Having been disarmed by its own stupidity, the Mimic was left in an unquestionably weaker position. It was barely able to fend off two spears with its three swords, so the idea of facing three spears with only two blades was not a pleasant one. It made a few unsteady steps backward, unsure of what to do. Should it run away and live to fight another day? Was that really an option? Even if it ran away, would it find food? Would these people let it escape in the first place? Why was there a stone that looked a little bit like a rat’s head on the ground? Come to think of it why were there no other monsters around? And why was it suddenly asking itself these various questions in the first place? None of that pondering was getting it any closer to not being dead.
There was still some distance between it and the guards, but they seemed wary of approaching it. They were obviously waiting for their buddy to get back in the fight, and by the looks of things that moment would be here soon. The Mimic needed to fight back, but to do that it needed a new weapon. Luckily, there were two armed corpses under its feet. And the dead were extremely generous with their belongings. It reached down its free tentacle and coiled it around one of the spears. Actually, there was another one, so it was fine if it tried its ‘Killer Move’ again, right? That first attempt was probably a fluke! Besides, it looked like an oversized arrow. And arrows flew really really well, something this monster had learned with its own body when it failed to properly ambush that Ranger about a month ago.
And so, about a second after obtaining its new acquisition, the Mimic threw it forward with all its might. The spear, unlike the sword, was indeed a weapon that could be thrown. It cut through the air at a speed that was hard for the human eye to track, especially in these dim conditions. But, much like the first attempt, it missed both guards, flying between them without leaving so much as a scratch.
“HUCK!” the monster yelled.
But rather than the sound of metal uselessly hitting on stone, what was heard next was a piercing yell.
“Aaargh! Ah hahaaaaaah! AAAAH!” screamed the third living guard on the scene. His two comrades unwittingly turned their heads around. The wounded man was still struggling to his feet when the errant spear had managed to hit him. It impaled him squarely in the groin, just below the edge of his steel cuirass. He was screaming and thrashing around on the ground in a pain that seemed to resonate with every male in that tunnel.
A special action has been performed. LCK +1.
Ignoring that seemingly random Attribute increase, the Mimic quickly lunged at the two guards. Their attention had shifted and their hands had stopped - if there was ever a chance to turn things around, it would be now. It dashed in between their outstretched spears and thrust both of its swords forward. The dumbfounded guards turned their heads around just in time to get stabbed in the face.
You have dealt a Critical Strike! Target HP -78.
You have dealt a devastating blow. Target stunned for 5 seconds.
You have dealt a Critical Strike! Target HP -79.
You have dealt a devastating blow. Target stunned for 5 seconds.
Proficiency level increased. Sword Mastery is now Level 5. STR +2. DEX +2.
It was checkmate. Or rather, it would be if there were any strategy or planning involved. It was a miracle that the two men did not die on the spot after having the backs of their throats pierced clean through. The Mimic promptly withdrew his blades and slashed at their faces, achieving what is colloquially known as a ‘double kill.’ It then methodically moved in on the final guard and finished him off while he was still writing on the ground.
A triumphant screech resounded through the dungeon. The Mimic was overcome with the thrill of winning a hard battle for the first time in its life. While it did sometimes fail to ambush its prey, the ensuing scuffle would be little more than an annoyance for the over-leveled monster. If there was ever a time for it to express its joy of victory through the language of dance, it was now.
Although, it wasn’t skill or strategy that won the day. It was its own idiocy. The unpredictable and erratic behavior it displayed completely caught its enemy by surprise on more than one occasion. The creature simply had to recognize its opportunity to act and seize it. It may not be very good at thinking things through, but the Mimic’s mind was already a steel trap when it came to taking advantage of a moment of weakness.
Trickery? Cowardice? Honor? It knew not of such things. It knew of very few things, to be honest. Even if it did know about such trivialities it would still ignore them since they would not fill its belly. And filling its belly is exactly what it needed to do right now. So without further ado, it proceeded to chow down on the five corpses in front of it.
