Guarding that boy it is.
Shouldn't be too hard.
I managed before.
I am good at talking with captive humans.
Just stick to the rules.
And nothing that causes bodily harm.
- Who am I kidding?
- I'm done for!
With some luck, he sleeps.
Then it should be easy.
Still, I should stay in his room to make sure he doesn't run.
Or shouts out of the window.
Well, it was locked, but he could break it.
Slowly opening the darkened room he doesn't seem to be awake.
So I do the only reasonable thing, settle myself on the opposite of the bed and wait silently.
Unfortunately, after some hours he begins to stir.
And my experience tells me that this means he may wake up any moment.
And this while my Shari is still nowhere to be seen.
That might become a problem.
I still stay quiet.
The longer it takes till he reacts, the better.
Oh, but almost I forgot the most important.
And with this, I put my best smile on.
He stirs a bit more, which makes me slightly nervous.
All that I know about children is that they're much weaker and tend to act illogically emotional.
Not the best base for communication.
Fortunately, I made huge steps in that degree.
"Nnhg... uah." (boy)
Now he is up.
I don't feel the same elation as back in the past with my Shari.
Still, he has gained consciousness.
I can hear it at his heartbeat if I concentrate.
Slowly he rises.
The first look goes to the window.
Even if the curtains are down it is the only source of light.
Humans are all somehow drawn to it.
For some reason, he looks confused at the bed, then at himself.
Well, he has a shirt that is absolutely not his size.
So that is an irregularity.
At one point he seems to be done and fumbles the blanket away.
Then he crawls forward in an attempt to leave the bed.
Aaaaaand he has seen me!
Don't forget to smile!
Maybe I should wave at him?
Oh no, I can't have him screaming around and drawing who knows who's attention.
So I rush forward.
If I know one thing about screaming humans, then that putting a layer of non-fluid slime in front of the mouth does prevent them from doing so.
Yet I have the feeling that he isn't pleased with this.
At least the streaming tears and the trembling indicate so.
So I come close.
"If you promise to behave well and stay quiet I will take it away!" (Liqu)
His eyes stare blank, but I guess there was a nod.
So I think he might stay calm for now.
If not I will just put it back on and glue him to the wall for the time being.
Well, no sound to hear.
This is fine with me.
Yet now all he does is trembling.
This is no good I think.
Oh! Maybe I should have specified.
"Just to say it, you are allowed to speak. I only don't want you to scream. Understood?" (Liqu)
Another nod from his side.
I think we make progress.
Since I gave him all the freedom he needs I settle myself again at the wall.
Naturally, I continue to smile to ease him.
He draws back on the bed and hides under the blanket.
Occasionally he peaks out.
When he does I wave at him.
That induces him to immediately cover himself again.
Is that maybe a game?
I've seen children playing together before and couldn't really figure out the patterns.
So this might be something I just don't understand.
After the seventh time, he stops.
Then he uncovers himself, looks unsteady at me, and finally speaks up.
"A-a-are y-y-you g-going t-to eat m-me?" (boy)
Shari said I can never dissolve children, so I won't.
And with that phrasing, there is no possibility that I can in the future.
So he is safe.
"Th-Then w-why a-am I h-h-here?" (boy)
That stuttering is a little inconvenient, but as much he is shaking it is a wonder he can talk at all.
"You have seen us! That is no good!" (Liqu)
"S-so you w-will still k-k-k-kill me?" (boy)
I am absolutely sure my Shari includes this as well with her restriction in terms of kids.
"Nah! You are fine here! Everything is okay!" (Liqu)
It feels nostalgic to bring these old quotes back up. Because of this smiling comes naturally.
"Don't worry! Everything will be alright! You are fine here!" (Liqu)
With this, I come forward and stroke his hair a bit.
First, he panics at my action, but soon he calms down a little.
When I'm done he holds the place I've touched.
Well, maybe I've left a little residue there.
Oh! I know that sound.
He is hungry.
Hunger has to be attended!
