I’m almost so close to the back of the crowd I could reach out and poke a person with my antennae, please let them not hear me!
The little worker is still struggling in my mandibles, trying to get free to go and investigate the fire. What the heck are you so interested in?! Is it the Biomass? Are you just upset that they are burning the monster bodies and not eating that sweet, sweet Biomass?
I don’t think they can eat that, kid! Different people have different cultures ok?
“Stop your wiggling! I’ll feed you when we get back to the colony ok?”
Upon hearing that I’m prepared to feed it the worker stops her escape attempts, causing my panic to subside a little, then she happily clacks her mandibles, making an audible *clack* sound, causing my panic to skyrocket!
At first there is no response, but then a middle aged gentlemen in the middle of the crowd slowly turns around, a frown creasing his forehead. His face goes completely white as he is met by the sight of a giant ant lying flat on its belly with another, smaller ant in its mandibles only a few metres from his back.
I try waving to him with an antenna but he flinches back from the movement, his mouth opening in closing in soundless panic. He reaches with shaking hands to tug on the clothes of the people around him and they turn, irritated at first but when they see his expression and he points with a trembling finger they turn and behold my glorious backside as I have already begun to flee!
Time to motor out of here!
I can hear angry shouts behind me, followed by the soaring voice of the priest before the pounding of feet alert me to the movement of the people behind me. Turning my head slightly I can see the crowd has recovered from their early shock and have starting giving chase! Crude farming tools and rusty swords held at the ready!
Holy smokes Gandalf! These people are a little too into their monster killing!
As I sprint through the fields with a horde of shouting humans behind me the little worker is happily clicking and clacking her mandibles, thoroughly enjoying the ride. I’m speechless at her lack of awareness, just who’s fault do you think this situation is!?
Illuminated by burning torches the crowd looks like an angry horde summoned from the depths of hell! Their raging eyes have become devoid of fear as they rush along in my wake.
I don’t particularly want to kill my way through an entire village but at the same time I don’t want to lead them to the colony. Think, Anthony!
I may just have to give them a taste of my magical prowess!
Working quickly I try to shape a Gravity Spear as I run. Being so distracted I naturally lose a little speed as I stumble here and there and the crowd begins to gain on me. Its ok, don’t fail the construction!
My practice has helped me become more familiar with the shape of the spell, like a tune that I’ve practiced more often. I still need to do a heap of practice before I can ‘play’ it with total ease but I can do it a heck of lot better than I could the first time!
After just ten seconds of frantic mental work I’ve prepared the spell and start pouring in the gravitational energy to charge it. In my haste I don’t properly control the flow of energy and pour in a ton too much, overcharging the spell!
Gah! I don’t have time to make another one, just fire it!
Turning my head I pick out my target, the first gentlemen to notice me, no longer terrified but maniacally shouting a he leads the charge, what looks like a woodcutters axe in his hand.
Sorry bud, you drew the short straw today!
With a concerted though I fire of my Gravity Spear, the intricate dark purple construction streaks through the air like an arrow, piercing the man directly in the chest!
Screams and shouts erupt from the crowd as the target falls to his knees a disbelieving look on his face as his hands rise to try and grasp the ethereal spear emerging from his chest. Then they scream once more, their momentum completely broken, as the rings of light expand out in a flash, encompassing much of the crowd!
Then the pulling force of gravity kicks in!
At first they don’t seem to notice, but the force grows stronger with each passing moment until they cannot resist it! At first they try and hold on, bracing their feet and leaning their bodies as if fighting against a strong breeze but the potent pull cannot be denied and eventually they all ‘fall’ towards the bewildered gentlemen who’s chest still proudly sports the spear.
Even I’m a little stunned at the potency of this spear and momentarily stop running to admire the sight of almost fifty people squashed together like sardines in a can. I can’t even see the guy I target anymore, he’s become buried under the bodies of his fellow townspeople.
That isn’t something I’m going to see every day.
So long suckers!
With a jaunty wave of my antennae I turn to dash away into the darkness!
I’m not exactly sure what has happened in that village but at the very least they are taking their community safety seriously. I’m still a little concerned that despite their committed attitude, eventually something too badass for them to handle will poke its head out of that hole and the people there will be food.
I may have to advance some of my plans.
Rushing back to the trees we meet up with Tiny and I command the little worker to climb back up onto my head before we rush back to the nest in darkness. I’ve noticed that in the forest the monsters we encounter level up a little during the night time. I hadn’t realised it at first since they still pathetically weak. In any case, we make it back home without any stress.
Once we hit up the farm and ensure we’ve all had a good feed, leaving a heap disabled monsters for the colony and extracting another fresh core, I head back to my chamber and dig out my collection. The little one seems to have had enough excitement for the time being and decides to have a nap to help digest her meal.
Once I’ve assembled my selection of treasures I take all of the cores that are completely unmodified and place the Jellymaw core to one side. I need to go through all of these cores and alter them as much as possible in my final push to level up Core Engineering.
Summoning all of my intellect I focus on the first core and begin the arduous process of making adjustments to the energies contained within.
After several hours of mind shattering work, it has been completed. I managed to take five cores and make all of the changes I can, successfully grinding out two more levels of core engineer.
Argh! My heads is thumping! Core engineering is ridiculously taxing on the mind, like shoving a boulder uphill using only your thoughts.
I take ten minutes in order to refresh myself and then bring myself to face the Jellymaw core. I was super impressed with this monster when I fought against it, the terror it had managed to illicit, even from other monsters, was something I had never beheld before. Not to mention I suspect that this is a creature that has only evolved once, meaning that not much growth potential has been lost.
Yes, I intend to make the Jellymaw my second pet!