Chapter 18

The night hadn’t even properly enveloped the world yet and the creature was already joyous. Its emotions were buoyed by the fact that it had something else to look forward to other than just poisoning itself. Thus, it practically skipped out of its hideout and headed out in a direction it had never gone before.

Even the buzzing of its wings, something that had always annoyed it, didn’t seem to bother it that much. Though, that didn’t mean that the creature didn’t try to dampen the sound; it did. And as a result, it flew quite low and slow. A dangerous combination indeed. Yet, it was a situation less dangerous than attracting the attention of every living thing that it passed.

Therefore, it tried to be especially cautious as it flew and always paid attention to the inputs that its antenna gave to the creature. For even though the creature was not been using the Skill, [Sense], its antennas were still functional but their sensitivity decreased quite a bit.

At that moment, however, that the creature heard hissing sounds and turned its head to take a look. What it found was two scorpions facing off against each other.

Both the scorpions were quite small in size, around a third of a mortal’s finger and almost half as thin. The shinning chitin that covered their backs was greyish green in colour while their beady eyes were dark and black. Both the insects had cracks upon their exoskeletons and one of them even had its pincers cracked and broken.

The scorpion with the broken pincer hissed loudly once again and took a swipe at the other with its hooked tail but to no avail as the other one dodged and retaliated with by striking at the broken pincer with its own. However, the scorpion with the broken pincer seemed to have already learned its lesson, as it moved its pincer out of the way and avoided the attack.

The white moth settled down at the nearby branch and watched the show as if the scorpions were gladiators fighting for its enjoyment, which they weren’t. The posturing and the threatening went for a long time as they swiped at each other, sometimes managing to hit each other but, more often than not, they missed the other. It went for such a long time that the white moon had even moved from its position.

As the tense fighting continued, the two became increasingly tired and it was only a matter of time that they were exhausted. However, both the insects seemed to realise the other’s state, which resulted in the scorpions entering a standoff for a moment. Both waiting for the other to retreat.

In the end, though, it was the scorpion with the broken pincer that retreated and when it did, the relatively healthy scorpion puffed up its form and hissed at the retreating form of the other scorpion, declaring its victory. It watched the losing scorpion leave before, it too, swirled and left.

At that moment, the white-furred moth paused for a moment to ponder over its next course of action before it beat its wings and took off. It activated its Skill, [Sense] and immediately its antenna’s twitched as they picked up a rather bitter scent permeating the air.

The creature shivered for a moment as it experienced the scent and its instincts warned it of danger. The scent was predatory but nothing on the level of the wooden mantis, before whom the [Survivor] could do nothing else but flee. Thus, the moth began trailing the scorpion with the broken pincer.

As only a few seconds had passed since the scorpion had retreated, the creature followed the trail easily enough and found the scorpion resting under the shade of a rather dense bush. The shrub was dense enough that it hid the scorpion’s form completely and if the creature hadn’t been following the trail, it doubted it would have found the scorpion at all.

The moth shivered at the thought.

However, this was an opportunity that it was unwilling to miss. As although this scorpion did not possess the same Vessel as the one that had devoured its venom laced snail, the [Reincarnated] wanted to try hunting it nonetheless. After all, if hunting snails as a caterpillar had given it that many Levels, then just how many Levels would it receive after killing a scorpion?

The creature’s heart pounded as it landed on the opposite side of the bush and the scorpion’s scent hit its weakened antennas once again. It gulped and began to slowly crawl towards the injured scorpion while trying to remain as silent as possible.

After all, the creature that it was hunting was a scorpion, not a snail. Hunting one was not the same as hunting the other and the creature did not even dare to delude such when the scent alone had been all the indication that it had needed to know just how dangerous the scorpion was. Knowing all this, the only reason that the creature was daring to hunt it was the injured state of the scorpion.

The moth arrived directly above the injured scorpion, whose eyes were closed as it rested, and began to dig into the small branch to create a pit. It took some time for the creature to dig it out and, as the creature did not want to alert the resting scorpion below, it could do nothing with dugout material other than consuming it.

With the pit dug, the creature dug out a small drain, leading out from the pit towards the edge of the branch, before blocking the end of the drain with the dug-out material. The [Reincarnated] then silently slid into the pit before activating its Skill [Venom Creation] to fill the pit with its venom.

Once the pit was full, the creature made sure that the scorpion was still resting underneath before it unplugged the drain and let the collected venom run down the drain and fall onto the scorpion with a splash, covering its chitin and seeping into the cracks and the flesh of the injured scorpion.

The scorpion reacted instantly as it shook itself violently to shrug off the liquid, however, the shake did little to the venom that had already seeped through. The chitin covered predator whirled around to look up and its beady eyes found the white form of the moth. The scorpion glared and hissed at the moth while snapped at the branch on which the moth was sitting on.

