[Arc 1] Chapter 1: Law of the Underground Jungle
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*Wheeze*, *wheeze*, d-did I get away?

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

New Location of Interest found: [The Water-Knot of Glavras], Floor 9

Should I take that as an answer? I know at least where I am. But exactly what is here?

The view from after I exited the tunnel leading out of the lake-grotto was a wide field... but still underground. From the name, I would say this place is a... Dungeon? It has that kinda feel. Besides, what cave would be divided into "floors" like this one?

Was the lake on Floor 10, or 8 then? No, it was the 10th. There were no other tunnels leading the way further downwards, meaning the lake must be the bottom floor.

Not that it has anything to do with me. Or rather, I want nothing more to do with that. Those ghosts, or whatever they were, are too scary! And I don't wanna meet the thing in the lake that made [Magic Sight] react like that. Nessie has probably nothing against that.

Time to change focus on the current floor. It is a wide space, probably 150-or-something meters high, but the ceiling is covered with some fog-like substance so I'm not sure. Several hills, around half the height of the cave, had created a natural labyrinth inside the open cave. The hills were too high and too large to climb up on without any tools, or maybe wings? 

Even so, not climbing them isn't an option. It isn't because I have the heart of a hiker, but 'cause of the blockades in the roads made by the hills. Huge boulders that glowed in a pale blue due to [Magic Sight].

Those are monsters alright. Maybe some kinda Mimic, or something with the [Camouflage] skill? Anyway, there are two of them on each side of the entrance to the area beyond the tunnel leading to the lake. Meaning, I'm stuck!

The only other way is to climb on those hills. Still, they're so steep, it's better to call them walls. I need something like a rope to climb up these. 

Is there some rope-skill available... there is. Among the many races I designed, there was a certain group of monsters that had access to such a skill.

I snuck into the blindspot from the boulder-Mimic's viewpoint and accessed the Skill Shop, a function of the World System anyone could access to trade Skill Points for skills. Let's hope Grey Demons also can learn it...

SKILL SHOP

Available skill points: 1.0

Search by word: thread

Search by skill []

Available skills:

  • [Spider Thread Lv.1] - 1 Skill Point
  • [Threadsmanship Lv.1] - 1 Skill Point
  • [Cutting Thread Lv.1] - 1 Skill Point

There it is! The [Spider Thread] skill was always asked for as the spider monster's evolution requirements. The other two are unknown. Good thing I've got an encyclopedia on hand!

[Threadsmanship] is a skill that enhances one's ability to handle threads, while [Cutting Thread] gives threads a Slashing attribute. Wait, you can literally cut people just with threads!? I want that!

Seriously though, I need to think about this. [Spider Thread] is, as its name suggests, a Monster Skill, meaning that if I pick that, I'll limit the choices of other Monster Skills available for me. Are simple threads made by consuming SP, meaning stamina, worth it all?

I've got no sort of "fighting style" at the moment. My race is the sort that's useless at the beginning after all. And I'm as fresh as they come. My only good point is all that darkness related stuff... 

That [Aura of Darkness] was something that reduces the opponent's stats and gave them status ailments, was it? From the name, it sounds like one of those moves where continued exposure to it would increase the debuff... then won't threads be a good match with that?

Trapping and holding them down with threads, then keep on spewing aura at them from a distance... I like it!

I just wanna check my other options. Flight skills, no hits. Levitation... is no good. Teleport? You wish. 

Not that skills like that could be obtained with just 1 Skill Point, and I don't wanna risk a potential initial skill for something that dubious. At worst, I would have to take something like Flight Reinforcement, if that's a thing. I'll play it safe for now. Skill Points are easy to farm for me after all. I get double the amount.

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

Acquired skill from the Skill Shop.

Acquired skill: [Spider Thread Lv.1]

Let's hope this really works. I feel no different from after getting... screw that. There's a new feeling in my body. If I do this...

*Splat*

It came out! Threads came out of my mouth when I spat! But, yuck... that's nasty. It's more like spit than threads-!?

What the-!? My tongue!? When I spit, I found out one more secret of the Grey Demon's anatomy: their tongues are freaky long!!

It's not on the level of a frog's but it's still half as long as my legs. Ah! Since Grey Demons have such bad balance, do they use their tongues to pick up food? I think I'm on to something here.

Well, that's interesting and all, but I need to focus on the threads for now. Let's see if I can...

*splat*

Yup. They can come outta my hands as well. Not so sticky as well. The books said that I can manipulate the stickiness, but I don't know how yet. Let's get those hands moving then! 

---

Urgh..., argh..., halfway... there...

Phew. That was some trial. Good thing this platform was here so I could take a rest. 

