Somewhere on the Fifth Plateau, Pronos yawned as he woke up from his sleep. He slithered out of the hollow tree he had nestled in and used Gigantism to reach his maximum size. Without Rakna around to act as a vanguard, he had to be as big as possible to fight.
While his smaller form was more navigable, the main problem with it was the reduced size of his fangs as well as his capability to control an opponent’s attention and keep them in one spot. After assigning his attribute points to mainly endurance and speed, his body was now bigger than most anacondas.
Now, the question was; should he continue hunting or return to Rakna? As he was thinking about that, Pronos heard something coming from deeper inside the forest. His echo vision automatically activated and he managed to make out the source. It seemed to be caused by steel banging against a rocky surface.
The not-so-little snake hissed in wonder before reinforcing his body and making his way toward the source of the commotion. At the same time, he roused his internal forces and the comfortable feeling of his gold and green aura overcame him.
When he reached his destination, he coiled around a nearby tree, actuating his Camouflage skill, and watched from above as a small group of Hosts was fighting back-to-back against a horde of turtle-looking monsters. They were quite big and had a shell made of spiky stone.
Pronos immediately guessed that they had been ambushed by these monsters considering they had been surrounded and pushed until they were forced to huddle together. He then concentrated on the turtle, finding himself curious about the unusual organisms. While he didn’t have Rakna’s Appraisal, he had managed to learn Scan which he promptly used on them.
❮ ◈ ❯
Age: 12 | Level: 20
Race: Swamp Sheller
STR: 10 | END: 25
SPD: 3 | DEX: 3
INT: 2 | LCK: 2
STA: 58/66 | MP: 18/20
SWI: 10 | AGI: 9
SEN: 33 | ATC: 45
ATT: 58.5 | DEF: 85
MA: 6 | MR: 0.08/min
- Roll (Lv. Max)
- Claw Swipe (Lv.9)
- Physical Damage Resistance (Lv.5)
- Magical Damage Resistant (Lv.3)
- Mana Sense (Lv.1)
- Mana Control (Lv.1)
- Earth Magic (Lv.2) => [Spike (T.10)]
- Stealth (Lv.6)
- Aura (Lv.3)
- Rock Morph (Lv. Max)
- Reinforcement (Lv.4)
Unique or Racial Traits:
- Rocky Shell: A shell of incredible hardiness capable of greatly reducing the damage of any type of attack. Nothing short of twice the holder’s defense can penetrate it.
❮ ◈ ❯
Pronos tilted his head. The overall attributes weren’t very impressive compared to all of what he had seen on the Plateau but it was the first time he saw a monster with the Aura skill.
He understood now how those seemingly new Hosts were losing so badly. Coupled with their very high physical resistance thanks to their shell, this also gave them a pretty high opposition against magic attacks.
“Careful!” A shout startled him and he quickly looked at a man in full armor who blocked an earth spike with his shield after pushing a mage girl away from danger.
“Damn, these things are a pain in the ass!” Another shouted as he fired at one of the shellers with a gun. The bullet was aimed at the head sticking out of the shell but it was ultimately blocked as the creature brought its scaly tail to block it.
“My magic is not suitable for this,” a fourth person, a girl with a staff, added as she conjured a small bolt of lightning, successfully finishing off one of the shellers, but only after several attempts to have a direct hit on its head.
Pronos watched with brooding thoughts. When it concerned strangers, unlike Rakna’s duty-bound sympathy, he was uncaring. He didn’t have love for humans in general; he still remembers all the experiments he had gone through for their sick ambitions.
But, at the same time, thanks to Rakna, he knew that there were good people out there, and on top of that, if his theory that the group in front of him was composed of new Hosts was right, it meant that they also came from Earth a few days ago, like him.
In the end, he acted when he saw one of the shellers about to hit one of them by using its shell as a sort of spinning wheel.
He triggered one of his newest spells and a purple foggy arrow was formed above him. With a hiss, it shot off toward the sheller and broke apart upon collision.
However, it was exactly what it had been expected to do and the poison that constituted it entered the shell through the small gaps and filled it with a deadly toxin. Within a few seconds, the sheller spasmed and trundled on the ground dead.
This immediately caused the Hosts and the rest of the monsters to look at where the arrow had been shot and they all froze in fright when they saw a massive azure serpent coiled around a tall tree, overlooking them with its icy blue eyes.
Pronos had purposefully turned off his Camouflage to let them see him. When he had their full attention, he grinned mischievously and the humans shuddered. He then conjured the strongest spell he had managed to devise. It was Tier 7, the same rank as Dáinsleif.
