I hadn't even finished celebrating Tiny's spectacular lightning wave technique (named it myself) before my joy is quenched by more monsters rushing up the as the ones in front of them collapsed from being overcooked.
How many of these damn things are there going to be?!
I hurriedly make use of the room Tiny has bought us by stuffing my face as full of Biomass as quickly as I can. Every bit counts! I also snap up my status for a moment to check on any skill changes. Every edge I can get in this critical fight!
I've gained a level of Shattering Bite and two levels in Advanced Exo-Skeleton defence. Letting myself get battered by a horde of trash seems like a good way to train that skill, if painful. It looks like I'm going to get battered to hell all over again in a minute, the next wave of shadow beasts will be on us in a few seconds!
Seems I also managed to gain two levels from the conflict as well. Not too helpful at the present moment but nice to know!
[Crinis! What's up?!]
Those monsters are closing in quick! I don't have time for a chat!
[Ready for what?!]
I really need her to get to the point here.
[… I've finished my growth phase] she slows down to explain to me clearly [If you point me at the enemy I can fight them]
Oh…. Ohhhhhh! AWWWWW!!
[Quick grab on!]
I shift an antennae over in her direction and the little tennis ball sized glob of dark rubber reaches up and latches on. She's still the same size as she was before..
[Are you sure?!] I ask.
[Ok then.. Here you go!]
I flick her into the air directly towards the onrushing beasts. Tiny watches as she sails over his head, tracing a graceful arc through the air. As she travels something remarkable happens. She starts to grow. From a little tennis ball she expands, by the time she reaches the apex of her arc she's inflated to basketball size and as she descends she continues to become larger. Just before she vanishes into the crowd of monsters the central sphere of her body unfolds and dozens of powerful, barbed tentacles appear surrounding a horrific, open maw.
'Dis gon be good!
Almost giddy with anticipation I skitter up the wall to get a better view of the action.
Just in time too!
Once that inflated ball vanished from sight, sunk into the middle of the onrushing horde, a few seconds passed and then…. Chaos!
Tentacles began flailing wildly as Crinis unleashes the true power of the JellyMaw! Mowing down monsters like a scythe or gripping them, lifting them into the air and crushing them before they are tossed into that endless mouth.
Monster after monster vanishes into Crinis' gullet and she doesn't seem to change size at all! Whatever dimension they are travelling to I hope their end is a peaceful one! The monsters do their best to fight back, slashing at her tentacles of dashing forward to bite at her. I'm sure their doing damage but I can't see it.
At the rate she's eating them she might just be healing it right back up anyway!
Between myself and the shredding, Tiny stands quite still, squishing to death any monster that gets close enough or tries to slip past him. I think he might be enjoying the show just as much as I am!
[How is it going Crinis!? Do you need help?] I enquire.
[No need Master, you don't need to sully your mandibles with this trash]
That's a bit harsh on them isn't it?
Releasing my Domain spell I start weaving a few Gravity bolts and fling them into the fight whenever they're ready. Trying to do a little bit to ease the burden on my youngest pet but it doesn't seem like she needs it…
When it comes to cutting down weaker creatures like chaff she is surely the most suitable out of herself and Tiny. The big ape is more specialised as a big hitter, though his new area lightning strike certainly helps him out in this department.
This is why I chose to make Crinis my second pet, she counterbalances Tiny extremely well!
Watching her shred through the endless waves of monsters is almost enough to bring a tear of pride to my eye. If she seems deadly now, just wait until she evolves!
Her main disadvantage of not being able to see is totally irrelevant to her at the moment. No matter what direction she extends a limb there is going to be an enemy there! Like a relentless machine those tentacles reach out, snatch up a monster and crush it before snapping out to seize another victim.
In the end I just leave the casting of the Gravity Bolts to my sub brains and chill out on the wall. It's kind of nice to be so unneeded.
[Ah… Crinis can you not eat so many, we could send some of that up to the Queen]
[Oh! Sorry Master! I.. I'll control myself]
She really is a hungry thing isn't she?
Eventually Tiny gets bored and wades back into the fight, making sure to remain a minimum distance away from his fellow pet. He throws and slams monsters to his heart's content whilst I just continue to watch.
So peaceful here in the Dungeon….
After another twenty minutes of monster splatting there finally seems to be none left and we are able to spend some time picking through the battlefield. Looking at the heaped piles of monster remains I try and estimate just how many there were in this ravenous swarm. The Biomass is piled high even though Crinis probably ate almost a hundred monsters on her own. Just where is her stomach?!
When I finally come up with a number I feel a chill rush through my carapace. There must have been almost a thousand of them! If Tiny and I hadn't evolved… if Crinis hadn't suddenly been able to fight…
What would have happened to us if we tried to face down that many monsters?!
It's chilling to think about. I have so many questions now as a result of this… Why has this happened now? The Queen certainly never mentioned this sort of phenomenon, though it does seem reminiscent of what Enid told me happened back in Liria.
Are these monsters being controlled or threatened? Are they being chased out of their territory and sent up the Dungeon?!
I'll have to answer these questions another time. First we all eat until we are full, not that Crinis had any more space… I manage to gain eight Biomass, then I pick over the battlefield to find any monster cores using my mana sense whilst Tiny piles up a feed for the Queen over at the hidden entrance to our shortcut.
I manage to find twenty cores amongst the wreckage which I give to Crinis who promptly sticks them into the multi-dimensional folds of her person and then shrinks herself back down to a tennis ball which I place on my back.
SO DAMN HEAVY!
She might be able to hide all that Biomass but she still carries the weight!
[Is everything alright Master] says the innocent little murder blob on my back.
My legs are shaking!
[I'm ok!] I wheeze.
"Crinis was so awesome!" cheers Vibrant, rushing over to her mini friend and rolling her about with her antennae.
["Look. Let's take this food up to the surface and then do a check of the nearby tunnels. I want to make sure no monsters made it past us and up to the Queens chamber"]