Book 2, Chapter 8

Seed

Having absorbed a piece of Richard’s soul, the larva in the egg had built a spiritual connection with Richard, just like the one he shared with Waterflower. It hadn’t cracked its shell open yet, but it was already asking for Richard’s blood.

Its calls were quite feeble, almost as though they were about to fade away. However, that thirst was exceptionally distinct. Richard lost himself in a trance for a moment, not catching on until he felt some warmth from his face. He wiped with his hand, finding his palm covered in red.

It was only then that Richard found his mouth was reeking of blood as well. This was probably due to injuries inflicted to his organs when he was trying to withstand the severe pain of having his soul torn apart. Blood was also flowing out of his nose and the corners of his eyes, which was why it covered his face.

“Blood…” the seed was still calling out. This was no known language, instead a fluctuation that bombarded his very soul with the request. He decided to simply smear the blood on his hands onto that flawlessly smooth and shiny eggshell.

The moment he did so, all of the blood was consumed. Richard could tell in his mind that the life within the egg was beginning to grow rapidly, ever changing as its presence grew stronger and stronger. By the end, even he himself had to shudder.

The ‘seed’ asked for no more blood. That single drop was akin to a spark, igniting the fires of its life. A soft click rang out, and a visible crack appeared on the eggshell, soon followed by many more. A sharp blade of darkness eventually made its way out, signifying that the egg had hatched. The ‘seed’ had sprouted.

The eggshell shattered with that blade as the centre, pieces falling to the ground as what seemed like a black insect crawled out from within. This creature had six limbs like an arthropod, with an exceptionally large abdomen. Two sharp blades were attached to the area near its head, making it look like a comical little ball with a few blades stuck on it.

The creature dived for the remainder of the eggshell the moment it made its way out, chewing it all up in the blink of an eye. It cleared the fragments out thoroughly, leaving nothing behind at all. It was like a vacuum had sucked everything on the ground away.

Another thing the creature did was cleaning up Richard’s bloodstains. It was unknown how exactly it managed to absorb all the blood, but the grass had lost all remains of his blood.

The creature then forced itself up, its entire body trembling rapidly as the sticky fluid on its surface was rapidly absorbed within. Its shell gradually grew hard, beginning to sparkle even as its body grew at a visible pace. Clearing the remnants of the eggshell on the ground, it lifted up its torso with all its might, looking at Richard with six pairs of eyes. The complex organ that it had for a mouth began to open and close rapidly.

Numerous unintelligible syllables rang out in Richard’s consciousness, incessant, rapid, and chaotic. It took a while for them to transform into a clear, albeit peculiar, voice, the voice of this newborn creature. It had just been looking for a way to communicate with Richard, and it had identified that to be Norland’s common tongue instead of the spiritual wave it had used before.

“Need… High-energy… Food.” The creature struggled to express itself.

“You are the seed?” Richard probed.

“Seed… Hibernation… For when we travel.” It still couldn’t formulate a proper sentence.

“We? What are you?” Richard asked.

The voice grew unclear once more when Richard asked that question, growing comprehensible again with great difficulty, “We… I not sure. I don’t know what we are… Memory only goes back to birth. Everything before is… blank… I am a broodmother, exist to exterminate enemies.”

“Who are your enemies then?” Richard asked warily. This little creature had just been born, but it was already giving off an aura that made him shudder. Its enemies would definitely be even harder to deal with.

“Your enemies are my enemies, Master.” This time, the reply was fluent and clear.

“You call me your master?”

“Yes, you brought me to life. Only my predetermined… Master can bring me to life. I will follow… orders.”

Richard squatted down, looking at this little creature that seemed to be a bizarre insect, “Broodmother… What kind of food do you survive on?”

“Blood, flesh... all kinds of life… energy crystals…” it answered with some difficulty, making the problem of vocabulary obvious. “I’m still in my first stage, larva. I can scavenge for food on my own. I still need to learn your language, Master. That will require a day.”

Richard was a little speechless. Even grand mages with the assistance of language proficiency spells would need at least half a month to master a language fully. Even basic communication needed three days, but this newborn was saying it would need just one!

“I’ll go get you something to eat, there are still some food reserves left in the base. You were just born, and might meet with danger outside.” 

“No, I can feel it. Over here… I don’t have any predators.” The broodmother then opened up the shell on its back, revealing small wings. It flapped them hard, getting its body airborne until it was level with Richard’s eyes. It then flew into the jungle, slow and clumsy.

All of a sudden, Richard was startled. Precision told him that this creature was already half a fold larger than when it was just born, the increased size equivalent to the mass of the eggshell it had ingested. This was near lossless absorption of food, a terrifying prospect!

Subconsciously, Richard felt an indescribable fear towards this creature he had never heard of before. There were no magic records accounting for its presence, and while it looked like a beautiful shiny insect right now it chilled him down to the spine.

Richard could remember several life forms even more peculiar than the broodmother. Even the subterra of Norland had creatures like soul-sucking devils and driders, as well as the people of the sea. However, no matter how hideous and horrifying these races were, or how destructive or eerie their powers could get, there was normally a lot of recorded information about them. They were formidable, yes, but not frightening. Only the unknown frightens men.

Richard could tell the broodmother’s rough position through their soul connection, just like he could with Waterflower. He was even able to touch upon its mind, a lifeless icy world devoid of emotion. The truly frightening part was the appalling focus of its thoughts. At this moment, the entirety of its being was devoted to its search for food. That was its one directive: to consume food rapidly so it could grow past its larval stage.

The broodmother’s functions? Richard received information that it would be shown to him once it was finished with the task.

At that moment, Flowsand ran over with two knights alongside her. She only let out a sigh of relief once she saw him safe and well in the distance, probing, “What happened? Are you alright?”

“I just succeeded in planting the seed. It contained a ‘broodmother,’ and the creature is already off scavenging for food. Do you know anything about these things?” Richard looked unsettled.

He described the creature’s appearance in detail, but Flowsand said she hadn’t seen nor heard of such a thing before. However, this was not the first time that the Eternal Dragon had blessed someone with the unknown. These discoveries enhanced their own records.

Since the broodmother had already formed a connection with his soul, she said there wasn’t much cause for worry. With it being a contract creature bestowed by the Eternal Dragon itself, there would certainly be no problem.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC By: OMA

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