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Chapter 22

Moving On

I should probably go down and store this thing and start prepping for my move to a new area. I head on down the back ramp and carefully move towards the giant salamander carcass. This will be the largest thing I have tried to store. It slides into the inventory just fine and only takes up a single slot. So it seems that size does not matter for certain objects or carcasses. That is extremely convenient. After storing the carcass, I use elemental shaping to cover up the ditch. No reason to leave a trap that might hurt other things and cause them to suffer. I make my way back to the treehouse. I think I will spend one more night here, and then top off supplies and leave for the volcanic mountains in the morning.

Before settling in for the night I recall my original six point list to check on my progress.

  1. Explore the area and identify potential threats and animals I can kill to level up.
  2. Practice Skills and Magic to level them up.
  3. Try not to fight anything less than half my level until I feel confident in using combinations of magical and physical attacks.
  4. Gain enough levels to feel confident in defeating whatever ate me in the pond.
  5. When I finally kill the thing in the pond move on to new area to train.
  6. Do not try and find people until I feel I could be as strong or stronger than the average person.

I mentally cross out numbers one through four as complete. I did not follow the list exactly, but the results are still there. So my next point to do is to move to a new area to train while avoiding “people”. I am going to define people as anything that has an intelligent society. So nothing that can use or build tools no matter how primitive. You know I wonder how many races of things are in this world anyway.

I know there has to be at least two because much earlier I remembered seeing wood elf on the virus infection list and I am an intelligent mantis that can evolve into Thri-keen which implies that there is a civilization of them somewhere for the system help to recognize it. Infection list, I have not even looked at some of my virus options in what feels like a very long time. You know if I word it right I can probably call up a list of “people” that I have infected to see what all is out there. I would do the same for everything else, but there are so many different species that I would never figure it out or be confused until I could match a name to an animal in the real world. Oh well, enough wool gathering time to see if this will work. List infected sapient tool using organisms.

Wood Elf

Aviantix

Human

Ork

Goblin (wood)

Goblin (swamp)

Goblin (grass)

Kobold

High Elf

Beastkin (wolf)

Beastkin (tiger)

Beastkin (rabbit)

Formican

Beastkin (rat)

.

Wow, fourteen species already. Who knows if this is every intelligent species also. There could be several more out there. So I really need to be careful before making myself known to others. I do not even see my own species on the list, so there must be at least a few more. I do not know if any of these people speak the same language, or would even be able to understand me. I do not even know if I speak my own species language. The political landscape, religious, and trading areas are unknown also. I do not want to start or step into any feuds or wars. If I just avoid everyone for now it should be the best choice for me.

I really need to think about first contact though. It is going to happen eventually. With as many species that are on my list I think I have been extremely luck up until now not to run into anything that I could call an intelligent opponent. I mean some of these giant magic using creatures must have developed sentience above animal instincts also. They may just not have evolved a stable culture or use tools. I need to make sure to extremely careful. Enough worrying, I will just have to deal with the situation as it arises. Time for bed.

Morning comes soon enough and it is time to bid farewell to my temporary home. I roast some meat and think about what my new list of objectives should be.

  1. Find a higher level area to live and continue training.
  2. Look around for some of the people on the list and try to spy on them. I need to know average level and language.
  3. Try to fight things within five levels of myself, but no higher.
  4. Identify power leveling scenarios like beehive.
  5. Explore and learn more about Planet Braxis while staying safe.

This will be my new list of things to do. First up is finding a new place to live and train. Off to the south we go. I travel for 3 hours observing and half-heartedly training before I feel hungry enough to stop for lunch. I have already gone past my past exploration limits. I should reach the edge of the forest by the end of the day. I roast some more meat, eat a quick lunch and continue on. Sooner started sooner done. After 4 more hours of intense travel I have found several new creatures and have reached the edge of the forest. I was right, this forest has to be magic related somehow, or I guess it could be the grassland in front of me.

You see the forest ends abruptly. No thinning out, no trees starting to get smaller, just trees and then no more trees. From an outside tree of the forest I can see that this grassland continues on for about 25 kilometers before turning into a mixture of grass land and shrubs that start traveling up the now much closer mountain range. I underestimated the size of the mountains and thus have messed up my distance estimate. It looked like the mountains were very close to the edge of the forest when in fact now that I have reached the edge it still looks like I will need to travel 75-100 kilometers to hit the true foothills of the range. The terrain does get more and more hilly as you go farther south, but I expected to be in the mountains by the end of the day.

I have about 3-4 more hours worth of light to work with, but I do not think that is going to be enough to reach a place that might have caves like I wanted. I realize that I could build something with my magic, but since I have no experience with the open area or what might live there I decide that for at least tonight I will stay here at the tree line. I use both elemental shaping and plant shaping to fashion a crude version of my treehouse in a tree about three back from the edge of the forest just to be safe. After that is done I spend the rest of the time until dark observing the plains. I need to know as much as I can to be safe.

With the two hours of light left, and my enhanced sight I am able to spot a few things I need to aware of. First up is that while I say plains or grasslands I need to remember that the grass is actually 1 meter tall in the shortest areas and over 2-3 meters tall in the long grass areas. This means with my size that I am basically going to be moving through what would be a dense grass jungle. I will have limited mobility and awareness as my senses may be blocked but the dense vegetation. While the forest of trees that I am in right now is gigantic, the grassland may actually be more problematic for me. I have long sight lines in the forest, but will be unable to see very far at all in the grassland.

