Congratulations, you are now a level 15 Mimic! All attributes +2.
Proficiency level increased. Assassination is now Level 4. AGI +2. DEX +1. STR +1.
Proficiency level increased. Stealth is now Level 3. AGI +2. DEX +1. END +1.
“Hissyah ssah ssah ssah!”
The Mimic let out a half-hiss half-laugh as it did its traditional celebratory jig. The tiny legs moved its rectangular body rhythmically side to side and the fleshy tendril of a tongue waved the bloody sword around to some unheard tune. It had just managed to fell a high-level opponent in a single strike - truly an achievement worth celebrating!
Valeria did not find the culprit behind all those disappearances. It had found her.
42 of the 45 reported missing persons were all done in by the same monster. In these last two months it had learned how to shift its appearance to match that of an already ‘checked’ chest. Its prey would either ignore it and move on, or get greedy and approach. In the latter case, they would be stabbed and eaten. In the former scenario, they would be hunted down, stabbed and eaten.
This simple creature had found several devious ways to deceive and ultimately devour its victims. Truthfully, the difference in Level meant that it could probably charge a group of 4 newbies and end their lives with no difficulty. However, such things went against its instincts. And those had never led it astray so far.
A few minutes ago, when two strange-looking people entered its kill zone, those instincts screamed at the Mimic, warning it that it was no match for either one of them. The short metal one felt particularly dangerous. So this would-be-chest did the only thing it could - it focused every fiber of its being into cowering and hiding.
But the troublesome dwarf left all on his own. The human lingered in the area and began acting strangely. She grew more and more distracted until she stopped and leaned against the wall, leaving the disguised Mimic in her blind spot. Realizing its chance, the monster acted without hesitation.
It crept toward her silently. The Mimic’s Stealth Skill allowed it to suppress its presence and lessen the sounds it made when it moved, although it drained its Mana Points (MP) unless it stood perfectly still. The Agility (AGI) Attribute aided in this, as every point of AGI meant smoother and nimbler movements of one’s body as a whole.
Once it had reached her defenseless back, it thrust a sword into an unarmored weak point - the back of her neck.
Strength (STR) allowed the Mimic to carry heavier loads and enhanced melee attacks, such as sword thrusts. Dexterity (DEX) on the other hand governed how nimbly one could handle weapons and provided a power boost to piercing and thrusting attacks. Landing an attack on a vital point meant it would be at least two times stronger than it normally would have been.
And last but not least, it was an attack from behind on an unsuspecting opponent. These conditions allowed the Mimic to trigger its Assassination Skill, which overlapped with all other effects, boosting the overall power of that single strike threefold.
The result was a devastating blow that exceeded 66% of Valeria’s HP, forcing her into the Stunned abnormal state which robbed her of her wits. She then bled out the remainder of her HP on the ground, without the need for a follow up attack.
Truthfully, if the Mimic had access to a better weapon, its prey would have died without ever realizing she had been ambushed.
Feeling awfully proud of its mild accomplishment, the Mimic stopped its little dance and used its tongue the fling the sword it had been holding into the air. The bloodied blade spun around several times before falling down towards the monster’s open maw. A swirling dark purple portal opened up between its dagger-like teeth. The weapon disappeared into it without making a sound. The Mimic then closed the portal and its maw. Having lightened its load, the mimic proceeded to the next order of business.
“Shashus!” it hissed. While it sounded only vaguely like ‘Status,’ some invisible force recognized the chant and brought up a series of windows to the forefront of the monster’s consciousness.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
|Species||Mimic (Lesser)||STR||41||Mimic (+)||15||2%|
The Mimic felt elated when it saw the (+) sign visible next to the Mimic entry in the Job section. That signified one thing - that the monster could unlock another Restricted Skill! Something like this happened twice before. The first time was at Level 5 when it chose the Assassination Skill, which allowed the creature to dispatch even heavily armored adventurers with ease.
