This time I manage to restrain Tiny and myself for long enough to save some bait for both of the traps.
Due to having to feed the stupid ape and reserve some of the food I only take a single Biomass for myself since it's enough for my needs.
With five points of Biomass now I am ready to once again select a mutation advancement! I cannot wait until I can look at my status and see every available body part has been upgraded to +5. What completeness, what symmetry, such a perfect being I shall become!
No I'm not a neat freak… I think.
After resetting my original trap and baiting my second I retreat to the underground tunnel with Tiny in order to select my mutation.
[Would you like to improve Regeneration Gland to +5? This will cost five Biomass]
[At this level you may choose a mutation advancement, select from the menu]
Once more the list in my mind unfurls like a banner. A long menu of delectable choices laid before me, ready to peruse. The thing that kills me the most every single time I do this is I can only choose one!
Ok. Calm down and let's have a look.
Ooooo I can upgrade the number of Hp that gets regenerated, upgrade the speed of the regeneration, make it refill faster so I can use it more often, excess regeneration fluid can be converted into Mp, holy moly!
Slower working regeneration fluid for a greater boost over time, rapid response regeneration fluid stored in smaller pockets around my body that automatically heal wounds when they happen….
I could pick any of them and be happy!
Once again I must use my laser-like focus to hone in on exactly what it is that I want my regeneration gland to do! Which is quite a simple thing to do really, I can clearly recall my thoughts when I chose this body part to begin with!
This is my get out of jail free card! I chose it to help me out of a jam when nothing else was working, to help me sustain in the battle after I have received significant damage!
This means I don't need it to heal more Hp over a longer time, I don't need it to heal smaller wounds instantly. I need a big burst of healing in a short time, I need it to overcome a critical hurdle and put me back in the fight quickly.
When the Berserkers attacked the colony I was out of action due to missing legs. The memory of having to scrabble about, unable to use my mighty weapons due to lost limbs is so painful. The regeneration was able to heal back some Hp and kick start the leg growth process but it was ultimately the Queen's healing prowess that put my six legged self back into the insect kingdom.
The upgrade I really want is this one:
Limb Regeneration Gland, rather than increasing the Hp that is restored, this upgrade greatly enhances the regeneration gland's capacity to restore missing or damaged limbs in a timely manner.
This is going to help out a lot!
It isn't as if the regeneration gland won't restore Hp at all but it will be able to restore missing body parts much faster than before.
Come to think of it, I've had legs chopped off, antennae cut off… Since when did I get so used to having parts of body removed and then grown back?
Spending time in this world is really starting to twist my perspective.
Well, it isn't as if I need to keep my human way of thinking, I'm not even a human anymore. It's only natural that a few aspect of my mindset would change. Here in this world for example, I have to directly kill in order to eat, whereas I, like most humans, would never have had to slaughter my own food when I was on Earth.
I'm not sure if this makes me more respectful of life or less…
On the one hand, I have to kill a lot of monsters in order to survive, on the other, at least I'm not lying to myself about the lives that are sacrificed to sustain my own.
Something to think about another time, now it is time to mutate!
Confirm my selection!
Oh right the itch…
When the itch fades I am gasping on the floor of my narrow tunnel whilst Tiny watches with a faint tinge of amusement in those vacant ape eyes.
Yuck it up monkey breath, you'll get your chance to mutate and then just watch as I point and laugh at you when you writhe on the floor!
With my regeneration gland mutated my status has now come to look like this:
Level: 8 (core)
Skills: Excavation Level 3; Improved Acid Shot Level 5; Grip Level 4; Crushing Bite Level 7; Advanced Stealth Level 4; Piercing Chomp Level 3; Tunnel sense Level 4; Mana Shaping level 2; Forceful Mana Level 2; External Mana Manipulation Level 1; Mana Sensing Level 1; Core Mechanic Level 1; Exo-Skeleton Defence level 1
Mutations: Focused Eyes +5, Infrared Antennae +5, Restrictive Acid +5, Legs +1, Infused Mandibles +5, Diamond Carapace +5, Limb Regeneration Gland +5, Pheromones +2
Species: Mature Ant Worker (Formica)
Skill points: 0
Yessss. Only legs and pheromones to go before I have achieved the perfect all-round status of mutations.
In total I'm going to need another twenty six Biomass in order to max out everything.
Come on Gandalf, twenty six! It's so many! Mutations are so damn expensive! If we assume that I get another mutation advancement at +10, which may not even be the case, it will take
forty Biomass to take a single body part from +5 to +10. If I don't get the advancement until +15 then it will take ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE BIOMASS for a single mutation advancement!
Hopefully when I get stronger I'll be able to hunt prey that will provide more Biomass, it'll take me a hundred years to upgrade everything if I have to keep feasting on unevolved monsters.
Speaking of which, another customer!
Welcome to the business district!
Turns out a Lion Ogre has tripped into the second pitfall, lured by the faint scent of Biomass that lingered in the air due to my bait. I've been trying to use only the right amount of bait in my traps, not too much to bring in monsters from far away but not too little that it's impossible for the monsters to detect it.
Thankfully the balance seems to be about right.
I treat the Lion Ogre as a pretty serious opponent since they look like they can do some serious damage with their grotesquely over muscled upper bodies. After dosing the creature with a few shots of acid and launching a surprise chomp the monster doesn't get much chance to fight back before falling to my sneaky assault.
[You have slain level 7 Lion Ogre]
[You have gained experience]
[You have reached level nine]
Oh ho! Thank you Gandalf for your blessing! So close to level ten and evolution! Argh I can hardly wait. I'm so excited I'm basically dancing on the spot!
Whoops! Better stow away this food before anything happens.
Cover over the top of the pitfall, drag the prey into the tunnel. The Lion Ogre is so large at the shoulder I actually have to break it up in order to fit it all through. Tiny has woken up once again, ready to eat. I've noticed you always sleep when the work is happening but always wake up when it's time to eat, eh Tiny?
Despite my grumbling I don't begrudge my little ape his meal. Grow up nice and strong Tiny!
In fact, I don't take much Biomass for myself, just two points. The rest I use to rebait my trap and then let Tiny eat the rest until he's about ready to burst. Every time this little chimp eats and then sleeps he wakes up discernibly larger. I want to pack this little guy full of Biomass until it starts running out of his nose and then let him sleep to see if I can accelerate his growth. For some reason I just feel that he needs to be in fighting shape as quickly as possible.
Perhaps I'm just finally get sick of his slacking.
Predictably, after packing the food into his face until he can barely move, Tiny rolls himself away to a comfortable spot in the tunnel and then falls asleep. He didn't quite finish the entire monster himself but he came rather astonishingly close considering the relative sizes! Has he upgraded his stomach to include a pocket dimension or something?
With my own successful level up and mutation, as well as the prospective growth of my little ape friend, I'm certainly very hopeful for the possibilities tomorrow may bring!