Chapter 74

Chapter 74

Snake Report: Life as an ascended being, Day 5


Today, a lot of things happened. I can go chronological, good to bad, or bad to good. Or, I can just ramble like I usually do.

Hiss... Well, lets just get the bad part out of the way.

Today, I became an enemy of mankind.

It was terrifying.

It all came down to [Earth Molding]

See, I've gotten really, really, reeeeeeally good at using this magic. So good, that it now calls itself [Earth Sculpting]


I used it to build an ornate and winding staircase up through the dungeon bedrock, with Miss Paladin following me all the way at a slow walking pace. That's how fast things were going: The more I used it, the easier it got. Eventually, it was getting so easy to do that the magic wasn't enough to keep me from suffering serious mana burns.

So I had to use it even more. A dangerous cycle began.

I'd make a stair, start another stair, begin to inlay detail and tiny scripts, then start a third stair, then a fourth, inlaying all the way up that chain of steps. The tiny detail work normally took mroe magic than it was worth, but I felt like I had to use more- MORE, or I was going to experience combustion into fireworks and blue scale fragments. So, I found more: More to do, more to spend magic on. Anything I could think of started to happen. I carved hand rails, and then I domed the ceiling on a gothic sort of style. I made sculptures along those surfaces. When all these happening at the same time still weren't enough, I made fake windows and molded Tiny-snake-god shrines as I went to match them- and I made the stair case even wider. Expanding by several slithers in every direction and adjusting the slope, so it was more like one of those giant mansion stair-cases you see in the movies.


More, more more more: I was Multi-tasking to extremes. Magic makes this a lot easier than I would have expected. The motivation of bursting into flames and dying a terrible death also provides some serious incentive to work at it. I seriously felt like a bucket of gasoline being put towards an open flame.

Eventually, my memory starts to skip. Right around this point, I'd call it a haze. A mana-induced haze. So far as I can remember, I think this went on for half a day or so. Distantly, I recall Miss Paladin giving up her encouragement about the time my tail caught on fire, perhaps switching her to a more serious mode: actively following me around casting heal with long and extended chants.

She stopped when she realized I was casting it too, and then complained with something along the lines of "Monsters can't use heal like that. It makes no sense."

And I was like: "Well, duh" / "Hiss." None of this makes any sense Miss Paladin, get with the program already. I'm not a monster, I'm a disciple of the Tiny-Snake-God. Even the Voice of Gaia agrees, I'm a Divine Being or some-such-something.


So... Hazy.

The influx of mana was frying my brain a bit at that point. I was either turning into gibberish, or channelling some sort of holy-snake-spirit.

Hiss, hiss, hiss.

You know how cats will purr sometimes when you put them by a nice warm fire?

Well, apparently Monster-snakes will "Hiss" a lot like that if you set them on fire from this inside out. I don't even know what kind of things I was saying, just basically rambling my way up towards the far-off surface world of my dreams.

I let it all out, I think. Told Miss Paladin my deepest darkest secrets.

About who I was, now- and way before all this.

About person I'd grown up wanting to be, and the person I'd actually turned into.

About how I'd wasted my shot at existence, and how my existence had wasted me with a shot (a bit too literally for my liking) and how I'd died, only to be woken up as a serpent in this terrible place.

On, and on, and on...

There was so much magic swirling around I wasn't even sure I was spiraling upward after a certain point. For all I could tell, I was spinning us in a lazy circle, around and around and around again, wider and wider but going nowhere fast.


Really, it's my fault.

Looking back, Miss Paladin was trying to warn me of something. She repeatedly said things like "The stone looks different here" or "I feel like we're near something."


She was right of course, and let me tell you:

Humans don't like it when a powerful monster with almost unlimited magical power burrows up out of an inhabited sanctuary floor.

They don't like it one bit.