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Chapter 27

Mysterious Cave

When I woke up I went through my normal morning routine. After breakfast I decided to work on the boring stuff like furniture first. I left the cave and hauled back the rest of the tree I knocked over the day before and stored it in one room. That will give me plenty of wood to use in weapon creation and for building furniture. I next went around and created several tables and shelves out of the rock of the cave and emptied part of my inventory to store it here and free up some space. Finally, I wanted something to rest on. Sleeping standing up was getting old.

Laying down was possible, but awkward with my mantis and now Elemental Thri-Keen body. I was thinking I could create a long raised surface, like a couch without a back, and then cover it in furs so I could at least straddle it and then lower myself and rest on something soft. It would serve as both a chair and a bed as bending over completely was rather difficult in this body. I went ahead and created the parts I could out of stone. The furs would have to come later. Now that I had finished what I would call my chores, it is time to go out and explore the area.

I decide that even though I want to know what is at the top of the volcano, the best way and most systematic way of checking the area will be a spiral pattern. I will travel around the base of the volcano and then slowly spiral my way up. Each turn around the volcano should go quicker as the distance needed travel will be shortened. I start out going east and plan to make it back to my new cave hide out by the end of the day.

Several hours later I am cooking lunch and I realize that this might take longer than I thought. I do move faster than I used to, but this volcano is also deceptively large. I would guess that I am only ¼ of the way around the base right now. I should probably reach just past the half way point before I need to teleport back to my hide out for the night. My prediction turned out to be fairly accurate. I was almost to the halfway point, or at least what I felt would be halfway based on the suns movement, when I ran into a distraction. The rest of the day had just been me mapping the area and discovering new and interesting creatures I could battle and level up with. Nothing really more powerful than the bear from yesterday and the general level was staying consistent between 65 and 75.

The distraction I ran into was an opening in the side of the volcano. It was not a regular cave, but rather had the look of something that had been worked with tools or magic. The strange thing was that there was no road or even a trail that led to it. So why would someone take the time to create or work on this cave and not even work on a way to get to it easier? This was not making much sense. I spent the next 30 minutes traveling all around the area of the cave and keeping it under observation. This cave was a mystery and I was going to solve it, especially as it was rather close to my new home base.

After an hour I still saw no movement and spotted nothing suspicious. I was running out of daylight though. I decided to retreat away from the cave and memorize a spot to teleport back here tomorrow. I should wait to explore when I am fresh and have most of the day in front of me. Deciding this was the best option. I moved back about 500 meters from where I was observing the cave and memorized the spot I was in. Then it was a quick teleportation back into my mountain stronghold and dinner. I needed to sleep and then I could continue investigating that mysterious cave tomorrow.

I wake up earlier than usual and go ahead and roast some meat for breakfast. You know my monotonous diet of meat, meat, and more meat might keep me alive, but it is getting rather boring. I should add looking and inspecting plants for edibles to my list of things to do when I am exploring. I generally ignore the plants unless they look dangerous. This might have been a mistake. Who knows what I may have passed up. I am pretty excited to explore what I think must be an old abandoned mine or something. Not for what I might find, but more for the insights it might give me towards technology levels and possibly habits of the natives of this new planet of mine.

After breakfast and cleanup I teleport back to the area of the mysterious cave. I quickly travel over to my observation spot from the day before. Just to be safe I spend another 30 minutes watching the area and checking that nothing has changed since yesterday. Nope everything looks the same. I carefully make my way closer to the cave and as I get closer I notice something in front of and slightly to one side of the cave. Is that a sign? It is a sign. I hurry forward to see what it says.

Welcome to Fire Bat Cave. This dungeon is rated 3 out of 10 by the dungeon guild. Stay safe.

Interesting. The primary thing that sticks in my mind for some reason is thank goodness the language granting magic or system included reading and writing. I clearly recognize the sign is written in the common language. That is one thing I do not have to worry about later. I should be able to read and understand everything in any town I manage to go to. This cave though is definitely not an abandoned mine it is a DUNGEON.

Whoa inner nerd settle down, this world has magic of course the possibility of dungeons exist. Ok, Mark what have you learned from this sign? Number one there seems to be a dungeon guild in this world. Number two they have a rating system for the difficulty of dungeons. I won’t know how powerful a 3 out of 10 is until I explore it though. Finally, the name Fire Bat Cave implies that there are flying rodents of death that shoot fire living inside this thing. If you cannot tell I am not a fan of bats. Yes they are useful, yes they are necessary for a healthy ecosystem, no I don’t ever want to actually cross paths with them.

This is too good of an opportunity to pass up due to a minor phobia though. I am going to have to enter this dungeon, just to gather information if nothing else. I enchant several stones with my new glow spell in case it is needed and put them into my inventory. I let my mana regenerate and then cast Infrared Mana Sight on myself and enter into my first dungeon. I carefully make my way down a tunnel that is slightly inclined for about 50 meters and suddenly I start to hear noises. The noises are coming from up ahead from an area that is glowing slightly in my vision. Glowing vision equals body heat from monsters or other foes. I double my caution and halve my pace and slowly slink forward and peer into a cavern that opens up at the end of the tunnel.

