Chapter 19 – Recklessness in the moment, life or death.
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Sam stands still hoping that it doesn’t notice him, but his hopes are betrayed when a large blade comes from the creature’s side and takes a swipe at him. It hits the wall on the other side of the room.

*BOOM*

Rubble and dust is kicked up and Sam is frozen, he doesn’t know what to do against this thing, this giant ‘creature’ before him.

A large multi-legged beast with a large bulbous section in the middle of it. A bright red light is moving about on a stalk above it as four long arms come out of the bulbous, fleshy-sac section. That’s not all though, all of it seems to be layered with metal or wires showing that it’s not normal.

The blade takes another swipe at Sam, but he is ready for this clumsy swing, protecting his eyes.

*BANG*

It slams into the other wall.

“Can you let me through?” Sam yells at it with a vague hope. He gets no response. He quickly runs back through the doorway before this wall is destroyed too.

He peeks his head around the corner of the doorway protected trying to get a quick survey of the room, there’s several new piles of debris and dust is blocking most of the distant view but unfortunately he cannot see anything that resembles a door.

Sam returns his gaze to the creature, the red-eye is glowing bright on his position at all times. He looks at its body for weapons, seeing if there’s anything he can do.

There’s no way he can handle it close range and he cannot tell if it has a long-range weapon yet, so his only survival option is to hope to lose it through all the various rooms back in the other direction, then try to loop around in the hopes of getting enough time to find the way onward.

Sam quickly runs away from the door and latches onto the wall, the effect still works as he sticks to it. His heart beat quickening as he makes his way across.

He is much quicker this time, only taking minutes to reach halfway. He pauses to watch the wall for a moment,

*BOOM* *BOOM*

Small fissures appear in the wall yet it’s holding, the creature cannot break through the wall.

*CLANK CLANK*

Sam hurries his climb without wanting to wait to find out if it will continue holding. He crosses the rest of the way quicker than previously climbing onto the ledge, before noticing that everything has gone quiet.

“Has it stopped?”

Sam looks towards the door, the gap remains, and notices that there’s nothing on the other side. There’s not even light anymore. ‘Must be debris…’ Sam convinces himself and quickly sets about opening up the door that was previously opened.

The wall climbing must have helped as it’s also much quicker this time, Sam jams things into the gap and widens it.

“There’s not even rumbles anymore, is it gone? Did I reset it? Well I’m not waiting to find out. There has to be another way, I can try one of those other rooms…”

Sam looks back across the dark watery chasm at the door, the door to the room that contains his doom. He pushes all those thoughts out of his mind and finally works his hammer into the gap allowing it to be worked wide enough to allow passage.

He breathes a sigh of relief and steps through, he works on pulling out the hammer before taking one final look back.

“What’s blue? Blue and purple?”

Sam has no idea what is going on behind him as the door slams shut sealing him in this room and buying him some more time. If this wall can hold up as well as the previous one. He walks over to the side of the room to see if he can pull out of those blades and use it as a trap against the creature when,

*BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM* *SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Sam doesn’t have time to react as a beam of light travels by him, it only lasts a moment leaving behind sizzling walls and floor. A large hole has gone through both sets of walls, including part of the door where he was standing a moment ago.

He looks through the hole and spot three large claws digging into the wall through the now existing hole. It takes him a moment to realise that the creature is attempting to make the hole bigger, it’s trying to bend the wall where it’s now weakened and push through its body weight.

Sam feels flurried, he doesn’t know what to do. “Why are you doing this for? I can’t be the first one to reach that far…” he yells out, but of course, no response.

This leaves him little choice but to run towards the doorway where he first entered this room, where he originally planned on going before checking the blade at the last moment.

He runs over to the doorway, the door has a large hole in it. He approaches the melted metal with caution, parts of it remain red and glowing but overall it seems fine, he touches it with his shoe finding it safe and walking through the doorway.

He leaps through it and proceeds across the stupid previous rooms.

He looks back and can see the creature stuck in the narrow space it has opened up, but it’s working its way through.

Sam hurries his steps and goes through another room, the dummy is destroyed leaving all the traps inside the room active constantly. He dodges the blades and spikes while looking backwards all the time.