He had no real drive to save these people so he might as well use this as a convenient testing ground. He would save them, sure, but they would have to survive his spell along with the shellers.
Along with a substantial decrease of his mana, several clouds of poison appeared above the swamp and covered the sky. They all had different colors; red, yellow, green, purple… Then, Pronos looked up at them and hissed as if to command them and they began to merge. No, to be exact, they started cannibalizing each other.
Gu. One word. Only two letters. It was an unassuming name but it represented both a poison and process feared by all. It was a procedure involving sealing several venomous creatures inside a closed container and let them devour each other to fashion the most potent of toxins. The survivor would then be fed to larvae and the last survivor would be a host to the dreadful poison.
This was a process that Pronos knew more than he would have wanted. This was something that he had experienced himself, being forced to battle and devour other Eion-infused animals until he was the last one alive.
The clouds of poison gradually changed. Purple won over yellow and became gray. Red won over green and became brown. Blue won over pink and became dark purple. Brown won over the dark purple and turned even darker. Gray then won over dark brown and become some mud-like color that made one frown upon looking at it.
Then, it shrunk and darkened until it was completely black. The poison deformed from its gaseous shape and slowly took the form of a large black scorpion. Pronos looked at it with morbid curiosity.
So, it was a scorpion this time.
“This…” One of the humans widened his eyes when the scorpion’s tail was raised. “Seo-yun! Magic Shield! Han-gil! Make it airtight!” He instructed loudly and two of his party members followed his orders.
Right after, the scorpion let out a black smoke from its mouth and then thrust his tail at the ground which was big enough to shroud the Hosts and a few shellers. Then, as if a bomb had gone off, the massive gathering of toxins erupted and spread for meters throughout the swamp and drowned everything in an unforgiving black poisonous fog.
The already morose vegetation became downright dead while even the water changed color for a short moment. The Hosts managed to erect a spherical shield in time to keep it away and someone with wind magic was making sure no gaps were left open or that any toxin traversed the ground below them. As for the shellers, they were not as lucky.
The poison infiltrated all of their defenses, corroded their aura, and attacked their nervous system before overloading them with toxins until they bled from the inside and that their blood turned black. Their scales and skin creased until they opened gashes until they toppled over dead.
This was a poison that allowed no mercy and made sure to end their victims with the most damage and pain possible. After a few minutes, Pronos dispelled the magic and the black fog disappeared as if it had never been there. Yet, the marks it left would probably remain for months, if not years, were the System to have no measure for the environment’s integrity.
The Hosts sighed in relief and the ones who had kept their defense up collapsed on their knees. It had been more taxing than expected. Especially since the poison was trying to dissolve their magic at every contact.
When Pronos saw that, he nodded to himself. He had predicted them surviving since he had taken a peek at their status before doing it. Though, it wasn’t a guarantee. Had their leader failed to react in time, they would have probably succumbed to the poison.
He understood that Rakna would have probably not approved the little gamble he had made with their lives but Pronos had to admit that it was pretty fun to finally be able to play around with the humans instead of the other way around.
Also, this had given him a bit more insight into his spell. The first time he had used it, the result of the ‘Gu Jar’ was not a scorpion but a cobra. It also had been an acidic kind of poison while this one seemed to be one that attacked the insides as coordinated spores. It also had some amount of anti-magic properties but not enough to break through a Host’s full-powered shield.
Pronos figuratively shrugged at the information and directed a glance at the humans who were still looking at him in apprehension. He grinned again and let out a hiss before jumping down from the tree and slithering away.
The party of Hosts could finally relax when they were free of immediate threats. “Fuck… what just happened…?” One of them muttered.
Their female mage, Seo-yun, looked at the dead shellers around them and winced. “That was a terrifying poison. I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened if we had touched, or even worse, inhaled it.”
“Hey, Oppa, did you look at that snake’s status?” Another girl asked the leader of their group. Based on her way of calling him and their names, if Rakna was there, he would have immediately been able to tell that they were Korean.
“I did… it was level 32 and it said it was a pet.”
“A pet!? Seriously?!”
“Yes,” the leader nodded seriously. “On top of that, it was an Eion snake. I don’t know what that is exactly, but I’m sure that Eion is something that is unique to our Earth from what we were told. It means that this snake is the pet of a new Host, like us.”
“Shit, there are some talented people out there…” The tank of their party grumbled. “Shinwoo, did you get to see the name of the owner?”
“Mhm,” he nodded. “It was… Rakna Xiorra.”