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What the heck has been going on Tiny? I mean seriously man… You haven't upgraded anything? Haven't spent your skill points at all? The only skill that look like you didn't already have it is 'fancy feet' and what the heck does that do? Have you been dancing behind my back, have you? A little bit of tap here and there?

...

Sigh.

I use my antennae to rub at my temples in an effort to ward off the impending migraine I feel coming on.

I really thought that the pets would be able to handle this stuff without me interfering. Even if Tiny couldn't I was sure that Crinis would be fine. After all the effort I put into enhancing her intelligence …. Still nothing.

Nothing!

With Tiny.. I'd mentally prepared myself for a lot. Nonsensical upgrades that made no sense, no synergy or evidence of even a mild amount of thinking. I'd prepared myself for that. To find that he hasn't done anything at all somehow hurts my head worse than those other options.

I don't think he hasn't done it because he doesn't understand the idea of spending Biomass or skill points. His mind is slow, that's for sure, but I doubt that he can't understand how to upgrade himself. Centipedes and Dragon Wolf Cubs can spend Biomass, I know they can, I've seen them with upgraded body parts. There is no way they can do it but Tiny can't.

No no. The reason he hasn't done it is because he can't be bothered. It's too much hassle.

This lazy ape!

[Tiny, lean down here for a moment, would you?]

Puzzled, the giant ape leans down, bringing his bat face a little closer to mine.

THWAP!

I whip my antennae around and smack them into his head on both sides!

[Go spend all your points! Right now!]

[ ….. Why?] he sounds dissatisfied as he rubs at his bruised cheeks.

….. Stubborn gorilla!

He has to obey my instructions so he will spend them, but it would be better if I could give him motivation that would make him try harder to spend them well.

….

[If you spend all your points properly, you'll be able to hit things better!]

...

[Ooooo!] a spark of interest lights up in his eyes.

Tiny leans forward eagerly towards me, hoping for more.

[You'll grow stronger too. Maybe enough to fight that scary thing in the marsh!]

His brow furrows for a moment as he thinks hard before rushing to his feet and pounding his chest.

[OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!]

[That's it buddy! It's a good idea to spend all of your points! Go get 'em, now!]

[OOOOOOOOOOO!!!] He roars in his mind as he turns and sprints out of the chamber.

….

[OI GET BACK HERE YOU APE! Spend your points, don't go fighting!] I cry as I chase after him desperately.

It takes a little while but I manage to calm Tiny down a little and reinforce the idea that spending points good, leaving them unspent bad. I get him settled in one corner where he sits with a glazed expression on his face as he trawls through the various menus. I don't envy him, he has to go through upgrade menu's for literally every upgradable body part he has.

Crinis is still vaguely wobbling in the corner as she also grabbles with the problem of upgrading herself. She won't have nearly as many skill points or Biomass as Tiny to chew through but the fact that she has yet to spend a single thing makes a little worried. Even with my orders hanging over her head, she'll probably struggle to make choices. I think she'll be awhile.

Time for me to spend a few points myself!

I've got nineteen points of Biomass to spend and another fourteen skill points. The Biomass will go quickly but the skill points, I'll need to spend a little more time on. I've got enough that I can branch out a little and perhaps allow myself a little leeway to pick up a few non-essential skills.

Alright then!

Biomass first!

This one's easy enough. 12 points are needed to take my inner carapace plating to +5 which will leave me with seven points to spend. I think I'll spend the extra six on my acid gland. The fact that I can spin magic now shouldn't take away from the ease of use and deadly restrictive properties of my business zone. I'm also pretty hopeful that there might be some juicy advancements to choose from when I get to +10. I'll keep my tiny little claws crossed on that one.

[Do you want to upgrade Inner Carapace Plating to +5 and Restrictive Acid to +6? This will cost 18 Biomass]

[Yup!]

[At this level you are able to choose a mutation advancement, please select from the menu]

Then pow! The menu hits me right between the eyes again with a plethora of options. I start picking my way through, searching for something that makes sense for me and what I want from my inner plating. What exactly do I want from it?

…..

More defence, I guess? I mean, as far as I see it there are two options for improve defence, tougher shell or faster healing. Generally speaking I like having a mix of both. The tougher the shell is, the more valuable the healing right? I have the regeneration gland to provide sweet, sweet healing in the event I need it and I have my Diamond carapace to provide the hard outer shell.

The Bone Plating right is basically a reinforcing layer underneath the carapace, supporting it and making it more difficult to break through. I don't mind if the plating serves as a double role. Reinforcing the outer shell and helping to repair it at the same time…

Let's see if I can find something along those lines…

Bingo!

[Regenerative Inner Carapace plating, helps to regenerate damage done to the carapace in addition to improving its defensive properties].

Nice!

With this my shell is capable of healing itself even more than before! Muahahahaha! All I need now is to bolster my defence against magical attacks in some way. I need to start investigating and training my skills…

[Would you like to confirm these choices?]

Yep!

.....

FFFFFFTAGN!

All over the inside my carapace! Nooooooooooo!

…..

Uhg that's horrible. Now for skills.

For the first time in ages I bring up the skills menu and start pouring through it carefully, looking for options that might help me out in the current situation.

I saw one skill in Tiny's list that I thought looked helpful so I go straight to confirming what that might be.

[Stamina, reduces the cost of actions or skills that drain physical endurance. The amount of reduction increases with skill level].

Hot damn! That is handy. Consider it bought!

Ok what else is there….

I check through the pet-related skills again to see if there is something I really want. Increasing growth speed doesn't really appeal, being able to view status….

Well if I think about it in terms of what the skills will turn into when advanced, rather than what they are currently, how does that change my thinking?

Growth speed could become… levelling speed? Increase in xp or biomass gained? That could be really handy…

Viewing status would become… changing status? Being able to spend skill and Biomass points?

The second one still doesn't interest me but the first one could become useful. It's worth spending a point on. Purchased!

The joy of spending points and growing stronger is filling me! Or is just the knowledge being dumped into my brain space?

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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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