All work and no play makes Anthony, something, something.
Things have been way too busy! I need some rest!
Not to mention they're only going to get more busy from this point… I need to help the humans out a little, get them up and running so they can look after themselves, especially now it looks like there will be more attacks from those damnable crocodiles, over the surface this time. I need to train up my own skills and fill myself with Biomass to get to the point where I'm ready to evolve. Not to mention I need to prepare for my evolution and decide what to do with the rare core. Not to mention, all of this has to be taken care of before the next generation of workers arrives!
Almost makes me feel as if I wasted my time evicting the stupid Croca beasts from the expanse below, but I know that isn't true. If we had to worry about attacks across the surface as well as from underneath, I'd be too stressed to let the workers out to hunt.
So it's not all doom and gloom.
I've got a heap of Biomass to spend, I've got some skills that I can advance, and I'm sure the same is true for Crinis and Tiny. Vibrant is going to be super upset about missing the battle. All the action and food she missed out on? That's gonna sting.
Thinking of Vibrant, she's been unusually responsible and active around the colony since we got back. I might want to ask about that.
For now though, SLEEP.
With Tiny and Crinis in tow, I depart from the scene of the battle where the workers are still picking over the last scraps of Biomass, cutting it up and carrying it in their jaws back to the anthill. I spent some time helping out, as well as snacking, which earned me another ten Biomass. Even Tiny and Crinis were helping. Tiny can carry an awful lot and Crinis is exceptional at… separating the food into … more manageable sizes. I'll phrase it like that.
Hopefully none of the villagers were watching or they might have been put off their lunch.
Down we go, into the massive mound of earth that is our home, through the Queens chamber and into our own little nook at the very bottom of the colony. Underground where the mana is still strong enough to sustain us.
Crinis descends into the chamber as a mass of ink black tentacles that quickly withdraw until she appears as a tennis ball sitting atop a single stalk. Tiny just slumps into a corner, throwing himself onto the floor and I swear he was snoring before he hit the ground.
For my part, I find a comfy spot between them and grow very still, letting my thoughts slow until they too become frozen in place and my awareness stretches out to nothing…
Snapping awake, the energy returns and my mind(s) snap into alertness with a suddenness that causes me to stumble slightly as my legs can't quite keep up. Whoa!
"Senior! What happened when I was out!" Vibrant loudly exclaims.
Turning rapidly, I see Vibrant has taken up a position on the wall near the entrance to our chamber. She probably noticed me awake and immediately asked what was on her mind.
I decide to play dumb.
"What do you mean? I don't remember anything interesting happening…"
"What, what?! The entire colony stinks of Biomass and the workforce is so fat they can barely move! Somethiiiiiiiiiing must have happened!"
So full of curiosity is she that she's practically vibrating in place, her legs scritching and scrabbling against the wall so quickly she may as well be dancing.
"Okay" I relent, "there was another mass monster attack but across the surface this time. We fought them off and the humans helped… a little."
"Whaaaaaaaaat?!" she cries, appalled.
Heheheheh. I knew this would bug her.
"Huge battle it was. Massive. Why, the horizon was filled enemies, from left to right, nothing but monsters, come to challenge the colony. The workers were heroic, standing tall as any ant has ever stood, why, each worker must have accounted for thirty monsters at least!"
"No way, no waaay!"
Unable to take my expansive boasting she leaps off the wall and starts slapping me with her antennae, thwack, thwick, thwack!
"All right! Enough already!" I fend her off with my own antennae and for a moment it feels like two ten year olds have a slap fight until she finally gives up.
She sighs, deeply.
"If I'd stayed here instead of helping with hunting I would have got waaaaay more food."
Which reminds me.
"Why did you decide to help out with the hunting. Usually you just stick around here but you actually went and helped out on your own."
Vibrant thinks for a moment, her antennae drawing lazy circles in the air.
"Don't know!" she exclaims, "I just felt like the colony needed more food and the rest of the workers needed help!"
Fair enough. Perhaps this is her advanced intelligence coming into play? Perhaps it's something else. There is a different sort of air around her now that wasn't present immediately after she evolved. She seems a little more… grounded… and the workers seem to follow along with whatever she's doing.
Even now there are two workers sticking their heads in here just to check up on what she's doing! What's going on up there guys?!
Maybe later I'll have to check in on her core and see if something is up in her status. Speaking of which, I've got points to spend!
"The battle is over now and the food has been distributed, but there might be a bit still left up there if you want to go eat or help out."
She's immediately excited.
Aaaand she's gone. Motoring up the wall and out of the chamber, her followers racing along behind.
First thing is to upgrade the skills that need it.
[Ripping Bite -> shredding bite. Grants the user familiarity and knowledge to more effectively use bite type attacks to tear and break apart their foes.]
[Mana Miser -> Mana Scrooge. Increases the ability of the user to use mana more stringently, reducing waste whilst retaining effect.]
[Advanced Exo-Skeleton Defence -> Expert Exo-Skeleton Defence. Grants high level expertise in using an external skeleton in a way to maximise defensive properties. Greatly increases the ability to disperse energy from hard strikes.]
[Mana Sensing -> Empowered Mana Sensing. Grants greater expertise in reaching further with mental senses, searching for mana patters and concentration. Increases the sensitivity of the sense, allowing for more accurate readings of smaller stimuli.]
The warm rush of new knowledge melts over my mind. It never gets old, feeling a rush of information just unfold in my mind is incredible. If I could learn this quickly as a human it would have handy to say the least. I might not have dropped out of school! Well… I probably still would have… who cares!
I've got Biomass to spend, baby!