1.5 Bait

I held on for dear life as the beetle scurried away. I did not want to let my prey escape. I knew I was getting close to my level cap, and wanted every bit of experience I could get my hands on, especially as my ‘easy’ source was currently unavailable.

As the beetle ran, I resorted to using my jaws to try to damage its exoskeleton enough for me to tear into its vitals. This beetle’s carapace was much tougher than I anticipated, which slowed me down significantly.

The beetle kept running the entire time. I kept looking around me to see if it would accidentally take me into danger, but didn’t let up on trying to injure it.

After a while, I’d finally created somewhat of an opening in its chitin. My jaws were tired from trying to get through it.

I stabbed one of my pedipalps into the opening I’d created while I tried pumping more venom into the insect. I could only produce a little more before I’d run dry again. I stabbed frantically, but the beetle kept running.

I heard a familiar hiss and looked at where it came from.

A huge, long, green being lay curled up and I immediately knew what it was.

I let go of the beetle and ran away from the snake. There was no way I was going to beat a frigging snake. Not with this body.

The thing was, like, over fifty times my size!

An honorable retreat was the only option. Unfortunately, I had to let my prey go…

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I skittered back along the cave wall to where I’d spent the night. That area seemed to be the safest in this cave. It would be best for me to spend as much time there as possible until I’d grow stronger.

I had no clue what awaited me beyond the snake after all.

I also needed a proper pair of eyes so I could start mapping the area properly. This was truly outrageous.

You have killed a Black Cave Dung Beetle: EXP+20

Level Up!

Kealyna has reached level 9!

You have been awarded 2 EP.

Uhh?

I stopped moving as I stared at the two blue squares before me.

If I had to guess, I killed that beetle with my venom?

I couldn’t complain.

I only had one level to go, but my primary weapon was disabled. At the moment, the best I could do in a fight was simply piercing and tearing with my fangs and teeth.

Pressing onward it was. I wasn’t going to quit now that I was this close to this supposed evolution. It had me wondering what these options would be like. I figured that as long as I picked my fights carefully, I should be fine.

What were worms going to do against a spider?

It wasn’t a worm that I ran into first. The first thing I ran into had far too many legs, was long, and seemed to be brown. I couldn’t make out what it was properly, but I guessed it was a centipede.

I knew nothing about centipedes on a micro-level. Did they have fangs? Mandibles? Venom even?

Not knowing, and moreover, not being able to confirm with these bad eyes, I decided to avoid the creature by skittering up the wall, passing it with a wide arc, before skittering down onto the ground again.

I then ran into another spider that appeared to be my size.

I noticed it, and apparently, it noticed me as well as it started running towards me.

I found myself running once again, knowing I would need time to regenerate my venom. I was left cursing at this body and its shortcomings after my pursuant had finally given up.

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I bet those gods were laughing in their safe space.

How I hated them.

It didn’t take long for me to run into something that resembled a slug. I inched closer and confirmed that it couldn’t be anything but that. I skittered onto its slimy body and started hacking away with my pedipalps and some legs, piercing its skin and damaging its organs, wherever they were.

Even without venom, these creatures would be no problem for me to deal with.

You have killed a Forest Slug: EXP+11

I followed the cave wall further and eventually, I saw rays of light enter the cave in the distance.

I skittered closer and killed another slug that I ran into. When I reached the rays of light, I could see a lot of green and brown on the outside world. Everything was blurred, especially from this distance, but I was clearly looking at a forest.

That’s where I would go once I was able to leave this cave.

Whenever that was…

There were probably quite a few predators in a forest that would eat spiders, birds to name one. I was not going to outrun them, that was, if I even saw them coming…

I sighed mentally once more. Being a spider was truly a struggle.

I made my way across the entrance and continued along the cave wall on the opposite end. I found a new nook that would be a perfect hiding spot as I went. It was quite a bit larger than my last hideout, but it had an opening that was fairly narrow. I would be able to cover it with webs quite easily.

I took a mental note of its position as my eyes caught movement in the darkness to my right.

A long pink creature moved over the floor, seemingly oblivious to my presence.

I cheered inward as prey had come to me instead! I skittered to it and was upon the creature and started hacking away with my legs while I chewed through its body with my teeth.

My jaws with teeth seemed to do quite a bit of work versus unarmored creatures. I was glad I’d chosen to evolve those first. They turned out to be an excellent means of defeating enemies if my poison was unavailable, even if I had to tear them into many pieces like this worm.

Seriously, how could it survive that long?

You have killed an Earthworm: EXP+15

Come to think of it, I was a knight. At least, in my former life, I was. I had gotten to know many different types of weapons, but the sword was my favorite. I didn’t see how I would be unable to use a weapon in my current form.

It would be very crude, sure, but I could probably use at least something.

I’d have to pay attention to see if anything that could serve as a weapon would show up.

I soon ran into another worm again and tore it into many pieces. After that, there were no creatures in sight.

Damn, and I was so close too.

Should I check out the nest again to see if the large spider had disappeared?

I decided against it as the nest was quite far from my location. I would just continue onward along the wall.

Besides another slug, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of activity here. I dispatched the creature before making my way over to the hideout that I had marked in my head.

I was fairly close to the cave exit.

Should I try going outside?

I decided against it. I was a spider, not suicidal. I seemed to be in luck, though. A snail had just entered the cave from the outside world. I was upon it as soon as I’d seen it enter and the creature got a nasty cut in its skin before it retreated inside its shell.

Oh no, you don’t.

I flipped the shell over so that it laid flat on the ground. I then used my fangs to pinch holes inside the shell. I managed to pierce through and repeated this several times before I used my pedipalps to pierce the snail’s body until it died.

You have killed a Forest Snail: EXP+18

It seemed that killing that snail had attracted some unwanted attention. Another spider made its way over to me. I stepped away from the prey that I’d just killed.

The other spider seemed to be more interested in the snail’s corpse than me as I saw it sink its fangs into the creature.

Was it just that desperate for food or what? Did it think it was the more dominant spider and that it had successfully shooed me away from a meal?

This was the stupidest thing it could have done.

While it was occupied with the snail’s corpse, I very slowly skittered out of sight, only to make a large turn and sneak behind it, where I knew it wouldn’t be able to see me. If my own vision was anything to go by, I was in a blind spot here.

I moved my legs very slowly, so as to not startle the spider before me. Once I was in range, I sank my fangs in its abdomen and released whatever venom I’d stored up.

I held on to the creature so that it couldn’t turn around and attack me while my venom did its work.

You have killed a Tiny Black Cave Spider: EXP+15

Level Up!

Kealyna has reached level 10!

You have been awarded 1 EP.

Level Cap Reached

Evolutions Available!



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