Chapter 54

Chapter 54

Talia: Mental Journal in absence of regular Journal

This snake is NOT NORMAL.

Not normal AT ALL.

I knew from the moment it started molding walls that it was weird, but now I'm utterly convinced I've either lost my mind, or I'm sharing an island with some sort of divine-beast of legends.

Oh, and I figured out how it was using more magic than physically possible: It was eating the mana crystals.

Eating.

Mana.

Crystals.

Those pieces of rock that contain solidified magic so powerful that they can violently explode.

Those glass-like chunks, where one small shard can be used to create upwards of forty full-strength mana potions. The kind, where each one of those has to be specifically calibrated and measure for the sake of safety, and can only be used when a Magician's mana reserves are low.

Drinking two potions by mistake while at full mana might cripple, or possibly kill a human being. Three would mean almost certain death, four and you're going to die while vomiting blood so magical it's going to burn through the floor.

Five might make a person spontaneously burst into flame.

Yet, this tiny little creature probably ate upwards of 200 mana potions worth of crystal shards, and it's not even concerned. I don't know if the crystals just burn slower, or what- but by all rights it should be dead.

Instead it's making walls.

Walls, with sharp pointing spikes at the top.

It's creative.

These walltop enhancements were added those after a Snapper-Eel came over, and it fried the light-loving piss out of the poor thing with some sort of flame-breath magic. Green-fire. Lots of it.

My hair is still frizzy, and I was on the complete opposite side of the island when it happened.

So the snake has been reacting to things, and obviously working up some preventative measures.

But it gets ever weirder.

The snake hollowed out the core of the island.

It turned the space into a room, but not just a normal monster lair- the room has bunks. They're made of stone, but they're still very obviously bunks. It also made a table, and chairs.

How?

Just how?

There are no chairs in a dungeon. There are no bunks, or tables. Where did it lean about these things?

I mean- It's a light-forsaken basilisk for god's sake! Why is it making chairs? Tables? Bunks?! I don't understand!

Is this just a very intelligent monster? Is this a tamed beast who lost its partner in the Dungeon and went feral for untold years? Is it a human put under some unknown curse?

I'm honestly leaning towards the last one. Ancient and chaos magics aren't unhead of this far down, and at this point nothing else makes sense. Not since it made the oven.

Yes. A stove, and oven, a tool for properly cooking and baking food.

It made one.

In the middle of my attempted communication for it to use some fire-magic to cook the eel, it dropped everything it had been doing and slithered off to make an oven out of molded stone.

Then it added a chimney to vent the smoke, bobbing its head up and down as if congratulating itself.

To make matters worse- Light help me, it's beautiful.

This is the kind of stove a noble might own. The surface is covered with tiny details of a snake and two frogs travelling through scenes of sunsets and clouds. It rivals some of the carving work I've seen in the ancient chapels of the holy-capital.

It did all this in an hour.

I sat down and watched it from the stone table and chairs, chin resting on my hands like some sort of slack-jawed farm-girl.

One hour, maybe less.

It defies logic. This thing.

A creature like this shouldn't exist, it's beyond improbability: No fluke of nature's own creation could bring this into existence. I'm convinced the snake has some sort intelligence: So convinced, I've long-since movedto the point where I'm consistently trying to talk to it.

Talking to a snake.

I've used hand gestures, I've try to speak clearly, and it actually pays very close attention. It doesn't seem to understand everything, but it's obviously trying, bobbing along as my hands move, hissing replies.

Maybe I'm insane.

Who can say?

Maybe losing Grant and the others broke me in some irreparable way. Maybe I went under water for too long, and it rattled my mind. I don't know. I'm alone and trapped deeper in the depths of this dungeon than anyone alive has ever managed to get.

But, if I'm mad- long-since lost to the legendary Dungeon-sickness and acting without lucid awareness of what's going on: so be it.

I've been talking to this tiny little blue basilisk. Stories, adventures, history- anything. I'll keep talking to it until it understands.

If there's any chance of getting out of this Dungeon alive, it's this ridiculous monster.