Chapter 0005 Black Snake
I found a relatively safe place and took time to familiarize with my skills.
I didn’t have the appraisal skill, but since they were skills that I gained, I could intuitively understand their effects.
[Blood Sucking] is a skill that allows me to recover my stamina by attacking, and [Sound Wave Perception] is a skill that allows me to obtain information about my surroundings by emitting ultrasonic waves.
Both are very useful skills.
Especially since I was clueless about the floor I was on, [Sound Wave Perception], which could pick up information about my surroundings, was very helpful.
I immediately tried using [Sound Wave Perception].
After a sound wave unperceivable to ordinary humans was sent out, the sound waves that bounced back to me told me how the passage continued and I could also grasp what kind of monsters were ahead.
“…Monsters that I can likely win against… the ones in the passage on the right?”
After eating the minotaur, I became able to perceive something like a monster’s aura that I could not perceive before.
A power different from magic power.
It was probably the magic essence monsters possess.
The total amount of magic essence that a monster has equals the strength of the monster.
In other words, the more magic essence it contains, the stronger the monster.
My current goal was to escape from that floor which could be any number of floors below where I came from.
Using [Sound Wave Perception], I might be able to avoid fighting monsters as much as possible while moving, but I didn’t think I could avoid all monsters.
A minimum level of strength is required to climb the floors.
That was why I chose to avoid monsters that I probably couldn’t beat and challenged monsters that I could.
As such, when I followed the passage on the right where there was a monster I could match, I encountered a large snake covered with black scales and spines.
The black snake was slowly slithering through the dim passage.
I could catch it unaware with [Sound Wave Perception], so I held the advantage.
I approached with the battleaxe in hand while making my footsteps as silent as possible to launch a preemptive strike.
Suddenly, the black snake that had its back facing me abruptly turned around and tried to bite me with its jaws wide open.
I immediately stopped and retreated.
“You bastard, you noticed!”
Just like how I could sense its existence with [Sound Wave Perception], the black snake seemed to have some kind of perception skill too.
It was cunning, pretending not to notice while perceiving my presence.
As we were staring at each other, the black snake licked the air with its forked tongue before suddenly whipping its tail around.
I swung my battleaxe and flicked its whip-like tail away.
Surprised that a creature with a body smaller than itself possesses the same strength as it did, the black snake continued to swing its tail.
I carefully ascertained the trajectory of the tail swipes and swung my battleaxe accordingly.
Deflect, dodge, weave, and block, I foiled the black snake’s raging strikes.
My dynamic visual acuity, which increased by leveling up, firmly captured the black snake’s movements and it seemed that our strengths were evenly matched.
It was an opponent that I could never defeat if it was before I ate the minotaur.
However, if I made full use of my current status and the skills I acquired by consuming monsters, I could compete adequately.
I strengthened myself with [Muscle Strengthening] and struck the tail of the black snake.
The black snake fell sideways from the unexpectedly strong blow.
Seizing that as an opportunity, I jumped and swung my battleaxe strongly.
At that moment, the black snake turned only its face towards me, opened its mouth wide, and spewed out a yellow mist.
It perfectly washed over my defenseless body.
I could see the black snake sneering beyond the thick fog.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t you who deceived me, I deceived you.
“Too bad paralysis doesn’t work on me!”
I boldly cut through the fog and slammed the battleaxe at the neck of the black snake.
The momentum from my leap and large amount of accumulated power cut off the black snake’s neck and blew its head off.
The black snake’s body continued to wiggle around, but after a while it stopped moving.
“That was dangerous. If it wasn’t for my status ailment nullification, I would have been a goner.”
Its total amount of magic essence wasn’t that big, so I thought I could deal with it sufficiently, but it had such an unexpected hidden trick.
I definitely would have lost if it wasn’t for my Unique Skill.
I learned that if I were to measure strength based only on the amount of magic essence, I would end up suffering an unexpected blow.
In any case, I was able to win without any injuries.
All that was left was to eat it. After all, that was my ticket to getting stronger.
I had eaten snakes many times. It was the easiest protein source to secure among animals that I was familiar with.
