Despite being weighed down by several Gravity Bolts, the Croc is still able to step forward, though the left leg drags through the mud. I continue to blast the Croc with my water cannon, until the monster is forced to lift one hand to try and block the spray. I'm not doing any sort of serious damage to it, its thick, water-resistant scales are doing a good job minimising the damage so far. So long as I keep threatening its face however, it can't open its fat mouths and threaten us with its deadly flame.
The moment the Croc tries to break the deadlock, I dash to the side, forcing it to adjust its position to continue blocking my water cannon. I won't give it a chance to shoot! Whilst I'm doing all this, I'm also condensing mana for another spell, keeping my brains on the red line. I won't be able to keep up this level of cognition forever!
I'm also trying to keep the damn monster away from Tiny. Down one foot, the big ape is seriously mad and in the process of trying to prop himself up on one leg and balance on his knuckles. Judging by the look on his face he wants nothing more than to punch the Crocs face in, thankfully my orders are forcing him to stay back for the moment. I've managed to get into a position where he's behind me and off to one side, hopefully not enough of a target for the Croc to prioritise.
Crinis is also still in hiding, waiting for my order to strike. We just need an opportunity.
What the HECK?!
Vibrant, who had been intelligently firing acid from long range, suddenly leaps out of from between two trees behind the giant Croc and charges directly at the beast!
"What the hell are you doing!" I yell.
"Biting!" she cheers.
With the incredible speed of her charge she arrives right behind the slowed left leg of the Croc and brings her mandibles down sharply.
Once! Twice! Thrice! She bites and bites again! Each time her mandibles clamp shut, scales split and tear beneath her assault.
"Get out of there!" I shout.
Vibrant had done well to avoid the tails that curled and thumped the ground behind the monster on her way in but she overstayed her welcome. As if it had eyes in the back of its head, the giant croc twists and swings its tails on different angles, cutting off any means of escape.
The foolhardy soldier and is sent flying, a harsh crack in her carapace.
"Vibrant! Heal yourself!" I shout.
It can't go on like this!
I can feel the emotion and panic battering at the walls of my meditation skill, trying to destroy the calm bubble in which I sit. I need to turn this around, the situation is only getting worse.
Decisively, I throw away the Water Cannon spell, letting it fizzle out and devote my minds to complete my next water magic as fast as possible.
[Advanced Water Magic affinity has reached level 3]
The strength of the monster is evident in how quickly I'm gaining skill levels. For some reason, it doesn't cheer me up.
Finally free of my water cannon harassing its face, the beast grins and opens wide its top jaws, preparing to blast me to ash with its blue flame breath.
Finally complete my spell takes effect as a torrent of mana pours out from me and forms a semi-circle on the ground before my feet.
["Hold on folks! This is going to get rough!"] I shout.
With a roar that would rival any explosion, water bursts out of the ground, completely destroying the earth in front of me and sweeping forward in an unstoppable wave. The marsh turns out to be the perfect place to cast this spell as the murky waters rise together with my spell, building the wave even higher and giving it irresistible momentum. The wave reaches over ten feet high and rolls over the surroundings, dousing flames effortlessly and crashing into the Croc like a sledge hammer before continuing on its path.
Hopefully this doesn't drown the entire expanse…
With one of its legs significantly damaged and weighed down by gravity the Croc is awkwardly driven off balance by the wave and knocked down. The slightest of reprieves! I hastily check my mana levels. Not much left in the tank but it might just do.
I hastily spin together another three Gravity Bolts, one sub brain maintaining my construct, as I check on my crew. Tiny was thankfully behind me so I could angle the spell away from him and Crinis was able to dig in low. I've no idea where Vibrant might have gotten to and that's concerning. I don't know just how injured she was and if she gets carried away by the wave…
I can't think of that now, we have to kill this damn thing.
The frothing waters recede to reveal a drenched Croc still struggling to get to its feet.
That's the leg right there!
POW! POW! POW!
Three more gravity bolts fly, striking home on the wounded leg. I want to everything I can to reduce this monstrous creatures mobility to give me time to work on my next spell.
[Crinis! Tiny! Go in now if you can! Keep it off balance and do everything you can to NOT DIE!]
Part of me is railing and screaming against sending my beloved friends into fight but deep in my mediation I can't feel that emotion clearly. It happens within me, but outside of my thoughts. Inside the bubble of rationality, I know that I need time to prepare a spell that might actually deal decent damage to this beast.
Delighted to finally be set free, Tiny bellows his challenge and starts charging forward relentlessly. So furious is his charge that he doesn't even seem slowed down, his fist pounding into the dirt and sending dirt flying behind him as he builds unstoppable momentum. Even as he charges he continues to do two things, roar at the top of his lungs, and grin.
Crinis, for her part, slithers out of her hiding place, half buried in mud now, and unleashes a forest of tentacles. Using her fellow pet as a homing beacon she moves forward, not with any of Tiny's manic speed but with deadly grace, as her body expands to its full size and her powerful limbs seek out the Croc, slithering through the air like ink black boa constrictors.
Bellowing angrily the Croc thrashes and twists, trying to get back on its feet. Just as seems as if its managed to right itself, Tiny opens his bat fangs wide and unleashes a piercing screech!
MAH EAR HOLES!
The sound drills straight through to my brain but I shake it off quickly. The Croc doesn't seem to be quite so lucky and momentarily freezes just long enough for Tiny to throw himself at the much larger beast and start hammering it with his fists.
The force of those punches sends the Croc smashing into the ground causing the earth beneath my feet to vibrate as if an earthquake had occurred. Before the Croc can fight back, Crinis arrives on the scene and devotes all of her limbs to binding both arms on the right side of the Crocs body before unleashing her barbs and sawing into the limbs. In a rare show of aggression she unfolds her mouth and brings her Void Maw down on the Crocs shoulder, digging deep into the flesh with her fangs.
The Croc is seriously mad now, red eyed and screaming with rage it slashes and writhes with all of its prodigious strength to throw off the combined assault of my pets.
They can't hold for long, I know that.
Within my mind a slightly new construct is taking shape, layering over the top of the water construct and adding to its complexity.
This had better work.