I have a little breathing room whilst the workers deal with the monsters next to me and I decide to use it for maximum effect!
Turning on the spot I present my famed commercial plaza down the tunnel. The enemy are only meters away so aiming isn't really necessary, once in position I unleash my acid!
Two blasts sizzle their way through the air before impacting directly into the massive torsos of these horrendous threshing machines. The acid immediately begins to hiss as it burns into their flesh, hardening and sticking as soon as contact is made.
Hopefully I've managed to slow their blades down a little!
Enraged, the two monsters start to bull their way forward, slashing wildly with their limbs, even cutting into the rear of their two still struggling allies!
When the blade slices through the air and impacts into the monster to my right I seize on this chance and rush forward! If one of the weapons is stuck in that poor guy then it won't be able to be swung at me! This should create an opening.
I burst forward and then cut immediately to my right, running directly under the lodged blade and up onto the wall of the narrow tunnel and then directly onto the roof. The ceiling isn't high enough to be out of reach of those sharp limbs but of the four blades only the upper two will be able to reach, cutting the number of worries in half.
I also have to consider I won't be quite as nimble upside down but I feel like it's my best chance.
The monster in front of me rips its blade out of the grievous wound it has caused its own ally and shift its entire body to throw weight behind the strike it directs at me, slamming the gleaming, hard edge directly into the rock in front of me.
Instinctively I leap, avoid the blade and landing on the powerful arm from which the cutting blade emerges. My feet scrabble to grip on the shifting flesh of the creature before my claws manage to arrest my momentum and dig in, allowing me to run over the shoulder and onto the creatures back.
I take the chance to fire another shot and the blade monster next to this one, splattering the beast across its flank with stinging acid. The creature turns as much as it can in the narrow space and I finally manage to spot the eyes above that savage beak, tiny red orbs that seem to burn with hate.
Shrieking loudly the insane creature brings its upper two blades down on me with terrible force, the sharp edges whistling as they cut through the air.
Desperately I roll to the side, almost succeeding in dodging the strike!
The two blades smash down into the body of the creature I'm standing on, mortally wounding it. I lose two legs on my left side as collateral damage, the limbs sheared clean off close to my body.
The pain is intense! I didn't think they'd be so crazy as to smash down on their own ally like that! They caught me unprepared.
Instantly I activate my regeneration, welcoming the explosion of freezing cold within. I won't be able to get my legs back properly but it will surely help a little.
Moving is hard an excruciating but I scramble forward desperately, climbing onto the blade arms before the monster can retract them for another strike. The limbs from which the blades extend are powerful, thick with ropes of dense muscle. If I want to cut through this It's going to be difficult, time to find out how my infused mandibles will go.
As I open my mandibles wide I activate my upgraded mandibles with a thought. Instantly I feel mana gushing out of my core, flooding through channels and directly into my mandibles. I engage Crushing Bite at the same time and my mandibles begin to glow brighter and brighter, as the mana builds in them they start to release blue steam.
Infused with the mana I've managed to regenerate since my last practice, my mandibles shear directly through the monsters limb, cutting it directly off!
Holy Cow! That was effective! But it used half of my remaining mana, I'll only get one more of those.
My foe roars in pain as one of its deadly blades has been removed and I desperately scrabble with my remaining legs to claw my way onto the monsters back, a place of relative safety. By this time my regeneration has done all it can for me, restoring eight Hp but it's not enough to complete bring my missing limbs back, two small stumps have emerged from the remaining sections of the missing legs. I can wiggle them a bit but they are a long way from a complete leg.
More of these vicious monsters are crowding in the tunnel behind, trying to shove forward, their razor beaks shrieking as they slash wildly into the air. How many of these stupid things are there?!
I need to finish this one off and then retreat to get my bearings back.
I bite into the creatures' back over and over again, tearing into the muscle until my enemy collapses, but I don't stop there. I keep biting until the voice of Gandalf echoes in my mind.
[You have slain level 14 Quator Ferrum Saevissimus]
[You have gained experience]
[You have reached level 5]
Nards! I was hoping I'd be able to evolve, which might have really helped me in this situation. For now I just have to retreat back to safety. Climbing over the body of my defeated enemy I make my way back to towards the frontline where my fellow workers have finished off the first two monsters and are swarming over them, consuming them and pressing forward into the tunnel to continue the fight.
My eyes light up when I see the Biomass available in front of me. My regeneration gland is empty but if I can snack up for a few minutes I might be able to gain some more Hp back. I won't be able to regrow my limbs in such a short time but every little bit helps.
Staggering forward I push aside a few workers and start wolfing down food.
[You have consumed a new source of Biomass: Quator Ferrum Saevissimus, you are awarded one Biomass]
[Basic profile of the Quator Ferrum Saevissimus unlocked]
[Quator Ferrum Saevissimus: Four Blade Berserker, This monster has four bone-metal compound blades on its upper body and enters a furious rage when in combat, increasing its strength but causing it to struggle to tell friend from foe]
The profile makes a lot of sense, these monster are certainly berserkers, hacking into each other without a second thought!
Workers continue to arrive at the fight, some of them climbing straight over me as I eat, rushing forward to fight. I have to eat quickly and try to get back in there, these ants won't be able to handle such dreadful monsters, no matter how much they outnumber them!
Fortunately the enemy is having a tough time climbing over the bulky bodies of their fallen comrades, the narrow confines of the tunnel hampering their movements. The ant reinforcements make use of the distance to begin an acid bombardment, launching salvo after salvo of the burning substance at the foe.
[You have gained one Biomass]
With three Biomass collected I immediately upgrade my carapace to +3, any little boost to tank up against those savage blades is welcome. I don' think it will make much difference but any assistance is welcome at this point, this upgrade could be the difference between death and living on one Hp.
Due to the current situation the mutation itch that explodes all over my body barely registers in my mind. I have more important things to worry about than a stupid itch! The colony is under attack!
More and more workers are flooding down the tunnel at this point, there must be almost a hundred of them now, fully half of the workforce. The rest of them are probably protecting the brood and the Queen, which is a good idea!
With these numbers we may have a chance!
Painfully, I drag myself towards the wall and manage to crawl about halfway up. I still have some acid in the tank and I want to use it to support the rest of the worker in the front lines.
I can see a swirling maelstrom of combat down the tunnel, the first four Berserkers have been dealt with but more are crowding behind, their mad shrieks filled with bloodlust and the urge to kill. Workers are clambering over the dead, fearlessly charging forward to engage in greater and greater numbers.
I take a moment to aim carefully before firing.
The berserkers are fairly large targets and thankfully for me, the area I want to hit is directly in the middle of their chest.
Three blasts of acid arc through the air, hitting three separate monsters, splattering over their faces and beaks. I may not have been able to get their eyes since they are so recessed, set deeply into the chest but the hardening, sticky acid burning into their face drives the creatures completely insane and they start to swing wildly with their four limbs, cutting into their own allies.
Just as I rejoice I can hear a commotion behind me and I turn to see what is going on.
Is that…. The Queen?!?!