As quickly as possible I start chowing down, trying to get as much Biomass as I can.
[You have consumed a new source of biomass: Lupus Draco Cub, you are awarded one Biomass]
[Basic profile of the Lupus Draco Cub unlocked]
[Lupus Draco Cub: Wolf Dragon Cub, The young form of the fearsome Wolf Dragon, they have a high resistance to flame]
Good to know, looks like these creatures are only the young? Crazy.
Must keep eating!
The sounds are slowly growing louder now, I still can't see anything but I have a terrible feeling I know exactly what is coming my way.
If I only I had an extra hour, even ten minutes would be enough! Don't think, just eat!
[You have gained one Biomass]
[You have gained one Biomass]
Dammit, I'm starting to feel too full to eat. I've consumed an entire wolf dragon at this point, my stomach is full to bursting!
Wait! I just remembered a disgusting thought… Something I recall learning due to my hobby of keeping a pet ant colony at home.
Ants have two stomachs…. Scouts and workers don't always carry prey back to the nest. Sometimes they eat and fill up their 'social stomach' and then walk back to the nest and regurgitate the food for other ants to eat.
If I recall correctly, honeypot ants take this to a massive extreme, where some worker ants will turn themselves into living storage containers, their gaster swelling to ridiculous sizes as they stay in the nest and give food to their hungry colony.
So if my personal stomach is full….
Time to fill the social stomach!
I move over to the centipedes and start wolfing down food as quick as I can.
The rapidly growing sounds are like a whip on my back, urging me to work faster. I can make out the sounds better, the clash of swords and the roar of flame are growing closer and closer.
I need one more Biomass and then I'm outta here!
[You have gained one Biomass]
Finally! Thank you Gandalf!
Gogogogogo. I need to get back to my nest and down the shaft and quickly as possible!
I try to burst out with all my speed, only to find my back section is too heavy, weighed down by all of the Biomass, it's dragging on the floor!
Noooooo. Don't do this to me!
Scrambling as fast as my little legs will carry me I crawl and drag myself towards the wall and stat climbing up.
I'm so damn heavy!
Climb, climb climb you fat ant!
Slowly I pull myself up the wall and start moving towards the side tunnel where my nest is. I can hear the roar of monsters as they throw themselves into battle and the shouts and clash of arms of human soldiers as they rip the creatures apart.
I can see my nest now, only ten more metres!
I can see something else too! Soldiers are starting to come into view!
Advanced Stealth! I need you now!
Haul Anthony, haul yourself up this damn wall!
More and more soldiers are appearing up the tunnel, advancing in organised groups they are blasting every monster they see apart with coordinated fire, moving to side tunnels launching magic and arrows down them before sending pairs of soldiers in to make sure they leave nothing behind.
This is an extermination!
Finally I reach my tunnel and rush as quickly as I can up to my dirt wall. I pass through the gap I left at the ceiling, but just before I'm through I realise I've become stuck!
My back section is too fat to fit through the gap! Dammit! I've got too much junk in the trunk to squeeze through?!
Pull man! I mean, pull ant!
Using all six of my legs I grip the wall as hard as I can and drag my body through the small gap.
With an audible 'pop' I get through, the sudden momentum causing me to lose my grip and fall off the ceiling, landing flat on my face.
I've got a tiny bit of breathing space now, I'll spend my Biomass quickly and then haul down the shaft!
[Do you want to purchase Acid +3 and Legs +1? This will cost four Biomass].
Go for it!
The horrible feeling of mutation immediately erupts, especially in my acid gland but I don't wait for it to subside, the fear staying here and getting caught propel me to keep moving.
Straight away I crawl to the shaft and start making my way down, my increased weight slowing my descent more than I'd like. I'm having to carefully shift my bulky backside, making sure I'm properly supported before each step so I don't immediately fall to my death!
Hopefully the +1 Legs will be able to sustain my bulk a little better and allow a safe journey.
When I'm almost halfway down a muffled boom echoes down the shaft above, followed by dirt cascading down over me.
It takes me a moment to realise what has just occurred.
They've detonated my dirt wall! This means they're coming past my nest and will find the shaft shortly!
I redouble my efforts, accelerating down the wall at a dangerous pace, my claws begin to slip and slide as I risk unsafe footholds on the wall to expedite my passage.
Eventually I'm able to reach the bottom of the shaft without anything drastic happening, but I don't feel safe yet.
I'm worried they want to explore this place and make climb down, which means I can't remain here for too long. I leave the bottom of the shaft and make my way into the narrow tunnel that connects to the vast underground tunnel.
Before I exit this place I have one important task, I can only hope that I have enough time.
[Would you like to use the Evolution menu?]
Yes I would!
[Congratulations on reaching the maximum level for your current species. Evolution will allow you change your form and increase your stats as a monster.
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:
- Mature Worker Ant (formica)
- Condense Monster Core]
Oh ho! Two different options? I don't have a lot of time here Gandalf, hit me with the details!
[Mature Worker Ant - advance from a Hatchling of your kind into an adult. Base stats will significantly increase, new skills will be unlocked.
[Condense mana absorbed by the individual into a monster core. The core allows monsters to store and utilise MP, can also be utilised to empower custom evolution. 100% of mana required has been obtained]
Ooooookay. So the option that will provide a significant increase in stats for me right now is to advance into a mature worker of this wood ant species.
I'll put that aside for now. The second option is very intriguing. So monster cores are a real thing in this world after all! What's more it allows me to store MP! Presumably storing MP will put my tiny feet on the path to being able to use magic! This is exciting!
Mind you, according Gandalf I've stored 100% of the mana required? When the heck did I do that? Perhaps I've been absorbing some just by walking around, or maybe the water in the rock pool? Was that shocking taste my body drawing in mana?
Advancing to a mature worker ant will give me the greatest boost to my survival chances immediately, gaining stats and perhaps some useful skills. Condensing the core and opening the door to being able to use magic is incredibly tempting however! It won't boost my survival chances in the short term but in the long term it may pay off huge dividends!
This could be a time to take a risk to seize the late game!
[Would you like to spend this evolution to Condense your Monster Core?]
My vision immediately goes black.