It started with the last one to die - the one it had impaled in the groin through sheer luck. It pulled out the spear and began eating the corpse feet-first. It bit off its legs and, after spitting out the troublesome metal greaves, swallowed gleefully. It repeated the process with the arms and head, discarding the inedible armor along the way. But the torso was difficult. It was still encased in that solid steel cuirass, so getting at it was impossible. Its teeth still could not penetrate steel, after all. It left the still-armored and blood-covered torso alone and moved onto the other corpses, focusing on their limbs and heads in a similar fashion.
Your hunger has been sated. Automatic HP and MP recovery will return to normal.
When it was in the middle of devouring the fifth set of body parts, it finally got confirmation it was no longer starving. It felt relief wash over it. It wasn’t sure how much it actually needed to eat before the hunger went away completely.
Still, leaving behind those succulent torsos would be a terrible waste. While it wasn’t particularly picky about its food, the Mimic still had preferences. It found the intestines to be the tastiest part of the human body. The head was a close runner up. The brain felt kind of bland, but the skull made pleasurable crunching noises when its teeth sank into it. It was simply fun to chew. The heart was third on its list just because of how wonderfully squishy it was. The succulent rump and thigh meat were also good, but those seemed to vary quite a bit between people. Some were stringy and tough while others were far more tender.
The point was, two of its three favorite bits were in the torso. It really wanted to get at them, so now that it was no longer in a rush, it set about trying to eat them.First, it retrieved the sword it had sent flying earlier. It then approached one of the dismembered torsos and used the blade to poke and prod at the armor. After stabbing at it from several angles, it found it could cut apart some leather straps on the side, under where the arms used to be. When it did that, the front and back plates of the armor seemed to come apart. The Mimic then lifted the steel plating to reveal the succulent meat and crunchy bones it longed for. It was almost like opening up a steamed clam.
*CRUNCH MUNCH MUNCH*
Only many times more gruesome. Within the horrible gnashing and crunching noises, there was the barely audible sound of glass breaking and a mysterious liquid poured out and onto the monster’s sensitive tongue.
You have used a Healing Potion. HP +40.
It tasted like cherries. Not that this monster had ever tasted cherries before. The magical liquid dissipated and instantly closed up the Mimic’s gaping stab wound. Ironically, the one who caused that wound was the one to supply the potion to heal it.
*SNAP SLURP BURP*
Not that the Mimic really cared. It barely even noticed what was going on with how engrossed it was in eating its fill.
No, wasn’t this already beyond its fill? Its hunger had been sated for the moment, but it might come back later. Or rather, wouldn’t it definitely come back eventually? Surely it would be a good idea to put the remaining ‘body oysters’ in its Storage rather than eating them right now, right? It didn’t know how long the corpses would keep for, but it was worth a try. Therefore, the Mimic would plan ahead for the first time in its life and saved the remaining two bloodied torsos for later.
Well, it would have saved four of them, but it had already eaten two more by the time it made up its mind. It was honestly a miracle it even reached the obvious conclusion it should ration its food in the first place. So while the execution may have been less than perfect, there was still definite improvement in its mental abilities.
Once its business in that blood-soaked tunnel was done, the Mimic relocated to the spot where its kin had died earlier. Its corpse had already disappeared back into the flow of mana from whence it came. The Mimic sat down on a spot nearby and entered its dormant state. It was still heavily wounded, so it needed to wait until its automatic HP recovery restored it to good health.
Over the next ten or so minutes, the battered, splintered faux-wood that served as its outer shell slowly grew back to its pristine state. Once its HP and MP were both completely topped off, the Mimic stood up and resumed walking. At some point it had convinced itself that leaving this place behind was for the best, so there was no point in delaying its departure any longer. And thanks to its connection with the dungeon’s mana, it already knew which way the exit was.
After walking around for several minutes, it noticed the tight and claustrophobic tunnels were getting wider and wider. It could actually feel a cold breeze coming in from what was undoubtedly the outside. Feeling invigorated, it picked up the pace, its slender spider-like legs carrying it steadily onward. The walls grew wider and the ceiling became taller and taller. Eventually, it could not ‘see’ anything except the floor around it. All other surfaces were simply outside the 10-meter range of its magical perception.
