Taking a moment, Drake cleared his mind. Worrying about the different things that had changed about himself was pointless. He had already chosen, and now he just had to deal with the consequences, no matter how drastic they may have been.
He sighed heavily and took a deep breath. In any case, I need to be more careful. If I hadn’t heard that griffin before it reached me, I could have easily been injured. Looking around, Drake couldn’t see any more monsters nearby, but decided to find somewhere more safe just in case.
During the fight, when I bit down on the griffin, I felt a rush of power go through me. It’s likely that is the ability I was given by those damn aliens as a bonus. It makes sense for a monster to be given a skill like that. All of the beast races seem to focus on different methods of survival and making themselves stronger. This race in particular seems to be focused for physical combat. My other racial skills seem to be an innate ability to draw mana into myself, and to focus and use it to enhance my body. It’s likely that all this scale that replaced my skin works as armor as well. Otherwise, I probably would have been much more injured by that fall.
Thinking back to the rush of energy he felt during that first bite, he shivered in place. That absorption skill is going to be difficult to use in combat if I have to eat every monster I come across. Or is it only supposed to be used after I kill it to grow stronger, Drake thought to himself.
Brushing it off, Drake looked around. “Ahhh, forget it. Think later, move now. First, I need somewhere to hide. I’ve never heard of any caves nearby, so that’s out of the question.”
He felt like walking around, and getting a better idea of what the area was like around him. After walking around for roughly half an hour, he quickly realized that there really wasn’t anything to hide in, let alone any places to rest, especially for such a large creature like him.
“Dammit, it looks like I’m going to have to make something, otherwise I won’t be able to sleep anywhere at all.” As he looked down a hill, roughly two hundred yards away, he saw an uprooted tree that had fallen over, opening up a small area where he could hide under where the roots used to be.
He smiled sadly to himself and slouched his shoulders. He walked over, saying, “Better than nothing.”
He slowly moved over to the fallen tree, and he sat down underneath the small opening left by the uprooted tree roots. Taking a moment to calm himself, he glanced at the strands of light that continued to slowly absorb into the environment around him.
“Let’s try to see just what I can do with mana anyway.” Focusing on the threads of light, he began to try to draw them to himself. Slowly, the light began to condense in front of him, floating in front of him briefly. It began flowing into him and the slow burning flame of energy he felt before began to grow.
Grinning like an idiot, he said, “I am a dragon, so the first thing to try is obvious. Let’s see if I can breath fire!”
Breathing in deeply, Drake tried something new. Instead of letting his mana go wild like before and running it through every part of his body, he tried to focus it into a small ball of energy inside of himself. As more mana slowly flowed into him, he continued to add to it. The feeling itself was entirely different, instead of the raging inferno of energy he felt before, he felt almost unnaturally cold as he focused all his mana into one place. Moving the ball of energy into his mouth, he clamped down tightly, forcing the energy down before opening his mouth and releasing it.
In a stream of piercing blue stream of light, the energy came pouring out of his mouth. As it did, it pierced several trees straight through, leaving a soft burning noise wafting through the air.
Wide eyed, Drake stared in shock. That… wasn’t what I was expecting. Not to mention that used up all the mana I gathered.
Drake sighed for a moment, and laid back against the roots of tree, exhausted. Using an attack like that seemed to drain him immensely. I wanted to continue to make skills that I can actually use in combat, but it seems all I can do charging attacks. What the hell am I supposed to do with that?! Sure, I can split a tree almost in half if I just focus and just hit the damn thing, but that isn’t usable in a fight.
Looking at the tree he blasted, Drake could see that his attack did do a massive amount of damage, but it simply wasn’t going to be work against any normal enemy. The tree was pierced straight through, and even more impressive was the sheer destructive force of the beam, but unless he could somehow minimize the charge time, he wouldn’t be able to fight with it. Even against something like a weakened griffin, he couldn’t just stand there and blast it.
Murmuring to himself, Drake sat down on the wet ground, troubled about his situation. I need some way to store the mana before I can actually use it. No enemy is going to sit there and let me charge right in front of them.
Agitated, Drake rubbed his hands against his newly grown horns, and stood up quickly. “AHHHHH. Let’s try again.”
Taking a calm stance with his hands at his sides, he closed his eyes. Focusing on drawing mana into himself, Drake let the mana build up in my body naturally. Instead of funneling the burning flame of mana throughout his body, or focusing it in one place, he simply held it inside, letting it build as he did. Allowing the swelling feeling to grow within him, he soon felt that he hit his max, as the mana inside him begin to whirl inside of him violently.
Grimacing to himself, he lowered to the ground slowly, “Good, now let’s wait and see if anything happens.”
Fighting the intense uncomfortable feeling inside of him, and extreme nausea, the mana inside him began to slowly calm down. As it did, he felt that the normally blue, wispy streams of mana he knew before began to condense, and change into a more menacing shade of red. On top of that, he felt that this condensed form of mana was drastically different from what he had been using before, it felt… sharper somehow.
Drake sat up, still uncomfortable with the new feeling inside of him. The previous raging mana that he felt from before had completely calmed, leaving him with an almost full feeling. He shook off the sensation, flexing his hand experimentally. “It doesn’t feel like I have to force myself to control the mana inside me anymore. On top of that…” Searching inside of himself, he found a small pool of glowing, red mana. Focusing on the new type of mana, he made a small sliver come outside of his body, and float above his hand.
He stared at it slowly rotate in place, and watched in wonder at his newfound ability. Smiling, he said, “It’s so easy to control. It’s like it’s a part of my body…” Playing with the small ball of mana, he stopped for a moment, before smiling in a playful manner. “Heh, let’s see what this can do.”
