As it could be seen during the night, Rey almost wasn't worried about his inability to hunt effectively enough.
During the whole night, Rey was moving towards the east direction. Even though he didn’t eat anything, he was sure that he would be able to hold out; moreover, the snow, which was everywhere in the forest, served as an excellent source of water.
In general, it was much easier to hunt Kurings because he already knew the good way to find them. However, the change of seasons made it much more difficult. And another problem was cold: although bird’s feather helped him a bit, it was barely enough to keep himself in the warmth. Additionally, he had to hunt in the form of a Human.
Only closer to the middle of the day, luck returned to Rey and he managed to find a nest almost fully covered with the snow. He was sitting on a branch and trying not to make any noise. He had already completely regained control of the body, but it was just impossible to silently climb a tree.
The fact that the nest was already a few meters away from him and he still hadn't been noticed was certainly a stroke of luck. At the moment when Rey was about to make another movement in the direction of the small animal, which was sleeping peacefully inside the nest, he noticed something white moving on the branch. The body of the white animal wrapped around the branch, slowly moving to the nest of the Kuring. Rey stood still, not daring to make any movements.
That was an inconspicuous white snake. It wasn’t difficult to look closely at this creature from such a distance for Rey.
Tiny white scales almost completely merged with the snow. Even the snake's eyes were completely white, except for its slip pupils which were still black. The size of the snake was comparable to a child’s leg in width and around a meter and a half in length.
Slowly approaching the nest, the snake from a distance of almost half a meter sharply jumped to the nest and grabbed the Kuring with its big fangs. Even though the small animal was the size of the snake’s head itself, it held the Kuring in its mouth without any problems. The prey had resisted only for a moment, before lifelessly freezing in the mouth of the predator.
‘Poisonous…’ Rey thought.
Watching the scene before his eyes, Rey realized that he was very impressed by the snake. A strong and obsessive desire suddenly appeared in his head. He just couldn’t miss such a useful soul.
He was sure that if it wasn’t good luck, he would never find such a beast in the snowy forest by himself. The snake’s camouflage really fit the snowy forest. Moreover, snakes were very fast and agile creatures, and this one in addition to everything this was also poisonous… The fact that the snake could stay awake during the winter didn’t confuse Rey much. After all, the game world was different from the real world; probably, snakes weren’t cold-blooded here. And it was unknown, if there were such a limitation in the game at all.
Rey didn’t hesitate and started waiting for the right moment, preparing to attack. The right moment, by the way, didn’t take long. The snake, as it could be seen, didn’t think that there was someone who could attack it in such a circumstances, so it started eating the Kuring’s body right on the tree branch, without going to a safer place.
‘The variety of animals is very limited in this part of the forest, so the snake couldn’t be considered as a stupid predator, just because it behaves so confidently. I should rather consider this as a fortunate set of circumstances for me, although if I fail, I’ll probably die again.’
Rey wasn’t surprised about the fact that the death, which was the scariest thing in the first days in this world for him, didn’t scare him anymore. In fact, he even didn’t think about the pain which he would need to endure in case of failure. At this moment, before his eyes there was only the snake, which almost completely swallowed the body of the small animal. When only tip of the Kuring’s tail could be seen, Rey made his move. The distance between him and the snake was still quite big, but he had already chosen the trajectory of his attack.
One quick movement, and his leg was already on another branch. Rey jumped towards the snake which had already noticed him, but couldn’t do anything due to the lack of time. In the air, Rey had grabbed the snake by the tip of its tail, before he fell from a height of almost three meters. The snake in his hand tried to bite its offender. Somehow the snake managed to spit out the Kuring’s body from its mouse, but due to the sudden falling its counterattack failed.
Having fallen on the snow, which slightly softened his landing, Rey with all his might tried to stand on his feet. A second of recover after the falling cost him a small scratch on his right leg, but he managed to stand on his feet. Almost completely turning the upper part of his body, Rey made the strongest smash with his hand. He crashed the snake against the trunk of the tree. Rey was sure that the snake just couldn’t survive such a strong smash.
However, he was very surprised when his feet stopped obeying him. He clearly felt something strange rising up from his leg to his torso.
But even so, Rey didn’t panic at all; even though he had predicted that he’d get an injure, he didn’t think that the snake’s poison would be so strong that even such a small dose would make things bad for him. Pulling the snake’s body closer to himself, Rey fell to his knees. As soon as the soul had left the snake’s body, Rey instantly took it. He almost couldn’t move by this time because of the probably nervously-paralytic poison. Rey silently watched how his hand, which was holding the snake’s body, eased up by itself. But he already wasn't worried about that. In the blink of an eye, the guy's body disappeared. Right now, there could be seen only the completely white snake, which was a meter long.
Even though that he had expected a lot of strange feelings, at the very beginning Rey felt as he had no limbs at all. After some time, he noticed that the effect of the poison had almost disappeared. Rey turned back into a Human to check it and there was nothing apart from the slight paralysis.
An hour later, the small white snake was moving through the forest at full speed. Rey was right, a snake’s body was truly agile; it allowed him to move much faster than climbing through trees in a Kuring form. Now, when he would need to take a break from flight, Rey could move in this form.
It was much easier to get used to this body than he initially thought. The whole body felt like one solid muscle which was quite easy to control. Rey still hadn’t managed to learn how to do fast movements and quick throws, but he had understood the basics quite well, so it was enough for usual movement. Moving ahead, Rey couldn’t stop thinking about benefits of such a wonderful body, which was barely affected by cold.
‘With such a strong poison, I can hunt almost any animal; it’ll provide me stable food and the potential gain of other types of souls, although it’s unlikely that I’ll find another practical body like this one.’
‘By the way, what’s its name?’
At this moment, Rey realized that he had forgotten to check Status. He forgot to check it not because of his distraction but because of the fact that he treated this game as a real world. By checking Status he learnt its name: [Snow Snake].
It seemed that these snakes were winter predators. Even though it was pretty unusual, it still wasn’t the strangest thing that Rey had seen in this world.
Rey almost wasn’t curious about what these snakes were doing during the rest of the year. Right now, he tried his best to master his control of such an unusual body.
Additionally, this body had one significant benefit which could allow Rey to hunt much more efficiently. In fact, during winter, feature of this snake could show all its glory. A Snow Snake had a special vision, and Rey practically had already managed to get used to it.
At first it seemed to him rather as disadvantage than an advantage because ordinary objects, such as trees or snow, now seemed to him darkened and very unclear, but when it came to living creatures... During this hour, Rey realized that there were several times more Kurings in the forest than he thought. Each nest glowed in his eyes like a small star now. Unfortunately, he hadn’t managed to satisfy his gradually increasing hunger yet. He still couldn’t climb trees in a snake’s body due to the lack of necessary skills and practice. Moreover, there were not so many thin enough trees for a Snow Snake to wrap around them. As for a Human body, Rey tried to climb a nest once, but in the end he simply scared off the animal, which was inside it; after this, he stopped trying to hunt in a Human form. After all, hunger was nothing for current him, but the practice in a new form was very important because this body could be useful in any situation.