Apparently shapeshifting is a thing.
I had expected the dragon to blow fire breath or whatever, but instead it rolled to its feet and padded over to the tunnel, peering in with one enormous eye. I didn’t dare try to close it up at that point, since I got that same sense of near-pain from it as I had from the knights. Something with a lot of power.
Then it just...shimmered and turned into some sort of scaled amazon. Just under three meters tall, muscled, armored, wide-hipped and big-breasted, still with wings and horns and muzzle. The form wasn’t even trying to be demihuman, fully embracing scales and other such dragonlike features. She - at that point it was clear this was a she - climbed into the tunnel and began casually sauntering up.
Ansae Ziir, Level ??? Primal Dragon
Those were big numbers. Those were very big numbers. This Ansae was an entity several ranks above my previous bar for horrifically powerful people, and I was pretty sure that dropping ten tons of rocks on her head would just annoy her.
I didn’t want to annoy her.
But she wasn’t trying to hurt me. In fact, she was just wandering through the tunnels I’d made without any hurry whatsoever, horns nearly scraping the ceiling. It drove home how large I’d gotten, because at her pace she was wandering for hours before she even got to the first farms.
By that point I’d fairly well gotten over the initial terror of disturbing something nigh unto a god, and it’d faded into a low-grade wariness. I was also somewhat nonplussed that I could pay attention to her, to Shayma’s idle conversations with her fellow refugees, and to the continuing expansion of my real estate at once. Somehow, it seemed, I could spread myself out that much without losing focus.
Well, it wasn’t like I was actually human, so I could blame that. And level-ups, maybe.
Interestingly, Ansae seemed fascinated by the farms, though honestly they were fairly boring rooms full of various chrystheniums and grasses, some with lava and some with ice. I’d just gridded out a lot of room for pure resource creation, rather than trying to make it at all appealing. But she still prowled through the lava and ice, completely unaffected by either, plucking a flower here and there.
The dragon had a full bouquet by the time she made it up out of the tunnels and into the lake room, looking around at the building fronts I’d started. Something flashed out from her, not a physical thing but a sort of flickering sensation, and I tried to focus on it, chasing it as she scanned the buildings.
[Mana Sense] learned.
150 experience gained.
Suddenly everything I could see blazed at once, and the fugue took me again.