The effect of the gravity bomb is far beyond my expectations. That was only forty percent of the gland being charged! What would one hundred percent look like? I shudder to imagine. To be honest I'm not even sure if I would be able to control that much energy. The gravity bomb I just fired had almost escaped my grasp, even after my upgraded mental capacity.
Just goes to show how difficult magic is to perform in this world, even with my heavy investment to upgrade my mental capacity it isn't necessarily going to be enough to take me all the way to the end of the magic road. In future evolutions I may need to further invest in expanding my sub-brain and increasing my will stat.
For now the results are certainly good enough.
[You have gained experience]
[You have gained experience]
The voice of Gandalf continues to echo in chorus in my mind dozens of times, announcing the same message.
[You have reached level 2]
Even after smashing all of those of claw centipedes I only gained enough experience for one level. The penalty for defeating creatures a whole two evolutions below me is being displayed.
In the aftermath of the gravity bomb there is an eerie silence for a moment. Tiny and I begin to descend the tree in order to survey the damage more closely. As grow closer to the mound several centipedes begin to crawl out from deep within their nest, clearly protected from the blast by their position below the ground level.
These guys are seriously mad, claws snatching at the air and mandibles viciously chomping in a clear display of their rage. Tiny and I are quite delighted to see them and happily hurl ourselves upon the foes, ready to do battle.
I'm especially glad to see these centipedes survive as they are perfect for training a new skill I've wanted to level up for some time.
My Exo-skeleton defense skill!
This particular purchase was part of my effort to tank up, buffing my defense to the point I wouldn't have to fear little beasties like these guys, but I haven't had a good opportunity to test it and gain experience in it yet.
This handy skill doesn't actually improve my carapace in any physical way, what it does do is give me insights and instincts to help make best use out of my external skeleton. I can feel the skill at work in my mind as I close in on the claw centipedes and deliberately allow them to strike towards my body. Seeing the angle of the attack I almost subconsciously shift the position of my body to present a greater slope to the enemy, blunting the impact and reducing the surface the clawed beastie can grab hold of.
Gweheheheh. Behold my skillful maneuvers!
Another claw centipede has approached from the side and bitten me! Damn thing!
Clearly my skills need improving….
In this way I allow several of the skittering monsters to approach me and attack whilst I stand there and take it like an ant! I try to react as fast as I can, adjusting my position with all the speed and precision I can in order to reduce any damage taken.
To be honest, very little damage has actually been taken. My diamond carapace and improved toughness is showing itself to be more than capable of blunting the attacks of these monsters, my double, core boosted evolutions are displaying their effects now! These yet to evolve centipedes are simply no threat to me!
[Exo-skeleton defense has reached level 2]
Haha! The perfect way to improve ones' defensive skills, tanking blows from weak enemies! This is the ultimate wisdom of humanity on display you foolish centipedes!
Four of the ugly monsters have surrounded me now, battering me on all sides as I continue to make small adjustments in my stance and posture.
[Exo-skeleton defense has reached level 3]
Wait, Tiny nooo!
Having finished off his own opponents my ape companion has gleefully rushed over, impressive fists crackling will blue electricity and in only a few short moments he has pounded the centipedes around me into paste.
As I stand stunned and staring, Tiny turns his bat face towards me, beaming with pride.
… Well done buddy. Well done.
Tiny flaps his little bat ears and leaps into eating scooping up handfuls of monster and cramming it into his face.
Ok fine then. I start to hunt around the mound, curiously prodding here and there to see what I can find. After searching around the outside of the mound I manage to find a small, tennis ball sized lump which I cannot really describe. When I try and pick it up I find that it is seriously heavy!
Is this the compressed remains of the gravity bomb?! Did it really manage to squish all of that dirt and Biomass into this little ball?!
That is a truly terrifying level of compression Gandalf!
It's like having a car crusher launched from my mouth!
It's almost a shame that I can't really eat this ball, it would appear to be a rather disgusting cocktail, three parts dirt, one part crushed centipede. There is probably a couple of points of Biomass mashed into here, it's a shame to see them go to waste but a stomach full of dirt wasn't really what I had in mind for a snack…
Tiny will probably eat it.
Now where were those cores?
I detected two monster cores when I scanned the mound as well as that strange convergence of energy at the deepest recesses of this nest. I'm very keen to discover just what on Pangera that was.
Quickly activating magic detection it seems as if one of the cores has simply vanished, perhaps crushed by the gravity bomb… Whilst the second is deep in the mound, close to that strange energy I had sensed.
Climbing over the edge of the mound I get my first glimpse of the inside of the centipedes home. It appears as if the outer layer of the mound covers a large hollow space on the inside, a space that extends several meters underground. These mounds contain even more space that I'd assumed! No wonder so many centipedes can fit in one of these things!
Right down the bottom of the mound the open space converges again into a narrow hole that extends deeper still. Right in the bottom I can see an extremely bright source of concentrated mana. The mana is so thick I can visibly see it swirling in place, leaking out of the dirt and hovering like smoke in the air.
What the heck is this?!
I can also see a centipede attempting to hide itself by curling it's body together beneath the mana. This centipede appears to have a slight blue tinge to its carapace, and is slightly smaller than the normal claw centipede. This must be an evolved specimen!
Attempting to hide eh? Perhaps you were smart enough to realise you couldn't win in a fight against something that could obliterate the nest in one hit? Thought your only chance to survive was to conceal yourself down here eh?
Tough luck buddy! Nobody slips past this ant!
Before the monster can discover it has been found I turn to present the commercial harbour to the foe and blast it with acid!
Immediately a horrified screech can be heard and the monster immediately writhes and attempts to charge out of its hidey hole towards me in one last desperate charge.
[You have slain level 3 Nobiles iuuenes scolopendra]
One snap of the mandibles is enough to fatally wound my smaller opponent. Weak! This is an evolved monster?
Better grab a bite.
[You have consumed a new source of Biomass: Nobiles iuuenes scolopendra, you are awarded one Biomass]
[Basic profile of the Nobiles iuuenes scolopendra unlocked]
[Nobiles iuuenes scolopendra: Noble centipede young, This evolution of the claw centipede is weaker than the base monster in terms of raw fighting strength but instead gains intelligence and the ability to coordinate its more primitive brethren]
Interesting! So this evolution of the centipede is like a leader caste? It appears as if the centipedes who successfully evolve into the adult claw centipede have to leave the nest of their kind, they could hardly fit after all, whereas this evolution stays in the mound and helps coordinate their fellow kind.
Also, young? That word leads me to believe there are quite a few evolutions ahead of this noble centipede, increasing its cunning and becoming a more capable leader?
I quickly rummage through the Biomass until I manage to locate the monster core which I quickly absorb, taking my maximum mana up to 52.
It'll be a long road to 100…
I then start to consume the food whilst watching the bizarre mana phenomenon below me. What on earth is going on down there?
By the time I finish my meal, gaining another two Biomass for my trouble I get an answer.