The second time was when the monster became a Level 10 Mimic, at which point it chose to unlock the Storage Skill. This gave the monster knowledge of how to open and sustain a small window into a pocket dimension. This limited space could be used to store any and all items that were small enough to fit through the portal. Accessing this Storage demanded the use of magic, but such a thing wasn’t quite free. The Mimic’s Mana Points (MP) were consumed every time it withdrew or deposited an item. And yes, this simple creature did indeed have things it wanted to keep safe.
Or rather, things it needed to keep out of sight. After all, it had to keep its lair clean and unassuming if it was to deceive people. And while arms and armor made out of chainmail, leather or wood were no match for its teeth, solid iron was beyond its limits. As a result, the monster’s Storage was currently holding a collection of swords, axes, shields, helmets, greaves, bracers and other inedible equipment. It was, essentially, using an alternate dimension as an overqualified garbage bin.
It did try to eat a sword though. Once. Such an act broke a few teeth and cut apart the insides of its maw, causing its Health Points (HP) to decrease. And HP was a vital thing. If it hit 0, the mimic would die. Just like the 42- no, make that 43 people it had killed. The Mimic understood its maximum HP rose alongside its Endurance (END) and STR. If it wasn’t such an idiot, it would probably notice that its maximum HP went up by 5 with each point of END and a further 1 for each point of STR. Similarly, maximum MP would rise by 5 per point of INT, while END and WIS would boost automatic recovery of HP and MP, respectively, at a rate of 0.1 HP/MP per 10 points of END/WIS.
As for the other Skills, they came about naturally. Sword Mastery was the first Skill the Mimic ever learned, almost by accident. Stealth came about naturally as the monster put its Assassination skill to practical use. Those two were Common Skills that any Job could learn through practice, although whether they would be useful is another question entirely. Shapeshift, on the other hand, was something the Mimic was born with - a Natural Skill.
And now, 5 Levels after attaining Storage, it was time for another delicious Skill. To do that, it had to open another screen in its mind. And to do THAT it had to chant the command words. Fortunately for the speaking-impaired monster, it seemed that intent was more important that proper pronunciation when it came to these things.
“Shkish shish: Shishik!” it hissed again, spitting all over the place in the process. Even if it wasn’t saying the words right, it still had to say them out loud. It had no idea why it had to do that, nor did it particularly care. It just accepted it as the way things were and moved on with its life.
Skill List: Mimic
Unlocked Skills: Assassination, Storage
Available Skills: Natural Armor, Misdirection, Cadaver Absorption
You can unlock 1 additional Restricted Skill from this Job.
Just like the last two times, it had a few choices to pick from. And just like at Level 10, some new options had appeared. Although it recognized which Skills were left over and which ones were new, the monster still decided to give everything in the list a once-over. Even though its mental-boosting Attributes had been steadily climbing, it still did not trust its own memory too much. It was also possible that something might have changed the last time it was here. Any decisions made here seemed to be permanent, so it was important to be prudent.
A special action has been performed. WIS +1.
It took the attribute increase as confirmation for its rather obvious deductions. After all, such leaps of logic were truly phenomenal for a Mimic, and this one knew full well it was a dumbass. Even if Intelligence (INT) improved its memory capacity and Wisdom (WIS) helped the creature put its limited knowledge to use, it still had very little to begin with. Saying it didn’t have two brain cells to rub together would not be entirely untrue.
The monster focused its barely functional mind on the first Available Skill on the list. After a few seconds, a new window popped up into its mind.
Description: Monsters are known for their tough hides that can shrug off anything and everything.
Requirements: Level 5 Monster Job, END 10
Activation Time: N/A
Effects: Reduces all incoming damage by 1% per Level of this Skill.
Provides an additional +2 END per Level of this Skill.
This Skill was available the first two times as well. While it did look useful in a pinch, it had some unpleasant strings attached. To Level up a Skill, the Mimic had to raise its Proficiency by putting that Skill to practical use. And the practical use of Natural Armor obviously involved getting hit. A lot.
