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Finally! Finally I can evolve!

 

I'm emotional. It hasn't been easy, I've had to struggle and use my wits, but I finally made it!

 

Thanks for your support Gandalf!

 

Thanks for persevering, me.

 

Okokokok.

 

The first thing I need to do is spend my five Biomass to upgrade my acid.

 

[Do you wish to improve acid to +5? This will cost five Biomass]

 

Yes!

 

[At this level you may choose a mutation advancement, select from the menu]

 

Nice!

 

Once again a large list of potential options appears in my mind, so many choices! Searing acid? Concentrated acid? Freezing acid? All of these sound amazing. I have be careful with my selection, I only get one shot at this choice and I don't want to make a mistake!

 

Some of the upgrades seem to have an elemental flavour, such as shock acid, for example. I'm not sure if I want to take that path. For sure they all sound powerful but I don't want my acid to become ineffective against creatures who are resistant.

 

I know that the Wolf Dragon cubs are resistant to heat damage, if I were to choose searing acid then my effective combat options would be greatly reduced. There is potentially monsters out there who are straight up resistant to acid damage, which means I have one potential weakness already, I don't like the idea of doubling that to two!

 

Reluctantly I put aside the awesome sounding elemental acid options and look at the remaining choices.

 

There's an option to increase the aerodynamics of the spray, greatly increasing my range… I don't really feel like I need that. I'm happy with my current range.

 

Another option keeps the acid burning for a longer time, basically increasing the duration that the acid will continue to do damage. More damage sounds nice, but having to wait a long time for it to work won't help in a pinch situation…

 

Oh ho! This option seems interesting!

 

[Restrictive Acid: This upgrade will cause acid to become sticky and solidify after being fired. This effect will make the acid adhere to the target and restrict their movement].

 

I like this one! Not only will the acid stick to the target, which will have the effect of increasing my overall damage, it will also gum up the enemy and make it harder for them to move.

 

If I spray one larger enemy three times then I might have a chance to slow them down and make it harder to move, if I spray a smaller enemy once they'll be much easier to avoid, increasing my crowd control options.

 

Confirm Restrictive Acid!

 

OH GOD.

 

The +5 mutation is on another level. Truly it propels the word 'itch' into a higher plane.

 

I shall endure!

 

I hope!

 

Finally the horrible feeling, deep within my abdomen begins to fade away.

 

Phew….

 

Ok.

 

Now for the big one.

 

Evolution!

 

[Would you like to use the Evolution menu?]

 

Heck yeah!

 

[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)
  • Monster Worker Ant]

 

OK! A new option has appeared? What does this mean? Has maxing out my core unlocked a new choice for me? So my two choices are to become a fully grown version of what I am now, keeping my species as Formica or become a non-species specific monstrous ant?

 

I'm not sure exactly what the benefits of losing my species during evolution… but I don't want to consider this option, if I were to lose my species then I'm not sure I would be able to be accepted back into my colony, meaning I'd have to continue making it on my own in this dungeon and even my old kind would hunt me down as my enemy!

 

Too cold! That kind of life would be so damn cold Gandalf! I'm already sick of being wary and fighting every creature I see, it would be so nice if I could find something that didn't want to eat me all of the time!

 

I will remain as my current species and re-join my people!

 

Choose Mature Worker Ant (Formica)!

 

[Your monster core has been formed and enhanced, it will provide bonus energy to your evolution]

 

Aha! So forming my core and upgrading it will allow me to boost my stats further when I evolve?! I made the correct choice condensing my core after all!

 

[Due to high Cunning Stat, manual evolution has been unlocked, would you like to enable manual evolution?]

 

Uh… Yes?

 

Suddenly my mind is flooded with information and large window with evolutionary steps and stat allocation screens unfolds. Why the heck are there so many options! I was almost looking forward to not having to choose anything Gandalf you crazy wizard!

 

Alright then. Being able to personally allocate everything gives me more control over the evolution, that seems like a good thing all up.

 

Let's have a look then.

 

It seems I have a set amount of evolution energy which has been boosted by my core and I need to spend this energy to change myself during the evolution process? So if I had chosen not to use manual evolution… Gandalf would make all of the choices for me I guess?

 

Ok. So as part of my evolution I'll gain a new organ, the pheromone gland. Nice! Then I'll be able to lay my own trails, this will come in handy when I make it back to the colony, I'll be able to create new paths to let my fellow workers know where the food is and so on.

 

I get to choose one additional new organ… Ok. It feels kind of weird to be choosing new body parts for myself. Let's have a look at the options then.

 

You must be kidding.

 

A massive list including everything from extra legs, a second set of mandibles, wings to additional eyes, camouflage skin, stink glands. Even the Coral Slug mucous skin is in here!

 

Or I could add a tail… What would an ant even do with a tail?!

 

If you were to mix and match in here you could turn yourself into a truly messed up looking monster.

 

There are also lots of internal organs and glands to choose from, some of them I have no idea what they even do. The adrenal hyper stimulator apparently induces a kind of frenzied, berserk state. Sounds risky…

 

It takes about ten minutes to scroll through all the options before I settle on one I really like.

 

[Regenerative healing gland: can release a burst of healing fluid that will result in rapid regeneration for a small span of time]

 

With this baby I can trade hits with other monsters and still come out on top. It also provides incredible insurance for emergency situations. If I'd had this gland when I was found by the five centipedes whilst I still wounded I'd be able to regenerate a couple of points of HP and not be in quite such a dangerous position.

 

If I upgrade this gland to +5 I might be able to regenerate a lot of HP quickly and get some other cool options!

 

I lock in that selection and then turn to my stats.

 

So, currently my stats are:

Might:15

Toughness: 12

Cunning: 25

Will: 18

 

Looking at my Might first I have two options when I add stats. I can either increase my overall muscle mass, which will increase my size, or increase the muscle density which costs more but doesn't increase my size by nearly as much.

 

Next is Toughness. It seems like I can either increase the solidity of my external defence, or improve the robustness of my internal resistance.

 

For Cunning… whoa. Thanks to my already high Cunning stat, it is super expensive to increase it. Checking my options I can improve my processing speed or increase my brain matter?! That’s freaky! I can even add another brain?!?!

 

Right…….

 

It looks like I can add smaller, self-contained brain sections to look after certain processes on their own. I can think of a few animals like this, such as an octopus has a separate brain to manage each of its legs. I could attach one to my acid release zone back in my business district that would handle aiming for me. Effectively giving me automatic aim.

 

But doing anything here costs way too much. I'll leave it alone for now.

 

Improving Will can improve either mana manipulation or mana regeneration… Since my Will is already pretty high, this isn't worth it for now.

 

I decide to pour all of my evolutionary stats into Might and Toughness. For both of these I go for a 50:50 balance of both options. If I put all of my Might into just size increase, I'll end up with a higher Might score, but I'll be far larger, which will make sneaking around and scouting much more difficult. By taking the balanced approach I lose out on raw stats but regain in flexibility.

 

I hope.

 

When I'm done allocating this the manual process is finished.

 

Uh, I think I'm good to go?

 

[Would like to confirm your choices and evolve?]

 

Yes.

 

The world fades to black.

 

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About the author

RinoZ

Bio: Working older person with family who really likes webnovels and decided to write one. Here we are!

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