Before the remains faded and were claimed by the Dungeon I was able to gain seven Biomass, an unprecedented harvest. This is due in part to the three new creature types I was able to get a bite of, gaining three bonus Biomass and then filling my stomachs with a further four points.
[Basic profile of the Scintillam Hedw unlocked]
[Basic profile of the Serpens Canis unlocked]
[Basic profile of the Lacertae Terram]
Combined with the two Biomass I had already saved I have a total of nine to spend. Wanting to mutate in peace and still nervous those hunters may return I move to my previously prepared nest, although I have to widen it a little to fit my now bulging backside through.
Once inside I take the extra time to cover over the opening before spending my Biomass.
My intention had been to upgrade my eyes to +5, firstly to maintain my superiority in vision over the monsters in this area but also to see what the system would do once I mutated to level five.
Skills advance at level five and my hunch is that my body parts might also.
[Do you wish to improve eyes to +5? This will cost five Biomass]
I'm nervous for this…
[At this level you may choose a mutation advancement, select from the menu]
Instead of the painful itch I was expecting the gruff but soothing tones of Gandalf ring in my mind once more.
Aha! So level five is a significant milestone after all! As it should be! I've spent fifteen Biomass on my eyesight now! Reward me more!
Once Gandalf has finished speaking a long list of possible eyesight upgrades appears within my mind. Seriously there is so much to choose from?! Heat sensitive vision, motion sensitive vision, mana vision, see through vision?!
Holy crap some of these sound awesome!
It takes me quite a while to sort through the list, consulting Gandalf who is able to elaborate on what each of the options does before I'm able to finalise my selection.
Despite how tempting some of the options are (Being able to see through stuff sounds pretty damn useful!) I eventually take a slightly more mundane option that will nonetheless cover a weakness and enhance a strength.
Focused compound vision.
I was very pleased when Gandalf explained what this particular mutation does as it was something I'd wanted for a while now.
If you think of the compound eyes that an insect has, rather than having one, large and strong pair of eyes that you can move around, compound eyes are hundreds of individual eyes that are always watching the same area but cannot move.
As I've mentioned before, this gives me a fantastic advantage of being able to watch almost every angle at once, especially since upgrading my eyes has caused them to extend further from my head, almost allowing to see backwards without turning around.
But my compound eyes are not as strong at focusing long distances as a humans.
However this mutation will help cover that weakness. Essentially, For each of my eyes a small section of compound eyes will gain the ability to focus further away, giving me a small field of vision that can see a long distance. I still can't move my eyes so to shift this field of vision I'll have to actually move my entire head, but with this upgrade I'll be able to take the best of both worlds, long distance focus, combined with surroundings awareness.
The ultimate eye!
Joyfully I confirm my selection with Gandalf.
I FORGOT THE ITCH!
Starting deep inside my head and then boiling forward is the sharpest and most painful itch I could possibly imagine. Worse than anything before by a hundredfold.
I'm being stabbed!
MY DAMN EYES!!!!!
I'm reduced to flopping about on the ground madly scrabbling with my legs but nothing helps.
And it goes on.
Before finally it stops.
[Would you like to advance your Acid to +4? This will cost four Biomass]
Not nearly as bad but still horrible is the acid mutation. Since upgrading to +5 gives such incredible benefits I want to advance everything to this level as quickly as possible, since acid is already at +3 and doubles as my primary weapon at this stage, I'll prioritise it first.
[Be aware, at your current stage of evolution you can longer advance your eyes]
Hmm. So until I actually manage to evolve myself I won't be able to any of my mutations past +5 eh? Fair enough, with only two more levels I'll be able to evolve, I'd like to think it won't take that long.
Having spent all of my Biomass I decide to stay in hiding and train my Mana Manipulation once again, expending all of my mana in small puffs out of my mouth and completely draining my mental energy once again.
However I am rewarded for my efforts!
[Mana Manipulation has reached level 3]
I immediately open my status to admire my progress.
Level: 3 (core)
Skills: Digging level 5; Improved Acid Shot Level 2; Grip Level 4; Crushing Bite Level 1; Advanced Stealth Level 3; Chomp level 1; Tunnel sense Level 4; Mana Manipulation level 3
Mutations: Focused Eyes +5, Antennae +2, Acid +4, Legs +1, Mandibles +2, Carapace +1
Species: Hatchling Ant Worker (Formica)
Skill points: 0
With my mana expended and my mutations complete I'll rest here for the time being before making any further moves. With the addition of these human monster hunters this area is even more dangerous than I thought it would be, I have make sure I maintain my best condition.
When I eventually awake my mana has restored four points and I've digested a good amount of the food I'd eaten.
Poking my head out of my chamber I don't spy any humans or combat so I emerge fully and take a look around with my newly upgraded eyes.
Whoa…. This may take some getting used to…
The center of my vision contains a small space that almost feels like a zoomed in view compared to the areas of vision around it… and it isn't like the more long sighted areas blur into the lesser ones, there is a clear marked distinction between them, which makes sense since the upgrade has essentially improved a small set of my compound eyes and the compound eyes don't really overlap in what they are looking at.
As I turn my head the zoomed in area sweeps across, always remaining in the center of my vision.
Gosh, it’s a little hard to keep track of, having two different tiers of eyesight. Having said that, I'm still extremely pleased with my choice, I'll just have to adapt quickly. With this enhanced section of vision I can easily scan the opposite side of the lake and inspect the creatures on the other side, I can even see the Titan-Croc is still lazing about over there, probably sleeping.
I also quickly look about to see if any ants from my colony have made their way to the lake only to be disappointed. Still no sign of them.
Whilst I'm here I'll drink from the lake to restore my MP faster and then decide what to do next.
I'm not as inclined to stay here now, since I now that there are human hunters about who can rain fire down on me at any moment. I'd also like to gain XP and evolve as quickly as possible. With the added stats and strength from my evolution my chances of survival as well as my ability to gain Biomass will go up, hopefully by a lot!
With that done I'll feel a lot more confident following the pheromone trail into the forest to track down my colony.
Gaining information is probably the most important thing right now, as well as hunting for prey.
It might seem like an odd decision but I think I'll go and find the humans camp before I do anything else.
Since they are the most dangerous thing around here it may seem strange to want to rush towards them, but in reality, since they are so dangerous I want to know where they are and what they are doing.
With my new upgrades I can spot them from a much greater distance than I could before, otherwise I wouldn't take this course of action.
Not sure what I'll do once I find them to be honest, but at the very least I'll be aware of the location of the threat.
Ok! It's decided! Onward, to the human camp!