Chrysalis - Chapter 692 - Moving on up moving on etc
Chapter 692 - Moving on up, moving on... etc
My conversation with the bruan'chii Grove Keeper was disappointingly short, but enlightening. There was precious little time before the wave reached a full throated roar and the tree-people didn't want to be caught out in the open. Apparently the 'mother tree' wasn't able, or didn't want to, maintain all the vegetation that she had caused to grow through the tunnels over the duration of the wave. I was a little shocked to learn that every leaf, vine and flower I saw was in fact as extension of the one tree rather than separate plants. Since she's a monster like me, I wonder what tier it takes to become powerful enough you can essentially extend yourself through huge swathes of Dungeon at will. I could have asked of course, but I think it would have been a bit rude. If I ever get close to enough to the tree herself, I might be in a position to ask a few, more pointed questions.
With the Grove Keeper and his charges returning to their grove, there isn't much else for me or my pets to do but help out with the defence of the Colony. The wave is just about to break and I can feel the heat sources in the walls building constantly. At this stage, we only have a few minutes before they start pouring out. Already the spawn rate in the Dungeon has gone crazy and the tunnels are beginning to fill with the roars, shrieks, and clashes of monstrous combat. I remember this noise, and not too fondly. Better get used to it since it'll be weeks until we get to enjoy anything like quiet again.
[Alright guys, we're going to split up and defend the nest. I'll take the spot in front of the damaged gate. I want Crinis to block the entrance to the tunnel that connects to the brood chambers, Invidia and Tiny can take the gate the golgari damaged. Make sure as few monsters as possible get passed you, alright?]
This will give the Colony a little more time to finish organising the defences. They'll be busy cleaning up the monsters that spawn on the inside of the nest anyways. Crinis raises a tentative tentacle.
[Are you sure you'll be alright on your own Master? You nearly died… again… in the last battle.]
There's a certain intensity to the little blob of indescribable horror that sends a shiver down my non-existent spine. Dammit, she's not happy.
[I get it, I understand what you're saying, Crinis. It was my fault that time, I got a bit carried away. Thankfully, we all survived and are healthy, so we can perform this duty.]
[Crinis,] I say, drawing closer and looking down at anxiously wobbling blob. She stills as I come near, and I use an antennae to pat her on the … let's say head? [That hole is still being closed by the Colony and there's a chance that monsters will break through and attack the brood. We can't let that happen, no matter what. This is the most important position and I only trust you to do it. You'll be able to make sure not a single monster gets through. Please, I'm counting on you to do this.]
The little ball vibrates in place as my words of place pile up until she explodes as I finish speaking.
[O-of course! Master! I won't let any disgusting filth slip by! You can count on me!]
Gweheheheh. Crises averted. The blob of impenetrable darkness wastes no time, sinking into the shadows and in a moment, she's gone, making her way around to the other side of the nest where a mighty forest of barbed limbs will soon sprout. It's a little mean to manipulate Crinis out of being mad at me, but what I told her was the pure truth. She's much better suited to tackling huge numbers of relatively weak monsters, it's her specialty. With her guarding the tunnel dug by the hated worm, I won't have to worry a bit.
[Tiny, Invidia? Got any questions?]
Tiny looks at me, looks at Invidia, looks at his stomach, then back to me, all without a change of expression. Somehow, it makes perfect sense to me. I think my brain is degenerating the more I interact with him.
[I don't know how you guys want to split up the Biomass, work it out between you. I will say, however, if you want more to eat, try not to explode as many monsters. That goes for both of you. Your full-strength punches are just as bad as Invidia's explosions right now, you know that right?]
He was about to point and laugh at this demonic companion but my admonishment wipes the smile from Tiny's face and he looks a little pensive as the two of them make their way back through the nest to the other side. I can tell what he's thinking, he's trying to weigh up his love of food versus his love of hitting things as hard as he can. I honestly don't know which urge will turn out to be the winner. He does need to make sure he gets the Biomass he needs for his next evolution. He's still a long way from the tier six evolution, much as Crinis is, but it doesn't hurt to start racking up those points as early as possible. I've still got a lot of eating ahead of me regardless of whether or not I can pile up the seven levels I need.
With my troops deployed, there isn't much for me to do except plant my butt in front of the destroyed gate and wait for the fireworks to start. My carapace is pretty much fully healed by this point, but I'm not too worried. The monsters that will spawn around here are likely to be shadow beasts and the like, only at level one at that. As the heat signs grow stronger in the walls, I laboriously put together the omni-elemental construct, the stupid thing sitting like a lump of iron in my minds. Tell you what, I can't wait until I evolve and pump up my brains some more, then this thing won't be such a pain in the thorax.
By the time I finish getting it ready, the monsters have already begun to emerge. The distant din of combat grows louder by the second until the first monsters of the wave make themselves known. All along the tunnel, from the walls, floor and ceiling a shower of dirt erupts as claws, heads, maws and monsters of all types erupt from the Dungeon veins. Instantly, the tunnel around me has as many as thirty monsters in it, each of them starving and enraged, drunk on the overflowing mana that birthed them. Without a pause to catch their breath, they begin to throw themselves at each other in a display of savage violence. Survival of the fittest is law in the Dungeon, something no monster needs to be taught.
A couple of the closer ones decide that I look like a juicy enough morsel that they ignore the weaker pray and charge toward me, shadow flesh bulging and distending with the force of their roars. I idly spin together a few fire bolts. Time to harvest a few Skill levels.