Chapter 845 – Too Many New Toys

It’s a good thing I have so many minds now, since I have so many new things to play with. Barrier magic is another defensive tool in the box and I’m quite keen to prioritise it. With my reaction speed and increasing magical prowess, I bet I can throw down shields in the blink of an eye, putting them where and when I need them before my opponents can even react. I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to say that I’m attached to my life in this world, a heck of a lot more than I was to the one before, so I’m invested in being not dead. The more methods I can deploy to ensure I remain in a living state, the better in my opinion.

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But then, I also need to pick which of the four new magics I’m going to grind up in order to get access to the next level of magic. I’m quite tempted by metal and wood both, but I think I’m going to have to go with force. It sounds way too useful to turn down. I mean, kinetic energy, on tap? The only limiting factor is mana and my ability to wield it!

Selection made, I put half of my mind constructs to work practicing the necessary construct to produce the required form of mana. As is tradition, the construct is a pain within a pain wrapped in an ache and garnished with a kick to the noggin. None of these damn things are easy, but then again I suppose converting mystical energy from one form into another isn’t exactly an easy task. Despite the complexity, compared to the omni-elemental construct it’s basically a walk in the park. I have every confidence I’ll be able to put it together in a few hours and then I can start playing about with it.

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As we make our way back to the city of Roklu, having completed our immediate tasks, I take some time to experiment with something else I’ve not investigated as deeply as I should. My mandibles are specifically mutated to accept mana and produce effects based on the type that I use. I had a lot of fun infusing them with gravity mana back in the day, but more often than not my opponents these days have too much mass for me to properly yank them. I think I phrased that correctly…

Basically, using the gravity mandibles is a lot more situational than it was before, since they don’t have the desired effect on things that are too massive. If I had more gravity mana to pour in, then perhaps I could get it to work as it did before, but I’m limited since I only have what is available in my organ and can’t make more for myself. However, since I mastered the basic elements and learned omni-elemental magic, I now have ready access to every type of basic elemental mana, including the fusions!

Which means a whole host of different types of mana I can infuse into my mandibles that I haven’t really tried yet! I’m not expecting anything world shattering, but it’ll be nice to see what kind of effects I can produce. As we march back to the city, following the winding tunnels as they twist and turn back to the larvae flooded plains, I use my omni-elemental construct to flood my mandibles with every type of mana I can create and chomp on various things, rocks, the odd demon, to see what happens each time.

The mandibles respond incredibly well to the mana as I pour it in, drinking it up like some sort of mega-sponge. Continuing to mutate them down this line has clearly increased the strength of the effect that is produced but also increased the ability of the mandibles to take and hold the energy that I give it. I have to throw in a ridiculous amount of mana before they start to feel ‘full’ and the abilities that they grant are quite startling when fully charged.

For starters, water mana. To my surprise, the feeling I get from infusing this energy into my mandibles is one of cutting, and when I chomp down on a rock the mana floods out in a rush as tiny, concentrated blasts of water emerge from the spiked tips of my mandibles. When I withdraw my jaws and inspect the rock I find the pressurised water has drilled holes deep into the stone. Nasty! This might help me crack tough defences in a pinch! I’m impressed.

Fire mana I’ve tested before, essentially super heating my mandibles, though I don’t really feel it, thank goodness, and sizzling whatever I bite. I’m a fan. Not much use in the third stratum, but I still think it’s a strong effect.

Air mana is a bit of a weird one, similar to gravity in a way. Once fully charged, when I open my mandibles wide the air in front of me is sucked away, dragging whatever happens to be in front of me forward as the air rushes towards me to fill the void. The range is much less than the pull gravitational mana gives me, but this effect is targeted on an individual in the same way. Anything in front of me will be dragged forward, unless they are strong enough or properly prepared to resist the sudden drag.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with earth mana. I mean, it was always going to be an unusual effect, but what I got was surprising and pleasing. The sense of peace and fulfilment that washed over me was immense and when I turned to the tunnel wall and began to dig, the earth just melted away beneath my mandibles. Bliss. True peace.

Ice mana was much as expected, when I bit a stone the mana flooded into it and even in these boiling temperatures the damn thing started to freeze, rapidly cooling to the point that frost started to form on the surface. Of course, mixing temperatures like this isn’t particularly healthy for a rock and the damn thing cracked right in my face.

Blue fire was much the same as normal fire, except hotter.

Gas magic was subtly different from air magic. Whereas air magic created a vacuum in front of my jaws which dragged things in front of me forward, gas magic created a rush of air inward towards where I was biting, effectively locking in place the target of my ire, unless of course they were strong enough to resist the inrushing atmosphere.

Stone took the previous levels of ease of digging to all new heights, earth and stone positively crumbling away whenever my mandibles got even close to them, the mana leaching out and into the rock, dissolving it from within. This could be useful for the carvers…



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