Ahead of me is a very large cave. I would guess the dimensions to be about 100 meters wide and 250 meters long and nearly 25 meters high. I guess that cave has to be big to hold the fluttering GIANT FIRE BATS I see moving around. Strangely enough the thought that they are gigantic actually helps calm me down. If it is big, it can’t hide, and if it can’t hide than I can either kill it or avoid it. I start to calm back down. I better check on it to see level wise if I should even be here. Inspect.

Giant Fire Bat Level: 75 Magic: Fire Breath

Definitely smaller want to be dragons. I realize that while these things may be higher level than me, I can probably take them with my magic as long as they don’t swarm me. So my options are to sneak around and try to pick off stragglers quickly or to come up with some type of trap that will either seriously wound or kill the little buggers. I have had pretty good success with traps so far and I am not confident in my stealth abilities, so trap making it is.

Now how can I make something that will damage a flying target. Maybe a combination of trap and magic would work. I need to experiment a little before doing this. I retreat back down the corridor quietly as to not disturb the bats. Outside of the cave I ponder what to do. What things hit at a distance. Throwing stuff, arrows, spells and guns. We don’t have guns in this world, or at least I don’t think so, but what if I make something that performs the same function. When you fight or kill flying things on Earth you use a shotgun. It throws out a pattern of metal shot so there is a greater likelihood of hitting the target or multiple targets. Could I create something similar with magic? I bet I could.

However, would one shotgun spell really do me any good? I mean there are several of those things flying around and if I hit and knock down 2 or 3 I could still be swarmed by the others. So it either needs to be automatic with multiple uses or operated from a distance, maybe even both. I wonder if I could program something with conditions using magic. Maybe where it would go off if something approached it or stepped on it. Well there is only one way to find out, and that is to try.

Now what should I imagine to get this to work. I first think of a shotgun with pellets of magic force coming out of the end of it. I bring some pink creation mana, a little of brown earth for the pellets, and then finally a little air to propel it, and nothing. Ok that was a spectacular failure. Think Mark, what went wrong. When I was trying to combine the mana with the image it felt like it would never work. Several times with my experiments like this I at least felt that with a slight change something would work. With this attempt nothing, so that probably means I am going about this wrong. Scrap the whole idea and come up with another one. How about I try the trap that sense things.

This time I imagine myself pouring mana into a handful of large pebbles, then I add the image of me scattering them on the ground. I imagine time passing and then something comes within 5 meters of the stones and suddenly they accelerate and launch themselves at the intruder. I cycle this image several times emphasizing the sensing ability and then the retaliation. Once again I bring a combination of creation, earth, and wind mana together and this time I am rewarded with a new spell.

You have created the spell Landmine.

Inspect Landmine.

Landmine: This spell when cast on small stones allows the stones to accelerate at a great speed towards any living organism that comes with 1 meter X the level of the spell. The spell costs 100 MP for each hour of operation per stone.

It seems to fulfill my requirements. The range is short, but will get better as the spell is used and levels up. However, the cost of the thing is horrendous in terms of MP. I mean ten pebbles set as a trap or as a ward around a camp would cost 1,000 MP for each our I wanted it to operate. I would need 8,000 mana just for them to work overnight as a defensive measure when camping. I don’t have 8,000 MP. This is a potentially very useful spell, but it seems destined to only be used at higher levels. I am going to try again.

Alright one more time. Maybe the problem with the first attempt was that I was imagining a device from Earth, and further more a device that I did not even have. Ok then this time picture a bunch of small mana force darts coming out your fist Mark. The darts can be of lightning, destruction, earth, ice, or fire. I focus on both quantity and quality. Imagine them almost shooting out from the fist in a cone. Hold that thought and bring in pink creation mana, with orange wind mana to power the darts, then add some of each of the elements I imagine being darts and success.

You have created the spell Scattershot.

Inspect Scattershot.

Scattershot: This spell when cast shoots 10 small bolts of mana of either the lightning, destruction, earth, ice, or fire varieties. Each dart does low damage, but the damage increases by 5% for each dart that hits a target. Distance of the spell is ½ of the casters level in meters. The bonus damage will increase 1% for each level of the spell until level 10 maximum is reached.

That spell is much more immediately useful. It should operate like a crude shotgun, has bonus damage and the best part is with voiceless casting I can use both hands and thus up the amount of darts to 20. The scaling bonus damage is quite nice also. Basically if all ten darts hit the target they will do an extra 50% of damage. At max level they would cause and extra 150% damage above their normal value. I can live with this spell. I think I should go and try it out on those bats.

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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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