By repeatedly firing smaller, more manageable gravity bombs I've been able to lock down one side of the assault so everyone else could concentrate on the other. Digging Sarah out is becoming a higher and higher priority at this point. Her roar, even buried under termites, is deafening. She must be causing absolute mayhem in there, but she can't last forever.
Unfortunately, enough time has passed for the enemy to burrow their way to our current position, so once again we are coming under fire from all directions. When they pop up directly beneath, above and in front of me, it becomes impossible to keep them away with the bombs. The chances of drawing myself in and getting damaged by my own spell are way too high in that scenario. Reluctantly, I'm forced to stop casting them.
The exercise has been incredibly valuable as a learning experience, however.
I've been blasting out gravity bombs at full strength, holding it back to unleash it only in the final moments as an all or nothing strike. It's been my trump card against my strongest foes and for that reason I've been reluctant to spend my gravity mana, wanting to hold it back to pump into the mega-bombs I used against the termite nest or against Grokus.
The potential of multiple smaller bombs has been completely lost for all this time, but now I realise the incredible utility. With my current reservoir of gravity mana, I can probably cast as many as twenty bombs the same size as the first one I threw at the centipede nest. If I can master the ability to develop them rapidly and throw them out in controlled ways, it'll be super useful!
Gravity mana, roaring back into usefulness even before I get the specific skill! I knew I wasn't wrong to place my faith in it.
Even so, we are in trouble here now. With the enemy pouring in, we have no choice but to huddle up and fight them in as dense a formation as we can. At the same time, we try to tunnel our way to Sarah, literally drilling into a seething wall of termites.
It's not easy!
Surrounded on all sides, we fight desperately to hold our ground and prevent the never ending waves of termites from overwhelming us. We are soon nearly buried under the Biomass left behind by the defeated foes and we shovel in food when we get a second of time but there's no way we can keep up with it all. Crinis manages to pack away a stupid amount of food into her three maws, but even then there's just too much.
If only she could rapidly convert that Biomass into more flesh, that might be an idea for her next evolution. Getting whittled down over long battles is one of her key weaknesses, but that could be overcome so long as she has access to food if she could make that conversion quickly. As it is, it'll take several hours for that food to replenish her store of shadow flesh.
In this sort of battle, Crinis is at her best. She's unleashed as many limbs as possible in order to annihilate the termites quickly, and it's working to a degree. Thousands of tentacles are out there, each one wriggling and writhing as it seeks to grip a termite and render it to pieces, but this strategy isn't without drawbacks. She can't accurately control so many at once, despite the mutations and organs that expand her control. With everything that she's poured into it, Crinis can probably utilise up to a hundred tentacles at once, which is insane when you think about it. I only have six limbs and I still get them tangled on occasion.
With a thousand tentacles thrashing around, many of them are operating on complete auto pilot, which is far from useless, but massively inefficient. Although these 'mindless' tentacles are still doing damage, they are also being destroyed far faster than the limbs that she can manipulate at will. In short, Crinis' offensive capacity is rapidly getting thinned.
Tiny on the other hand, just keeps on punching. I know his stamina is flagging and he'll have to stop being so liberal with his heavy punches, but for now he is going all out. I'm honestly impressed he's been able to keep going for this long! The number of termites he's defeated must be close to my own total, which I didn't expect. The increase in his skills has really pushed him up to another echelon.
[Good work Tiny! Keep hitting right to the end! It shouldn't be long before we get relieved!]
I sure hope it isn't long before we get relieved. The sooner the better! I didn't expect it would be this hard to hold off the termites, another lapse in judgement. I'm confident that the Colony are rolling up the enemy like a Persian rug right now, but if they don't do it fast enough…
[The moment you get it charged up, you need to unleash your laser again, Invidia. Try to take as many out as you can.]
[I sssssshall havessss them alll!]
[I mean, if you can, great. Have at it.]
I shift the focus of my mind elsewhere.
[Sarah? Can you hear me? How are you?]
I try to reach out and touch her mind but all I get back is a wall of pain and rage. She's in full berserk mode right now. Judging by the sounds I'm hearing, she has become a literal termite threshing machine in there, but I don’t know how much longer she's going to last.
[Guys, we need to get Sarah and we need to do it right now. I'm going to burn my stamina to punch a hole in the enemy, get ready to follow up.]
The others acknowledge my words and I waste no time. Diving forward, I lock my chompers back before unleashing my most potent, stamina annihilating combo!
VOID CHOMP! VOID CHOMP! VOID CHOMP!
Three massive bites in rapid succession rip a huge gap into the wall of termites, vaporising a large portion in front of us and we dive into the gap. My stamina has plummeted after that, but there's nothing for it, we need to go all out before Sarah's situation becomes more dangerous. Surrounded on all sides by termites, we prepare to unleash hell before they can collapse on us, but I'm distracted by a faint sense of something I didn't expect on the edges of my range.
Is that, bruan'chii?