chapter 230 – the eye of the beast part 1

With dirty swamp water dripping off of my carapace I felt the formless pressure build ever higher as the group frantically cast our heads about trying to identify the source. It has to be close! It could be coming towards us right now!

[“Eyes open everyone! Something nasty is coming!”]

With my compound eyes, I keep watch in every direction at once, keeping my antennae twitching, trying to focus on what happening both now and a moment into the future. Without hesitation, I begin to prepare my most potent attack, the gravity bomb.

It was able to one-shot the immortal Croc hopefully it can do the same to whatever the heck this is! My sub brains begin to feed out three separate streams of gravitational mana that I seize with my thoughts and press down into a compressed ball that continues to grow and darken as more mana is added.

This is a risk, my attention is being diverted by the need to focus my main mind on the compression process, but I’m willing to take the chance. If I can blast this thing right in its face the moment I see it, then that will be the best outcome.

The marsh has become unusually still. The various creaks and growls that were always in our ears just moments ago have quieted. Then I hear it, in the distance, I can hear a pressing sound as if something were slowly squashing the damp earth of the marsh expanse down. Press, press, press. Each sound is coming slowly, but regularly.

Only allowed on


Hooooooo boy. I’m getting nervous.

I activate my mediation skill and feel my minds sink beneath the icy waters of emotionlessness once again. My fear and anxiety falls away and no longer perturbs my thoughts, allowing my spell to continue to take shape at record speed. A handy thing too, cause I think I’m gonna need it!

The rest of the crew spreads out, doing their best to resist the mounting dread caused by the oppressive aura as the creature draws closer. Tiny has already begun sparking with electricity, his body writhing with snakelike ribbons of lightning as he snarls, revealing his fangs.

[Crinis, hop off me and look for a flank. I don’t want you directly in the firing line for this one] I tell my orb-like pet.

For once, she doesn’t try to argue about putting myself in danger, perhaps she senses the seriousness of our predicament, and immediately extends a few tentacles to allow herself to walk a little ways off. Keeping herself low to the ground and out of sight she places herself close the water line. She’ll have to rely on my directions to get into the battle but I hope she can do some damage without being injured, since it’s so hard for her to get back out of the fight.

I hear another sound now to accompany those slow footsteps. The rustling of leaves and the creaking of wood as a towering figure pushes its way through. I can make out vague details through the shifting leaves. Bright green scales punctuated by flashes of red. A flash of a broad, rounded snout studded with jagged teeth. And large. Really large. Not only the height, but also in sheer bulk.

This Croc is ripped.

Unhurried, the massive Croca steps its way through the branches towards us, reaching out with thick claws to shove branches and trees out of the way as it moved. As more details of our foe come into sight, I divert part of my attention to snap on my Mana Sense.

The Croc blazes with light, it’s powerful core radiating energy. This core is stronger than the Queen’s! This core is second fiddle only to Formo’s worm in my experience. In my mind that confirms it. This has to be the monster responsible for the trouble in this expanse. This monster is responsible for sending out the waves of creatures and getting my siblings killed on the surface.

The Croc steps around a tree and into full view at last.

If this thing isn’t responsible for the trouble, then I sure as hell don’t want to meet whatever is.

It’s huge.

Three tails sweep the ground behind it. Bright green scales, striped with a pattern of red markings. Two fully developed sets of arms extend from the shoulders and its head is horrific. It has two jaws, one on top of the other. What the point of that is, I don’t know, but there it is. The lower jaw hangs open now, a grotesque red tongue hanging low, dripping saliva onto the ground.

Gross man! Show some class would you?

Next to me, Tiny is starting to grunt and shift his weight and the electricity on his body crackles with increasing intensity. Settled within my calm, meditating mind, I know he’s psyching himself up for a charge.

Also thanks to my calm, meditating mind I believe such a course of action would be reasonably suicidal.

It isn’t that the Croca is so much taller than Tiny, even though it is. It must be half again as tall as he is. It’s the sheer mass of the creature. Tiny is a fully stacked deck; don’t get me wrong. His enhanced musculature bulks him out to an impressive degree. This Croc is a whole different beast. It’s got to be half as wide as it is tall!

Deep within my minds, even as I continue to press down to create the densest Gravity Bomb I can, I roughly calculate the monster must weigh six to seven tons. I’m looking at a Croc with slightly more mass than a full-size elephant.


Eat Gravity, sucka!

Gravity Bomb!

Even within the depths of my mediation skill, the sheer size of the monster has panicked me. Apparently I need more levels in the skill to truly tamp down my emotions. Once the beast reveals itself, I unleash the shackles on the miniature black hole contained within and open my mouth wide to unleash destruction on the world!


The dense rotating ball of pure, concentrated Gravitational energy flies at the gigantic Croca, the wind howling as it is sucked into the spell creating a piercing shriek!

The Croca’s eyes flash! Flame bursts from its lower mouth in an instant, engulfing my spell!

So fast!

The reaction speed on this Croc is no joke! Part of me is looking down on the Croca beast, however. Just what does it think its flames are going to do to my Gravity Bomb? Get compressed, fool!

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As my spell races towards the beast, it tracks it with its flame, after another second I notice it. If I weren’t activating my meditation skill, I wouldn’t have had the presence of mind to detect it. The fire is eating away at my spell! It has anti-magic flames!

Not good!

In an instant, my sub brains kick into gear, and each starts constructing gravity bolts. The Gravity Bomb will still probably detonate, but I can’t be confident it’ll have the strength to kill the beast.

We need to prepare for a drawn-out fight.

[Tiny! Charge up your lightning and blast it from range! I want it to get both barrels but don’t shoot through the fire!]

Tiny has been busy working himself into a rage, but he isn’t so far gone that he doesn’t hear my orders. So long as he understands them, he has to obey them. Eyes blazing with fighting spirit, the ape crouches low before thrusting all his strength down through his legs.


His leap skill and mutated legs give him one hell of a leap. The ground THUDS under the impact and Tiny flies into the air, his entire body writhing with electricity. When he lands twenty feet away, the electricity is already snaking down his arms and pooling in his hands.


Much diminished, the Gravity Bomb finally reaches its target and detonates, instantly inflating to the dark sphere that attempts to devour all.

Please kill it!

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