I can't handle this suffering anymore! Gimme the menu!

Forget about doing anything else, I'm worried about dealing with the evolution system properly in this state! Isn't there a pain resistance skill or something!?

Apparently, not.

[Would you like to use the evolution menu?]

ABSOLUTELY! PLEASE!

[Congratulations on reaching the maximum level for your current species. Evolution will allow you to change your form and increase your stats as a monster.]

[ You have maximised your mutations! As a reward, an additional ten percent evolutionary energy will be granted.]

WHAT!? Bonus energy!?

[Warning: evolving will make securing XP and Biomass more difficult as fewer rewards are given for preying on creatures less evolved than yourself.]

[Your evolution options are as follows (Each evolution is of the species Formica Sapiens):

• Veteran Mature Worker

• Senior Mage Ant

• Mana Soldier (special)

• Ascended Mind Ant (special)

• Nascent Hive Mind (rare)

• Collective Mage Ant (rare)

• Colony Paragon (rare)]

Ohhhhhhh boy! Putting aside the bonus energy thing, these options look… ARGH… tasty.

I just wish I was in slightly less agony so that I could properly enjoy this moment….

If it weren't for my… ARRRGHH … current circumstances… I would have loved to have gone through all of the options, some of them sound so juicy… OUCH! But I can't, obviously. I'll have to jump straight to the good stuff.

Tell me about the Nascent Hive Mind!

[Rare Evolution: Nascent Hive Mind. +100 bonus to Cunning, +100 bonus to Willpower, -30 penalty to Might - 20 penalty to Toughness. This evolution will weaken the host physically, transforming them into an almost immobile entity. A rare Mental Dominator Cortex (Formica Sapiens) will be granted with this evolution that will allow the host to usurp and control the body of other members of its species, acting as the 'brain' for all.]

What the heck is with these bonuses?!

100 to Cunning and Willpower?! What's up with that? And the negatives?! I didn't know something like that was even… Ugh… possible.

So what is this then? I'd turn into some sort of giant brain that can control each member of the colony? I guess such a thing would be … HUCK!.... Powerful. Imagine millions of swarming insects, all controlled by a single mind. That level of coordination would be unstoppable.

But I didn't make the colony smart just so I could take away their free will and do all the thinking for them! Rejected!

Ugh! This hurts…. What's next?

[Rare Evolution: Collective Mage Ant +40 bonus to Cunning, +40 bonus to Willpower. This evolution grants significant mental prowess and includes a free rare Social Processing Cortex (Formica Sapiens), which allow the host to temporarily draw on the mental stats of the specified species within a radius. This organ effectively allows the user to utilise the minds of nearby members of the specified species to assist the host with mental cognitive activity.]


Holy Gandalf!

Forty to Cunning AND Willpower? Without transforming me into a stomping brain?! It's almost enough to shock me out of the pain! Almost… And what's this? The Social Processing Cortex? From the description it seems as if it would allow me to utilise the minds of nearby colony members as sort of coprocessors, borrowing their minds to help me cast spells.

The kind of spell flinging I could do with that… I could probably even use my sub-minds to manage the job of coordinating the extra minds. The power I'd be able to wield would be boggling! Not to mention, more ants would mean more processing power!

This is some serious mind power, possibly enough to match the Kaarmodo in raw spell flinging ability.

HACK! Dammit! I wish my guts didn't feel like they're about to burst, thinking would be much easier.

Despite the raw power, I'm not sure if this is the evolution I want. Borrowing my strength from the colony isn't really what I wanted, and I'd also hoped to evolve into something a little more rounded this time, rather than continue down my mage ant path to the end. If I'm going to survive in battle against Garralosh and the horde then I'm going to need to be able to take a few hits. Not to mention have the raw physical might to use my new bite skill to its fullest potential. I'll need to take care of that fusion after evolving.

Let's shelve this evolution as a 'maybe' and check the next one.

[Rare Evolution: Juvenile Colony Paragon. +15 bonus to Cunning, +15 bonus to Willpower, +40 bonus to Might, +40 bonus to Toughness. This evolution will transform the host into the paragon of their species, the ideal form. This evolution includes the rare Collective Will Vestibule (Formica Sapiens). This organ collects mental energy generated by the faith and goodwill of the specified species and transforms it into regeneration.]

ARGH! Is it the pain, or this blinding stat boost that caused me to cry out? I can't even say myself! Rounded bonus to all stats is nice, it'll allow me to spend my evolutionary energy on other things, not to mention the overall gain is massive!

Since Will and Cunning take more energy to generate than Might and Toughness, the overall stat boost lines up, but this is more in line with my wishes of rounding out my stats. And the unique gland seems powerful. I'm not sure what faith and goodwill energy is, or how it would help with regeneration? But at least I wouldn't be taking over my family members' minds or borrowing their brains for my own purposes… This gland seems more in line with what I feel comfortable doing.

GAWD this hurts. Distract, distract!

This evolution also mentions it's a juvenile, which means the mature version must be even more impressive.

Alright, I think I'm settled on this one!

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