Chapter 324 – spending up

Curious about Crinis’ new Shadow eye I dive deeper into the information hidden within her core, laid bare before my core surgery skill. Ah, interesting. It’s dense bloc of information, clearly a powerful organ, far more than the average, if anything I would think that the majority of her evolutionary energy was spent on this.

From what I can gather, the shadow eye is a special type of sensory organ, it doesn’t help her to ‘see’ per se, not like human eyes, it allows her extend her vision or more accurately, her ‘awareness’ through shadows. I’m not sure exactly how powerful that will prove to be, although I’m sure Crinis will have a use for it, otherwise she wouldn’t have picked it. Combined with her shadow magic gland and affinity Skill, there must be some trick she can use that I’m not aware of.

The other new organ she gained is also interesting. This is Crinis’ solution to the problem of divided attention. I resolved this issue by adding a number of brains to allow me to think about multiple things at once, but she’s taken a slightly different path. Much like how an octopus has neural connections for each tentacle, Crinis’ new organ, the tentacle conductor, effectively acts as nerve endings for up to eight tentacles, so they’ll be able to move and act independently of her main mind. Eight may not seem like enough considering the kind of numbers she can manifest, but with mutation advances I’m certain she’ll be able to push the boundary higher.

Interesting! All in all I think she’s done an excellent job!

[Well Crinis, it looks as if your evolution has been very successful!] I praised her, freezing my antennae at the last moment so I didn’t pet her. If I overpraise her, she might freeze up and I can’t afford the time. As it is, she’s already quivering a little bit, like a blob of jelly I’d poked.

Crinis collected herself, lifting her body up on her new permanent tentacles and skittering left and right a little as she got used to them.

[Thank you Master] she replied warmly, [I spent a great deal of time thinking about how I was going to evolve.]

[I took a good look at your Shadow Eye, but I’m not quite sure how it’s going to work. I assume it has something to do with your shadow magic affinity?]

The slightly larger blob nodded.

[That’s right. I’ll show you.]

The squishy orb of death grew still for a moment and I notice that the shadow beneath her body grew noticeably darker over time until it was pitch black. Then, Crinis deliberately extended a tentacle into the shadow.

I boggled at the sight of her tentacle extending into solid stone. What is this? Some sort of shadow gate?

I felt something tickle the bottom of my carapace and I leapt high into the air.

[Wazzat?!] I cried.

Crinis giggled, a to this point nearly unheard of sound and I looked down to see the tip of the tentacle emerging from the ground where my shadow had been, wiggling back and forth.

[Oh that is sweet!] I yelled as Crinis withdrew her tentacle back through the connected shadows and into her body.

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[I can’t move my main body through] she checked my enthusiasm, [but the Shadow Eye allows me to extend by senses through the shadows after I’ve connected them.]

Oh snap! So she could spy on people, or extend her tentacles to attack things through a shadow that is in a separate room than she is! The possibilities are almost endless.

[How far can a shadow be before you can’t connect it?] I asked, musing to myself.

[My range is around twenty metres right now, if I can detect the target shadow through my mana sense, ten if I can’t.]

I nodded, stroking my chin with an antenna. [Train hard Crinis, this new ability will be extremely powerful when levelled up.]

[I will Master] Crinis acknowledged, already sounding pumped for the challenge.

So diligent.

Crinis, with her shiny new evolution toys to play with, waddles onto my back with her short tentacles and settles into position, no doubt already practicing her skills. I’m somewhat jealous of her at the moment, having successfully completed her evolution. with my own dance with body changing looming on the horizon the anticipation and anxiety is continuing to build apace.

It’s a strange thing, changing your body in such a dramatic way. It’s invigorating, the sense of growth and strength that you feel is incredible. At the same time, there is a tinge of fear, of stepping into the unknown.

Gah! Thinking about that sort of stuff is just going to hurt my head. Time to move onto what I need to be doing in the here and now: Mutations. I still have three upgrades that I need to do, but only enough Biomass for two. So close! I’ve never been this close to a completely upgraded body before and the sense of accomplishment is building the closer I get.

Just one to go! I’m not sure how I’m going to get the Biomass or time to eat it, but I’ll have to manage somehow. Perhaps I’ll need to lean on Vibrant again to hunt and deliver some food for me.

Whatever, time to focus on mutations.

[Do you wish to improve Precognitive Infrared Antennae to +15? This will cost 65 Biomass]


[At this level you may choose to combine your mutations, or emphasise one. Which will you select?]

This is an interesting one. Infrared is quite useful, another way to detect enemies, another sense to help cover up shortages in other areas. Having said that, my senses have been steadily improving, particularly my sight, there isn’t really a need to emphasise the infrared. The Future Sight has been very interesting, not to mention saving my life (if not my backside).

My reflexes and reactions are almost not quite fast enough to make full use of the tiny glimpse to the future that my antennae give me. Emphasising this mutation will perhaps give me that extra nano-second that will make all the difference.

Ok. I’m going to Emphasise the precognitive.

[Would you like to upgrade your Mana Eating Restrictive Acid to +15? This will cost 65 Biomass]


[At this level you may choose to combine your mutations, or emphasise one. Which will you select?]

Ahh the acid gland, a key feature of the formica variant of the ant species. My ‘ol trusty business district and its jets of burning acid have served me well, particularly in the early days. The restrictive property of the acid was such a key thing for me back then and to be honest I still think it’s a valuable property to the acid. I haven’t had much chance to use the magic eating mutation lately but I have high hopes that it will be extremely relevant in the days to come.

This seems like a slam dunk, Combine them!

[Do you wish to upgrade your Precognitive Infrared Antennae to Future Sight Infrared Antennae?]

[Do you wish to upgrade your Magic Eating Restrictive Acid to Mana Binding Acid?]

I do!

Only allowed on


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