He works through countless rooms when,

*SPLASH*

The hole too narrow to allow vision of the distance, but the sound travelled with enough detail to indicate what happened. The creature has entered the body of water; it has squeezed itself through the hole between the two rooms.

‘This means that there’s one less wall between them but the other ones should hold it just as well, right?’ Sam asks himself expecting an answer, thankfully not receiving a response.

Sam makes his way through the rooms working his hardest yet as he looks back, he can always spot the creature just behind him.

Each room is getting more dangerous as he’s getting tired, his mind is getting exhausted from the creature in the background. Occasionally it’ll emit a purple and blue light from its body scaring him, the beam hasn’t made a reappearance yet he won’t take a chance with safety and avoids being in a straight line.

Sam stops for a moment to catch his breath, the creature is rumbling in the distance behind him. He takes a sip of drink and mutters to himself.

“What can I do here? Can I hide? No… it seems to track me through the walls here… Can I get around it? No… there’s no where to get around it. I’m not getting into that water, besides it seems to be fine in water. Fuck, I have to get my sword back if I’m going to try to fight it…”

Sam looks back at the creature, it’s not far behind him now.

“It might even fall into that water and get lost, why the hell is this thing following me anyways? Haven’t thousands of people come through here already?”

Sam runs through the hole the beam opened up. It leads all the way to the entrance where the red pillar is standing, Sam walks on it again where nothing happens. 

His timer is still ticking away, it’s at 6 hours already.

He wonders what will happen with it before he looks at the entrance, the door nor wall actually have any damage. Sam walks up to them where a green light flashes allowing him through.

“What…”

The doors slam shut after he passes, Sam doesn’t question this and runs down the hallway to the best of his knowledge not noticing that his eyes are able to see the obstacles in his pathway this time. He quickly comes across the open area where he looks out at the large open expanse of water.

Sam looks along the edge of the water, he’s able to spot it almost immediately. A section of vines that are freshly pulled down, the clean rock beneath exposing how new it is.

“There it is… the sword should be…”

He recalls the motion and guesses where it’d be. Everything was a blur so he can only guess.

Sam looks back behind him and cannot see any change in the wall there, quietly hoping that the wall will hold the creature back for some time. He walks over to the wall above the vine and uses his new ability.

A look at his internal energy mana cloud would reveal that instead of all his energy being consumed by the egg, it’s actually giving some back now as its form develops cracks in it.

Sam cannot actually control this well but it seems to just be manifesting itself by his hands being extra sticky, if he lifts them up they let go but if he grips, then it’ll almost stay on there forever. He recalls this actually being a rather common ability of insect-type monsters so it’s possible that’s what he has.

“It could just be a side effect of the hatching, it could be something great…” he mutters to himself as he continues along the wall.

Monsters aren’t important simply because they’re strong creatures, they also provide people with a skill. It’s entirely random but depends on the type of creature so a wolf type creature will have dog, plains or carnivore type skills but it’d be random with that group, unless it’s a special creature somehow.

His would be classified as the passive/active skill in the insect tier. Passive in that it’s not always using mana but active, in that it does. Sam recalls all the information he can about this as he crawls along the side of the cliff face.

A lot of vibrations come across his fingers as he continues along the wall.

The creature seems to be angry or has reached the large secure door.

Sam ignores it and thinks about one of the few advantages of this type of monster, it’s able to create string.

His mind focuses on trying to call this out but he’s unable to control the energy coming from the egg at all, it seems like he’ll have to wait until it gathers by itself and try again. 

Suddenly a large amount of shaking comes over the building as Sam hears crumbling in the distance, he doesn’t have time to worry about all that as above him large amounts of vines are falling down.

He looks up at what’s coming then down at the water, working out where the best spot to land will be, he’s not too far from the area to search yet he doesn’t feel confident about searching under water. His only hope is enough energy having gathered for the string to work, if he can use the ability to loop the harbinger….

He leaps off the wall before large tree trunk size vines fall down on him, he pushes himself far from the wall with a kick and braces himself to enter the disgusting water below. Countless bones and other objects in the water have revealed themselves in the depths.

He takes a deep breath and,

*SPLASH*

He quickly dives under water further while trying to avoid where the vines will land, one of them tangles his foot up dragging him down a metre but he works free in moments, heading over to the wall where the sword should be.

