Chapter 19

Chapter 19

Snake Report: Day Fourteen

 

The arbitrary Eastern direction did not lead me to the promised land. I soon made camp, carving out a new temporary Snake Lair at the most elevated portion of the caves yet located.

Slithering along to the East lead me up, and up, and up. A long tunnel, just about as wide as it started, with more or less the same shape if just a little more polished. Strangely, not a single monster even made an effort to block my path. In fact, I didn't see any monsters at all. Just the scorch of ashes and smoke. I guess they all fled from the flames when they swept through.

This is perfectly alright. Leveled up or not. I don't know much about combat. I'm alive by either a fluke or a miracle. Important sounding titles brought up my floating words in my mind's eye make little difference.

As such, caution is still my first approach. When the slope actually began to dip back down, going much deeper into the unknown. This troubled me quite a bit. I stopped there.

Temporary Tiny-Snake Lair "Summit-Camp" was founded. [Earth Manipulation] let me burrow into the North-side tunnel wall. A tiny hole leading to a rough cube of space, per-usual routine. I ended Day thirteen there and listened for the swarm of Giant Bats passing through the Tunnel.

None came. I guess the fire scared them all off.

Hisssss...

Well, I didn't feel too much guilt over it. Giant Bats probably would have tried to eat me anyways.

Still, starting the moment I emerged from Temporary Tiny-Snake Lair "Summit-Camp" was the moment I was forced to confront the unpleasant truth: To continue going forward, meant going down deeper into the Dungeon.

Steeply, down.

Down.

Pitch Black Darkness looms.

Slithering out to the cavern after a brief survey for enemies, I have come to consider this.

To go down... It's not something I'm very intent on pursuing.

Further down I go, the more dangerous things will probably get. Isn't that how these things work? The really horrifying stuff is always at the bottom.

RPG themes are strong here, I'll trust that judgement.

But

On the bright side, the Glowing Mushroom situation is much improved on this deep incline. The fire seems to only have spread with violence deeper towards the West, and quickly extinguished itself here on the Eastern side.

Rising from the floor to let the air pass my scales, I can understand why.

There is a noticeable draft of cool air. Moving East, I feel it slide along my scales. Wind... It's definitely wind.

Because of that. I'm confident that somewhere in this direction, there is in fact a way out. Even if the ground dips back deeper into the earth, a draft needs to come from somewhere. Human logic says this makes sense.

Add that with the clear fact that those bats were always flying in this direction, I expect they left the Dungeon every night, and returned after. I can feel confident about this.

But going deeper into the depths of a monster filled Dungeon.

I'm not so confident about that.

Hiss...

Still, there is compromise to be found in everything.

For the sake of nibbling a few glowing and delectable mushroom, I have taken it upon myself to explore at least a little ways down the steep incline of the East. I'll keep following the glowing edible things that don't try to kill me. Much like the tiny-snake-god, I have faith in the blue shrooms.

Once a tiny-snake-person pass their test, the shrooms will not betray trust.

But... Eating these...

It's strange. Such a sort period of time, but so different from what I first remember. The sensation of being poisoned is gone. I don't even bother to cook them. I practice my Tiny-snake lunging bite, and swallow them whole.

"Hissssssss-ah" Another mushroom down the hatches. Another few hundred, and perhaps I'll finally grow a bit.

Hissssss...

If there is any residual damage from the blue mushroom poison, I don't even feel it after ten of them. It's as if-

[PASSIVE HEALING: RANK III]

 

Ah-ha! Rank up.

That would be why.

At level Thirty, I must have more health than before. I certainly have more magic, or mana. I haven't seen signs of these being measured to exact quantities yet, but I've got a feeling they'll turn up in some form or another.

For now though, I'm limited to describing this as "more," or "less."

At best guess, I would say I have twenty times more of both, compared to what I started with. I'm Super-Snake if put side by side with when I hatched.

Super-snake.

I like the sound of that.

But it's very weird, this Eastern Tunnel. Down and down I go, yet I still don't see any other monsters. The fire was bad, but it wasn't like it even made it this far. On top of that, it burned out a whole day ago already. I'd expect spiders, or Frogs, or god-forbid- some Giant Centipedes.

Instead there's nothing but mushrooms growing on cave formations. That and a deep, deep silence.

It makes me nervous.

It makes instinct nervous.

All around, the temptation to slither back the way I came is growing. The murmured words of instinct are fumbling for purchase in my head, but the summary of their mumbling comes to a close with what I already know. "A little snake like me isn't meant to stumble into a place like this."

"Grrrrrroooooooaaaaaaaan."

Freeze

 

Frozen like ice. Part snake, part statue: I am one with the world. Both living and inanimate.

"Grrrrrrrrroooooooaaaaaaaaaan."

It sounds terrifying, but in a way that resonates with the unknown. It's not a living thing that is creating the noise I'm hearing. It's not approaching me. It's still horribly far off.

"Grrrrrrrrrooooooooaaaaaa-CRASH."

 

Like thunder. As if the clouds of the heavens smashed against the sea. Even without ears my head is ringing from the impact of such force. It's such a strange sound, out of place with this cavern.

Curiosity: my old nemesis has returned.

With great care, I will slither forward. Down deeper into the depths of shadow.