That was not, however, how the simplistic Mimic understood things. It simply deduced this Skill would not help it ambush its opponents like Assassination and Sword Mastery, nor was it useful in maintaining its cover like Stealth and Storage. So it was promptly ignored for the third time in a row. The Mimic then moved onto the next Skill in the list.
Description: Allows the Assassin to create a small noise at a target location.
Requirements: Assassination, Stealth, DEX 40
Type: Active, Area
Activation Time: Instant
Cost: 50 Mana
Range: 15 Meters
Effect: Create a small noise with the purpose of attracting attention.
The MP cost, range and types of noises available all improve with each Level of this Skill.
As expected, this Skill was not available before. Just like the previous one, the Mimic failed to see how it could be useful. In fact, wouldn’t making a noise out of nowhere put its prey on high alert? Surely doing such a thing was going to cause more problems than solutions. It seemed to go completely against what the Mimic was trying to do in the first place.
Hmm? Strategy? What’s that? Does it taste good?
The Mimic quickly dismissed this Skill and moved onto the next one.
Description: Allows the Mimic to absorb residual knowledge and power from the remains of its prey.
Requirements: Level 15 Mimic, WIS 30, INT 30, Has devoured at least 30 of the same Species.
Type: Active, Corpse-targeted
Activation Time: 2 seconds
Cost: 150 MP
Range: 2 Meters
Effect: A portion of the target’s Attributes, Skill Proficiency or Job Levels will be permanently added to the Mimic’s Status. What is absorbed is random.
This Skill can fail. Success rate depends on the Level of this Skill and the strength of the LCK Attribute.
The amount of knowledge and power absorbed increases with each Level of the Shapeshift Skill.
The monster strained its tiny mind to comprehend the complexity of this Skill. Eventually it reached a simple conclusion - it was a Skill that allowed the Mimic to get stronger by eating things. It liked getting stronger and it was always eating things anyway. It certainly sounded good. At least, better than those other two trash-tier Skills.
Having made its choice, the Mimic let out a series of hisses and gurgles that were loosely interpreted as ‘Unlock Skill: Cadaver Absorption.’ A flash of light briefly enveloped the animate wooden chest, flooding it with the knowledge of how to use its new acquisition.
The Luck (LCK) attribute has been created through a special action. LCK +1.
Proficiency level increased. Cadaver Absorption is now Level 1. All attributes +1.
The Mimic felt a little disappointed. Only a +1. All the other Skills gave a total of +4, so why was this one being stingy? Still, its choice had already been made. Complaining about it now would be meaningless. Not that there was anyone around that would listen to such a complaint in the first place. Shrugging its non-existant shoulders, the Mimic turned its attention to the bloodied corpse in front of it.
These were the remains of a high-leveled adventurer, a prize that was hard to come by in these parts. The Mimic would surely want to use Cadaver Absorbtion on this body. But while doing so immediately might give it an immediate power boost, wouldn’t it be wiser to put it in Storage and save it for later? If its Attributes and Shapeshift Level went up, then it would have a better chance of getting something useful out of this rare opportunity.
It was a dilemma, one that would stump most people. Should they try to gain power now, or put it off so they can stack the odds in their favor? While aiming for a better chance was attractive, it might still turn out to be a colossal waste of time. Not to mention that whether they lived long enough to take advantage of that time investement was another question entirely. It was difficult to find the right answer and every person would have their own opinion on the matter.
Well, the one who was making this decision wasn‘t really a person.
*CHOMP CHOMP MUNCH MUNCH*
It was a simple creature that immediately made its choice. Or rather, it completely failed to realize there was even a choice to begin with. Even if the faux-chest was significantly smarter when compared to others of its kind, it was still a Mimic. In the grand scheme of things, it was still a moron.
And, being the moron that it was, it completely neglected to activate Cadaver Absorbtion beforehand.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|