Side Story 1: VS Earthworm; the thing that lives in this place.
Good morning, Ann here.
I’ve become Jiryuu-sama’s subordinate.
Now, what should I do?
Jiryuu-sama left me with this first underground floor until the fifth underground floor.
My children, the soldier ants, already are everywhere.
Numbering hundred, a trifling sum.
Come to think of it, what did my mother command the soldier ant to do again?
I try to remember it.
I remembered that I was living a comfortable life at that time.
Good, I still remember it!
Still, I patiently dug through my memories.
Ahh, it’s no use. Only the memory of when I was scolded and bullied that came out.
……Ah, that’s right! I’m sure my mother said that!
“We, Killer Ants, are the weakest species. So first, we must know the place we live in.”
That’s what she told me.
With that, it’s decided. Let’s investigate outside first.
Starting with the desert, I’ll create a place where Jiryuu-sama can live with peace of mind!
『Hear me, my dear children. The topography, monster habitat or scenery of the Eld Desert, anything it may be. You must gather information about this place! 』
They went outside, marching in perfect order.
However, I need to be careful so that the entrance won’t be known.
He desires to live peacefully.
I won’t let anyone invade this place.
Needless to say, the chance of my children exposing this place is abysmal.
Hmmm, let’s help a bit more.
I give another instruction to several of my children.
It is to do minor renovations to the first underground floor until the fifth underground floor of the dungeon.
Furthermore, I reminded those who went outside to never attract the attention of the Accurate Crow and the White Wyvern.
That’s because they are monsters.
The soldiers moved accordingly to my instructions.
Still, it’s hard to believe it.
Who would’ve thought a lazybones like me will one day be in a position to give birth and in-command of soldiers.
Wait, that’s what any typical Killer Ant does.
Haa~, I really want to live a relaxing life with Jiryuu-sama soon.
Now then, while waiting for the soldiers’ response, I will have my meal first.
I forgot to mention that we, Killer Ants, can use thought transmission from the very start among our kinds.
I’m the only Killer Ant that needs “food” so far.
Since the lower rank soldier ants were fully nourished with the magic overflowing from Jiryuu-sama dungeon.
While I was doing so, one of the soldier ants brought me some kind of a thin membrane.
Is this… skin?
When I take a closer look at it, I noticed.
This is Jiryuu-sama’s molted skin.
There’s no mistake about it! The feel of this magic, the color of the scales, the smell, all of it is the same as Jiryuu-sama!
The fact that it was found outside, did he leave it just like that after shedding?
He can’t do that.
For his wish to live a peaceful life.
It’ll be a severe problem if human found this.
I gave further instructions to the soldier ants.
『If you found Jiryuu-sama’s molted skin, I want you to collect it immediately. 』
Will this get Jiryuu-sama closer to his peaceful life?
I continued to give birth while eating the magic stones and corpses of other monsters brought to me by the soldier ants.
And when the number of my soldier ant about to reach 200, I received an emergency signal.
『There’s intruder inside the dungeon! 』
………Finally, it’s here.
Here it comes.
The fools who are attracted to the magic emitted by Jiryuu-sama.
And another signal came.
The intruder…… is a monster.
It’s an intermediate-class monster called the earthworm.
That word scared me.
As we, the Killer Ants, are the lowest class of monster.
We’re a weak existence that doesn’t even have a chance of winning against a goblin alone.
That’s why we fight using numbers.
Compensate quality with quantity. That’s the way of the Killer Ant.
…………But still, can I win against it?
It crossed my mind.
My opponent is an intermediate-class. Will it be the one who’ll be suffering or us, the lowest bunch of monsters?
I received the power of Jiryuu-sama himself.
But even so, can I win?
I never fought before until now.
I always ran away.
The dark memories resurface.
When I got injured by the other monsters, I didn’t do anything.
Would someone like me be able to lead the soldiers to win against it?
『I leave the top to you. 』
That person words.
There’s no winning or losing!
I have to win!
For that person sake, I will be useful and win!
To repay his kindness for saving me at death’s door!
For that man who needs me the most when no one did!
I will change!
I must change!
What a coward I am.
I will live my life.
And I will command my soldiers.
『Come, my children! Let us destroy this foolish intruder! 』
Uooooooooooooh! The cries of the soldier ants resound.
『Don’t be afraid! Let’s go! 』
We marched towards the earthworm in formation.
Then, we found it.
In the center of the room located on the first underground floor in the northern area of the dungeon.
Wriggling to move, the monster displays its massive body.
It’s like a giant version of a regular earthworm.
Except for the huge mouth at the pointed end.
With rows of teeth and saliva dripping out.
What a hideous creature.
And also an enemy.
It’s a monster earthworm that lives underground.
The reason why it emerged from the earth within my home is that it’s attracted to the magic emanated from this dungeon.
If it’s just a harmless monster, then I can just leave it alone.
However, the earthworm is different.
It’s a lump of mass with a big appetite.
A beast that devours everything in its path.
If I leave this thing alone inside the dungeon, not only the soldier ants will be eaten but also Jiryuu-sama dungeon itself.
There’s no way I can overlook that!
『First unit, surround that earthworm! Second unit, support them! 』
I ordered the soldier ants.
My heart about to break from all this tension.
The earthworm isn’t moving at all.
…………What? Why doesn’t it move?
The distance between the first unit and the earthworm is gradually reducing.
Approaching a distance where it’s possible to make an attack.
『First unit! Release your acid juice! 』
Simultaneously, the first unit ants released the juice from their mouth.
『Acid Juice』, the only long-range attack a Killer Ant has.
As the name implies, it’s an acid juice. Although it’s not strong enough for dissolving bones, for the human, it can cause burn-like inflammation to the skin and will undoubtedly cause blindness if it gets into the eyes.
Eat that! Earthworm!
But at that moment, I saw it.
The earthworm’s mouth distorted into an ugly one.
At the next moment.
It twisted its body and spun rapidly.
Causing acid rain to fall down everywhere.
And mowed down the entire first unit of ants.
Some had their legs bent while others had their bodies shredded.
………This can’t be.
Suddenly, while I was thinking so, the earthworm turns toward here.
Despair is fast approaching.