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The aftermath of a monster battle is a fairly gruesome place, especially when it's ants picking over the field.

 

This area of the forest has a veritable carpet of deceased monsters. Black furred rabbits mixed with centipedes and the two wolf-dragons cover the ground. On top of them the ants make another layer, bustling with insect urgency. Their job is now the rather messy work of butchery. Most of these workers are still hatchlings, only a few having evolved into mature workers like me. This means they can't carry an entire monster body back into the nest in one go, instead they are forced to break up the food and transport it in pieces.

 

All around me this somewhat distasteful work is being done, workers using their mandibles to carve away at the food at then lifting their prize and merrily sprinting off towards the nest in order to make their delivery as quickly as possible and return for more.

 

Even with over sixty workers here it is going to take a little while before the work is done.

 

With the Queen now having retreated back to the nest I've decided to stick around until the workers have completed their task. If more monsters come to act the vulture and try to steal our hard won prize I want to be here to help defend it. I didn't work this hard and make the Queen mad just to risk losing everything we worked for!

 

Still, looking over the remains of the battlefield I feel a slight sense of accomplishment. Each of those monster bodies represents experience that has been funnelled into the workers already, fuelling their growth and bringing more and more of them closer to evolution.

 

As long as the colony can last until the next generation emerges then we will be in a tremendous spot, growing explosively and becoming much safer.

 

Tiny has already leapt from my back and started to feast, his little hands shovelling the Biomass into his face with incredible speed.

 

Slow down there little buddy.. You might get a stomach ache.

 

I'm pleased to see his increased appetite, the sooner he grows and begins to show the fearsome strength of the monster I took the core from the better off we'll be. Recalling that his core came from creature strong enough to go toe to toe with a Titan-Croc makes me hopeful that Tiny will be able to exert that same kind of strength in the future.

 

With all of the monsters here focused on the Biomass I have a different prize in my sights.

 

There are a few large, evolved monsters here and I am desperately hoping that they will have some cores for me. I refuse to evolve without maxing out my core!

 

I move over to the two wolf-dragons first and begin chewing through them, not just gaining Biomass but also hunting for a possible core. My own core is deep within the center of my body and it has been thereabouts in every monster I've found it in so far, so I have to eat my way down to find it.

 

I gain two Biomass from the first before I decide there probably isn't a core and rather than finish it off I rush to the other one, pushing a few workers out of the way in order to secure my place to hunt for that precious sphere.

 

[You have gained Biomass]

 

[Compatible monster core detected. Would you like to reinforce your core or reconstitute a monster?]

 

Bwhahahaha!

 

The prize is mine!

 

Even if I have the Core Mechanic skill I'm not willing to waste any monster core on practicing it until I have achieved my most important goal, the maxed out core!

 

Absorb that core!

 

As the core melts into the air I can feel the energy flowing into my own, strengthening and enlarging it, increasing its capacity to store the mana that infuses this world.

 

Excellent!

 

Keep hustling Anthony, there is more to go!

 

Having checked both of the wolf-dragons I now abandon the center of the battle and sprint over to where a few workers are starting to pick over the Croca-beasts.

 

Mine, mine, mine, mine!

 

Pushing aside a few workers I greedily dive into the first Croca-Beast, this one was the first monster the Queen directly cut in half, making it fairly easy to look for the core. After barely eating at all I decide their isn't any core to be had and I hustle over the to the next one.

 

Hopefully my worker brethren don't feel I'm being too greedy … If I can evolve with a fully maxed core I'll be able to repay the investment many fold! Forgive me guys.

 

[You have gained Biomass]

 

[Compatible monster core detected. Would you like to reinforce your core or reconstitute a monster?]

 

Yessssss!

 

Reinforce Dat Core!

 

Once again the pleasant stretching sensation occurs as my core absorb more energy, growing more dense and larger. The power!

 

With this my Max Mp has reached 40, which is double what I was able to sustain before evolving. I kind of expect that this means I've reached my maximum?

 

Only one way to find out. Crossing my metaphorical toes I move towards the remains of the Titan-Croc. The body lies leaning against the stump of the shattered tree, it's chest a broken ruin.

