To battle against so many is a difficult thing to. Constantly on the move, even within such a tight space, I work my mandibles furiously. Chomp, chomp, chomp! Occasionally I mix in a Void Chomp to clear away space, each devastating bite is enough to disintegrate a dozen termites at once, more if they pack close enough.
If I could commit and go closer, I might defeat a hundred with a single chomp, but I would risk being surrounded and overwhelmed. I'm not willing to bury myself under an infinite number of termites like Sarah is, I need to keep hitting and running.
Speaking of the Asura Bear, I can still hear her roar. It builds and builds, even though she's literally covered in monsters. Not sure who I feel sorry for, I have no doubt she's getting torn up in there, but all that does is make her more mad. The crunch of her jaws when bites and the slash of her claws when she swipes give me shivers. No matter how thick the termite swarm around her is, the sounds just keep coming.
Every time I think I thib nk I have good grasp on just how strong she is, I realise I've underestimated her.
Just how much physical strength does she have?! It's insane! The sheer weight bearing down on her is beyond counting, yet she's still fighting in there like nothing is happening? Hello? Sarah? Can you help me make sense of that for a minute?! I know it has something to do with her "Rage Engine" or whatever the hell organ turns on her berserk mode.
Despite how impressive it is, I keep in mind that she's also taking damage. The longer this goes on, the more she's going to get hurt and the closer she'll come to death. I knew this would be a dangerous, all or nothing type of gamble, but it was never my intention to put Sarah into the deep end. I'd hoped to be the only one who had to do that.
I should have known that she was too brave to back out when the chance arose. Once the chips were down, she threw herself in at the first opportunity. With Tiny fighting on that side with her, she should be able to hold on for a while.
The giant ape is in his element in this moment. His feet flutter from step to step, his powerful wings beating in rhythm as he floats from place to place. If I focus only on his legs, I would think he was performing an elegant, graceful dance. Those giant fury feet shift and turn so smoothly I could almost be convinced he choreographed the whole thing in advance.
Yet when I took in the full picture, when I looked at his hands, I knew this was no slow ballad. Tiny's hands moved so fast I couldn't see them, only the blur they left behind. Over and over again the giant fists of light slammed into the wall of termites, slowing its progress and almost driving it back. He won't be able to keep that insane level of output for too long though. Tiny has incredible stamina generation, which he needs to throw out the barrages of punches that he does, but even so there's a limit.
I'll need to take action before things to get that point
[I'm going to get cracking on a new spell. Try to buy me a little time!]
The others redouble their efforts as I begin to focus within myself once more, turning over control of my body to the sub-brains. The main mind dips down into the well of power that still remains largely untapped during this extended battle: the gravity mana gland. I used it for a domain a while back, but that's far from enough to drain this thing. I gave it several mutations upgrading the capacity and it holds a bum load of mana. My core might still be low on energy, but I still have this reserve to make use of.
My brains are still largely fried though, the extended period of concentration and effort required to weave those spells was migraine inducing. Of all my brains, only the main one is in any state to cast. So as I reach within and summon up the dark purple mana, I know that I'm going to be running solo on this one.
My body continues to duck, weave and fight as other brains pick up the slack, which is an odd sensation to say the least, but it’s a comfort. If I sat still I'd be dead pretty damn quickly in this scenario.
There's only a limited number of things I can do with the gravity mana, without the specific spell constructs gained from the dedicated skill. Most of those won't be useful right now, so I have no choice but to weave the only thing that will have an impact. Time for the gravity bomb.
Now, is that dangerous? May do more harm than good? Absolutely! But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that I don't have to dump all of my mana into a single gravity bomb. I was able to cast a much weaker version of the spell immediately after I gained the gland after all. My mental powers and mana handling skills have grown in leaps and bounds since then. If I want to fire off a mini-bomb, I should be more than capable!
Under the potent guidance of my main mind, the mana leaps to my command, compressing and twisting in on itself as I begin to condense it over and over again. It doesn't take long for the ball of mana to coalesce into the sphere that I now recognise as the weakest form of the gravity bomb. I pump a little more into it before I tie off the spell and prepare to launch it.
[Crinis! Invidia! Prepare for a blast!]
My two pets begin to retreat from that front and after a beat I let the bomb fly.
It howls into existence, but in a much reduced form to what I've become used to. The sphere is so much smaller, its intimidating aura so much weaker, but it's good enough for the job at hand. The bomb impacts against the leading termites and enlarges into the swirling mass of death that I've come to know and love… and fear.
The termites are obviously less than happy with this development. Many of them are pulled into the black sphere, but the power of the bomb isn't enough to crush them instantly. These monsters are much tougher than the centipedes who were the first victim of the gravity bomb, after all. Despite the bomb, the termites are still able to push forward, creeping around the edges and hugging the walls to avoid the pull.
That's fine. The second one is almost ready to go.