Seeing that unwilling flicker of eye movement I'm reminded of the mysterious heat I'd detected a few moments ago. I still can't see anything occupying that space but even though one of my antennae is still in the process of regenerating, I can still detect that there is some random heat emanating from that space.
What the heck is it?!
In the heat of the moment I don't have much time to decide my course of action. Any second that mage is going to start casting her spells again! I refuse to be diverted and continue using almost all of my mental energy on the construction of my Gravity Bolt. This one happens to be inverse. We'll see how well this mage can cast spells when she's one thousand feet up!
In order to throw her off balance I still lunge forward with my mandibles, activating my shattering bite skill as I do so! The ethereal mandibles that are manifestations of my stamina lash out through the air, closing rapidly on the mage. The warriors might be able to resist this attack but I highly doubt a mage can! Not without some sort of barrier at any rate.
The old woman shocks me by nimble rolling under my strike, expertly tucking her staff flat against her stomach to avoid it catching on anything as she completes the motion and stands ready to strike at me, staff extended!
I hastily leap forward and narrowly dodge a lance of ice that materialises from the tip of her staff and streaks through the air like an arrow, smashing into the ground just behind me.
I can't help but note that when she made her dodge roll she managed to place herself in between me and the mysterious heat source. She is clearly trying to protect it! This only piques my interest. If she is willing to put herself in harm's way for that thing then it may be able to swing the outcome of this battle!
With a start I realise that my own spell is prepared! Have a taste of this delicacy, mage!
Ducking low as if I were about to pounce I instead fire the Inverse Gravity Bolt directly at the mage's torso. Caught by surprise she doesn't have time to dodge and her eyes flicker with shock as, instead of the wild leap I'd threatened, this bolt of magic has been fired at her.
Twitching her wrist around with incredible speed she places the tip of her staff in the way of the bolt and manages to catch it somehow! The Inverse Gravity Bolt remains pushing against the staff as the mages face quickly becomes mask of concentration as she uses her staff and then her other hand to press back against my spell!
Is that even possible?!
Luckily I hadn't sat on my behind just in case this spell wasn't effective and I'm already on the move, rushing forward with my mandibles open to strike!
Trying not to get too close in case she can do something ridiculous like rebound my own spell at me, I marshal my spirit and crunch down on the mages leg, crushing it between my mandibles!
With a despairing cry she falls to one side, finally deflecting my spell into a nearby tree that immediately starts to pull at its roots in the ground, attempting to rise into the sky.
Now's my chance!
Dashing forward I rush towards the heat source that I can feel recoiling back from me somewhat like a person would? What the hell?!
I feel a tugging at my foot and realise that the mage has reached out desperately to grasp my leg in her hand. As soon as she grabs me ice begins to form on my leg, rushing up towards my body.
You are too persistent!
[You have slain level 46 High mage]
[You have gained experience]
[You have gone up a level, one skill point awarded]
My freakin' leg feels like it has been put in the deep freeze! As I continue to move toward the heat source it directly shatters! I don't even care, keep moving, every second counts!
Behind me the battle has continued at its ferocious pace. Tiny and the human soldier are continuing to batter at each other and it is becoming clear that Tiny is gaining the upper hand. He still doesn't have a full tank of electricity but there is enough for him to wreath his fists in lightning and punch out against the shield.
Every time his fists batter against the shield lightning rips through it, leaping onto the warriors body and shocking him with every blow. The warrior appears to have formidable resistance, but each mighty fist wears him down that little bit more.
Not that he hasn't been able to strike back. Tiny is sporting cuts all over his body, bleeding profusely where the blade has managed to flash out like a striking snake between blocks. The difference between the two is that Tiny isn't running out of strength, his huge frame is able to sustain this much damage, at least for now.
I really need to get the big guy to invest in a regeneration gland. His Might stat must be out of this world but I'm beginning to suspect his Toughness is in the tank. If he doesn't have much on the defensive side then the regeneration gland would really help him out in a situation like this where he isn't able to defeat his opponent in just a few strikes.
What really worries me is the warriors against the Queen and the rest of the colony. The scene is so chaotic over there I can't make out what is happening. I hope to heck they are ok over there!
Whatever this mysterious heat source is, it had better help resolve this situation. It has to be something good if that mage was willing to die for it!
The closer I get and the further my antennae regenerate the more clearly I can sense this heat source. It is starting to feel more and more like a person, on the ground, crawling away from me?
I can't see a single thing in front of me?!
Don't tell me … Invisibility?!
Pouncing suddenly I leap forward and land over the top of the heat source. Whoever this person is they are collapsed beneath me now, I can sense their hands are raised to protect their face.
I don't think this person is very good at fighting.
A sneaking suspicion is starting to tickle the edges of my mind.
I can't hesitate, my family is being killed every second!
Using my antennae to rapidly tap here and there I manage to locate what I think is this person's neck and I reach forward with my mandibles, bringing them closed just enough that I can force this invisible person to move without harming them.
With this done I raise the invisible form up from the ground. Whoever it is, they 'aint heavy!
With the chaos battle ringing in my ears I turn back towards the fighting and shake my prisoner slightly. Thankfully, whoever I have hold of manages to get my message.
The invisibility falls away to reveal my mandibles gripping the neck of an elderly lady dressed in simple but elegant robes. Most importantly, her head is decorated with a seriously expensive looking crown!
Somehow, even with a monsters jaws gripping her by the neck this lady manages to maintain a solemn dignity, appearing neither upset nor fearful in this critical moment.
The solider battling against Tiny is the first to notice and screams something in a despairing tone, drawing the eyes of every human towards me. He tries to turn from Tiny and rush towards me but I flex my mandibles threateningly, holding my prisoner threateningly before me.
He seemed stunned by my display of intelligence and backs up, turning away only when Tiny attacks again, threatening his life.
"Everyone back off! Step away!"
[Tiny, back up a second!]
I shout at my allies until they accede to my request, giving both sides a little breathing room. The soldiers all turn to face me, their faces filled with panic and fear as I threaten what I can only presume is the life of their ruler.
What the hell are these people doing in this forest in the first place?!
When I finally get a chance to look, I can see that many ants have been destroyed by these warriors. Even the giant form of mother is listing to one side, heavily wounded.
Rage is ignited in my heart. These people will pay!