Next is herds of animals. I can see several herds of animals throughout the plains, however none of them are really coming close to the tree line so I have not been able to identify them. I do not know how large or dangerous they might be. Many people probably think why be scared of a cow, but I watched animal planet. Just because something eats grass does not make it friendly. Some of the deadliest animals in the world are herbivores. Also the sheer thought of a regular stampede with nowhere to hide on the plains is scary. Multiply that by the giant size of animals here on the planet Braxis and the thought becomes terrifying.

I mean in this body I am about 1.5 meters tall, huge for a mantis. Now imagine a zebra that has grown the same amount as I did and you can see why I might be a little cautious. I don’t actually think they will get to that size, but then again I never thought I would see bees large enough to make off with small children and animals either. That is just the plant eaters, now I also need to consider that if there are giant plant animals the carnivores that eat them must be larger in size also. I just fought a salamander that reached over 10 meters long. The largest salamander on Earth never gets larger than 2 meters and most salamanders are 30 centimeters or less. Now let’s theorize a regular lion is between 1.5 and 2 meters long. If I scale that up, I am looking at 10 meter long and probably 4 to 5 meter high lions or whatever the equivalent is here.

I need to stop thinking about this stuff. I am just psyching myself out. For all I know, everything could also be in miniature on the plains. Try and think positive Mark. I better head back and get a good sleep so I will be extra rested for tomorrow. I want to make sure that I am at the top of my game before entering the new area. It was a very long night. New noises coming from the plains area, meant that I kept waking up. However, now that I am awake, I need to get going.

I climb down from my temporary shelter and head to the edge of the trees. I spend fifteen minutes scanning the grass from a tree on the edge, before realizing I am just putting off the inevitable. Sighing or at least trying to in a mantis body, it comes out more of a hiss, I climb down and start making my way towards the mountains. I am as prepared as I can be and all of my senses are on high alert. Strangely enough moving through the grasslands is not as difficult as I expected.

It seems my mantis body is well adapted to this. The scythes on my forearms allow me to easily part the grass as I move forward and my four legs give me a solid base to push forward. Since my size is on the smaller side I actually spend a lot of the time on the grass and never touch the ground. 30 minutes into my travels I spot waving grass ahead of me. I have seen to many movies, and animal specials to not know what that means. Moving grass when the wind is low means there is some type of animal moving about in the grass. Come to think of it, anything flying or tall, could easily track my progress as well from all the grass that moves. Not much I can do about that.

I decide to try and play this first encounter as smart as possible. I quickly cast elemental wings using the air element. I almost made a mistake there, I have been so used to using fire I almost used it to make the wings. However, fire wings + grasslands = giant deadly fire. I realized this at the last second and switched the element. I flew up about fifteen to twenty meters and looked down at the spot that had the moving grass. Wait is that actually people? Observe.

Grass Goblin Level 50 Magic: Unknown

Ok, not people and they have spotted me. Flying up may not have been my smartest move here. Before I can even try and communicate the group of Grass Goblins launch an attack at me. There are five goblins in this little group, two are throwing spears, two are firing arrows and one three something that looks like a crude ax. Well since they attacked I am not going to be polite. I dodge the incoming artillery with relative ease and form two ice orbs, one in each hand and toss it over towards the goblins. The goblins are either not intimidated by the ice orbs, are too stupid to dodge, or just don’t care as they watch the ice orbs travel towards them without doing anything else.

My aim was spot on and the goblins are now screeching in pain and rolling on the ground. Each of them has small bleeding cuts from the flying ice, but more importantly to me is that the area is now covered in ice and slippery. Not only will this restrict their movement, but it makes it a little safer for my next attack. This time I go with one lightning orb and one stone orb. I toss my new care packages at the goblins once again. This time the goblins recognize that incoming orbs equal pain and actually try to get out of the way. Huh, so they were just ignorant and overconfident on the first round.

Dodging does them no good as they are slipping and making very little headway on the newly iced over ground. One goblin each is directly hit with either orb and the results while predictable are still satisfying. All of them are now bleeding rather profusely from the new holes caused by the stone orb while twitching on the ground from the lightning napalm attack. Man I love that orb. It makes absolutely no sense in practical terms that lightning napalm even exists, but then neither does magic.

Seeing as how the goblins are pretty much down for the count I swoop down on my wings of air and get busy slicing and dicing the remaining life out of them. It is rather grisly work and I am surprised that I am not really feeling anything while it is occurring. Did my mentality change during my reincarnation? Maybe it is because I do not recognize goblins as humans, but more as animals that this slaughter really does not bother me. Whatever the reason, I soon am surrounded by five goblin corpses and decide I need to check my spoils quickly. The noise from the fight, not to mention the smell of blood will probably soon attract others and I do not know if these goblins were weak or strong.

Their level was extremely high, but that could just be because they are able to work in groups. Any group tends to have an advantage over individual opponents. That might be enough along with their crude weapons to level up enough to survive or dominate a lower level area. I just do not have enough data yet to make a solid conclusion to which of these situations it might be.

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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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