Majimonsters: Rosewood Journey Book 1 Chapter 169
"Well, this is disorienting", Bori commented as he peered below at the formless storm void beneath our feet.
After the moment of awe passed us, we tried to figure out exactly how we were supposed to explore this so-called "dungeon". The moment I got close to the edge of the island we started on, the aether around us began to rumble a bit, leading to a bunch of stone platforms to form a bridge, connecting to another island.
With no other leads to go off of, we walked forward.
"Just keep your eyes forward and... attribute the weirdness to the maji", I assured him.
[Oh please, floating islands wasn't my thing...I just knew the guy who perfected it].
[Boredom mostly], Voxea stated plainly. I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the sheer absurdity of her answer.
[Look alive Silvia. Looks like we hit the end of this road].
Snapping my attention back to the present, I saw that my friends had gathered at the edge between last platform and a new floating island.
"Why'd you guys stop?", I asked.
"That", Savina said as she pointed across the island.
Across the island that appeared to be mostly bare dirt with sparse grasses, was what looked like a coil of large pink rope. It wasn't until my Dragon Lens flared up that I realized what it was.
"Is that...an Ergworm"?
"Big ole Ergworm".
"What's an Ergworm"?
Species Name: Ergworm
Affinities: Earth, Basic
Traits: Tremorsense, Strong Constitution
Description: This majimonster resembles an ordinary earthworm but is much, much larger...and has teeth. Ergworms, unusually, can get cut by mundane weapons. Unfortunately, they also tend to form new Ergworms like normal earthworms. Due to their ugly appearance and generally ability to hollow out the foundations of whole cities, they're not a very popular majimonster to capture or deal with.
Voxea's Notes: From the early days of majimonster creation, Ergworms were actually an accident. There was this maji that specialized in agriculture of all things and tried to grow crop majimonsters via enchanted soil. What he didn't account for were the creatures living in the soil. Evidently, there might be an giant vegetable garden somewhere in the Wildlands then...
The Ergworm in question was currently sleeping in a coil like a snake, slowly breathing in and out.
Who knew that works being the size of pythons somehow made them even less appealing?
"So...what are we waiting for? There's only of them and...I don't think we can go backwards anymore", Alyra said as she pointed behind us.
Evidently, we were so engrossed with the prospect of dealing with the Ergworm, that we failed to notice that the earthen platforms from earlier had all floated away.
[The magical array that used to be used for cultivating maji wants y'all to move forward in a dungeon of its own design...sounds about right], Voxea commented.
"Well then... let's go-" "Nah nah".
"Huh? Why'd you stop me?", Savina asked as I held her back.
"Gimme a minute", I replied before dropping to the ground with my ear pressed against the dirt.
Once my friends saw my action, they proceeded to be as quiet as possible.
[Voxea, you detecting any other majimonsters on this island?], I asked while pretending to listen through the ground.
[Yeah, funny you mention that...I can't seem to do my detection trick here], Voxea replied in a mildly embarrassed tone.
[Aether in this dungeon thing is too thick, I can't differentiate a Statick from a Lightmare in here], she explained plainly. A grim feeling began to grow in my stomach.
[Alright then...let's try this then...].
Closing my eyes to focus, I began to circulate aether into my ears to increase my hearing ability.
As the aether began to strengthen my hearing, I listened for anything unusual that could occur underneath our feet...what I heard did not sound good.
"Uh oh", I said aloud after a moment.
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Picking myself up, I turned towards Bori.
"Hey, do you happen to have any old biscuits? Harder the better", I asked.
"Uhh...maybe?", Bori said before digging into his rutsack.
"Oh! Looks like I do", he said as he presented me the crusty old disc of baked dough.
With a nod of thanks, I took the biscuit, infused with aether, and tossed towards the island like I was skipping a stone. What followed was the sight and sound of tunnels collapsing inwardly from the sudden force of my aether enhanced biscuit toss.
A huge amount of dust was kicked up as a result of the collapsing tunnels. As it began to clear and settle, my worst fear was confirmed.
Right beneath was about a dozen or so Ergworms of Silver to Bronze grade, writihing about like...well worms.
[Yup. That's an Ergworm nest alright], Voxea said with a grimmace.
It doesn't matter how tough as nails someone is, the sight of worms writhing is... unsettling.