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Chapter 18

Sweet Plans

I retreat from my observation position and continue my exploration back towards the tree house. It is kind of hard to concentrate on what I need to do, but I manage to return safely. Once I have cooked some more jungle pork I start categorizing everything I know about the bees.

  1. Individual levels from between levels 4-6 outside of the hive.
  2. 100 bees outside hive at any time during day
  3. Unknown number of bees inside the hive.
  4. I assume that the queen is a higher level and well protected.
  5. The size of the hive is about 125 meters high and approximately 250 meters wide
  6. Each bee is about .5 meters long
  7. Maximum number possible would be no more than 10,000 based on bee size and hive size
  8. 10,000 is way too many to fight and win
  9. On Earth bees are pacified by smoke

That is a decent list, now how can I use this to help me figure out how to get my honey? 2 hours later I am still idealess and just decide to go to sleep. When I wake up in the morning I still do not have any practical ideas. I have gone over the smoke thing a dozen times, but realized the amount of wood that I would need to burn to produce a quantity of smoke capable of pacifying a giant bee hive is just not feasible. Why do I have to burn something though? Magic! This world has magic! Maybe I can come up with a spell that produces smoke and just use it to pacify the bees and rob some honey.

Relieved that I at least have a single idea that might work I start my new routine. I create ten more targets using Plant Shaping and travel to the other side of the clearing to practice my magic and fighting. After morning practice and the slaughter of several smaller animals, it is time for lunch. I am exploring to the North today after my meal. Back the way I originally came from. Same thing as yesterday. Two hours out at near maximum speed then a slower time back zig zagging and exploring. Nothing really spectacular was discovered while exploring today. The north is just more and more forest. Even when I went up a big tree at the end I could only se forest to the north.

I did find several new species of animal that inhabit the forest. There are two of the animals that I need to watch out for and surprisingly enough a carnivorous plant. I knew that carnivorous plants existed back on Earth like the venus fly trap. I also knew that many similar animal species are here on the Planet Braxis, several in giant form. I just had not made the connection that dangerous plants could also reach a size on this planet that would endanger me. This seems pretty dumb when I think about it. I mean I am surrounded by giant trees in a forest that is 2-3 times bigger than anything on Earth ever was. Anyway from now on I am keeping a look out for the following.

Jungle Bear Level: 27 Magic: Earth

Striped Baboon Level: 13 Magic: Unknown

Blood Thorn Level: 8 Highly Toxic

I saw several other animals such as Lightning Rabbits, Giant Rhino Beetles, Dark Flies, and even a Horned Worm. However, they were all lower level or did not really pose a threat to me. The Jungle Bear is the highest leveled carnivore I have spotted so far in the forest. I do not know if that is significant or not yet, since I have not finished exploring. Back on Earth bears were apex predators and usually the top of any food chain so I am hoping it is similar here and I will not actually run into anything stronger, but since some things are radically different from my memories of Earth I expect I am going to be surprised eventually.

The Striped Baboon has me worried. Individually it is about middle of the road level wise for what I have seen in the forest. However, it was not alone. Striped Baboons seem to travel in troops of about 30-40 other individuals. I remember seeing a discovery channel episode once on how they were extremely territorial also. I know I can take one baboon in combat and probably up to three or four if I am careful or lucky. However, just like the bees I am sure to doomed if the whole group attacks. I just need to remember to stay out of their way and territory until I am strong enough to deal with them.

The final thing that worried me on my exploration today was the discovery of the Blood Thorn. First I never even considered that plants could have levels and grow stronger. I had forgotten that early on I was given a chance to evolve into a plant species. Once I identified it the information came back to me. I have been ignoring most plants as I travel through the forest and that seems like it might be asking for trouble. The only reason I found the Blood Thorn was because of a rabbit that was caught and struggling in its vines and bleeding to death. If I had not seen it happening I probably would have just kept moving and still not know that there are dangerous plants around. I have made it standard to try and observe new or different plants as I travel now also.

Now that I have made it back to the treehouse after a full day it is time to come up with method 2 of dealing with the bees. I want something different than the smoke idea. After I have three or four ideas I can choose the best one and then try and perfect it before using it. Think Mark, what can you do to affect 10,000 bees? If I cannot kill them individually because there are too many of them can I do something that would kill them in large numbers? Maybe I could lead other animals there to fight the bees? No they would just run away after maybe killing a couple.

What kills lots of things at one time? Hurricanes, Floods, Fires, wait that’s it. I mean I cannot create natural disaster, but I could probably set fire to the whole hive and raid it in the confusion. It may not be the safest plan, but it is one that might work. I will just keep it for now and see how it stacks up against all the other plans in the future. Time to hit the hay.

Morning once again was a repeat for training. Make some targets, kill small furry woodland creatures and then eat lunch. After lunch I decide to go east. East was just as boring to explore as north. A few new animals and bugs, and two new dangerous plants. There were three again that I thought were worrisome enough to pay special attention too.

Fire Fox Level: 18 Magic: Fire

Giant Assassin Bug Level: 12 Magic: Unknown

Glue Vine Level: 14 Magic: Unknown

The fox magic was relatively easy to identify as it looked as his or her fur was flickering with flame. It was not extremely high level, but it was another carnivore that I should watch out for. The Giant Assassin Bug was an ambush predator and blends in and then jumps out to attack. The plant though was surprising. First off I never thought a plant would get that high leveled and second it was fairly easy to avoid. However, if you did not know it was there or did not have a way to deal with it you would basically be stuck and then starve to death or die of thirst.

