Chapter 78

Chapter 78


Snake Report: Life as a Wanted Criminal, Day 3


Day Three as a Wanted Snake: My head is still attached to my neck... or body... or maybe my body is my neck.

Hisss... these things I need to consider. Troublesome thoughts.

I've been burrowing in and out alongside a dungeon tunnel, following after a relatively capable group of adventurers. From eavesdropping on them, I've learned that they're on a mission to locate and escort a group of "Rank D" adventurers that belong to the same guild. So far as I can tell, that means they're looking to rescue some less experienced folk.

I started following them mostly by chance. There are only so many tunnels in the walls I can make to listen for things, and their conversation sounded promising.

"Large packs of Goblins." That's what this group expects to run into. It seems there is a very well-explored and mapped area that's off and on its own from the rest of the Deeper Dungeon, with a few untracked upper tunnels that supposedly lead to the surface. A place referred to as the "Great Forest."

I think that sounds preferable to a lot of other terrible choices out in the labyrinth of this terrible place.

I don't want to go monster hunting.

I have to do it, but I don't want to do it.

Monsters are scary. They do scary things, like eating other monsters. Honestly, I'd rather avoid them, but a place like the one these adventurers have described? Well, in my mind, I'm thinking this sounds a lot like it's a grinding-zone for newbies. A place where it's a little difficult, but not so bad.

Dangerous, but not too dangerous: The* Goldilocks-Dungeon-Danger-zone.*


I think I can handle that.


But at the moment I have bigger priorities than exactly what's ahead on the trail. Keeping up with this group without getting spotted is really, REALLY difficult.

It's ridiculous. They travel at a seriously brisk march, almost like jogging. Wasting time in these pathways is not something they seem very keen on, and they only make camp once they get to a specific place. I think they have clearly defined routes and zones.

But if the speed of their travel wasn't bad enough: there are four of them, and they're always watching for danger.

Three warrior like folk, and one bowman. No Gandalf in this group, no Paladin either. I think they're the types to play aggressive and beat their enemies before they get too hurt. A hit-and-run sort of party.

After watching them completely slaughter a group of over-sized spiders, I'm thinking they're probably a high-level.

If humans have levels in the first place, that is.

I have no current way of confirming this, as [Voice of Gaia] won't answer those sort of questions- instead providing a very stern sort of "..." response: but I have my suspicions. Personally, at least, I'm thinking they do.

It would make explaining how a human can swing a sword that weighs more than they do, feasible.

See, that's what the leader of this group has. A straight up "Buster" sort of sword. It's gigantic. One edged, curved a bit like an over-sized falchion. I think just dropping it on an enemy would be enough to kill most smaller things, but the crazy-weapon is getting swung around, relatively without strain on the warrior carrying it.

One handed, sometimes.

Pretty terrifying, honestly. Humans like this one are probably on par with some of the monsters deeper down. A grizzled bearded type of guy, covered in scars with a gruff voice to match: That's what it takes to be a Dungeon Group Leader I think.

The others are strong, besides the bowman, one of them uses and axe and another uses a spear, but none of them compare to that guy. So far as I can tell, they call him Master Zane.

Sword Master Zane, and his fellows Daxton, Knox, and Ryker.

Knox is the bowman. For some reason I find that a lot funnier than I probably should. Daxton and Ryker and spear and axe respectively. The only other trivia I've picked up is that they all know the group they're heading to retrieve pretty well. I think they're mentors of sorts, they talk about the others like a teacher might speak of his prized students.

All except for Zane, who barely talks at all unless I count the violent yells as he slays his enemies. The strong, silent type.

Seriously though: I'm really beginning to think a select few Humans are pretty over-powered.

Monsters are scary, but humans can do some really crazy things in this world. Super-human things, at least when compared to the last world I lived in. No one back there was picking up sharp bits of metal with the equivalent weight of a small Honda, and chopping up animals in the wild with it.

I don't think, anyways.

I didn't get out much before, all I did was work.

The typical Birth -> School -> Work ->Death routine.

Took a shortcut at the end there, but "Boring."

I'm trying to say I was boring.

But boring or not, if people could do things like this- I absolutely would have seen it on the internet. This would be a youtube trending deal, 100% confident.

This kind of behavior breaks the old-rules of reality I was still sort of taking for granted.

Hiss... seriously a little concerning.

But: O-P as some humans might be, I think there are probably limits.

Even this Swordsman would have had a seriously difficult time dealing with that Megalodon. No matter how good someone is with a blade, a giant shark can still eat them. Or squish them.

I'd imagine it would be much the same with all those eels too.

Eventually a person will make a mistake, and then it's probably over pretty quickly. You can chop up a ton of monsters, but in a place like this there might just be another group waiting around the bend.

Humans need a team to survive down here.

Like I've said before, it's a scary place. Only the impossibly strong seem to survive for any serious length of time. Giant Serpents, Giant Sharks, Giant Skeletons, Hordes of Giant bats... The strong live off the weak, and they monopolize their places, taking out the first sign of competition. A ruthless environment.

The only other way for weak creatures to survive, is by forming a pack. Overpowering strength, with numbers. Like the Tar spiders, or the Eels, even the Giant bats. Just swarm the enemy with chaotic abandon, and take them down one way, or another until everything around you has the common sense to just "not."

But these humans are on a steam-roll sort of path. They don't stop to avoid monsters- groups or otherwise.

The way this group is moving, you would think they were being chased. Not by a tiny little snake hiding along the walls and slithering to the best of his ability, but by demons. Ever since they passed the last "Camp-site" and murmured some tense discussion, they've been practically sprinting down the halls: Zane leading the troop to cut down anything unfortunate enough to stumble across their path.

Worried. Nervous. Concerned.

O-P swordsmen and gritty looking warriors shouldn't be any of those things, but I'm fairly sure that they're all three and a few extra.

This is shaping up to be more of an adventure than I had originally anticipated.