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The [Survivor] instantly took to the air and hovered out of the scorpion’s reach as it waited for the venom to take effect. However, as the time continued to pass, the scorpion merely hissed and snapped. It did not react in any way that would indicate that the venom had taken effect.

‘Is its [Poison Resistance] high enough to negate the effect of my venom?’ The moth frowned and its antennas twitched as the thought popped up in its head. ‘Even then, shouldn’t the hallucination take effect?’

As the moth hovered restlessly above the scorpion, the chitin covered creature continued to hiss and swipe at it and the moments continued to pass. The more the moments passed the more the moth became restless and the scorpion became agitated.

In the end, though, the moth’s patience paid off as the hissing scorpion suddenly stumbled and fell. Its sting began twitching and its limbs trembled, leaving it vulnerable and the moth dived down, wasting not a moment as it landed on the cracked part of the tail and bit down. However, was the chitin of a scorpion so easy to bite into?

The creature thus changed its strategy and instead of biting into it, the moth decided to pull off of the cracked chitin rather than break it further. Thus, it bit into the chitin and pulled. The hallucinating scorpion shrieked and tried to stab at the moth with its stinger but the creature had no control over its limbs due to the venom coursing through its body and the moth successfully pulled the chitin off.

The [Survivor] then bit into the soft flesh and began eating the scorpion’s tail while the insect was still alive.

At that moment, the chitin covered creature tried its best move its body, however, tired as it had already been -from the fight with the other scorpion- the effects of the poison did not allow the scorpion to retaliate as its body remained out of its control. It could only shriek in pain and watch as the moth ate it alive while waiting for the effect of the poison to subside.

However, even that was not the end of the scorpion’s misery as the HP, that had already been minimal, dipped even further due to the direct attack to its flesh and its eyes lost a bit of light as they trembled in fear and disbelief. It could not believe that it had escaped from the other scorpion, only to die from the bites of a moth. A moth, of all things!

The scorpion was unwilling. It was extremely unwilling!

However, did the heavens cared about its willingness or unwillingness? They certainly did not! And thus, the scorpion died with all its unwillingness accumulated in its Remnant.

Ting.

Ting.

.

.

.

Ting.

[You have Levelled Up! The level up bonus of +2 HP and +2 MP granted.]

Ting.

[Skill [Sense Lv.1] has reached [Sense Lv.2]. The active time of the Skill has been increased to 2 minutes.]

Ting.

[Skill [Venom Creation Lv.4] has levelled up to [Venom Creation Lv.5]. The active time of the venom has been increased to 5 minutes.]

The [Survivor] paused its eating for a moment just so it could count the Level ups and when it did, it let out a laugh. ‘34 Levels and 2 Skill Level ups! What a fat fish!’

As the creature felt its stomach bulge from eating, it stopped and let out a burp and if it had been a mortal, it would have even softly patted its stomach. As it was, it simply burped and eyed the remaining scorpion meat. The creature had barely managed to eat the meat within the tail and rest of the chitin covered bug was still intact.

The [Reincarnated] shook its head as it decided to cut its losses while it still could and discarded the rest of the scorpion. It eyed the stinger of the scorpion, for a moment, as it thought about using the poison in there to try and Level up [Poison resistance] but then it brutally killed that thought. ‘Do I have a death wish or what? This thing gave me 34 Levels, meaning it was incredibly powerful. And I want to inflict myself with its poison? Lunatic! I must be a lunatic.’

The creature then flew off and did not give the dead scorpion a second glance.

Instead, it arrived at the location, where it had last seen the scorpions fight, and activated its Skill [Sense]. However, the Skill had a time limit of 1 minute per Hour before it Levelled up and as the limit hadn’t yet expired, the creature could only land on a nearby branch and wait.

Soon enough the limit expired and the [Survivor] activated its Skill, [Sense]. The moth took off and it began to track the remaining scorpion as it followed the bitter scent. Though the creature couldn’t follow for long as the Skill expired and the creature lost the scorpion’s tail.

The [Reincarnated] frowned as landed on the nearby branch and tried to pick up the now-familiar scent with simply its antennas, without using the Skill. However, this proved to be a rather difficult endeavour that did not bear any fruit.

The creature was unwilling to give up on the chase, though, as the single scorpion had given it 34 Levels, and it had been the one that had lost the fight of the two scorpions. The moth could only imagine how many Levels the other scorpion, that had won, could give.

In short, the creature had become greedy. Thus, by the time the hour ended and the creature could use [Sense] once again, the creature kept on failing at trying to pick up the bitter scent.

With the Skill available again, however, the creature flew into the air as it used [Sense] and once again began tracking the bitter scent. At the same time, the white-furred moth kept on familiarising itself with the scent for when the Skill would become unavailable next.

It was just as the [Reincarnated] had anticipated and the Skill ran out long before the creature could track down the scorpion. However, it did not deter the creature as it landed and began trying to pick up the scent without the use of the Skill.

