Chapter 398 – The Boom Times

Grant had always been a quiet one, even when I’d trained her. I wasn’t shocked at all when she’d evolved into a Soldier, low-key dedication to the colony was always her way. As I watch Garralosh charge once more in an unthinking mad frenzy, I feel so lost, that such a bright and promising member of the colony, of the council, would fall to such a creature.

Former human? Who cares if she was a former human? Grant was my sibling, a member of the same family. Her life was ten thousand times more meaningful that of this bloodthirsty crocodile.

The momentum that Garralosh builds is terrifying. All that weight, all that mass, when she’s able to dash, she’s like a freight train. The kinetic force must be out of this world. I’m only dimly aware of it. Vibrant will tell me when I need to dodge, my focus is inwards. Within, the sphere of mana continues to grow in power. More mana floods into it every second and as each moment passes it fights harder to escape my control. I can feel my Gravitational Mana Gland emptying at a ferocious rate, a veritable flood of energy being directed into a ball that grows smaller and smaller as I tighten my grip.

To inflict real damage on Garralosh, it needs to be as strong as possible! The colour has already begun to shift, turning from purple and deepening to near black. The sphere of energy begins to revolve as its density rises, further threatening to escape my control. Dammit! I direct two of my sub-brains to holding the mana in place, relieving them of mana extraction duty. With that change I’m able to stabilise the spell and continue to condense it, my main mind and major sub brain directing more mana into it.

“Senior! Now!”

It only takes Garralosh a few seconds to cross the distance between us, her speed is insane. Physics tells me that a monster that size should tear itself apart if it were to move that quickly, but Pangera doesn’t follow the same rules. The world quakes and trembles at the tread of her clawed feet, her jaws snap madly. There is nothing left behind her eyes but bottomless hunger and a hunger for death.

When Vibrant calls, I snap my attention back to my body for the split second it takes to fire my synapses and throw myself to my left as hard as I can. In that moment a terrifying sight flashes into my brain, the myriad sensations of the battle instilled into one moment that assaults all of my senses. The shuddering of the ground beneath my claws, the rolling waves of heat that sear the air around Garralosh, the maddened red gleam of her eyes and the light flashing from her curved crocodile teeth. With her mouth wide open I can see the back of her throat, something countless monsters must have seen over the last century. It’s dark back there, her mouth is so cavernous.

Then, in a fraction of a second, it’s gone. I fling myself away and her head tries to track me but she’s moving too fast! Or is she! With her two front legs on her right side, she swipes out, her jagged claws cutting through the air with a vicious howl.

BAM!

The air is punched out of me as my diamond carapace crunches under the force of her claw. I tried to angle my body, but one claw, the last claw, spears home and pierces my abdomen. The momentum of my jump and the force of the blow send me tumbling through the air until I land with a crash, choking in the dirt.

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 I gasp in pain. My insides have now been introduced to my outsides, but it’s not enough to shake my resolve. Even now, with a sliver of HP left, my attention is still inward. Nothing matters except for this spell. Regardless of how broken my body is, my mind is like a steel trap.

The energy that trickles into me through the Vestibule is yet to falter in any way. In fact, I think it’s probably increased as the battle has gone on. Which seems to mean that the belief of the ants has increased the more broken and battered I’ve become. I’m not sure what that says about the colony, but  it can’t be good.

“Are you ok, Senior?” Vibrant calls to me, worried.

“Never better,” I manage to sputter out, “has she turned around yet?”

“Just about! I don’t think you can dodge again!”

“Don’t plan to.”

I can throw this spell at any time, but I want to pour as much energy into it as I can before I let it rip. The mana condensed into the spell is running wild by now, but still I pour more into it. Desperate to maintain control, I task my main sub-brain to assist in containing and compressing the mana. The Gravity Bomb itself has shrunk down to a tiny point, smaller than any bomb I’ve made. It’s close to pitch black also. The spell revolves in silent menace within my mind as I recklessly rip out all the mana I can control and throw it into the violently rebelling spell.

A few more seconds is all I need!

“She’s coming, Senior! She’s about to charge!”

All of my focus is internal, I don’t want to devote any attention to my eyes, I can barely spare a thought for my antennae. 

“Which way is she?”

“Wha-Wha?”

“Point me at her!”

After a moment I can feel something push into my side which tears my wounds further, unleashing another wave of pain that I roughly shove to one side.

More. More. More!

By far the most powerful spell I’ve ever formed is ready to be unleashed. The sheer density of mana is starting to play havoc with my body as the spell battles to unleash its energy. It’s now or never! My three sub-brains are screaming in pain as they strain to their limits to contain the unimaginable energy that I’ve unleashed and I try to focus my eyes.

Garralosh is coming. Hurtling herself forward, still in the grip of her mindless rage. You could have been so much more than this. You should never have come here and harmed my family.

You think your hunger is bottomless? See if you can match up to this!

Experience the fury of this Mega Gravity Bomb!

I push my body up with my shaking legs, open my mouth, and unleash a demon. The world goes dark, and then it screams.

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWLLLLLL!!!!

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I swear I see a flicker of fear in the eyes of Garralosh as the spell rips into reality, but it’s too late. She can’t turn, she can’t dodge. The spell slams home into her chest and all hell breaks loose.


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