chapter 248 – i mutate therefore i itch

Ho God! What the heck is this overwhelming itchiness!? From what depths of skin irritant hell did Gandalf find this sensation? My body is fire! My mind is breaking! Why am I the only one who seems to be bothered by this? When Tiny spends Biomass he barely twitches and Crinis doesn’t have a face so I can’t tell what her reaction is but they don’t seem to suffer like this!

Why Meeeeee!?

Eventually the torture ends and I slowly pick myself up from the ground.

I hate it. I hate it soo much.

Now what’s next?

First I try to inspect my own carapace to see what has changed and unsurprisingly the shimmering diamond patches of my carapace have extended even further. Hang on a sec…

I peer closer to try and get a better view and what I see shocks me.

It isn’t that the patches of Diamond have expanded, but rather they’ve been pushed outward by a core of pure diamond. In the centre of each diamond covering the carapace itself, my own exoskeleton, has been transformed into actual Diamond.

I’m getting more and more expensive…

So is this what will happen if I keep choosing to upgrade this path? I won’t just get a diamond layer atop my carapace but my carapace will actually change into diamond?

I’m not sure how to feel about that.

Will my inner carapace plating still be able to heal my carapace if it’s made of diamond? I suppose it will, it all seems to mesh together even when you don’t think it should, Gandalf seems to have those things worked out well enough.

Next I flex my mandibles, trying to sense if there is a difference. They certainly feel stronger and more solid. Curiously, I channel my mana into them and am pleased to note how smooth the flow of mana feels. The mandibles themselves immediately glow with the energy of mana. Ooooo this feels strong.

Eagerly, I check my status to see what has changed.

My Savage Infused Mandibles +10 has now become Empowered Mandibles +15 and my Hardened Diamond Carapace +10 has become True Diamond Carapace +15.

And it only cost me 130 Biomass. *Sob*.

Ok. Hold it together Anthony. Still have more to spend.

236 Biomass left. Yikes.

At forty Biomass a pop I have enough left to upgrade five body parts to +10, and I only needed enough to cover four, so I should be able to get one more part to +15! Fantastic!

All right. Here we go!

[Would you like to upgrade Pheromone Language Gland to +10?]
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[At this level you may choose a mutation enhancement.]

Once more the menu blossoms within my mind, filled with the possible selections of pheromone upgrades and there are tons.

Acid pheromones that cause damage to any who inhale them? What the heck? I mean… I guess the ants don’t inhale the pheromones so it wouldn’t hurt the colony… Not sure on that one.

Mind Strike pheromones that weaken the will of any who come into contact with them? Could be handy for setting someone up for a mental attack… pity I can’t do those yet.

Flammable pheromones, fill up an enclosed space with this stuff and then throw in a fire spell. Kaboom! So like, petrol fumes pheromones? WHY?!

I spy one option that piques my interest.

Persuasive Language Pheromones. Makes your pheromones more persuasive when being used to communicate with others, causing others to consider your signals before listening to others.

This sounds interesting. I might be able to get the Queen to reconsider the rare core situation with this! I’ll take it!

[Would you like to upgrade your Deep Gravity Magic Gland to +10?]

Awww yeah.

[At this level you may select a mutation enhancement]

Aaand the menu again.

There are still the same options I had before, as well as some new ones. The condensed Gravity magic gland sounds interesting. This is the one Tiny ended up choosing, which condenses the mana held within the gland slightly. If this upgrade were chosen multiple times and reinforced, perhaps you’d have fully condensed mana sitting in the gland, ready to go, without having to do any extra lifting with my brains.

But I already have the brains to do that work so that seems like a waste.

Quicker to refill the gland, mana becomes more malleable for spell shaping, mana moves more smoothly. There are a lot of new effects that make spell casting with the mana easier but I feel like that’s a waste of potential. I can increase casting speed by buffing up my brains during evolution, I don’t need to utilise my mutations for that.

What I really need to do is think forward to the +15 upgrade. Is there a possible fusion that I think would be powerful or should I double down on increasing the capacity of the gland, then reinforcing it to take the capacity even further?

Personally, I like the idea of having more gravitational mana to play with. After talking with Beyn I now understand that the true power of gravity magic won’t reveal itself until I’m able to unlock the gravity mana affinity skill and start levelling it up. At that point I’ll be given the knowledge of the spell shapes that are unique to Gravity mana and make the most devastating use of its potential.

So I’m going to take the Expanded Deep Gravity Mana Gland.

And next!

[Would you like to improve your Divergent Coordination Cortex to +10]

Let’s keep this rolling!

[At this level you may select a mutation enhancement]

Another menu!

All this text is sending me cross eyes.

The Coordination Cortex functions as a gatekeeper or secretary to sub minds, increasing their efficiency by sorting inputs and outputs before passing them onto the sub minds, allowing the little brains to better focus and make use of their resources.

My first upgrade allowed the cortex to better assist the sub minds when they were focused on their own individual tasks, rather than combining their strengths.

There are a heap of options available for this mutation, just as there is for all of them. I can have the cortex be more efficient at assisting minds casting certain kinds of spells, or increase the efficiency of working on certain types of mana. There is a further upgrade on the divergent mutation which assists the brains when they are each concentrating on multiple tasks. Yikes.

Only allowed on

Thinking further ahead though, to the +15 stage, I want to aim for a fusion. My sub brains are for spell casting and I want them to be able to be all singing and dancing. Good at casting spells individually but also working together in a group.

Combined Coordination Cortex. Increases the efficiency of attached sub brains when working together to accomplish a sophisticated task.

Sounds simple in theory. I’ll take the mutations that make them better at both single tasks and cooperation and then fuse them, see what I get. Hopefully it doesn’t suck.


My inner carapace plating!

[Do you wish to improve Regenerative Inner Carapace Plating to +10]

Lez goooo.

[At this level you may select a mutation enhancement]

Soo many great options for the bone plating. Strengthen the plating overall, making it like a second skeletal structure, improve the regenerative ability, improve the speed of the regenerative ability, extend the bone plating inwards so that it protects some organs from damage.

So many!

Eventually one catches my eye. My diamond carapace is tough as nails and extremely sparkly. I get that, but my main concern with it is a strong blow cracking it, from a hammer or axe type weapon, of a monster like Tiny punching me. To protect myself against that, I need:

Dispersive Bone Plating. Forms an absorbent layer against the outer skeleton that assist in absorbing and dispersing kinetic energy from hard strikes.

I like it. My exo-skeleton is my pride and it shall never be pierced! I won’t rest until I’m as solid as a tank!

Although I really need to work on my magic defence.

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