 

I cannot believe I was able to fell such a massive creature in one blow. The power of Forceful Mana is not to be underestimated! It may be a little cumbersome to use in a fight right now, but as I get more and more level and my core becomes stronger, what sort of power will I be able to unleash?

 

My mind is boggling!

 

Concentrate on the present Anthony! Control your drool, man!

 

I tentatively approach the Titan-Croc. I almost can't believe that it's dead. I feel like the massive creature could just open its eyes and start wrecking my face at any moment.

 

It's impossible though, the all-seeing voice of Gandalf spoke to me, the beast is surely dead. The whole situation just feels so unreal I guess. It wasn't long ago I riding on the coat tails of one of these monsters, depending on it for safety and feeding on a few scraps it left behind.

 

Now I have conquered one and will feast on Biomass!

 

No need to hesitate any further, dig in!

 

[You have consumed a new source of Biomass: Crescente Gula Garralosh, you are awarded one Biomass]

 

[Basic profile of the Crescente Gula Garralosh unlocked]

 

[Crescente Gula Garralosh: Growing Maw Garralosh, The evolved form of the infant Garralosh this still growing offspring of the Garralosh has reached its development stage. Able to convert mana to fire, beware of the fireballs released from its mouth]

 

What the hell?

 

Are you telling me that this enormous monster, the beast of nightmare that I have dubbed the "Titan-Croc", is still in its development stage?! Exactly how stupidly massive are these damn things supposed to get Gandalf?!

 

And again with the Garralosh! All of these damnable crocodiles are the offspring of a single monster? Is this thing like the croc version of Godzilla?! How would something that big even more through the tunnels down here?

 

Gah, I don't even want to guess. I still have very little idea what lies in the tunnels beneath this place, for all I know, if you go deeper you'll find even larger open spaces than this, huge open areas the size of continents. Why the hell not?! I didn't think an underground area like this one could possibly exist but here I am, chewing on a giant croc-monster right underneath a sparkly glowing tree with purple leaves.

 

So who knows?

 

I'm not going to try and prejudge what I might see anymore. I've been shocked so many times I no longer see the point.

 

[You have gained Biomass]

 

Thanks Gandalf. Nice to be kept informed.

 

[Compatible Special monster core detected. Would you like to reinforce your core or reconstitute a monster?]

 

Ah wha?

 

Special Monster core? What the heck is that?

 

After thinking for a moment I decide to dig out the core and take a look at it. After a more minutes of chomping I'm able to free the core and drag it out with my mandibles.

 

It's frickin huge.

 

What the hell is with this core?! It's massive! Easily larger than the core that birthed Tiny even!

 

This Titan-Croc must have reinforced the heck out of his core for it to reach this tremendous size. I'm absolutely gobsmacked.

 

I can't be exactly sure how large my own core is but I'm certain it cannot be even close to half the size, maybe it's a fifth as large?

 

According to Gandalf I can absorb this bad boy. Seems bizarre that a core this large is still compatible… is it because the Titan-Croc has also only evolved once?

 

I feel a little nervous about this. It should be fine… right?

 

Uh…. Reinforce my core?

 

[Your core has already reached maximum capacity for your level of evolution. Absorbing the special core will take you beyond this limit. Do you still wish to proceed?]

 

What the heck Gandalf?! So talkative all of a sudden? Why can't you just give me information at a time that isn't the last possible second!?

 

So my core has actually already capped out at 40 MP as I thought it might. For some reason this core is special and will allow me to further improve my core beyond the normal limit?

 

Doesn't this just mean that my evolution will be even further fuelled next time?

 

Maybe there is a down side to absorbing the core now. Perhaps I'll only be able to draw limited benefit from the core, say only increasing my max MP by four points, whereas if I waited until after I evolved to absorb it I could take the full benefit and get eight.

 

It still seems worth it to take the core now. Knowing that a stronger monster core means more energy to fuel evolution … I just can't turn it down.

 

Reinforce my core Gandalf!

 

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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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