Sam begins a frantic search for the sword by feeling around for it, it’s slow going as he avoids all the sharp objects including bones and old parts of weapons that are embedded in the wall too.

In the distance the occasional echoing of vines fall into the water is heard, from a small splish to a somewhat loud splash.

He comes up for air after searching until he cannot search anymore when,

*SPLAAAAAASH*

He looks in the direction of the noise, he feels shocked by what he sees. It’s most of the large creature, it’s bulbous section is re-inflating yet its red eye is looking directly at him.

“What do you want?”

“ROOOOOAR”

It lets out a noise, a weird animalistic-electronic screech that pierces everything. It vibrates everything.

Sam dives underwater to avoid the noise, he comes up a moment later to the red eye very close to him.

“Fuck!”

Sam paddles backwards and gets away from the eye, Sam swims not knowing where he’s going. The eye still tracking him as if it never left watching him yet unmoving from its spot. He inadvertently swims away from the wall, unknowing swimming into a deeper and deeper section of the water.

He suddenly feels a downward pull on his body.

He tries to fight against it swimming back to the wall but he cannot; the force is dragging him backwards.

He takes a deep breath and swims downwards choosing to see if he can grab onto something but as he’s swimming down he finds that instead of a gentle slope it has almost changed into a straight angle.

He struggles to find anything along the wall as he’s dragged further and further downward.

His thoughts are a mess but he struggles against the current pulling him under attempting to stick to the wall, he reaches out one last time for the wall and grabs hold of something, loosely.

His eyes aren’t able to open with the current of water tossing about all the dust, bone fragments and other stuff in the water. His hand is on the body of the item but it feels familiar, like a sword. His hand slowly works its way up toward the hilt when a shift in water causes him to dislodge the sword from the ground.

He is thrown backwards away from the ground still letting go of the sword, he free falls down further into the water wanting to breathe yet he knows if he opens his mouth he’ll suffocate. He cannot go much deeper yet he is, Sam tries the string move as one last attempt.

He forces the gathered monster energy out his finger tips using the muscle grouping exercises, a thin translucent wire comes out of it after a massive strain to his body.

It continues to come out of his finger where finally it grabs onto something anchoring Sam in place, he can feel the mana drain.

He feels thankful for this ability for the first time, he looks upward to make a decision about where to go when he spots a colour, two colours. Blue and purple.

Sam’s eyes go wide open, but he’s given no time to do anything other than hold tight as the blue and purple beam is shot in his direction.

A large amount of water is instantly turned into steam as Sam is thrown far, far into the distance but always with that pull downwards, yet the water is now going downwards much faster. His only thought right now is to hold his breath until all of this settles down and hold on to the string.

He’ll be able to surface and take a breath as long as he holds it yet it’s getting harder and harder, he has been flung far underwater and the fact he cannot breathe is getting to him. 

Unable to stop his motion, he pulls his string back and spots something dragging on the end. A black sword.

He quickly pulls it back choosing to get some debris in his eyes before feeling happy and surprised at what he finds on the end.

‘Harbinger…’

Sam grabs the sword finding out that it’s able to help change his direction, he swings it a few times working free of the downwards current that has shifted ever since the beam appeared. He works his way towards the surface with the help of the sword where he breaches with his lungs almost collapsing.

He pants several times and looks around the surface before finding himself already being sucked up in what has happened, a large whirlpool has formed going somewhere downward, the previously mostly stagnant water is now a large whirlpool.

A bright yellow, orange light glows brightly from the bottom of the whirlpool casting a light on the roof of the previously dark cavern.

He looks for the creature, the strange bulbous-fleshy part is re inflating. It’s standing on the platform unwilling to enter the water.

Sam has little choice, if he tries to go up he’ll die but there seems to be somewhere the water is going… it could be his death but there’s probably death waiting for him here.

Sam stops fighting the current and allows it to take him away, the creature launches some long distance stabs with its arms but isn’t able to touch him when he nears it going in the circle of the whirlpool.

He travels round and round before finally entering the final spiral, he sticks up his middle finger at the creature as it leaves his view.

“Come get me…”

Sam laughs as he is sucked under underwater, taking a final large breath.

His mind would be in a panic but a simple melody fills it.

Water battles are silly, next chapter is even sillier.

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