Lin Wu was still not over his shock and was still lying on the ground like a dead worm. Well, he was an actual worm now, so it was kinda true.
"I'm a worm. I'm a worm. I'm a worm...…" Lin Wu kept on repeating.
An hour passed by until when Lin Wu was finally able to gather his wits. He turned around and looked up at the sky before looking at the ground below. He also glanced at the giant blades of grass that were three times as tall as his entire body.
"I'm not just a worm, I'm a tiny worm. I won't even fill the stomach of a baby bird.." Lin Wu said in self-pity.
NEW ENVIRONMENT DETECTED: Analyzing
NEW PARAMETERS IDENTIFIED: Expanding variables
HOST IDENTIFIED: Initiating integration process
ERROR INTEGRATING: Insufficient resources
ISSUING NEXT QUEST: Analyzing data
NEW QUEST: Gather viable energy resources
The new notification that just popped up made Lin Wu awaken from his spiral of self-pity.
"Huh, what's this now? What do you want, stupid system?" Lin Wu said as he looked at the window that was floating in front of him.
Lin Wu was able to understand the words that were present in front of him, but he was unable to understand what they meant in context here. He was a modern person who used computers daily, thus these terms were nothing new to him, yet it seemed as if they were incomplete and as such were unable to explain completely.
"So I have a new quest now, but it doesn't say what's the reward again. Hmm, is it related to the error that it's showing? What does it mean by viable energy resources?" Lin Wu wondered to himself.
It was now that he suddenly heard a loud screeching sound. It came from far and seemed to be approaching his location slowly.
"What's that sound? Wait, how can I even hear it, worms don't have ears." Lin Wu questioned himself.
He looked around for the source of sound but could not really spot it due to its stature. Lin Wu was very small, his length was about two centimeters and his thickness was of about two millimeters as well. In every aspect, he could only be described as tiny. His color was dark brown and his skin was smooth, yet was not slimy like an earthworm.
There were two tiny black spots at its front end, along with a circular mouth that was void of any kind of teeth. The two tiny spots were actually Lin Wu's eyes. For a normal person, Lin Wu's current eyes would look like black dots that had no function, yet still, they actually functioned as the normal human eye. This allowed him to have the same vision he had before, back when he was a human.
Lin Wu wiggled in resignation as he decided to just do the quest. He didn't have anything else to do here, anyway.
"By energy resource, the system should mean food, right? I mean, it did say viable and not just any energy resource." Lin Wu spoke to himself.
Unconsciously Lin Wu had already started to accept his current situation as a worm and also that this was not a dream. He was now trying to remember what did worms eat. He knew that worms could eat a lot of things, but that also depended on the kind of worm they were.
For example, an earthworm was a detritivore that ate the dead and decomposing matter in the soil, while there were other worms such as tape worms that were parasites and lived inside other animals. There were also worms such as the maggots that were the larvae of flies and lived in flesh and rotting plants.
Lin Wu looked at his body and could not determine what kind of worm he was. There were no specific features that matched a specific type, and all that he had were very common and vague features.
"Guess, I just gotta try eating everything." Lin Wu thought.
He then looked at the soil below him and wondered about it, but the idea of eating soil made him feel nauseous.
"I gotta try anyway, if I don't like it I'll just try something else." Lin Wu motivated himself.
He then took a deep breath through his body. Indeed, Lin Wu's body had no lungs, his worm physiology allowed him to breathe in the air using its skin. Though there was one thing that stumped him. He knew that worms did not have lungs and breathed through their skin, but the problem was that this only happened because their skin was moist and slimy. This slime allowed them to breathe and facilitated the exchange of gases.
Lin Wu could only attribute it to some unknown reason, as he had no idea what kind of worm he was. Pushing these thoughts to the back of his mind, he put his mouth to the ground and swallowed a mouthful of dirt. He had no teeth, thus he did not chew and just swallowed it directly. In a surprise to him, the soil that he just ate did not taste of anything.