This was a first for it. It was a strange sensation where it felt truly insignificant. But it still marched onward. As long as it had its connection to the mana in the air, it would know exactly where-
You have left the Litigar Dungeon Complex.
Your connection with the dungeon has been severed.
It froze. Something immediately felt off. Wrong. For one thing, it suddenly realized it was actually lost. Completely and totally lost. It no longer had any idea where it is, nor which way it was going. It wandered around aimlessly, without having a single way to tell if it was going in the right direction. After a few minutes of this, it seemed to have found its way back.
You have entered the Litigar Dungeon Complex.
Even if it returned, however, the invisible thread that made it the dungeon’s ally was now permanently severed. It was now no longer a part of this place. It may have felt an odd desire to go back at first, but that was rapidly changing now. To monsters in a dungeon, there were no gray areas. You were either an enemy or an ally. And as it was right now, this Mimic was undoubtedly an enemy to this place. Now it no longer found the thought of eating those giant rats and bats to be repulsive. It even felt like it could easily murder its own kin without any remorse.
The monster understood the meaning behind these implications. It caught on so fast that it actually surprised itself. Could it be that it was a genius all along? Something had changed. It could form a coherent stream of thoughts for the first time in its life. Almost as if a fog was lifted from its mind.
The truth of the matter was that while the mana was guiding and nourishing it, it was also robbing it of its free will. That innate compulsion to leave the dungeon? It was being chased out by the very stuff that gave it life. The reason why it had to face a squad of armed guards instead of running away at full strength when the odds were against it? They were ‘invaders’ that the dungeon wanted dead.
‘No wonder,’ it thought. Even though it recognized itself as an idiot, it couldn’t take any steps to rectify that flaw. Now was different. Now, it was free. It was also scared out of its tiny mind, but it was free. And armed with this freedom, it decided to seek out its own path in life. Maybe come back later and show this dungeon who’s boss!
But before that, it had to leave. The range of its perception was a problem. It was like being lost at sea with no landmarks and no compass. If the rest of the world could was normally this wide, then it needed other ways of finding its way around the place. Thankfully, it already had a pretty good idea what to do. It was obvious its prey did not have the same magical perception the Mimic had. Otherwise sneaking up on people would be impossible. And through its numerous scuffles and that one battle, it learned the importance and function of a particular pair of organs. So all it needed to do was replicate them. And it was really good at that sort of thing.
Mimics gotta mimic. It was a fact of life.
It quickly grew an eye on the outside of its faux wood frame. It had eaten close to a hundred eyeballs, most of them had rolled across its tongue at some point. So something like recreating an organ it was intimately familiar with was not a big deal. Just like with the spider legs. Although it still needed to morph and readjust the structure of the eye. After about half an hour of trying later, it succeeded.
It could see. Finally, it was capable of actual sight with its very own eye! But because it was, essentially, a human eye, it could not see very well in this darkness. Still, it immediately proved useful when it spotted a group of lights coming towards it. It was an adventuring party of 4 people, all wearing lit lanterns on their waists. They were some 40-odd meters away from the Mimic. By the looks of things, they were headed deeper into the dungeon and would walk right past it.
However, the monster felt no rush or thrill at the discovery of new prey. It no longer had to compulsively hunt and murder people just for being in this dungeon. It just felt a cold kind of indifference one would show to a stray animal. A tasty, blood-filled, succulent, crunchy animal with delicious guts and-
Okay, it would attack and eat them after all. But not because of some weird magical compulsion! This time, it chose to murder those people in cold blood by its own will. It still had to fill its belly, so why turn down free food that willingly comes to you? Actually, why even wait? Those people were dressed almost exactly like its first 40 victims. If it could take those five armed guards, then these weaklings would surely be no match for it!
It sprouted its spider legs, armed its trio of tongue tentacles and descended upon them like Death incarnate. This wasn’t an instinctual drive to eat and live, nor was it the dungeon’s mind control.
It would kill because it wanted to, with no warning and for almost no reason.
Just like any other monster would.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|