Even after nearly a day my gravitational energy gland is still not full. With my sub-brain offering a heightened awareness of all things core related I can tell that there has been a steady drip of mana flowing out of my core and into the new gland.
The conversion rate seems to be very slow, the gland is only thirty percent full after slowly charging since my evolution. Even with my core as enhanced as it is, it has been unable to provide enough mana to fill up the gland.
I'm starting to think that gravitational energy is actually super hard to make. At my current rate it would take several days for the gland to be fully charged from empty. I don't know if that would be the case for every type of energy. I suspect that if I had chosen fire or one of the other elemental selections then the process of converting mana to the particular energy type would not nearly be so slow.
It's possible other types of energy are even more demanding, time and space are potentially just as difficult. However the slow rate of charge actually reinforces my confidence that this was a good choice. If it was easy to do then I would have just waited until I could have done it manually myself, there would be no need to invest a precious body upgrade to achieve this result. Since Gravity magic appears to be so difficult then the choosing to shortcut the process of converting raw mana into gravity energy is well worth it!
With my sub-brain helping reduce the strain I continue to draw out the energy from my new gland and pack it tightly into a tiny ball that sits in my throat. The energy flows like immaterial water, hundreds of small streams leaving the gland and twisting through my body before they are caught by the rapidly growing ball.
Thanks to the reduced effort I'm able to keep a better eye on my surroundings during the process. Concealed high in my tree and remaining still my stealth skill is able to properly display its full potential, I'm not concerned that I'll be detected. Tiny however, is becoming increasingly difficult to hide. The ape is getting larger with every meal, he currently looms over me even after my evolution. He's achieved roughly half of his full grown size at this point. On the one hand I'm glad that he is getting stronger, on the other hand we want to hide more than we want to fight right now!
He's doing his best, I'll give him that. In my nearly 360 degrees of vision I can see him behind me, curled into a ball, resting on the intersection of the branch and trunk. It looks like he has snapped a leafy branch off and is holding it in front of his body to try and conceal his muscular, gorilla like frame.
The idea itself isn't bad but he's chosen such a tiny branch that he is barely covered at all. Overall the effect reminds me a person trying to cover their privates with a fig leaf.
Still, it appears as if he put some thought into it, which is a win?
From the mound a centipede sticks its nose out of a hole and quickly peeks about before retreating out of sight. I think these creatures are also finding it difficult to hunt in the current forest. Where once upon a time roving gangs of five centipedes were enough to threaten most things, the number of larger and more threatening beasts is constantly growing. One of those Lion Ogres would thrash a dozen unevolved centipedes without an issue.
My guess is the centipedes in this mound are clustering together and leaping on any prey that approaches too close to their nest using their full numbers to suppress the foe.
Which means that the number of the little crawlers inside the mound is extremely high.
As more mana pours into the force ball a qualitative change occurs. I can already tell that the gravitational energy doesn't quite feel the same as normal, raw mana. The colour is certainly different. Normal mana is an intense, bright blue but this energy is a deep purple. In my mental awareness I can see the ball of dense power growing darker as it becomes more compact.
Then, with an almost audible sound the force ball … changes. From a small, tightly packed energy cloud it suddenly shrinks and congeals itself into a perfectly spherical, rapidly rotating ball. The colour has become so deep as to be almost black. As soon as the change happens the pressure on my mind to control the process has doubled! The energy in my gland roars out in a constant stream, almost against my will, as it gets pulled into the sphere faster and faster.
Soon the ball appears almost like a spiral galaxy in my mind's eye, the flowing mana caught in the irresistible pull of gravity as it circles around the sphere in tighter circles before finally merging with it. With each passing moment the sphere grows imperceptibly larger and the pull on my mana becomes more powerful!
What the heck is this?!
Have I made a mana black hole or what?! I have to frantically focus all of the mental energy I can summon from both of my brains in order to maintain even a semblance of control over the energy. If I lost concentration for even a second I'm not sure what would happen as all of the mana packed into the sphere would slip out of my control!
[Forceful Mana has reached level 3]
Not now dammit! Claws crossed this skill improves my control and not the speed that the mana is compressed!
When the last faint trails of gravitational energy have been drawn out of my gland I can feel the almost unstoppable pull begin to affect the mana inside my core. Not good!
If I don't release this damn thing it's going to drain me completely dry of mana, even if I don't want it to.
I open my mouth wide.
The centipede mound is perfectly still before me.
The dense ball of mana, so deep is the purple now it appears to a fathomless black, gradually becomes still.
I bring all my will to bear on the sphere, forcing with every ounce of mental strength. This is far more difficult than the normal force mana ball. I feel like I'm shifting a mountain with my bare hands!
Slowly, minutely, the sphere begins to move. With every moment I continue to exert my mind it accelerates out of my throat and then out of my mouth.
Like a dam breaking, once the momentum has risen from a trickle to a stream it suddenly explodes into a torrent.
As soon as the gravity sphere leaves my mouth a high pitched shrieking sound shatters the silence. The sphere blasts forward, slowly rotating all the while. An unfathomable pulling force can be felt, ripping leaves out of the tree I'm standing in as it streaks away.
In response to the sudden cacophony of sound, centipedes begin to pour out of the mound, claws thrashing in the air as they rush to meet the threat.
It's too late for them.
Even before the sphere impacts against the nest, several centipedes are caught in the inexorable pull. Though they attempt to resist the monsters are ripped from the ground and drawn towards the sphere. Once they come into direct contact with it they are ripped apart.
[You have slain …]
[You have slain …]
Ignoring the voice of Gandalf I stare wide eyed as the sphere finally thuds into the mound.
At first nothing.
Then the sphere flickers and expands rapidly! In a millisecond it has grown to be a swirling vortex of death at least three metres in diameter. Everything close to the edges is pulled in by the unfathomable force and summarily destroyed.
After a second the sphere flickers again and then vanishes. The awful shrieking sound finally disappears.
In the mound a large spherical chunk has been cleanly carved out, exposing the inside of the nest where the unsightly remains of dozens of centipedes can be seen.
[You have slain …]
[You have slain …]
[You have slain …]
As the voice of Gandalf rains like a chorus in my ears I can only behold the destruction wrought by my new ultimate attack in awe.
I shall call it… the Gravity Bomb!