hatching me and my siblings.
There were already thousands, if not tens of thousands, of insects hatching, forming a sea of wriggling bodies.
Among them were not just my scorpion siblings, but also various other insects such as centipedes, spiders, millipedes, cockroaches, and more.
A fierce battle for survival was already underway among the insects.
Scorpions grasped cockroaches with their pincers, while centipedes bit them, and spiders jumped in from behind to sink their fangs in.
Elsewhere, mole crickets swarmed around unhatched eggs and severed limbs, squabbling and cannibalizing one another.
“I see, the rest of the pack is eating each other.
It will be good nourishment.
As your master, I command you to use all your strength to fight and kill every insect in the box.”
As soon as I received the command, the markings on my body glimmered with a sinister light.
The intense urge to kill surged within me.
I felt a sense of duty to quickly fulfill the old man’s command and eradicate all the insects fighting below with my own hands.
Normally, it would be difficult to resist such a strong sense of duty.
However, I had a mission that I had held since birth.
It was something deeply ingrained in my soul, and even powerful spiritual arts could not overwrite it.
It was this mission that helped me maintain my sanity.
But as a result, I seemed to be opposing the new command.
My soul was under great strain, causing excruciating pain that made me grit my teeth.
Unaware of my internal struggle, the old man released me from the tweezers and mercilessly dropped me into the sea of insects.
I quickly flipped over, feeling the danger to my life after falling to my back.
My intuition was correct.
For a moment, I had exposed my vulnerability by being flipped on my back, and as a result, insects came attacking me from all directions.
These insects showed no emotion or intelligence in their eyes, driven purely by their instincts and hunger.
Among them were my own siblings.
They seemed to have no hesitation in cannibalizing each other.
I suppose that’s just how insects are.
But then again, I too am an insect.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m willing to be killed and eaten.
Perhaps it was due to the old man’s orders that triggered my fighting instincts, or maybe his words were correct, or it could be the power of knowledge within me.
Either way, fortunately, I knew what I needed to do to survive.
I caught the head of the centipede approaching from the front with my pincers and threw it into the swarm of millipedes.
As for the cockroaches coming from behind, I stabbed them with the non-poisonous stinger on my tail and swung it like a blunt weapon.
Until the needle falls out, it’ll be my weapon.
From then on, I fought desperately.
I cut off the insects’ heads with my pincers, twisted their bodies, and finished them off.
After they broke, I used them as a stabbing sword to pierce the insects.
I used my long abdomen as a whip to smash the insects I stabbed with my tail onto the ground and crush their heads and bodies.
I focused solely on hitting the vulnerable spots of the insects that came within range of my attack, accurately and with a single strike.
This tactic worked precisely because I was fighting against newborn, weak insects that had no intelligence.
They didn’t learn from the deaths of their fallen comrades and simply acted on their instincts.
Furthermore, once I regained my footing, there was no longer any reason for them to target me specifically, and I was just one of the many insects to them.
I was never again intensely targeted.
The most dangerous moment was right after I was thrown into the swarm.
The battle of the insects was fierce, and as a result, their numbers dwindled quickly.
The floor, once covered in eggs, was now littered with countless dead insect corpses, and the bodily fluids that had splattered during the fighting stained not only the floor but also the walls on all sides.
However, as the number of insects decreased to a few hundred, the fighting rapidly subsided.
This was because those who survived could now feast on the corpses of their fallen brethren.
Amidst the silent and scattered insects now busily feeding on the corpses as if the previous fighting had been nothing but a lie, I alone continued to kill the insects.
This was because my orders were to annihilate all of them.
Although the old man’s commands could not fully control me, because I retained my rationality, I still suffered from unnecessary mental anguish.
However, if I followed the old man’s wishes, the pain that tormented my mind would be significantly reduced.
After all, these were the same creatures that had been killing each other up until now.
Even if I killed them all, including the scorpions that were my siblings, nothing would change.
I swiftly killed all the surviving insects without hesitation, and finally fulfilled the old man’s orders.
At that moment, the pain that had been weighing on me suddenly disappeared.
It seemed that the criteria for fulfilling the orders had been met.
Ah, I’m exhausted.
I haven’t even been alive for an hour, and I’m already covered in wounds.
My pincers were cracked, my soft exoskeleton has been pierced by fangs, and my tail’s stinger was broken.
I was in a state of complete disrepair.
What will I be forced to do from now on? Can I fulfill my mission, “to survive for a hundred years,” that is engraved in my soul in this condition? First and foremost, can a scorpion even live for a hundred years? With nothing but anxiety, I focused on surviving for the time being, and I stabbed my broken pincers into the spider carcass in front of me, devouring its flesh.
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