Skills, their structure, nature and import, was one of the first things that required attention when we began to study the System in earnest. The reason why the Chrysalis felt the need to implement such measures in the way it did was irrelevant to us, understanding and disseminating this information to allow for the spread of knowledge and to allow for proper planning.
There was a great deal of knowledge to be discovered. Mapping out trees, discovering the various unlock conditions and skill fusion requirements was a daunting task only made possible by the collective efforts of many contributors.
In many ways the search to complete this knowledge goes on, as the very limits of the System are yet to be explored. Perhaps only the eldest has found the final skills in the tree, but if she has, then hasn't shared that information. Perhaps that is for the best.
Roricant the philosopher. "The Struggle to Adapt".
The Queen looked down at the core and then back up at me, curious.
"I'm not that close to evolving right now, I have tried to reduce the amount of experience I am taking from my children currently. There has been a great deal of conflict and our family has suffered. It was my intention to allow the children to have a better chance of defending themselves by allowing them to take in experience."
… Of course she did. What else would I have expected her to do?!
"Look, I understand that you are happy to sacrifice your own prospects to help the rest of us survive, but your own level and more importantly, your own evolution, will make a huge difference to the overall strength of the family!"
"I will consider your words child" the Queen assured me calmly, though I doubted she would do anything of the sort.
I may have been able to convince her to be slightly greedy with the Biomass, advancing her egg laying organs to the point she could select mutation advancements, but I think I was only successful there due to the promise of tangible benefits for her children. There is no such guarantee when it comes to evolution and mother knows it.
"Look at this core! We defeated a seriously strong monster in the marsh expanse and this core was inside it. A Rare core! Even more powerful than a special core! Who knows what kind of powerful evolution it could unlock for you!?"
As I try to advertise the merchandise I've brought back to my mother she continues to look down at me patiently. I can't help but get the feeling she is faintly amused by my attempts at persuasion.
"You aren't going to use this core, are you mother?"
Her antennae twitch in a laugh.
"Well what do you want me to do with it?" I say, frustrated.
I really didn't think she'd knock this back. If mother can evolve after absorbing the rare core, who knows how powerful she will become? What she might be capable of? At the heart of the colony lies the Queen after all, if she were to die then it'd be over for this family. I really don't think we'd be able to raise another Queen before the workers died off.
Why wouldn't she want to get stronger?
As if reading my mind, mother replies.
"What needs to be considered isn't how strong I myself can become, but how strong can the family as a whole become. I may be the most powerful individual in the colony for now, but you children are yet very young. It is you and your siblings who must grow strong for the colony to thrive, not I."
"Fine. I'll take it. Maybe I can use it on Vibrant or something." I kick a few pebbles in irritation.
The Queen whips an antennae down on my head sharply.
"What was that for?" I protest.
"I believe that this core is precious and that you should be the one to take this opportunity" the Queen decrees.
"I might not even be able to take it, I've already absorbed a special core since evolving!"
Mercilessly she brings her antennae down again.
"Find a way, child. You always have before and the family has been able to survive thanks to your efforts. I believe you can utilise this resource the best of us. Don't waste it."
"Yes mother" I grumble.
Satisfied with my acquiescence, the Queen gives me a quick pat on the head and turns her attention back to the workers who swarm over her.
"Oh! One more thing!" I call, "How long until the next wave of eggs will be ready to be laid?"
I want to know this so I have some idea exactly how long I'll have to get the first twenty in shape so that they can take on the job of training the second wave. I don't want to be stuck raising new generations of workers forever! I've got stuff to do dammit!
Besides that, I have a sneaking suspicion that two hundred workers wouldn't fit on my back.
"They'll be laid tomorrow."
As the Queen turns back to her attendants, I scurry down into my own chamber beneath the colony and bury my rare core along with the others, mind spinning furiously. She already has enough Biomass for another two hundred!
I curse myself internally. Shouldn't have sent up all that damn food. Now I'm going to have hardly any time at all to try and get the first generation into shape! If only Tiny had eaten more…
Never thought I'd be thinking that!
Tiny and Crinis bunk themselves down in our own chamber for a well-earned rest and Vibrant has already sprinted off to help the workers out whilst I was talking to the Queen.
I feel as though she's been taking a more active interest in the activities of the workers since her last evolution, instead of tagging along with me all the time. This can only be a good thing in my mind. The workers could do with having a more powerful and intelligent soldier to protect them.
With the basics taken care of, I suppose I'd better head up to the village. Hopefully they haven't managed to stuff anything up whilst I've been gone and hopefully, I'll be able to find someone to answer a few questions I have about skills.