Having severed the stem of the plant the huge flower on top topples to one side, its comically oversized mouth thrashing about, trying to bite me until the final bit of energy leaked out of its body.
[You have slain level 6 Flos Fame]
[You have gained experience]
Muahahaha! After smashing through the kingdom Animalia it's time to reap Biomass from Plantae!
There are dozens of plants scattered about the tunnel engaged in this battle, some of them attacking with vines, trying to cut and control their prey so they can bring to their cavernous mouths, whilst others employ different methods of attack. Towards the back I can see a completely different looking plant. A long tube like flower head sits atop a bulbous base, the tube on top seems to be rotating as if tracking the action. All of a sudden a huge jet of liquid erupts from the flower, gushing straight at me!
Pushing hard with all legs I jump upwards and to the right, narrowly dodging the spray that I can see is a very familiar sort of attack. Some of the fluid splashes over the creature I'd just killed and begins to eat away at the body at a ferocious pace. That is some serious acid!
The damned plant is aiming at me again. Quickly legs, dash!
["Hold on tight back there!"] I shout at my passengers as my legs once again fire into top gear, moving so quickly they completely blur out of sight.
"Weeeeeee!" giggles Vibrant as the air pressure has her clinging onto my carapace with only a few claws, the rest of her legs dangling behind her in the air.
I thought I said hold on you moron!
Checking on my other passenger I can see that Crinis has also extended out of a few extra tentacles to let them be blown backward by the wind. At least she was sensible enough to not let go with any of her other limbs…
I can't wait until these troublemakers are too large to ride on my back. Not long now Anthony, hold on a little more!
Somehow the tube plant is able to track my movement and fires several short bursts of acid towards me as I race toward it, forcing me to zig and zag to throw of its aim. I can almost smell the fear of this aggressive vegetable as I close in, mandibles slowly opening wide!
Being careful to only penetrate the plant with my ethereal mandibles and not my own physical ones I crunch down savagely on the bulging sack at the base of the plant. As I expected, the moment my jaws puncture through the soft flesh of the plant, massive gouts of acid begin to spray out everywhere as the internal pressure forces the fluid through these new outlets.
The plant sways violently like a drunk as it's precious acid leaks away but it hasn't taken any fatal damage. Aiming another shot at me, from point blank range I can almost feel the plant screaming at me "Damned meat bag! Take this!".
But I've already raced away. The usual jet of fluid doesn't materialise, instead a rather sad dribble of acid pours out of the tube. Without sufficient pressure it seems this particular flowery foe has lost its bite.
Just like this I start to race around the cavern with my two passengers having way too much fun, disabling the plant monsters by trimming their leaves, chopping at their vines and puncturing their weak points. Tiny continues his berserk rampage, ripping plants apart with his bare hands, smashing their main bodies to pulp, even shoving his arm into the gaping mouth of one plant and pulling it inside out.
…. Disgusting. I mean, was that strictly necessary Tiny? You could have just punched it in the face, but no, pulling it inside out from its mouth. That's an image I have to live with now, thanks.
In short order we manage to cull this particular section of tunnel, handing most of the experience off to Tiny and letting Vibrant take the last hit on two of the plants to pump her levels a little bit.
Now time for the feast!
After eating meat and squishy internal organs for most of my new life I'm ready to try something new, a bit of leafy greens, essential fibre!
Starting with one of the big mouthed flowers I start to chow down on this new cuisine. Hmmmmm. Chewy, rough, extremely fibrous, almost like eating a rope… and oh! .. The internals are quite.. Squishy and….. Horrible. This is just as bad as eating centipedes. Dammit!
Come on Gandalf! When are we going to find a monster that is basically a nice pie on legs?! Or a monster that fires roasted chicken out of its face cannon? Surely there is something is this damn Dungeon that tastes good?
I should have had Tiny rob the kitchen at the castle as well as the treasury…
Tiny, Vibrant and Crinis don't seem to particularly care as they rip into the Biomass with gusto. I'm still confused at how Crinis, despite being so much smaller than me, manages to have a bigger mouth than I do…
[You have consumed a new source of Biomass: Flos Flame, you are awarded one Biomass]
[Basic profile of the Flos Flame, unlocked]
[Flos Fame: Hunger Flower, A basic type monster of the plant kingdom, the hunger flower uses heat sensitivity to track its opponents, attack them with sharp vines and drag them to its mouth for consumption.]
[You have consumed a new source of Biomass: Acidum Ollam, you are awarded one Biomass]
[Basic profile of the Acidum Ollam unlocked]
[Acidum Ollam: Acid Pot, This base plant type monster uses a powerful jet of acid to attack and defeat its foes. The main body of the creature is actually mobile, allowing it to drag itself towards the remains of its victims in order to feast.]
[You have consumed a new source of Biomass: Vinea Bestia, you are awarded one Biomass]
[Basic profile of the Vinea Bestia unlocked]
[Vinea Bestia: Vine Beast, The vine beast is a curious cross of both plant and animal, being a mobile vine nest that doesn't have a distinct main body but spreads its vital organs around its network of vines. Whilst this does make the creature difficult to fight, with no central target to strike, if you can identify a key organ in one of the vines it can be defeated quickly]
I'm pretty sure Tiny just ripped the vines of the wall and flattened them until they stopped moving…
"What level have you reached Vibrant?" I ask the little worker, still stuffing its face with food.
To be fair, I am as well. We don't need our mouths to speak after all.
The little worker waves her antennae at me as she eats. "The voice said that Vibrant has reached level four! Am I strong yet?"
"Ah, no. Not at all"
"But you'll have a chance to get stronger really soon! Once you reach level five you'll be able to evolve into a stronger monster".
"But I want you to wait ok? If you wait until we can reinforce your core then you'll be able to evolve into something even stronger!"
The little ant seems to think about it for a while.
"Ok! But what should I spend my Biomass points on now that I have a +5 pheromone gland?"
I sort of shrug with my antennae, still eating. "Whatever you like, try to get every body part to +5 as quickly as you can. Just pick the mutations that seem interesting to you".
After our brief conversation, Vibrant turns silent for a time, a rare event indeed. She might be going through the menu perhaps, looking at options. I watch her carefully as I eat, hoping to see some sort of debilitating sign of mutation itch occurring but … nothing.
I myself gain four Biomass, three from bonus points and one from snacking, before I stop. I don't want to fill up on this weak stuff, I need more powerful evolved monsters to eat. Crinis and Vibrant don't need to fight, so they should stuff themselves now, then again later to maximise their benefits.
Time to go deeper!