Chapter 4 – Pinpoint

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Spiders always looked creepy, the ones of the sea even more so. However, Tim tried to put his discomfort aside for survival’s sake. He did so, and ended up eating seven whole ‘sea spiders’!

He ate so many of them, because they weren’t so filling, they didn’t have any fat on them. Their long legs were inedible, so he only chomped through their small, red main bodies. He didn’t have to fight them in order to eat them, as these ‘spiders’ were as stupid as one would assume! This was an easy, but surely creepy meal.

The system spammed him with some information afterwards. [You successfully killed and consumed seven marble shrimps, so in total, you get 14 points of health out of them. Of course, your hunger needs have been fulfilled as well.]

“Health, huh? So that’s why I was feeling better… This isn’t temporary, right? I don’t want to feel like crap after an hour or, whatever.” He asked.

His concern was valid. A tiny stingray didn’t have a complex system of pain receptors, but the few that he did have, had numbed most of his movements up until moments ago! He didn’t want to return to that.

Thankfully, the system answered. [These points aren’t temporary, no. You replenished your health bar, and unless acted upon, your health bar will be 69/100 from now on.]

“That’s good, you know? Finally, something to be happy about.” He thought.

However, from the looks of it, these shrimp also had a negative effect. He ate seven of them, and each shrimp took a point away from his sleep and stamina bar. He felt pooped, and therefore looked for a tidy place on the sand, where he could sleep on.

This place was pretty safe, or at least, huge creatures wouldn’t be able to get in here. He shouldn’t find himself facing any enemies here, none which he knew of, so this time around he could sleep peacefully.

While he dug himself into the sand, the system came along with another chunk of information. [The kills you just made, also reaped you 7 whole system points. In total, you now have 13 points at your disposal.]

That didn’t sound bad at all, but TIm didn’t care about points right now. The lack of stamina knocked him out cold, just moments after he dug into the sand. He felt safe, stronger, and he even dreamt about killing that mako shark who chased him. This wasn’t as bad of a day as he made it out to be.

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About five hours later, Tim woke up and he felt fully rested. He was alive, there weren’t any enemies in sight as surely, sharks wouldn’t be able to squeeze in here. He was safe, and felt strong for once as well!

He had dreamt about being the strongest stingray in existence, which was far from the truth right now, but it was something good to aim for. Before he went asleep, he remembered the system talking about points, and now, he figured that it was time to use them.

“Gotta get stronger somehow,” He mumbled, and then asked. “System, what can I buy right now?”

The system was quick to answer that, she said. [There are currently two available upgrade options, and you can’t afford either of them.] [Option number one = Learn your current location. This option is priced at 14 points]

This option seemed bizarre, and for a single reason only. Location, or knowing one’s own location, shouldn’t matter much for a little stingray. He could travel to another sea or anything like that, he was really small and slow. He hoped that there was more to this purchase, otherwise it would be a waste of points.

Anyway, the system continued. [Option number two = Upgrade your Hunting, jaws, and natural camouflage capabilities to level three. This upgrade is priced at 28 points.]

Tim wanted to buy this option instead, it seemed really useful. However, it was also expensive, too expensive for him. It would probably take a while to get another fifteen points to use, and under the current circumstances, he didn’t really want to put the work in. He didn’t want to eat those spidery shrimp anymore, especially not fifteen of them all together!

For that matter, he had to decide. “Oh well, can’t buy the cool stuff, but might as well buy something. I want to learn my location, system, maybe it’ll show me the good stuff, like where to find better food?”

[As I mentioned before, you lack the required points to purchase this option. Go kill another one of those ‘spiders’ as there are plenty of them in your den. If you don’t want to eat any of them, just bite its head off, as it will still give you a point, though, it won’t affect your health or stamina at all.] The system said.

Tim was irritated right now, he didn’t want to move, but he had to comply. He found a marble shrimp, and killed it without remorse!

[Purchase confirmed,] The system immediately said. [Finding host…]

Suddenly, a map appeared in front of Tim’s vision! It stretched from one end of his vision to the other, and it looked a lot like a computer screen! Interesting for sure.

“Wow!” He exclaimed.

Plenty of moving images flashed in front of him afterwards. An earth-like planet appeared on that screen, except the planet’s atmosphere, unlike earth, had a stroke of red mixed between its overwhelming blue gas. It was beautiful!

The globe spun quickly within the screen, and once it stopped spinning, it zoomed in on a specific part of the ocean, which had a stretch of land nearby. Tim wasn’t on earth right now, that aside, he was a stingray, so he didn’t really recognize landmasses by their name. All of that looked like miscellaneous information to him.

The computer-like screen ignored the landmass as much as Tim did. Instead, the screen zoomed into the sea water, submerged within it, and started taking numerous quick turns below the water.

TIm felt as if he was being chased by a camera crew right now, one which had superpowers, because eventually, the screen showed him the very coral reef he was hiding in.

It found that stretch of red coral, and he only assumed that the ‘cameras’ were above his head now. He was too scared to swim upwards and look at them, but the system still impressed him nonetheless.

The system then explained, [[You are in the Strait of Teutana, near the city of Trekanas. The area is mostly safe, but I advise you to exercise caution. You’re too small, so a small injury can snowball into a deadly infection. This coral reef can be your friend for a while, explore carefully.]

As the system spoke, Tim looked at the screen in front of him, and tried to make sense of the area. The screen wouldn’t zoom in any further, but from the short glimpses he had gotten earlier on, it was obvious that this reef was absolutely massive!

There were infinite hiding spots here, and he guessed that plenty of other small animals used this place to hide in. With that in mind, if he tried enough, then he’d plenty of spots to farm points on. It was inevitable!

Anyway, the system sealed this whole topic off, as she explained. [This purchase consumed all of your points, so I’d say that you should take your explorative aspirations seriously. If you’re to progress, you will need many points.]

Tim was aware of that, so he didn’t get demotivated when the system pointed it out. He was a poor little stingray right now, but since he didn’t want to die anytime soon, it was best to just work and aim for progress!

The system added one more thing, [That aside, about ten minutes from now, you won’t be able to look at this map anymore, so pay attention and try to not forget your surroundings.]

“Okay, guess I can’t swim fast unless I need to, huh?” Tim came to those terms, “Hate to waste these flaming c****, but oh well…”

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