The climbing went relatively painless, except for the massive exhaustion. Despite being newborn, I'm more well-fitted than I expected. Could this be the reason why the goddess reincarnated me with an adult body?

Still, it was good timing that I reached this platform right now. Why? Because someone else's going to become prey for the boulder-disguised monsters.

A group of fishmen-like creatures was wandering towards the entrance of the tunnel leading to the lake on the next level. They were armed, but only with primitive spears and knives. 

Could they be related to sahuagins from my world? [Identification] don't reach that far. I seriously need to increase its level...

No matter, the fishmen won't last long. [Magic Sight] is better than [Identification] in range, so I can see that the fishmen's magic is weaker than the fake boulders in that department. Or, it's better to say they're practically non-magical. It could be they're physical muscleheads, but I'm not that optimistic. If they do get rid of the boulder's, then that's a-okay for me.

Alright, the moment of truth. The fishmen are passing the boulders...

*Chomp!*

Eh? Ah!? One half of one of the fishmen disappeared! 

The boulders! They're... snake-headed turtles? No, since we're on land (or better yet, under it) should I call them tortoises?

Anyway, one of the two tortoises had chomped off that lost part of the fishman just now. Despite being a tortoise, it was so fast I couldn't see it! The guy that was just eaten even took half a step after the bite, as if the remains of the body didn't register it was eaten!

The other four fishmen stopped in shock, only to be the prey of the tortoise behind them. Another fishman got eaten, while the remaining three tried to get into position to counterattack.

That was brilliantly prevented by the first tortoise again, who took another fishman as a snack. The two remaining fishmen must have understood that they were no match, so they dropped their weapons and tried to escape the place. 

What-!? The second tortoise did something I never would have thought was possible in real life! It withdrew into its shell, then it started to dash around, like those shells you throw in that well-known game franchise with the mustaches plumber!

The two fishmen had no chance and turned into a bright red spot on a boulder. The parts of their bodies that didn't turn to mush were sent everywhere... and one of them's coming this way!

*Splat!*

Ugh... one of their arms was sent flying all this way... bleurgh...

The two tortoises started to eat the remains of the fishmen. I-I don't think I wanna have fish for a while. Not sure where there's food in this place, but I'm not hungry enough to eat the arm here. Especially that gruesome spectacle.

Let's just keep on climbing. My numbness in my hands disappeared while I watched the splatter show... huh? There's something down there... A snake?

A dark-colored snake was slithering around the ground, looking for body parts of the fishmen that was just killed and that the tortoise doesn't care about. Is it a scavenger?

... You know, I may not be too far off. It must have used a skill like [Stealth], or the weaker version, [Hiding], to escape [Magic Sight]'s effect. 

Then... we both ignored each other 'cause we lacked the necessary skills? Just like those fishmen from before! ... I'll take up a search-skill when I've got the Skill Points for it.

"SHAAAA!!" - Snake

Huh? Oh crap! I just met the eyes of the snake! It looks up here with murder in its eyes!

Why!? Is it 'cause of the arm that's up here? But there are tons of remains down there! 

Yikes! It started to climb up the wall! And it's fast! Like, five times the speed I had! 

F-fine! If you want this arm, take it!

*Toss!* *Hit*

Oops. I hit the snake. S-sorry. Wasn't on purpose... and here he comes again!!

I can't fight here, there's too little space to work with! And that snake looks stronger than me. Heck, I was born just today! No way I'm gonna know how to fight.

Then, let's get outta here! Throw threads, secure, and climb!

... Oh yeah. It climbs five times faster than me. What shall I do now!?

If I could just get to the top, then I... wait a sec. If I can't reach the top before it reaches me, then don't I just need to slow it down?

I pretended to slip and positioned myself upside-down while staying secure with the thread wrapped around my wrists. I finished the preparations just in time! The snake just climbed up on the very same platform I had rested on.

Go! Certain-kill attack, Thread Spit!!

The massive goop of threads and spit hit the unsuspecting snake head-on, gluing his head to the platform.

Now, certain-kill attack number 2! [Aura of Darkness]!

A black fog-like thing came out of my body and headed towards the snake.

"SHIIAAAA!!" - Snake

Mwa-hahaha! Keep on squirming, you pathetic unprocessed wallet! 

The snake felt intensive pain while being bathed by the Aura. Or, it looks like he does that. If he's faking that, then he would have won an Oscar with his hands down! Oh, snake. Right...

Now that it's this close, won't [Investigation] work?

Race:

Scavenger Snake

That explains things somewhat, but not his stupid level of anger over me. Before I hit him in the face the first time, I mean.

