Chapter 38: Spider-Girl
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Here I am again. Oh. Wow. I feel so… light. I feel way better now that I’m out of that body. Note to self, don’t get resurrected by magic ever again. It feels pretty bad, not gonna lie. Ugh. I mean, thanks but no thanks priestess. It’s weird, how white magic can make you feel so good but also so bad at the same time depending on how it’s used. I don’t think I’ve ever been healed though. Maybe that’s just what it feels like normally? Hmm. Dunno. But I shouldn’t go back into bodies I’ve left if I can avoid it. Everything is screwy enough as is, right?

  Speaking of screwy, I wonder what the thief’s problem is with me? She was pretty upset with me, tell you what. That was some face she made, you should’ve been there guy. What a shot though, twice at that distance? Not bad. But still, how did she know I went up a floor again? How did she know where I would be? Or was it just by chance she saw me at the lake? I suppose I took some time to climb the secret stairs up from the uh… tentacle fun place thing. Floor ninety-six. So she had plenty of time to jog back up the real stairs and through ninety-five all the way back to the entrance. That seems plausible.

  I float. But why? Why was she so upset with me? What does she know? How did she know to go back up? Does she just really, really hate dragons? No. It was something else. She was watching me from the start. She was suspicious. Was she just waiting for a chance to make a move and get me the whole time? If the wizard hadn’t been caring for me, would she have killed me sooner? What was she looking for in the gold? I float and wonder about everything. There are so many questions about my existence. About me, this shapeless thing I am now and have been for so long. About the dungeon-master, about the dungeon, about the hero and his party, about demon-miasma and my new menu. Now about the thief-girl too. About everything and there just doesn’t seem to be a single answer to anything. There just don’t seem to be any answers at all, I repeat.

  What’s a trash-mob to do? Just keep going. Keep going. What else is there to do, right? It’s all I have. I have to keep going. Maybe then, maybe once I find out more. See more. Do more. Fight more. Become more. Maybe then the answers will make themselves clear. Maybe…

  I must keep the faith. The dungeon-master is counting on me, if nobody else. At least he is. Right? Yeah. The other trash-mobs are counting on me too, even if they don’t know it. I feel a sense of pride at having something to protect. People to fight for. I hate fighting, friend. But I know that I have to. The sound of the wizard’s distraught scream as I plunged into the icy water returns to my mind. She sounded so heart-broken and terrified about the safety of a creature she just met. The sounds of the screaming goblins from my minotaur life returns to me as well, however. They sounded so terrified too, didn’t they? Everyone is terrified, friend. Nobody wants to die, nobody down here at least. We all just wanna live, but this is the role we have been given. It is the part we must play. Just as we are pieces on the board for the dark-lord to shift, so is the hero party the opposite. Black versus white. Left versus right. Nothing, something. Life, death. Up, down. Adventurers, trash-mobs. It is what it is.

  I wonder what I’ll be next time. I wonder what the new floor is gonna be? Now that I think about it, the floors are pretty screwy aren’t they? Why are trash-mobs like skeletons on the lowest floor, but dragons are above them? Isn’t that kind of mixed u-

  The icy clawing fingers of a witch’s touch sends a jolt through my body as I realize the time has come once again. So far, every time I unlock a new floor I get to respawn there, the first time at least. Let’s see if that theory holds wat-

  I plummet from above, a luxurious rich green flies past me filling my vision with soft shades of nature as I fall, scrambling and flailing in mid-air to restore myself upright. Grabbing hold of some rough, brown piece of wood jutting out I barely catch myself. My upper body thudding against the limb I wrap my arms over and my breath struck from my gut. My heavy lower body dangling beneath me, all eight of my legs skittering through the empty air desperately trying to catch a foot-hold somewhere. I look around in panic in that second. Where am I? Is this floor ninety-four? It’s beautiful.

  The thing I hold onto cracks, my great weight too much for it to withstand for this long. An instant later I plummet further down towards the ground which really isn’t too far away anymore. Just before I smash against it, I feel a tug of something holding me up in the air. Suspending me in mid-drop. My long, straight white hair flies past me from the momentum and hangs loosely downward past my face. Looking back up, I see a thick, long just as white string attached from my thorax up to the tree-tops above. The lifeline having caught me just in time.

  Tree-tops? As I hang there upside down I stare at the place I find myself in. It is green. So much green. Letting my hand fall down gently beneath me I stroke the ground, it is soft and covered in thin green plant matter. Grass? I think this is grass, right? With wonder in my two wide eyes I stroke it. It feels so soft. Am I smiling? The dungeon floor is always stone or dirt. Grass. Wow. I poke through with a pale, delicate finger. It sinks through past the grass and I feel a soft, dewy, cool dirt beneath. My breath leaves me in awe. Slowly I lower myself those last few feet and stand now upright, disconnecting the string from my arachnid body and stay there, all eight of my sharp, skittery legs on the soft dirt beneath me. I sink in just a tiny bit from my heavy weight. It feels nice to stand on. Soft. Wholesome.

  I now take a moment to look at my own body. I am big. Very big. As tall as a minotaur easily. Raising my hands I look down at them, they are soft, small. How odd. My own body. It is soft as well. I run my hands along the skin of my torso, and down along the chitin that separates my upper and my lower. I’m half human. Half-spider. The spider half being significantly larger. So. Kind of half. Wow. I don’t remember this kind of trash-mob? I guess we have spiders on the lower floors in some places, so… I’m some kind of… half-spider? What do I call this body? Dunno. As I stare at my five fingered hands in bewilderment and at my new form as a whole, I realize something. It looks human.

  My skin, my arms, my stomach, my chest. Everything I touch feels… human. Feels… soft. Warm. Why do I feel sad now? Raising my gaze away from my bare human upper half I look around and see now the forest through the trees. All around me are trees. I remember them now. Trees. They’re beautiful, guy. I wish you could see them with me. I stare at the magnificent giants, reaching up towards the cavernous ceiling so far above us all. In the center of the room, as high as one can go where my eyes can just barely manage to reach with their vision, is a great glass orb shining with an immense magic contained inside. It looks like… it looks like a sun. Doesn’t it?

  I walk over to a tree and place my hand on it. On the rough bark and slide my thin fingers over the surface. This. This is a texture I am familiar with. Rough. Coarse. But even this… I sink my nails a little into the bark. Even this is soft once you get past the exterior. I guess I’m like a tree, huh? Haha. Sliding my hands along the wood I release my grip. I think I like this body. I like this floor. Checking that the coast is clear, whatever that means, I open my menu and have a look at what floor ninety-four is all about.

  My menu seems calmer than usual. The strange disturbances in the fabric of its being somehow a little more tightly bound than they were before. Just a little sturdier looking. It makes me happy to see, though I don’t know why really. My emotions seem to be in flux right now.
Something warm touches my body as a whole, an encapsulating warmth and I look up to the sky expecting to see papa there soaring through the air. But there’s just the sun. I shake my head. Of course. There’s only ever been the sun. There’s only-

  My weight shifts all of the sudden and I feel my legs press sideways to compensate. Huh? I look down feeling the new thing wrapped around me. A bag. Wow. It’s been a while. I can’t help but smile. Are you watching me, dungeon-master? With eager eyes, I lift the flap of the satchel and look inside at my gift.