chapter 214 – battle begins

The smaller croca beasts look quite apprehensive to be approaching the grasping tentacles of death but with their larger cousins pressing them from behind they have little choice but to continue to approach.

Crinis has spread her net of tentacles in a ten metre arc towards the approaching foes, her tremor sense giving her some idea of the positioning of the enemy. The Titan Crocs bringing up the rear snap their jaws and bark out a brief message to their lesser kin, who grit their oversized teeth and rush forward as one.

It seems they’ve grown tired of the slow measured approach and want to surround Crinis with overwhelming numbers. Nine of the beasties are rushing towards her now, claws extended and long crocodile jaws open wide for a taste of my pet!

Fortunately Crinis, the smartest of my core children has foreseen this situation! She was already a complete beast at fighting a horde of enemies, but with her new mutations that ability has only been intensified!

Those jet black grasping tentacles react quickly to the pounding feet of the approaching Crocs. Before the monsters can even swipe their claws the tentacles begin to divide, splitting into thinner limbs that then divide some more, creating innumerable appendages that slither through the air towards the hapless crocs.

Just as they were about to commence their attack, claws extended and saliva dripping from their agape jaws, the crocs become lashed with hundreds of tentacles. Due to her upgraded shadow flesh and tentacle manipulation skill, Crinis has become quite adept at the manipulation of her limbs and the strange stuff that makes up her body has only grown tougher and more flexible as she mutates it.

The crocs don’t stand a chance. The moment they are entwined in those razor thin tentacles their hope is lost. They struggle and roar but the shadow flesh proves to be resistant to their feeble struggles. The tentacles slowly fuse together again, thickening, until they manifest the barbs once more.

With a horrid whine the ripping begins and it isn’t long before Croc after Croc is being deposited into the mouth of the ever hungering murder ball.

That is just… so rough, every time I see it.

[“Tiny, I want you to take on the Titan Croc on the right. Vibrant, you go support him. Crinis, you and I can take out the one on the left”] I command my troops.

“Roger!’ Vibrant shouts.

[Huh] Tiny grunts happily, the fire burning in his eyes.

[Of course, Master!] Crinis cries with glee.

The two giant crocs seem to be having second thoughts about their previous confidence. Watching their allies be shredded and chewed up by a single ball of ink will have that sort of effect I suppose. It’s too late to back out now because we are on the charge!

My transformation construct is ready and primed, churning out a steady stream of water mana which I begin to weave into spells. I don’t actually think Crinis or Tiny will actually need help to dispose of these Titan-Crocs but it feels nice for everyone to get involved. We have a long fight ahead after all, we all need get warmed up!

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Unable to escape the two six-legged crocs rear back to their full height and roar in unison. The low rumble of their cry rattles the air and all around us crocs turn to focus intently on the goings on. With my superior vision I can already see a few slipping into the water and making their way towards us.

Oh boy, I think it’s on now.

With no reason to hold back I begin pouring my mental energy into spell shaping without holding back. I need to make sure my allies don’t suffer in this fight!

Tiny is the first to reach his enemy, leaping high and crashing down with a titanic strike. A narrow miss! His light enveloped fist plunges down and the ground beneath our feet shakes with that shattering impact. The Croc seems to realise just how lucky it was in that moment it dodged, staring wide eyed at the ape before it, failing to capitalize on this moment of weakness. Vibrant takes advantage of its distraction and dashing in to chomp it on the leg viciously, tearing into the limb and causing the beast to growl in pain.

On my side I fling a few water bolts at the Croc, staggering it with the sheer kinetic force of the water smashing into it. Water sprays everywhere from the blasts, drizzling down onto Crinis who completely ignores it as she ‘walks’ towards her opponent on her several tentacles. This is her new skill, the tentacle walk. It may not seem like much but she certainly is moving with much more ease and grace than she was before. Whereas before she basically dragged herself along, now she glides with deadly purpose.

Before her main body her limbs are already seeking, reaching and grasping towards her worried opponent who is only just recovering from the impact of my water bolts. Hastily the Croc throws open his jaw and unleashes a jet of orange flame!

Searing heat washes over me as the flames are turned onto Crinis at point blank range! Fortunately she was forewarned of this danger. As soon as she feels the heat burning her shadow flesh she retracts her limbs as quickly as possible, folding them into her main body to protect the more vulnerable parts of her body.

This was what I instructed her to do. Shadow beasts seem to have something of a weakness to fire so I wanted Crinis to be able to limit the damage she might take in battle with the Titan Crocs.

But I don’t simply intend to let her sit there and take the flame thrower, that would be madness!

Water Cannon!

A solid stream of water materialises above my head and streaks through the air before smacking straight into the Crocs mouth!

Got him!

The flames are almost immediately extinguished as the Croc slams its mouth shut, steam leaking out from between its teeth!

Only allowed on
[Go Crinis!] I shout.

I keep the water cannon trained on the dumb Croc as it uses its large upper arms to shield its face from my relentless water attack. If he opens that mouth again he’s gonna get another dose!

Freed from the pesky flames, Crinis slashes out with her tentacles, attaching herself to the Croc in moments. With the limbs undivided, they are thick and powerful. Before the Croc can even scream they begin to twist and rend the beast, dragging it bodily towards the waiting maw, bristling with enormous fangs.

Well, she needs to heal up a little I guess.

On the other side, Tiny has beaten their foe into a pulp with his fists as Vibrant ran interference, nibbling on legs and being a general pest to the large croc.

Our first battle has ended in glorious victory, but I can see more of the monsters making their way over, including a few new variants I’ve not fought before. It’s time to take on the real troops!

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