Urgh, I'm starting to feel lightheaded. Is it because of the skill? Better stop then and CLIMB!

I fixed my position and started to climb towards the top again. Finishing him off? No way! That snake's big enough to take a chokehold on two of the fishmen at the same time! Let alone little, adorable me!

I kept on climbing while the snake tried to remove the sticky threads. It managed to force itself off the platform and looked up to continue the chase. However...

*Rumble, rumble, rumble, RUMBLE*

*SPLAT!*

Strike! Take that, you stupid sucker! If boulder-bowling existed, I could take a crack as the champion title!

I saw the boulder during the first half of my climb, and that its foundation was starting to crumble. So, I took the opportunity to use the last juice of [Aura of Darkness] on the rock, give it a little push, and there you go. One pancake Scavenger Snake, ready for take-away. But phew, that was close.

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

Level has increased. Reached Lv.4

You have earned 0.3 Skill Points

Due to "Champion of Alvatria", an additional 0.3 Skill Points earned.

 

Karma Value has decreased.

 

Acquired title: [Giant Killer]

Acquired skill: [Strength Increase (Small) Lv.1]

Acquired skill: [Vitality Increase (Small) Lv.1]

Bonus EXP acquired.

You have earned 0.3 Skill Points

Due to "Champion of Alvatria", an additional 0.3 Skill Points earned.

SYSTEM MESSAGE:

Level has increased. Reached Lv.5

You have earned 0.1 Skill Points

Due to "Champion of Alvatria", an additional 0.1 Skill Points earned.

Eh? Hold on for a second. Didn't, like, lots of stuff pop up now? Eh? Eeeeehh!?

Kigal-Note: Skills

Skills:

On Terra Sol, people and creatures can obtain special abilities known as Skills.

Almost all skills, except for two special groups, can reach a skill level of 50. Skills that have reached Lv.50 can be traded for a higher-ranking skill. This process is called "Skill Evolution".

When a skill reaches a certain level, a derivative skill gets unlocked in the Skill Shop. Obtaining a class will also unlock new skills. In this case, the skills will be related to that class.

One can also use several skills at certain levels for a Skill Merge Evolution, where you obtain a new, advanced skill that combines the effects of all the component skills.

Skills that lack skill levels are perfected skills, and they cannot be improved anymore.

The different skill categories:

  • Ability Skills:
    • Skills that can alter one's status values.
      • This also includes special skills that enhance the skill holder's body to withstand the strain of status values higher than what their body can handle.
  • Attack Skills:
    • Skills that are used for attacks. Can be divided into three sub-categories:
      1. Arts: Special moves used with weapons. A single Art Skill includes many varieties of Arts.
      2. Normal: Skills that are enhanced versions of attacks one can do without any skills. 
      3. Mystic: Special attacks that are on the borderline to be magic.
  • Magic Skills:
    • Skills that are used to perform magic. Can be divided into two sub-categories:
      • Spell Book: Skills that allows instant use of magic spells recorded in the skill. One can unlock new spells by leveling up the skill level, or through other special means.
      • Spell Style: Skills that allow one to use magic spells in a specific type of way. Needs to work together with Spell Book skills to work.
  • Crafting Skills:
    • Skills that improve one's ability to create items. It can also be skills that allow instant reproduction of items through the use of MP or SP, plus the needed materials.
  • Active Skills:
    • Skills that require specific costs and conditions to be used. All such skills that do not fall into the other categories are placed here.
  • Passive Skills:
    • Skills that are in constant use. All such skills that do not fall into the other categories are placed here.
  • Resistance Skills:
    • Skills that alter one's resistance to certain attributes.
  • Perception Skills:
    • Skills that alter one's ability to collect or conceal information.
  • Leadership Skills:
    • Skills that alters one's ability to cooperate with others.
  • Element Skills:
    • Skills that grant artificial attributes to the user.
      • One will obtain the same cost reduction and effect enhancement as those of the racial attribute(s) to certain degrees.
  • Monster Skills:
    • Skills that require certain traits to obtain.
    • The name originates from that over 90% of these types of skills require the traits of monsters.
  • Extra Skills:
    • Skills that have too much power, or is too strange, to be considered a member of the previous skill categories.
    • The highest skill level for Extra Skills is Lv.10.
    • Extra Skills are divided into 3 sub-categories:
      • Heroic Skills: Based on certain figures in legends and stories in worlds other than Terra Sol.
      • Monstrous Skills: Based on monsters on, and away from, Terra Sol. 
      • Void Skills: Skills that have an attribute different from the main 12 base attributes, and their combination attributes.

Alvatria's comment: Remember that Darkness attribute skills are the best skills.

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