"Wait here! I'll be right back! And no running or I'll have to catch you back! And believe me, I can." (Liqu)
I know his composition, so this should be easy.
I go through the door and head down to the table.
There is still the food from before.
So I take it and one of the plates.
"Oh, Liqu! What are you doing?" (Tamarah)
"The little one needs sustenance! I have to provide it!" (Liqu)
"If you say so!" (Tamarah)
It is a little difficult to balance them on my hands, but I know that ingesting the slime directly is not healthy for a human body.
Do humans know about all the critters in them and what they do for them?
Never mind, I have to go up there now.
I enter the room again.
There he still is!
"F-for me?" (boy)
"Sure! Sustenance is important!" (Liqu)
"A-and then you eat me?" (boy)
"I said already I won't! I promised!" (Liqu)
Not to you, but to someone who really matters.
Yet these are mere details.
"You, you left the door open. Why?" (boy)
"Hmh? Walking through the house is fine. No problem with that." (Liqu)
"But, but why am I here? I don't understand!" (boy)
"So you don't talk about us." (Liqu)
"I, I promise! Can I go then?" (boy)
"My Shari must decide on that." (Liqu)
"Who is Shari?" (boy)
"The greatest person who exists! Absolutely wonderful!" (Liqu)
He just stares blankly at me.
So I snap my finger at his forehead to get him out of that daze.
"Now eat! You look weak!" (Liqu)
He rubs his forehead and then starts to take the stuff from the plate.
It is weird for me that humans can make do with these things without any energetical value.
At least the "cheese" isn't too bad.
Shari urged me to ingest some.
At least it occupies him a bit but eventually he is done.
"You, you should just send me away. They will hunt you!" (boy)
That's not really a new situation to me, but I would appreciate more details.
"Who exactly?" (Liqu)
"These men! They are all cruel and... sniff!... and, and..." (boy)
Duh, this child is not making much sense!
I mean all this crying is irritating!
"Now please, calm and clear! Who do you mean?" (Liqu)
"Th-these people. They took me and, and they're evil. Gomo, hit me whenever I spoke." (boy)
"Who is Gomo?" (Liqu)
If I can gather some information my Shari would be glad!
"Th-the man who guarded me! He, he is..." (boy)
"Dissolved! Don't you remember? Not very interesting." (Liqu)
I am certain he had a clear view on me while I did it.
Yet he appears to be a put-off at my words.
"But Cid will surely send his men!" (boy)
This sounds less like a threat and more like genuine fear.
"As well dissolved. You should mention someone who actually still exists." (Liqu)
And I thought I could tell Shari something that matters.
Yet he seems quite perplexed now.
"Th-they will still come for me and catch me back!" (boy)
"Then I will dissolve them too." (Liqu)
Why make this so complicated if the solution is so simple?
He worries about nothing.
I use another calming technique of mine and begin to stroke his head.
Seems like it works, as he suddenly ceases all movements and stays perfectly still.
Yet then he suddenly jumps back to the other end of the bed.
I rush forward so I flow together directly in front of him.
"No screaming!" (Liqu)
If he proceeds to do so I have to fall back to my "gluing to wall" plan!
"Gagh, aggagh!" (boy)
Now it gets ridiculous!
At least use speech!
I managed from scratch!
It isn't this difficult!
Now he doesn't say anything anymore, which is kinda the result I wanted.
On the other side, I shall also look for his wellbeing.
This becomes more difficult when he gives me no input on it.
"Can you please calm down now? You're not gonna get hurt, so gather yourself!" (Liqu)
"I-I'm scared!" (boy)
"What is scary?" (Liqu)
No idea what he means.
I've just told him that everything is fine.
And now again this confused stare!
Children are really hard to deal with.
I try my best to calm him down, but for some reason none of my techniques proves effective.
With this development, all I can do in the end is just staying in the same room, while the kid is covering behind the blanket, occasionally staring at me.
Ultimately I hear sound from below and know:
"She is back!!!" (Liqu)
Not minding the confused look of the boy anymore I rush out to my most beloved existence.