The cool light of the Dungeon welcomes my small party home as Tiny and I follow the tunnel deeper beneath the earth, Vibrant and Crinis tagging along for the ride. The goal of this trip, and for the next few days is to absorb as much Biomass as I possibly can before evolving and pushing my evolutionary level penalty further and further. Every time I evolve, the less Biomass I'll get from creatures that haven't evolved as much as me. After my next evolution I'll be tier 4 monster, with three evolutions under my belt! Considering I started as the statistically pathetic hatchling worker ant, which has almost no strengths to speak of I can only say that I've come far from humble origins.
Not only do I require Biomass, Tiny also needs to eat, as well as gain xp to push him towards his next evolution. I briefly conversed with him as we rushed through the Queens chamber and he was able to communicate that he had not yet reached level 20, therefore he needs to be the one absorbing all of the xp.
Crinis and Vibrant have tagged along since they both need to eat and Vibrant needs to gain more xp so she can evolve. Considering she was born with a core we don't need to worry about using her first evolution to form one, so she can directly be promoted to mature worker ant. I still intend to have her absorb a special core and see if she gets any juicy options that I may have missed out on, since I didn't know that special cores and the extra evolutions they unlock even existed at that time.
Still, I wonder what monsters we will encounter! New section of Dungeon, hopefully we get to see something new, I really don't want to have to keep battling centipedes all the time. Ever since I was born there's been centipedes around every corner! Giant centipedes with spikes in their b-zone is not exactly something I want in my face all day, let alone actually having to eat!
If I see even one centipede I may call the whole trip off…
The tunnel we are following seems to be slightly narrow, most likely not a major one. I can feel monsters gestating in the walls, so apparently the wave is still not over but they don't seem to coming out at all? To my senses they seem to be developing less rapidly than the monsters in the Dungeon we had encountered during the wave, those guys had popped out after a dozen minutes so, like donuts in a deep fry.
When I flip on my mana sense I can see a more powerful reaction from these sleeping beasts. It seems the monsters here might be slightly stronger or more complex? Requiring more mana for the Dungeon to form them? Or is the wave receding and the mana isn't sufficient to pump out the monsters as quickly as before?
Bit of a head scratcher.
The workforce already invaded this section of tunnel and cleaned it out when the Queen took up residence so we'll have to push a little deeper if we want to sate our hunger. With Tiny in the lead we eagerly rush forward, looking left and right for something to fight. After five minutes or so I notice something off.
Isn't it … quite green in here?
Contrary to my normal Dungeon experience the stone here seems to have actual vines growing on it? And is that a flower I detect?! Since when the hell have there been colourful flowers like this about?
The flower in question is poking out of the rock on the wall, about halfway up, looking offensively harmless. A bright red in colour and with vivacious petals that really give a refreshing feeling of spring…
I didn't come down here to admire the flowers! I came for food!
However, as if mocking my expectations, the vegetation only grows thicker and more vibrant as we descend until the tunnel until the tunnel widens out and we find ourselves in a place that looks rather less like the Dungeon and more like a scene straight from a rainforest. I expect singing bears and man cubs to walk around the corner at any minute. Not only do I not get any sweet rhythms, I also don't see any monsters around here…
Vines string across the tunnel, dangling moss in our faces and the rock walls are barely visible beneath layers of leaves and shrubs. Here and there are truly MASSIVE flowers and ferns that sway with the breeze.
Hang on… we're underground. There is no breeze!
The lightbulb goes on in my head just as the many plants and vines start shifting and moving, almost unfolding as they reveal hideous plant mouths laced with razor sharp teeth.
God dammit Seymour, not this crap again!
["Watch out for the plants, they're monsters!"]
Tiny was already into it before I spoke, roaring with excitement the giant ape leaps forward to grab one of the … plants? … by the …. Throat? Before beginning to pummel it in the face with his massive fists, rocking it from side to side with devastating hooks.
All around me vines begin to whip through the air as they try to latch onto me, or simply lash me with their suddenly razor sharp leaves. Some fire magic would surely go down well right about now!
I'll have to settle for implementing the jaws!
Pouring forth my vital energy the mandibles of light manifest themselves. When I use the shattering bite the ethereal mandibles look like wide, rusty saw blades that close like a vice, tearing and compressing. For the more armour penetrating chomp attack they manifest as blades studded with long, pointed spikes.
Ripping my mandibles closed they slam shut cutting vines and stabbing wide holes in fleshy plants. For now they only extend about a metre in front of my face but as I level up the skill they'll get larger and more potent, at least that is how it's worked with the shattering bite skill.
With vines and leaves falling around me like rain it's time to employ another new skill I purchased, dash!
[Dash: Increases speed over short distances but increases stamina drain]
With a burst of movement I motor across the room faster than I've ever moved before. Turning my head I can see Vibrant is clinging to my head whilst cackling madly and even Crinis has extended extra tentacles as her main body is sliding back.
Geez! Even at level one the increase is close to 30% of my max speed! Although I can feel the corresponding stamina drain is vastly increased, I'm actually extremely impressed with this skill so far.
Rushing towards the nearest plant I sprint through the vines, ignoring those that smash into me, trusting my defences to deflect the damage. Above me a giant, somehow angry looking plant is looming, mouth agape and ready to devour me whole.
Not today buddy!
I bring my jaws down on the stem of the plant. It's time to mow this lawn!