Amy was quite pleased with the ice mana. She had tried it out on the outside of the iceberg in the water, and she was able to create a one-metre long 50 centimetre wide. With the ability to generate ice like this, Amy knew that this would benefit her greatly in making her dungeon and creating a prime natural hunting ground.
Many online novels and books that Amy had read before coming to Terra involving dungeon cores always have the dungeon core start on the dungeon as soon as possible. But Amy knew that that action was not feasible for her. For one thing, she was always on the move, so she wouldn’t be discovered for a long time. It is also hard to have many plants, creatures or monsters available right outside her dungeon. And Amy knew that she would either have to wait for something to wander into her territory or actively hunt for things to add to her dungeon.
So, she started working on making the below-sea-level part of her iceberg a place that will attract anything to feed on her algae and snails that she’ll distribute throughout it. Amy took control of a couple of strands of ice mana and started creating rows and rows of ice spears shaped like the roots of a mangrove tree. She hoped that by making many hiding spots, small fish or animals will be attracted to it, which will attract larger and larger creatures looking to feed.
Amy wanted to increase the area of water that was in her territory for this reason. So, as the ice mana was growing, she created a mana tread and looped it around the end of her territory, side to side as well as down. In about 30 minutes, she added 7 metres in width and 8 metres down to her territory.
As Amy was increasing her territory, the ice mana grew ice roots more and more thick and interconnected. The ice roots started off really tangled and dense the closer they were to the iceberg and grew smaller and less tangled closer to the edge of her territory.
This was what she wanted. All Amy had to do now was add potential food sources. But first, she would have to experiment on how to force growth with the algae and forcibly increase the growth of the scaly-foot snail’s population.
One of the things that she had read back on Earth was that mana was intent-based, and Amy thought that this might work well with increasing growth and population.
To test if this would work with her mana and this world, Amy took a patch of algae and placed it on one of the large tangle areas of the ice roots. Next, she took a couple of threads of her mana and inserted them within the algae. Amy started chanting grow, grow, grow, constantly in her head while watching both her mana threads and the algae. After a minute of chanting, one of the mana threads started slightly pulsing, then the other three threads started pulsing as well. In another minute, the algae began to grow.
Amy watched as the algae-covered a large percentage of the tangle of ice roots quickly. Then, before it finished, she took out her mana threads and instantly, the algae slowed down its growth.
She observed the algae to see if there were any side effects to the plant, and there were. As Amy watched the algae for any signs of anything different, she realized that the algae were still growing. It was a lot slower than when she actively pushed it to grow, but it was still growing 20 times faster than before she forcibly grew it. The growth itself was not perceptible to those who did not have the same perception as dungeons.
With the algae experiment a success, Amy grabbed sections of the experimental algae. She placed them on ice roots throughout the root areas. She then created many mana threads, inserted them into the algae, and pushed the order to grow through the thread into the algae. Once the algae groups grew to a good size, with lots of room to grow, Amy withdrew the mana threads. Next, she looked towards the other potential prey to draw in other creatures, the snails.
Unlike the algae, Amy knew that she couldn’t just order the snails to grow on the ice. These creatures laid eggs, hatched, grew, mated, and laid more eggs. She had to be more careful and precise about how she does this. Amy had to do experiments.
The first experiment that she tried was inserting mana directly into a snail. Unfortunately, as she inserted the mana into the creature, she must have inserted too much because the snail exploded.
The second experiment that she tried was instead of inserting the mana into a snail as a whole, Amy would find a snail that had fertilized eggs. It took a couple of seconds to find one of these specific parameters. Still, she did and tried inserting the mana directly into the eggs. What resulted grossed Amy out. Unlike the result that she wanted, the fertilized eggs started to grow and hatch within their parents. But, this experiment showed that she was on the right path for increasing the snail population as a whole.
The third experiment that Amy tried was using already laid fertilized eggs. She found a small cluster of these eggs and inserted one mana thread into each egg. With a push of her mana, the snails went into a period of hyper-growth. The eggs hatched, grew into the adult stage, mated, and produced more eggs. The experiment snails group produced two more batches of eggs before they, unfortunately, died within a couple of hours.
But the three batches of eggs that they produced held onto their parents accelerated growth. Just like the slightly faster growth of the algae, the egg clusters grew about 12 times faster than non-experimented snails.
With the third experiment an evident success, Amy carefully looked for all already laid eggs to repeat the results of the experiment over and over again. Her goal is to make sure that more than 75% of the scaly-foot snail population has the increased growth trait. Amy’s also hoped that the snails with the increased growth trait would breed with the original snails, resulting in the whole snail population having the increased growth trait over a couple of generations.
Amy then took 50% of the whole snail population from the original iceberg area and placed them throughout the ice roots.
With a smile, Amy started watching the area surrounding her territory to see if the algae and snails have attracted anything.