"Oh Wait! Now that I'm a worm, I should have different kinds of taste buds, so it shouldn't bother me as much." Lin Wu realized.
After understanding this, Lin Wu ate more soil and kept on eating till he felt full. After he became full, not even a minute later he felt as if he could eat again.
"Huh, I got hungry pretty fast. Perhaps worms are just always hungry like this." Lin Wu thought to himself.
Unknown to him, there were small brown pellets coming out of his other end. The more he ate, the more of them were produced. Only when he had eaten enough to make a small hole in the ground did he realize that there was a small mound behind him too.
"Wha-What? Where did this mound of dirt come from?" Lin Wu questioned himself as he looked at it with a shocked expression. Well, as surprised as a worm could appear.
A sudden bout of realization hit Lin Wu as he understood what the small mound behind him was.
"NOOOOOOOO! Don't tell me I'm gonna be pooping everywhere I go. As a former human, I can't accept that, my self-respect won't allow that." Lin Wu exclaimed.
A few more minutes went past and Lin Wu got bored as he did not get any new notification.
"I guess eating soil does not qualify as gathering viable resources." Lin Wu thought.
His gaze then wandered on to the grass that was surrounding him everywhere. It went from the horizon on his left side to the horizon on his right side. Everywhere he could see there was grass, and only in the very far could he see the trees. Perhaps the actual distance between Lin Wu and the trees was only a few meters, yet to his small size, it was already equivalent to a few miles.
"I'll just eat the grass. It should at least taste better than the soil." Lin Wu said to himself.
He then crawled towards a blade of grass and started eating it. Eating the grass was a little difficult than the soil as he did not have any teeth to actually cut into it, still, he was eventually able to eat some. The taste of the grass hit him a little different, or rather it was the same as when he was a human before.
Lin Wu almost spit it out due to how familiar of a taste it was, yet was able to keep it in through sheer willpower.
"Keep it in. You can do this." Lin Wu encouraged himself.
Finally, Lin Wu was able to successfully swallow the bit of grass. He waited for a minute before eating more. He then realized that the more he ate, the more it was easier for him to eat. It was as if the taste of the grass was finally becoming normal to him.
He also felt a little increase in his energy. He felt as if his stamina was restored and his fatigue that had accumulated due to digging and crawling had vanished.
'Hmm, seems like the grass provides me more energy. Guess, I'll just eat this.' Lin Wu thought to himself.
It was now that Lin Wu spotted something hanging over him. It was a small green ball that was hanging by a small green stalk.
"Is that a fruit? A grass fruit? What kind of grass has fruit?" Lin Wu spoke with a perplexed expression that was imaginary.
Wanting to try that fruit, Lin Wu started climbing on the blades of the grass. A few minutes later he was at the very top and was close to the fruit. The fruit was now hanging below him and the only way he could access it was by hanging upside down as well.
Thus he did it. He curled and hung half of his body on the blade of the grass and reached out for the fruit. But just when he was about to reach the fruit, darkness covered him. A large shadow was now standing above him. He looked up and then froze in fear.
"A b-b-bird! Ahh… it's gonna eat me!" Lin Wu shouted, though all that came out from his mouth were some inaudible sounds.
The bird chirped and tilted its head to take a close look at Lin Wu. After spotting him, the bird did its work and pecked. Lin Wu had already given up and had closed his eyes in acceptance. He was waiting to be eaten when suddenly the tremors started again and a sticky and warm liquid covered him.
Lin Wu was too scared to open his eyes and check, but it was now that he heard the notification again.
ENERGY RESOURCE DETECTED: Analyzing
VIABLE ENERGY RESOURCE IDENTIFIED: Absorbing resource
RE-INITIATING INTEGRATION PROCESS: Error! Insufficient resources
RECALCULATING PARAMETERS: Analyzing
SWITCHING TO ALTERNATE PROTOCOLS: Switched successfully
PARTIAL INTEGRATION INITIATED: Please wait patiently
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! : Abnormality detected, data corrupted.
This was the last thing Lin Wu saw before his consciousness faded.