Absorbing the red mana back into his body, he pinched a small ball of the red mana inside his body off from the main pool. Focusing on it, he noticed it began to change even further, almost seeming to crystallize as he condensed the mana further.
He moved the condensed ball of energy into his hand, he fired the ball of mana at a nearby tree. As he did, the dark red ball began to split, and splintered into hard shards. They sped through the air and impaled a nearby tree with twenty shards of the condensed mana.
Smiling to himself, he let out a small laugh. “That’s more like it. I could do that over and over again as long as I still have this weird red mana inside of me.”
Walking over to the tree, Drake inspected the shards of red mana. The shards had bored into the tree, leaving a strange, black marking around the edges. He tapped them for a moment, and for a brief second, he felt a connection.
“Strange… It feels like I can still control them.” Drake focused on the shards, attempting to take them out of the tree. They seemed to struggle for a moment, wriggling inside the tree until they began warp, slowly liquefying and turning back into the mana Drake was familiar with. With relatively minimal effort, he was able to easily absorb it back into himself.
Drake smirked to himself, proud of what he made.
He said, “Hehe, a source of mana that I can always use, and a new method of attack that doesn’t have me standing in one place like an idiot for too long. I’d say today has been successful.” Stretching in place, he looked around at the gnarled trees and small hole left from the uprooted tree and made a decision. Time to get back home now that I’m somewhat used to this body. As long as I watch out for stray monsters, and actually explain what I am to whatever people I meet, I should be fine.
As Drake began to walk out of the forest, and back towards the city, he quickly noticed something was off. He could detect the faint smell of smoke as he came closer to the city, and everything around him was eerily quiet. Suspicious, he began to rush towards the city, and it wasn’t long before he could see smoke coming from the city, and the faintest sounds of what sounded like a siren way off in the distance.
What the hell? I need to go to the city to see what’s happening. Normal mana should work well enough to give me a quick boost. Breathing in for a moment, he drew mana into himself, focusing on augmenting his legs, and with the quick burst of energy, he sped off into the distance.
As he approached the city, he quickly noticed what was wrong. A large rock-like creature was tearing through the nearby buildings, leaving a wide array of buildings with large chunks tore straight out of them. It was covered with strange, rune-like glyphs and was currently munching on a few slabs of concrete and steel that it had broken loose.
“If I had to guess, that thing is probably a golem of some kind.” He murmured.
As he continued to watch the strange creature, he noticed a few police cars had pulled up in a rush, and began to fire into the monster. Not surprisingly, the bullets just bounced off of its back, with the golem ignoring them completely.
Drake smirked to himself as he watched the display. “Come on, what’d you expect, bullets can’t do much to a creature made of rock. Although the police aren’t really known for carrying around grenades to deal with something like that either, not that I’m sure it’d do much good.”
He laughed for a moment, before crouching down and making his way across the street continued to watch the golem. He found a good place to stop near the edge of a small, partially destroyed building and watched the show, crouching down behind some leftover rubble.
As he watched the golem eat a small piece of rubble, the strange runes glowed for a moment, and the golem suddenly turned aggressive. Viciously turning around, the golem smashed one of its arms as it turned against a police car, throwing one of the police officers ruthlessly against a building. Then it smashed the car flat, before throwing the crushed remains at the officers, pinning them underneath before slowly turning around and lumbered off.
Shaking his head, Drake pondered to himself. “It definitely looks like someone turned into some kind of Golem beast race, or at least something similar. Didn’t even realize that would be an option. I think at this point they just called them beast races to avoid saying monsters.” He sighed.
At this point, there’s no way I’m going to fight against something I have no idea if I can even hurt. It was easy enough to fight the griffin. I was able to kill it with normal attacks, but against something that’s built like a brick wall, I doubt something like that will work as easily. And I’m not really looking forward to seeing how durable the skin of that thing is for me to try to eat it.
He stood up behind the rubble and took one last look at the golem. “I’ll leave someone else to handle it.” He shook his head and turned around to get ready to leave. As he turned, he noticed another police car seemed to have spotted him, and quickly drove towards him, before stopping roughly 90 feet away.
Scrambling out of the car and hiding behind the door of the car, they drew their guns immediately. “There’s another one of those damn monsters, shoot it, quick!” One yelled.
Wait, what?! Dammit, I was so engrossed in my own thoughts that I completely forgot that I look like an overgrown lizard to these people.
“Hey guys, wait just a sec- OW.” As the policemen shot at Drake’s chest, the bullets bounced his scales, just leaving Drake with a small sting as they hit him. Obviously however, no one enjoys being shot at, and Drake yelled, “HEY, I’M A HUMAN, STOP.”
The police officers continued to shoot at Drake. Angered, he gathered mana in his legs, and shot towards the officers, surprising one of them who stumbled to the ground before he started to run in the opposite direction. Grabbing the braver one of the two, Drake crushed his gun with one hand and lifted him off the ground.
As Drake lifted him up, the man seemed to go limp, and he closed his eyes tightly. Holding him to his face, he stared at the officer, and growled, “Hey, why’d you attack me? I told you I used to be a human, dammit.” The police officer paled, and he just kept his eyes closed. Shaking his head, Drake yelled, “Hey, I’m talking to you, why did you shoot at me!”
Whimpering to himself, Drake could feel the man shaking as he said, “Please don’t eat me! Please.. Please…”
He’s just shaking now. What the hell, why won’t he answer me? As Drake held the man, a brief moment of realization came over him and he put the officer back on the ground. Still holding him tightly by his shirt, Drake yelled “HEY” at him.
An ammonia like smell hit Drake’s nose. Damn, the guy just peed himself. Well, in any other situation, for a normal monster it might make him taste a bit worse. Grimacing to himself, Drake realized what was wrong.
He couldn’t understand a single word I’m saying.