chapter 277 – delving once again

I briefly contemplated paying a visit to the village and checking in, I just don’t know what I would say. I don’t think I’d explain the changes in the colony, I’m not exactly sure how humans would react to the creation of this new species. Knowing the people in the village, their fervour for all things ant may only increase, an outcome I’d rather avoid. If they get even more fired up in their ant obsession I’ll come back to find a temple or something in the middle of the village.

That’s the last thing I need. It’s already difficult to go into the village due to getting swarmed by people moments after I arrive, then the priest shows up and starts shouting to the heavens. It’s a pain to say the least. If I didn’t have Enid there to talk to I’m not sure that I’d bother communicating with them at all.

It’ll be nice to actually get away from all, not feel pressured by time and obligations, just by the jaws and claws of the deformed beasts in the Dungeon attempting to rip my face off. The less stressful stuff. Tiny lumbered behind me as we began to make our way down into Queens chamber and further down into our own private chamber, currently occupied by a few monsters attempting to claw at each other.

Impatient and annoyed, Tiny smashes these monsters in a single backhand before squatting in place, waiting for me to give the go ahead to move further down the tunnel. The intense light down here hasn’t changed for weeks. Compared to when I first arrived in the world, the illumination is intense, almost stinging my eyes. I’m looking forward to  this stupid even coming to an end though. From what I understand, the waves are not supposed to last this long. A week, maybe two, then things start to die down and the accelerated spawn rates go back to normal, everything is gravy. It’s been months with this wave! The extra Biomass is nice but I really want to be able to sleep peacefully underground again.

Ah well.

[Come over here for a second Tiny, I want to check your core.]

Rolling his eyes the bat faced lightning gorilla stomped over to me before plonking himself on the ground with a thud. Real graceful.

I feel like checking in on the progress of my pets every now and again is important since they haven’t been the best at taking care of themselves. I might be driven into taking further pet based skills just to help manage these two. Tiny with his dim witted decision making and Crinis with her paralysing fear of failure have caused no shortage of issues. Play it safe and stay on top of the problem. That sounds like a good policy.

Bringing forth my antennae I access Tiny’s core and sift through the information to piece together his status.

Name: Tiny

Level: 21 (core)

Might: 154

Toughness: 42

Cunning: 7

Will: 15

HP: 84/84

MP: 210/210

Skills: Expert Ape Boxing level 12; Severe Brutal Uppercut level 4; Enhanced Leap level 6; Advanced Heavy Smash level 3; Advanced Athletics level 5; Advanced Grappling level 3; Potent Crushing Blows level 9; Dazzling Fancy Feet level 4; Advanced Dash Level 5;

Only allowed on

Mutations: Meteoric Enhanced musculature +15, Stone Bones +15; Starfall Legs +15; Shattering Sonic Enhancer +15; Hard Compressing Lightning Mana Affinity Gland +10, Hard Compressing Lightning Mana Affinity Gland +10, Hyper Rapid Energy Conversion Gland +10;

Species: Dire Lightning Storm Kong

Skill points: 17

Biomass: 104

Overall things are looking good for him. Lots of level ups, plenty of mutations. I think he’s chosen to enhance his +5 mutation every single time he advances things to +10. Which means at +15 he only has the one option to deal with. Makes sense I suppose. Tiny likes to keep things simple, which suits his personality just fine.

I can’t even be mad.

He’s well on his way to the complete +15 which is excellent. He still has a fair chunk of Biomass packed away in the tank as well. He’s probably just waiting until he upgrade at least two things at once to cut down on the time he has to spend in the menu.

[Good job Tiny, everything looks good! You’re getting really strong!]

He nodded once at my praise.

[Tiny strong] he affirmed.

[Alright Crinis, your turn.]

[Ah! Are you sure, Master?]


Before she can protest further I stretch my antennae back towards the small black sphere sitting on my back.

Name: Crinis

Level: 8 (core)

Might: 78

Toughness: 65

Cunning: 34

Will: 32

HP: 130/130

MP: 210/210

Skills: Expert Shadow Flesh Manipulation Level 1; Expert Grappling Level 1; Expert Shredding Level 6; Enhanced Tremor Sensing Level 6; Brutal Dismembering Level 5; Greater Fear Inspiration Level 3; Mana Shaping Level 9; Smooth Tentacle Walking Level 4;

Mutations: Dense Durable Shadow flesh +10;  Rapid Disintegrating Void Maw +10; Vast Bottomless Dimensional Stomach +10; Empowered Dividing Tentacles +10; Sharpened Ripping barbs + 10;  Pointed Macabre Teeth + 10; Wide Fine Mana Sensory Gland +10, Deep Shadow Magic Gland +5, Swift Shadow Flesh Generator +5

Species: Special Death Ball

Skill points: 14

Biomass: 54

This is looking impressive! Mana shaping already up to level nine? She must have been practicing diligently in her spare time to grind away at those levels. She’ll be up to Mana Transformation in no time! If I keep slacking at practicing my spell casting then I’m going to look bad.

On the mutation front she’s coming along nicely. Very nearly full at +10 across the board.

[You’ve been spending your points on your own! I’m very impressed Crinis!]

[T, thank you Master!]

She sounds as if a weight has been lifted off her tentacles. She must have been worried I’d criticise her choices, as usual. On the contrary, I think it looks like it’s all making sense and that she’s getting much stronger overall.

[How are you finding the Mana Sensing Gland Crinis? Is it helpful?]

[Ah! Yes it is! *ahem*. The gland has been very useful Master. I can detect mana sources nearby, even if they attempt to conceal themselves visually, it is much harder to hide their mana. I’ve improved it to be more sensitive and have a wider range.]
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[Yes I saw that. Looks like it’s working out well.]

With my inspection complete its time to depart. Grinding skills and consuming Biomass are the aims of this expedition, with a little scouting on the side. Intent on clearing out the Dungeon, we don’t even bother to utilise the shortcut but instead plunge straight down the tunnel that connects to our chamber, threshing the monsters in our way like wheat.

Fingers crossed this helps me deal with my ache!

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