This pattern repeated quite a few times and by the time the creature managed to pick up the scent, without the use of the Skill, the dark night had begun to lighten up by the early rays of the approaching dawn. A sight at which the creature scowled before it followed the trail and began tracking.

Eventually, the moth arrived at another bush. Much like the other scorpion, this one too had chosen a shrub as its hiding place. The creature’s heart raced in anticipation but the moth paid it no mind before it gently landed on the other side of the bush, much like it had done so previously.

However, it was there that the similarity between the two scorpions ended. For where the other scorpion had remained ignorant of the moth’s presence until the moment venom had landed on the chitin covered insect, this scorpion’s eyes found the moth the moment the flying bug landed.

Their gazes met and the moth’s entire body trembled and its eyes widened. At that moment, the creature discovered the reason why its instincts had labelled the scorpion as dangerous. For within the scorpion’s pincers was a spider that was bigger than the moth and its body alone was almost just as wide. And it was dead.

The scorpion gobbled on the freshly hunted spider as it eyed the moth.

The moth’s scalp tingled and it flew up before escaping the bush as fast as its wings could carry the [Survivor]. All thoughts of hunting the scorpion had vanished from its mind. Instead, in its mind, the image of the scorpion with cracked chitin, eating a freshly hunted spider that was bigger than the moth itself. ‘Crazy! I must have been crazy! Totally crazy!! That thing could kill me with a swipe of its tail and I wanted to hunt it?! My mind must have melted into goo!!’

0.0

The incident with the second scorpion scared the moth to such a degree that it remained within its shelter for the next few nights. It did not hunt. It did not eat. It did not dare venture far. It remained within the hideout and tolerated the hunger. The only time it stepped out was to drink water, which it had been able to find easily due to the rain that had graced the land on the night it had woken up.

It was only on the third night that the creature hesitantly stepped out, to do anything else but drink water. And it had done so because its hunger had begun to become unbearable. Though, before it flew off, it made sure that there were no scorpions in the area.

Beating its wings, the moth took to the air as it maintained a high level of vigilance. With its antennas on high alert, the creature flew as high as it could but still tried to remain within the cover of the canopy. It did not take much time for the moth to reach the hunting ground and soon, it found its prey; a rather young and seemingly small spider.

This time the creature decided to employ a different strategy and softly landed on the branch from which the spider had been hanging. The creature moved, using [Crawl] to reduce the vibrations from its movement, before finally reaching the spider. The moth then began to secrete its venom and let the liquid collect into a puddle near its body.

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The creature waited till the venom was about to overflow before it guided the liquid to the thread from which the spider had been hanging all along. At this moment, the spider sensed the movement and became alert but did not react much. It was as if the web-spinning creature had mistaken the venom drops for drops of rain. The moth, in the meanwhile, kept on guiding more and more of its venom down the thread.

The shriek that reached its ears, told the moth all that needed to know and it smiled as its venom had hit its mark. The spider began to struggle wildly, trying to shake off the poison, as more and more of it reached it. As another drop hit it, the spider decided to cut its losses and let go the thread it had been hanging on.

As the spider fell, it tried to shoot another thread of web to the nearby trunk but the moth flapped its wings and blew the thread away, resulting in the spider striking the ground rather hard. Hitting the ground seemed to have caused massive damage to the spider, as it tried to stand up a few times before it couldn’t move anymore and soon died.

The moth, as expected, didn’t get any Level from the spider. But the creature had not been looking for one. For Levels were earned only after battles and the creature was in no mood to battle anything anytime soon.

The moth flew down and bit into the spider before dragging the spider corpse back to the hole, which it had dug during its previous hunt, and began to chomp down on the delicious spider flesh. The moth, though, was careful to not eat a single bit of poisoned meat as it did not feel like it was prepared to go through the ordeal and be left vulnerable under the open sky.

With its hunger sated, the creature returned to its hideout and spent the rest of the night using [Mana manipulation], searching for a way to employ mana. Such was the creature’s mental state and fear, that it used neither [Moulting] nor [Survive] to Level them up.

-X-

Within a desolate desert, inside a dilapidated shop, on a simple chair, a youth seemingly slept.

-X-

Spoiler: Spoiler

Name: Unnamed

Race: Immortal

Species: Insect

Vessel: White Furred Moth

Level: 45

HP: 210/210 MP: 110/110

HPR: 15 HP/Day MPR: 5 MP/H

Lifespan: 164 days

Titles

[Reincarnated] [Survivor]

Skills

[Crawl Lv.5] [Flight Lv.5] [Mana Manipulation Lv.1] [Moulting Lv.3] [Night Vision Lv.4] [Pain Resistance Lv.4] [Poison Resistance Lv.8] [Sense Lv.2] [Sense Essence Lv.1] [Survive Lv.2] [Venom Creation Lv.5]


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