Chapter 57

Chapter 57


The snake's tower is getting disturbingly tall. Forty... fifty paces high at this point, and somehow it shows almost no signs of tiring. Instead it "sits at the table with me, eats a few bits worth of Eel, and then sleeps for awhile before going right back to the work.

I'm now under the impression it understood what I was asking for when I pointed to the ceiling a few days ago, although I think some portion of the request has been lost in translation. There's no way I'm going to be able to climb the structure. It's too thin and there are no footholds, attempting that would be suicide.

At the same time, I think this might just be the preliminary structure.

Yesterday my foot actually went through some of the rock island: It crumbled to dust and I fell in a few feet before I hit the bottom. I think it was hollowed out, intentionally. The stone has been relocated.

I don't know much about building, or Earth Magics. It's rare a human have even the most basic affinity with that element, but I can tell there is a very complicated operation taking place. To get the rock tower, there has to be stone to mold. The snake has apparently solved that problem by drawing material out of the ground underneath us. A lot of it.

Slowly but surely, that tower is taking the only defense we have from the Eels that continue to spear themselves on the walls. If this tower fails, we're probably going to be stranded for good. There won't be enough rock left to get us to the ceiling.

Light and gods, that's a tremendous amount of pressure and stress for something I can do nothing about.

Instead I'm forced to watch, practice my chants, exercise, climb up the walls and pull an eel down ever now and again. There's not much else to do: It's like a prison sentence.

Did I mention the snake made me silverware? Stone-silverware, but still a reasonably useful knife and a thick spoon- both egregiously engraved with a small snake and two frogs looking majestic.

At this point, I'm not even surprised.

I do feel like the snake has been acting a bit strange though. I mean that, compared to whatever baseline of strangeness the tiny basilisk normally has going for it. The blue critter seemed to be surveying with fireballs for a time yesterday, but now it just stares without the typical happy head-bobbing, slowly shifting with intense focus as if following view of something beyond the walls.

Once its done building for the day, it just seems to watch. Emotions are a difficult thing to ponder out for a snake, but I think it's uneasy.

I'm starting to think there's more motivation to reach the ceiling than the fact I suggested it.