I found the Glue Vine by actually getting stuck in it. Luckily my Annihilation Spike was able to dissolve the vine and I was able to escape. Any other animal would most likely try to claw or bite their way out and just make the situation worse. Like I said once I knew to watch out for it, avoiding it was easy. I expect that since nothing would really prey on it the high level it had was probably due to its age. After this experience I traveled carefully back to the treehouse for another round of how to get honey planning.

Everything that I had come up with so far revolved around my magic. This makes sense as there was no realistic way for me to physically attack or steal the honey being defended by so many bees. So let’s start todays brainstorming session from the perspective of magic. What spell do I have or could create would help me in getting the sweet stuff? Anything that would help me sneak in would be a good one. Maybe an invisibility spell, no probably not practical for this as it would be crowded inside the hive and I would most likely bump into a bee even if they could not see me. It is a good idea to come back to at a later date though.

Suddenly I realized where I was. I was inside the trunk of a tree that I had hollowed out with Plant Shaping. I could use this. What if I created a tunnel through the giant branch the beehive was hanging on? Then I could just burrow down from above where nothing would expect an attack and raid and grab whatever I wanted. Ooh I like this plan, it seems the safest so far. Third plan done, time for some rest. Tomorrow is another big day.

I wake up to my last exploration morning. Today I am finally exploring to the south where I saw the trees start turning into rolling hills and finally volcanoes and mountains. With my estimated speed I might actually make it to the edge of the forest today. Before that happens I need to complete my morning training ritual. After ten targets of practice and homicide against lower level creatures I eat my lunch and start thinking about my upcoming exploration and other things. It was much harder to find things to kill today, I might actually have to travel farther and farther as I progress to make sure I have enough prey to level up. Oh well I will deal with that situation when I come to it.

I am almost out of Jungle Hog meat so I should hunt something tasty on today’s exploration if I see it. I have the snake and jaguar carcasses in my inventory that I am sure I can eat if necessary, but if I can have bacon why would I compromise. I set out to the south at what I consider my top speed while staying safe and observing everything around me. After about 30 minutes I spot a Jungle Hog in the distance and quietly sneak up on it from above and Observe.

Jungle Hog Level: 14 Magic: Unknown

Alright, time to redeem myself. I quickly form two lightning spikes and attack from above. Both hit the Jungle Hog directly in the back of the neck as it was a surprise attack and it did not even realize it was in danger. The Jungle hog falls over and starts to twitch on the ground. Excellent it is stunned, I scurry quickly down to it and slit its throat and then re-climb the nearest tree to wait for it to bleed out. Less than 60 seconds later, the Jungle Hog ceases all movement. Man it really is easier to win if you ambush and attack when unexpected.

Just to be safe, I launch one final Exploding Lightning Spike into the Jungle Hog to make sure it is not faking its death. Wait I probably could have just used Oberve.

Carcass of Jungle Hog Level: 14 Magic: Unknown

Yep good old Observe would not lie to me. As long as it says carcass the animal must be dead. I go and store the pig in my inventory and continue on my exploration to the south. Almost an hour goes by with me watching for new animals and plants and observing everything that I can when I get a pleasant surprise.

Observe has reached maximum level. Due to your unique class and nature you are able to evolve Observe into the highest level identification magic Inspect. Would you like to evolve this skill now? Y/N

Yes, please evolve Observe into Inspect. This is great. Maybe I can get more or better information now. I just need to remember that the new skill will use a different activation word. I should try it out on something that I did not get all the information on before. I know, I can just use the Jungle Hog from my inventory. Inspect Jungle Hog Carcass.

Carcass of Jungle Hog Level: 14 Magic: None

Well it did change. It seems that inspect can give me the type of magic if any that an organism has now. That could be very helpful in planning ambushes and fights in the future. I continue on, knowing that I have to turn around soon. Over the next 15 minutes I definitely notice that the trees are getting smaller than further back in the jungle. Some of them are almost down to what I would call normal giant tree size from Earth. I mean they would be some of the largest trees of their kinds, but at least their size would not scream strange new world if they were on Earth. I finally decide to climb to the top of a tree to have a look before I turn around.

To the south I see that there is a very distinct line about five kilometers away from me where the trees just stop, and rolling grassland begins. It looks quite strange actually, almost artificial. I would expect that it would slowly thin out, but it just stops. I wonder why? It is good to know though that when I need to switch locations I should be able to do it in one long day. I better head back and come up with a final plan for dealing with the bees.

Several hours later I am safely back in my treehouse once again and deep into thinking up my last bee destroying idea. Wait, maybe I am thinking about this problem the wrong way. What if I could lure the bees away? No, that won’t work, some of them would definitely stay behind as guards. Guards, that’s it. What if I use my Annihilation Spike spell to create dozens of new holes/entrances to the hive all over it. That would force the bees to guard an unreasonable amount of openings and perhaps allow me to either sneak in or fight my way past a smaller amount of guards at one of the new entrances to the hive. That makes four choices. I will decide in the morning which one to go with after a good night’s sleep. I don’t want to rush or make a decision without being refreshed. I will decide tomorrow.

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About the author

tenqui

Bio: Older Science Teacher who after years of hearing, "You read so much maybe you should write a book.", decided to do just that.
Just having fun and learning how to put my ideas into a format that others can understand and enjoy.

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