I had to give it to Tiny, he'd tried. He'd given it a red hot go. His untameable hunger for battle is well known. I can still remember him as a not yet full sized ape when he threw himself onto a giant rabbit that reeked of the putrid scent of un-death. Even then, his face had been alight with the joy of battle.
I just wish that he'd be better at choosing his battles.
Tiny bellowed his rage at the giant Croca-Commander and smashed his fists into the earth and struck himself on the chest in a fearsome display of physical power. There is no doubt that he has some serious pecs on him. The musculature on this gorilla has always been potent, there has never been any question of that. If only his mental attributes were given a small slice of that pie, I wouldn't have to worry so much.
Confronted by this obvious challenge the Croca-Commander turned its hideous double mouths toward my dim-witted ape pet as it's triple tails writhed through the air behind it. The Croc was a fearsome sight, it's scales glittered in the surface sunlight like hardened gems. Beneath that hard defensive exterior it bristled with physical might, massive shoulders and chest muscles that provided power to the four arms, each of them powerful in their own right and tipped with those razor sharp claws than glinted as they reflected the light.
Atop all of that rested the sickening double mouthed head. One set of jaws rested atop another, each one studded with razor sharp teeth that poked out here and there. A phenomenon that caused the Croca-Commander to appear as if it had two sinister grins at the same time. Smug, in a word.
I hurled my just completed gravity bolts at the commander and turned all of my minds toward assembling a mind mana transformation construct as with all the haste I can muster. If Tiny is going to go in and duke it out with this damned monster then he's going to need all of the help he can get, otherwise I expect roasted gorilla will be on the menu for these remnants.
Mind magic in combat has been something I've been forced to experiment with since I wasn't able to select Gravity Magic affinity after reaching a sufficient level in water magic. In order to make full use of the skill I decided to focus on using it to distract and trick my opponents in battle.
The basic concept is quite simple: use the attributed mana to construct a bridge between your own mind and that of your enemy, then you can craft little 'packages' of sensation or understanding and blast you opponent with them, distracting them, cause them to feel pain that isn't there, hear sounds that aren't real.
Lightning began to crackle around Tiny as he started his charge, electricity writhed over his body inn thick ropes and flickered and shifted constantly. The Croca-Commander watched his approach, a contemptuous gleam in its eye. Unhurried, it opened its lower jaws at a relaxed pace, allowing the black flames to leak and play across its teeth.
Dammit, dammit, dammit! My emotions roiled in the back of my mind but deep within I continued to be locked in the calm of the mediation skill. My three minds operated inn harmony as they weaved and folded the construct into place. Not a beat once missed once it was finished, the very second the final thread of mana was in place, mana was drawn out of my core and fed to the construct, the raw mana emerged out the other end as glimmering mind mana.
Now make a dang bridge! My panic and desperation slid along the outside of my awareness as Tiny continued to charge directly towards his own imminent, crispy doom. It's happening too fast. I don't think I'll be able to make it!
The neck of the Croca-Commander bulged as it lunged forward and unleashed a torrent of black flame toward the charging Tiny. The heat seared the moisture off my eyeballs from fifty metres away, so intense were those flames. When my vision cleared, Tiny was nowhere to be seen. In desperation I tuned every sense to its utmost limits and tried to seek him out. In no direction could I see him, my heat detection was completely frizzled due to the residual energy from that flame blast.
I refuse to accept that he is barbequed!
Even the satisfied look in the Croca-Commanders eyes mocked me. The giant beast turned toward me next, ready to deal out more flammable death.
Then my antennae reported something strange. Their ability to glimpse into the future was giving me a tickling insight of a future event. An impact or tremendous proportions.
I looked up.
And Tiny crashed down.
Holy moly! I knew he had some serious spring in his legs but I had no idea he could get that high! When the flame had been belched out in his direction he must have leaped straight over it, achieved the kind of air time that Jordan could only dream about, before he collapsed down on the Croc like a falling mountain.
The ground quaked as Tiny struck home with an overhead smash. Taken by surprise the Croc could only weather the blow as best as it could, upper body hunched over as its legs buckled, struggling to absorb the impact.
Unwilling to let go of the momentum, Tiny unleashed his fists and lightning in their full glory, his body rotated like a pro to transfer his weight into every strike. Each time his fist contacted Croc scales, electricity danced along his arms and discharged into the beast, scorching it.
Nice! Time for the bridge!
With a deft final few weaves the bridge slammed into place and my mind was connected to that of the foe. One mind immediately dedicated itself to holding the bridge and transformation construct in place whilst the other weaved together our first mental assault against the Croc.
[Get in there Crinis! Whilst Tiny has him distracted!]
Out of the long grass an explosion of tentacles occurred not twenty metres away from the Commander. Crinis had done well to sneak as close as possible, keeping a low profile in order to take advantage of this moment.
Weighed down by my gravitational magic and distracted by Tiny's relentless assault, the Croc wasn't able to react in time to escape the grasping limbs of Crinis and she locked onto the enemy in seconds. Her tentacles latched onto one arm like an iron clamp and that was all it took, in moments more limbs had lashed out and used their leverage to pull her main body toward her victim, where she would begin her dark work.
Then I felt something roll down the Mind Bridge and slam into my awareness like a truck.