Before I became an adventurer and when I lacked money, I used to go to fields and mountains to catch and eat snakes.
Although it was a monster and was vastly different in size, its basic physiology won’t change.
I had already decapitated it, so I used the sword on my waist to peel off its compact scale and broke off the sharp thorns.
If I brought back the scales and thorns that boast such hardness, it would probably be worth a considerable amount of money, but unfortunately, I couldn’t carry the materials back.
That wouldn’t be an issue if I had a magic bag, but there was no point wishing for something I didn’t have.
After the scales were peeled off, gray skin appeared under it, so I made a cut with my sword and pulled it off as hard as I could.
Then, with the gray skin removed, a beautiful pink body was exposed.
After that, all I had to do was boil it, roast it, or cook it however I liked. That being said, in the current situation where I had no cooking utensils or seasonings, all I could do was grill it with fire.
To at least make it at least feel like a dish, I used the broken thorns as a skewer and insert the meat onto it, then roasted the meat with fire magic.
By the time it turned golden brown, curled up, and started to smell good, I extinguished the fire.
“Somehow it smells quite peculiar…”
It smelled different from the minotaur and bats.
It was hard to describe, but I felt like there was a hint of spiciness.
After enjoying the unique scent, I bit into it with anticipation.
“Wow, it’s amazingly firm and has a strong taste!”
Was it because the flesh of the whole body itself is muscle? The meat of the black snake was very firm and very filling. Along with that, the taste was also condensed, and the taste of the meat seemed to seep out of it.
The snakes I’ve eaten many times tasted like bland chicken, but this one was many times more delicious.
As I continued to eat the meat, a sweetness came from the meat.
Apparently, there was thick fat around the bones of the torso. It seeped out and added a stronger juiciness to the meat of the black snake.
“Just plain roasting alone made it so delicious! It doesn’t need any seasoning!”
I thought I would miss seasonings, but my expectations were betrayed in a good way.
I never thought black snake meat could be so delicious…
After eating the black snake, I checked my status.
LV 22 (↑2)
Stamina: 86 (↑6)
Strength: 57 (↑6)
Tenacity: 43 (↑2)
Magic: 34 (↑4)
Spirit: 27 (↑3)
Agility: 44 (↑4)
Unique Skill: [Nullify status ailments]
Skills: [Swordsmanship] [Martial Arts] [Roar] [Battleaxe Technique] [Muscle Strengthening (Medium)] [Blood Sucking] [Sound Wave Perception] [Heat Source Perception] [Paralyzing Breath]
Attribute magic: [Fire attribute]
By eating the black snake, I gained the [Heat Source Perception] and [Paralyzing Breath] skills.
I see. Was it able to notice my surprise attack using [Heat Source Perception]?
Even if visibility is bad, I could now sense presence through heat signature. With that, it greatly reduces my chance of being caught off guard.
If I consciously activate the [Paralyzing Breath] skill, I will be able to spout a yellow mist similar to a black snake from my mouth.
Thanks to my Unique Skill, it doesn’t affect me in any way, but a normal monster would likely be paralyzed.
It seemed useful when I want to stop the opponent’s movement or disable it.
After verifying the skills, I activated [Sound Wave Perception] and [Heat Source Perception] in parallel.
“… Going straight is bad news.”
A monster with a huge body that filled the passage was camping ahead.
Its silhouette was similar to that of a minotaur, but its physique was larger and its magic essence was extraordinary.
It was giving off bad news vibes.
Even with my current status, after rapidly leveling up and acquiring numerous skills, I would definitely lose.
It was so monstrously strong that I could tell at a glance.
I wondered what kind of skills I would be able to acquire if I could eat such a monster, but as expected, it would be foolish to challenge something I couldn’t win against.
It wasn’t as though I had to defeat all the monsters. My priority was still to escape from the labyrinth.
I couldn’t lose sight of my goal.
I will ascend after steadily eating monsters and getting stronger.
I was still one of the weakest existence in the abyss.
Admonishing myself, I continued my quest to eat monsters in order to escape from the abyss.