Impacted by the second Gravity Bolt the poor lizard experiences a brief moment of suspension. A narrow window of time in which the effect of the upwards gravity is fading and the new, downward force is only beginning to kick in.
The tentative balance is suddenly broken and with sensational effect!
From hovering in place like an awkward levitating turtle the monster suddenly descends so quickly my eyes almost cannot catch its motion.
A tremendous impact occurs, sending dust and debris flying into the air, obscuring my vision and showering the cavern with shards of rock.
Holy moly! I didn't expect that to happen! Well, not quite so spectacularly at least. Scurrying quickly I use my antennae to swipe at the air and try to clear my view and inspect my prey.
Eventually I have to stop in place as I feel I may have walked too far. Where the heck is it? Is this dust ever going to settle?!
On my back the two interlopers are just as blind as I am, although, for Crinis, it is a fairly standard state of affairs. Turning on the spot it takes a moment for me to realise the texture of the floor beneath my feet is slightly different.
Looking down I notice that I'm standing on the back of the monster!
It's been squished right into the floor!
Slowly the dust falls to reveal that the lizard has been completely submerged in the rocky floor of the cavern by the impact and somewhat lacking it tact, I've wandered directly onto it's back. Even worse, the monster is still alive, groaning painfully as the downward pressure continues to compact it straight into the ground.
Sorry about that buddy! I'll er… ease your suffering?
Phew, this shell is seriously tough!
Still not there!
Again! Again! Again!
By the time I finally break through those tough armour plates my face is feeling extremely sore and I've managed to level up my piercing bite once! No wonder Tiny was struggling to crack it with his hands. Even using my armour penetrating skill it took almost twenty strikes.
[You have slain level 12 Os Lacerti]
[You have gained experience]
Feel my wrath you dinosaur wannabe! Moohahahaha! Vibrant seems somewhat confused by my domineering victory pose, her antennae are wibbling about in a confused manner until she eventually decides to somewhat copy my dynamic stance, one leg raised to punch the air.
Don't copy that! For starters you didn't even do anything! Second, you're making me feel childish in my moment of victory! This battle was the first in which my incredible magical superiority played the decisive factor, allow me my moment of pride dammit!
Meanwhile Tiny has also completed his battle. After sustaining his brutal lightning attack until the enemy was almost completely roasted he then approached his incapacitated foe and punched its head in.
Instead of expressing his dominance to other monsters by posing coolly, Tiny instead approaches his defeated foe and immediately starts ripping into the Biomass, tearing it apart with his bare hands and shoving it into his face.
You know, looking at the response of the other monsters in the chamber, his method may be more effective in the intimidation department, but it lacks style!
Indeed the other monsters in this section of tunnel are giving both Tiny and myself a large berth as they continue to battle amongst themselves. Incredibly, I actually see a few of the normally battle crazed beasts slinking off down the tunnel, disengaging from fighting entirely!
Is it just me or are some of these creatures getting smarter?
In the early days of the wave they would hurl themselves into bloody slaughter the moment they were created and clawed out of the dirt, regardless of the odds! I couldn't possibly imagine for a second one of those creatures would voluntarily escape from battle. Calculating the odds just wasn't something they seemed capable of!
Now though, it looks a little different. Between a monster who can decide if a fight is too dangerous and tactfully retreat, or a monster who suicidally charges forward no matter what, which is more dangerous? In the short term, the suicidal monster is a little dangerous, in the long term, the sneaky one is by far the greater threat! In this world the potential for growth of monsters seems nearly infinite! All we need is time and resources. For a monster, surviving to fight another day is the only thing that matters!
I'll have to think about this development later. For now, the stupid monsters who decided to stick around shall become my food!
Tiny finishes crunching on his Biomass and then turns his greedy eyes towards the other monsters battling on the fringes of the cavern. None shall be let go!
The two of us catapult forward to continue the battle once more. Having discharged most of his electricity Tiny is reduced to smashing his opponents with just his raw strength whereas I have plenty of juice left in the tank.
Instead of just chomping everything to death I try and work on some new tactics. The Gravity Bolt combo I used on the lizard is just one of my new strategies, I have other ideas as well! The first is to test the Gravity Spear in combat situations!
After launching a spear towards a cluster of monsters the pulling effect is strong enough that none of them are able to escape, instead being sucked into a comical ball of writhing monsters who stab and snap at each other viciously with no way to escape!
Heheheh. Now is the time to apply some AOE damage.
Pouring forth my stamina I manifest the two ethereal mandibles around the condensed monsters and savagely bite, crushing the creatures between them!
[You have slain ….]
[You have slain ….]
[You have slain ….]
It's so easy it almost feels mean…
THIS is the strength of the Mind Ant! Being able to wield these powerful spells and destroy my opponents with ease! It was for this sort of effect that I've been striving from the very beginning, practicing my magic skills and prioritising the growth of my core, grinding away all of those hours and finally choosing this evolution, sacrificing strength, sacrificing toughness, all to boost my capacity to wield magic in this new world.
All of it was for this!
And it was totally worth it!
I start to run around the cavern, gleefully hurling a new gravity Spear every time I form one and running towards the hapless targets to crunch them with my mandibles. Even as my flagrant use of my own stamina and mana mounts up and exhaustion sets in I don't stop until every monster I can see has been defeated.
So much fun!
I even went up a level!
This trip into the Dungeon has certainly been profitable! Being able to cast my spells so smoothly in combat feels so rewarding! I still feel it's possible to bring them out faster but I'll need a lot of practice to make that happen.
I also shouldn't overestimate my strength either. There will surely be some forms of counter to magical attacks, shields of some sort or magic dampening abilities. Just because I can beat up on these small fry doesn't mean I should start celebrating too much!
Keep it cool Anthony!
With the main bulk of our work complete we try and wrap up the rest of our task as quickly as possible. I get Tiny to help me locate any cores we find and I get him to hold onto them for me before we settle down to have a rapid meal.
The two lizards we defeated are undoubtedly the strongest monsters we fought here so they are the Biomass of choice!
[You have consumed a new source of Biomass: Os Lacerti, you are awarded one Biomass]
[Basic profile of the Os Lacerti unlocked]
[Os Lacerti: Bone Lizard, This monster is famed for the powerful armour covering its body, its immense physical strength and the devastating power of the clubbed tail. Although not too powerful, the beast is capable of simple earth magic spells, be careful.]
Yeah, now they tell us.
Drained but satisfied, Tiny, myself, Vibrant and Crinis tuck into into the Biomass enthusiastically. I personally manage to pick up another nine points!