Ant Society

Dungeon Dive I

[Explanations on what certain things are will be in that paragraphs comments]

”Transportation success! Skills obtained: Eye of Truth Lvl 0, Acid Breath Lvl 0, Dig Lvl 0, Team Work Makes the Dream Work (Passive) Lvl MAX, Nimble Body Lvl 0 ”

”Ki~ek, ” I say under my breath while reorientating myself. Wait… ”Kieek, ” ”Kieeek! ” I say, trying to figure out why words aren coming out of my mouth.

W-what the hell? Why aren my words coming out? As I get up, I feel something; something strange. It feels as if my limbs have tripled in number. As I lift my ”hand, ” I see a thin, exoskeleton-Esque twig.

”! ” N-n-no, t-this can be, this is not possible; this has to be a dream, right? I got hit by a truck, so I must be unconscious in a nice air-conditioned hospital room. And in a short amount of time, Ill wake up with family surrounding my bed. Ill wait… *Cliche cricket noises*

Okay, this is real, I discerned. I should check my senses before anything else. Sight, check. Touch, check. Taste… I guess I have to do it; I nibble the soft sand below me. Taste, check. Smell, che— blegh, what is this putrid smell? Finally, heari— ”KIEEK, ” the loud screech echoed through the cave. Okay~ hearing, check.

The screech must have evoked some kind of muscle memory; because my body started to move on its own. I tried to stop my legs, but they kept on marching—to who knows where.

The cave was inconceivably large and beautiful. Glowing ores and moss filled the floor and walls to what seemed to be a walkway or some kind of path.

Deeper in the cave, fireflies were indulging in the glowing moss; each bite made the fireflies glow in different colors, some blue, red, green, and yellow. A select few, however, had a white angelic hue emitting from their abdomens.

I continued further into the cave, and thats when my body came to a halt at the unbelievable sight. Hundreds of thousands of ants filled the caves room. Two ants clad in what seemed to be a type of silk violently ushered me to an empty spot amongst all of the ants. ”Jeez, thanks for being so gentle, ” I say in a sarcastic tone, just quiet enough so the guards couldn hear me.

As I got to my spot, the other ants around me started talking among one another. ”Kieek Kieeek ” ”kikiki ” What are they saying?

[Activate Auto Translate Y/N]

What!? What is this? When I saw the message pop up in front of me, I finally started to understand what type of world this was. Without hesitation, I pressed yes. The moment I pressed yes, the whole world seemingly changed.

I could finally understand what everyone was saying! Distant ants were talking about how I was late and the queen was going to get mad at me—but it didn bother me at the time—I was just too excited.

”Shhhhh, ” all the ants exclaimed. The room fell into silence as slow and heavy footsteps approached the room. Along with every other ant in the room, my instincts told me to bow or else. The Queen, escorted by a dozen, what looked to be soldier ants, walked up onto the slightly lifted platform in the center-front of the room and sat on the throne.

Even without looking, I could tell this was a foe, a power I couldn even begin to match. The queen clears her throat to get started on the speech.

”Raise your heads—young ones; the speech will now commence. ”

”As all of you know, one of our rival ant colonies; the Tempest colony, has been tormenting us for quite some time. ”

The Queens serene, poignant voice as she said those words made me think; what did the Tempest colony do to evoke such deep emotions from her and the colony?

”Tempest has killed our comrades, children, and destroyed our precious land—can we let them be any longer?! ”

”NOOO! ” The whole colony replied with a cacophony of war cries.

”The plan is simple; each one of you will be assigned a task. We will be gathering as many materials as we can—the more, the better. ”

As the speech went on, I learned a lot about the Greed colony and its inner workings. Like, how in the name, the Greed colony is very greedy. The Greed colony is a capitalist-driven society, Along with being one of the trade capitals amongst all the colonies. With Greeds abundance of rare, useful materials, they might as well have their money growing on trees. As you mightve guessed, there are a lot of inner conflicts thanks to that.

Capitalism aside, one of the main reasons for the speech was to talk about how Tempest was harming Greed. Tempest was deliberately destroying and stealing all of Greeds materials. This act made Greeds economy flip, and now Tempest is selling our materials, making a profit.

So, what I learned is that Tempest ants have some sort of agility-related skill; partnered with their kleptomaniac and sadistic behaviors—they a force to be reckoned with.

***

The speech is now over, and the Queen is assigning each ant their role. But, that matter wasn my main priority of thought. Why would Tempest arbitrarily attack this colony? It couldn just be for resources, right? ”! ” A thought dawned on me.

