Chapter 831 – Confronting our demons pt 8

The closer I look, the more certain I am. It isn’t much, a scratch under any other circumstances, but considering that Grokus has managed to keep himself entirely pristine for the duration of this fight, something has definitely changed.

[You know, I don’t think I will, surrender that is. I have a suspicion that things might just be turning to my advantage.]

[Nonsense,] the huge demon scoffs, [unless you have another of those spells in you, then it’s merely a matter of time before you are devoured from the inside out.]

[You so sure about that? Your left claw isn’t looking its normal self.]

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I can almost see the massive city lord hesitate for a moment before he raises the claw to inspect it more closely. Sure enough, the damage has not been fully healed, a split running along the topmost digit.

[Impossible!] he gasps before he can stop himself.

[Not healing as much as you’d expected eh? Perhaps something has gone wrong?] it’s now my turn to taunt the much larger monster as my brains race to think of what could possibly have happened.

[Tiny, scorch him! Give him a blast of lightning!]

All too happy to unleash violence at the slightest provocation, the ape lets loose an arc of lightning that plays across the city lord’s flank, burning a groove in him and filling the air with the scent of sizzled Biomass. Crucially, the damage remains, healing, but far more slowly than before. An idea begins to take shape in my mind and I can’t help giving voice to it.

[You’ve always been eating Grokus, eating and eating away, but where has all the Biomass gone? You really expect me to believe you’ve just been racking up thousands of Biomass points for no reason? I don’t believe it.]

I circle around the still form of Grokus, watching him through my multifaceted eyes as he stares back at me.

[You’ve got some sort of Biomass regeneration storage, don’t you? You’ve been packing it away into this regen gland for decades and then pretending you were invincible. Every time you get damaged in any way, you heal up in an instant and pretend you were never hurt in the first place. You can depend on your impressive bulk to prevent you from having anything too critical being wounded in one shot, and your aura does the rest of the work, since you can outlast your opponents based on your bank of Biomass.]

I continue to circle around the big demon as I lecture, expounding on my theory as his eyes narrow.

[It’s unfortunate, so, so unfortunate, but you just happened to run into your natural enemy in this situation: my gravity bomb spell. Not only is the damage outrageous, but it sits in place for an uncomfortably long time. You were regenerating the entire time, weren’t you? That must have sucked. Like, that must have really sucked. The moment you healed, it was all ripped away just as fast. How much Biomass did you chew through in the duration of that spell? Must have been a lot. Must have been ALL of it, in fact, because as of right now, you aren’t healing the way you were before.]

I turn to face him head on.

[In fact, right now you’re barely healing at all.]

Grokus doesn’t say anything for a long heavy moment, flexing his massive claws as his jaw works, chewing over my words in silence. Which is right when I take a massive hit of damage. I stagger to one side as it feels as if my stomach has ripped itself open, triggering an emergency release of regeneration fluid. Despite the added energy being provided through the Vestibule, my regeneration gland is still running close to empty after being used too close together. I heal, but not nearly enough.

[Perhaps you boast too soon, little insect!] despite being rattled, the city lord still manages to sound as pompous as ever. [You may have worn through my reserves with your magic, but I am still standing, and so long as I am you will continue to suffer. Unless you can finish me off in the next few minutes, you will have no hope of being victorious in this battle! Without you to save them, I will rampage through your kind until I am once again stuffed with Biomass!]

I pick myself up and stiffen my legs to hold my body firm.

[I mean, yes, that would be the case if I was here by myself, but I’m not, am I?]

I turn to the Colony.

“GET HIM!”

Over ten thousand ants are within range of my pheromonal cry and they do not hesitate.

“FOR THE COLONY!” floods the area as each and every one of them rushes forward heroically and a rain of acid and spells falls down from above.

Not to be left out, I charge forward also, pushing my aching body to the limit to zig and zag left and right. Focusing my mind, I watch carefully. Listening to the hidden signals emanating from my antennae I watch the now desperate city lord like an ant-hawk. When he swipes at me, I’m more than ready and dodge appropriately, closing the gap in an instant. Mandibles wide open, I lock my jaw and prepare to strike.

[It’s over, Grokus!] I bellow as I bite down onto his arm.

Weakened he may be, but the massive demon still represents a great threat to my siblings, which means I want to keep his focus on me as much as possible whilst I remove his ability to harm them. Without the use of his arms, he has only his aura to rely on. Which will work, given enough time. I mean, we’re racing against the clock here.

[Come on Tiny! Crinis! Pour it on! Give it everything you have!]

Not needing to be reminded, Tiny and Crinis leap into the fight with gusto, ripping and tearing, punching and smashing with all they can muster.

[I refuse to let it end like this!] Grokus bellows in my mind. [I have ruled for hundreds of years! I will not be brought down by an insect from above!]

DOOM CHOMP COMBO!

Mandibles pumping, I continue to avoid the grasping claws of my weakening foe whilst outputting as much damage as I can.

[You’ve stagnated for hundreds of years,] I scoff at him, [too scared to move forward and too blind to see it. Worry not, you’re only the first city lord who will fall to the Colony. I assure you, you won’t be the last!]

With a roar that flattens my antennae back against my head the massive demon raises both hands above his head before bringing them down in a colossal smash that cracks the stone for metres in every direction, but the blow is so telegraphed I didn’t even need my future-sense to dodge it. Leaping over the top of his arms I run up onto the bulbous flesh of the demon and bare my mandibles once again.

With the help of thousands of ants, all attacking furiously and without fear, we bring the demon lord down, even as my insides tear themselves apart. With relief I feel the menacing aura effect finally fade away and with joy I hear the voice of Gandalf ring within my mind.

[You have slain level 53 Luxuria Daemonium (VII).]
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[You have gained experience.]

[You have reached level 7.]

[You have reached …]

GWEHEHEHEHEH! Gimme ‘dem levels!



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