chapter 227 – undying

We’ve killed a lot of Croca-Beasts already in our expedition. I don’t know exactly how many children Garralosh has but we are seriously depleting the tables at the family reunion at the rate we are going.

I’ve now eaten so many of the basic Croca’s that we managed to unlock the intermediate profile for them. It struck me again the riduclous number of specimens you need to consume to get even this far in terms of profiles. Just how many do you need to eat for the complete profile?! A thousand?!

What exactly does the complete profile communicate anyway? It must be something damn good to have such high requirements. Or, more likely, it doesn’t and it’s just the Dungeon messing with my head, as usual.

At any rate, the profile provided the following information:

Garralosh Infant :

Might: 31

Only allowed on

Toughness: 17

Cunning: 9

Will: 6

These numbers are roughly in line with what I expected. From my experience with designing the new generation of workers, workers mk2, if you will, I know that it’s so much easier to bulk up on physical stats than mental ones for a new monster. Even so, to produce monsters of this size, the cost compared to even my enhanced workers would be out of control. If I were to compare the output of the Queen to producing workers or Garralosh infants, the ants would outnumber the crocs more than five to one.

Since my work was so damned streamlined!

The more I know the more I think that Garralosh just didn’t see the value in efficiency. Although, now that I think about it, these creatures were designed to be solo hunters, and they certainly manage to terrorise the upper levels just fine, being pretty much the baddest thing on the block around here. So perhaps Garralosh was correct in making sure their offspring could punch hard from the get go.

Whereas I want my fellow workers to survive through intelligence and cooperation, garralosh wanted to create solo killing machines that would battle their own way up the evolutionary ladder. Not a bad approach I suppose, simply inferior to mine.

At this moment the next rung in that Croc ladder is lazily swimming towards me, double tails trailing behind it. This thing is absolutely massive and I don’t intend to stuff about in this fight.


For the first time in the expanse I activate my recently acquired meditation skill and its effect comes into play immediately. Like a shutter sliding down over an open window, my minds are suddenly cut off from distraction, from the outside world.

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The silence is deafening. Where only a moment ago my keen senses, heat detection, near 360 degree eyesight, hearing, scent, were flooding my mind with information, where my inner mind was filling itself with plans, thoughts, worries and distractions, there is now quiet.

To be honest I hadn’t expected much from this skill when I first used it. Level one skill like meditation? How effective can it be? At best I’d expected a little more clarity of thought, a little stillness.

Instead, it was like being ejected into space. My minds are sealed into a vacuum, separate from the world an unassailable as the mundane stimulus of the physical worlds drifts past like debris after a storm.

The problem I found was that I was so detached from my own body that a monster started chewing my antennae off and I was barely cognizant of it, my minds dismissing the pain to focus their energies inwards.

If Vibrant hadn’t tackled the shadow beast off me I might have kept on casting spells whilst it tore my head from my body!

So I’m a little nervous as I activate the skill but as soon as I do, those concerns fall away into nothing.

I’m as placid as a lake that has no giant Crocodiles swimming in it.

Immediately my minds turn to crafting magic and it’s so damn easy! With the unnatural focus and concentration that the skill brings the weft and weave of the magic is so smooth that the streams of energy seem to dance under the ebb of my thoughts.

Three streams of gravitational energy flow out under the direction of my sub brains, swirling around each other as they drawn down in concentric circles that grow tighter and tighter until a ball of condensed gravitational mana begins to form.

To this task my main mind is dedicated. The ball of extraordinary energy looms so clearly in my mind and it’s so simple to reach out with my thoughts and PRESS, squeezing until the ball begins to take a different feeling.

“Vibrant, give our new friend a few blasts of acid. If he’s going to take his time approaching then let’s get a few shots in.”


The ant turns to present her commercial district to the foe and fires a few shots of acid at the approaching monster. The enormous Croca has been slowly drifting towards us, not even moving except for the languid shift of its tails as it propels itself through the water. In the stillness of my mind I can make out the beady red eyes of the monster glittering confidently as it continues its gradual approach.

As Vibrant’s acid slashes through the air the beast finally reacts, opening its mouth wide and … yawning?

The acid splashes across the water, much of it wasted on the marsh but certainly some of it contacts the monsters head. Sure enough, a slow sizzling sound arises and I can see the steam rising from bubbling flesh on the creatures snout.

Within I continue to press the mana that floods out of my gravitational mana gland into an even more dense ball. There is something off about this Croc…

It takes a moment for me to recognise it but with my thoughts so still my observation is much sharper than normal.

[Stand up Tiny. Time to fight]

Where only moments ago the acid had been chewing into the monsters face, the flesh is reknitting itself at a rapid pace. Is this Croc undying?!

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