What if… Tempest is trying to colonize Greed? My guess was Tempest colonizing Greed, soon after seizing all the capital, making them hold all the economic power; in the process, making them have the most power and influence over the colonies populous.

By the time I finished thinking about Tempest and its motives, it was already my turn for the job assignment process.

”What is your name, little one? ” she asks in a royal manner.

”My name is Gray, your highness, ” I replied in the most polite way possible.

”H-hoho, Awfully polite for someone who showed up late, hm, ” she says while squinting at me.

”Yeah~ h-ha, sorry about that, ” I replied with cold sweat dripping down my face.

”Gray, I will assign you a special task. I want you to go outside the colony and acquire nine Limestone Spider Spikes and five Magic snake apples. This is going to be a difficult job, do you accept? ”

”Well, do I have a choice? ” I said.

”Wise one indeed, ” She replied with a slight chuckle.

***

The Queen said that the Magical snake apples grow in the neighboring forest, but what she forgot to mention; is that the forests entrance and insides are guarded by snake-type monsters. How am I supposed to get past them? I asked myself.

[Use Skill Dig Y/N]

”Ah-ha! ” Ive got some skills! Ill have to check the rest out later—but now was not the time.

”Yes, activate the skill Dig, ” I shout.

Right after activating Dig, I started to gnaw the dirt below me at an unbelievable rate. I continued to dig until I felt something root-like. Hmm, whats this? The tree? I dug around the hope-to-be tree to get to surface level.

”Fuck yeah! ” I was lucky enough to find the magical snake apple tree. First try. I snuck up from the ground and moved as inconspicuously as possible to avoid the guards attention. I subsequently snatched all of the apples, putting them in my inventory.

SNAP! A small stick I was standing over snapped, resulting in a loud sound; that spread throughout the silent forest. ”Shit, of course, ” I complain to myself.

Every single guard looked my way. I awkwardly laugh while staring back at them. TIME TO RUN!!!

I started to run as fast as I could out of the forest. Albeit, I was running fast. I was no match for those slithery snake bastards. The snake guards already knew the forests geography like the back of their hands.

They soon started rushing me with spears at close range and bows and arrows from long range.

”AAAAAAAHH!! ” I screamed, dodging the projectiles.

”Activate a skill that makes me go super fast, now, HURRY! ” I cried.

Please. I can just have useless skills, right?

[Activating Skill Nimble Body]

3…2…1 My afterimage appeared, along with a sharp crack of displaced air, as I soared at an incredible speed over all the guards.

I successfully made it out.

***

”Acid Breath! ” ”Acid Breath! ” I practice my skills on slimes I encountered on my way to find the Limestone Spiders nest.

The Queen said that the dungeon was fifteen kilometers north of the Great snakes forest. If my sense of direction isn off, I should arrive there pretty soon.

As I continue my march, I kill more weak monsters—mainly blue slimes, and thats when I hear a ”beep! ”

[Congratualations, you leveled up!]

[Current level: 1]

[The skills: Nimble Body and Acid Breath have also advanced to level 1!]

[Congratulations!]

Little fireworks exploded on the top corners of the congratulatory message.

I could feel the power surging throughout my body as soon as the message dissipated. I felt stronger, faster—and overall in better shape than before.

The sun started to set and Id been traveling for a good three hours, so I decided to take a break and call it a night.

***

I woke up with the worst body ache of my two lives. I couldn get much sleep with this unfamiliar, unpleasant, small, wretched, and **ing DISGUSTING body.

”Ugh, ” I moaned, time to get walkin

***

Fifteen minutes later, I finally found the limestone spiders dungeon!

”Damn, about time! A second longer and I wouldve killed myself, ” I shouted angrily at the sky.

The dungeons entrance had an eerie ambiance; the misty atmosphere perfectly ”complemented ” the dim-lit sky and the monsters grunting.

The entrance is made up of a dense limestone wall with pointed edges and protrusions shaped like thick daggers, ready to stab anything that got in their way.

I was hesitant to step foot into the dungeon, but I did so anyway—what I had waiting at the colony, if I had failed, was significantly worse than being just a little afraid. This is my second chance at life, for crying out loud! I wasn going to give it up for some petty reason, like not wanting to go into a dungeon!

Right, when I swooped my body confidently passed the dungeons entrance, I hear a loud CLICK! And a heavy shifting noise, then a loud BOOM! Followed right after.

The noise grabbed my attention, making me look behind myself. I waited for the dust cloud to dissipate, and soon after…

”Fuck! ” I exclaimed.

The dungeons entrance had closed right behind me.

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