As I contemplate my next move, the situation in front of me is rapidly changing. Although it is not entirely clear who eventually wins. Even though the battle is taking place just a few meters away from me, because of my rather weak vision, it is not so easy to follow what is happening! At the end, when the beetle was attacked by so many plant counterparts “ "untangling" this hot lump became a challenge. But in addition to this, the already narrow view gap is almost half blocked by moss hanging from the ceiling!
With the utmost caution, I shifted forward a little to have some understanding of what was going on. After all, this area is not too suitable for convenient exploration! Especially when the eyes are fixed so that you have to adjust the viewing angle all the time! Of course, I understand that for a banal "aiming" at the target, this is enough, but for me to go on the attack without preliminary preparation would mean to descend to the level of an ordinary monster plant. I have 40 Mind points, whatever that means!
However, in understanding what was happening, it helped at least that the "brightness " of my colleagues and the overgrown beetle was significantly different. If our opponent was mostly bright red, then all my colleagues were more orange and sometimes even yellow. It seems that this is how we distinguish who is "our " and who is not.
What could be seen for sure was the obvious defeat of the bush electric jigsaw. The giant beetle still managed to defend itself at the last moment and slashed at him with all its strength with its terrible claws. Although, the sacrifice of the Blood-sucking colleague fellow was not in vain. After the collision, the right arm of this armored jock can be considered lost. No matter how strong his limb was, there was almost nothing left of his hand after the collision. A hot stream of blood, gushing out of the wound, clearly indicates this.
However, the bush electric jigsaw got no less. I don't know how these two managed to pull off such a “mutual destruction”, but my plant colleague lost about half of his branches. Also, his main body was almost broken in half by the impact, since after landing he is lying in an obviously broken position. I don't even know if such injuries are considered fatal. Although, judging by the fact that he is still moving, he will live. Probably.
Meanwhile, the beetle does not give up and at the moment takes out another plant monster from the battle. Whirling around, he pulled my toothy colleague's neck to the limit. Then, with his remaining left hand, he cut them down almost without resistance. Having lost its main weapon - toothy mouths - "toothless" immediately switched to the auxiliary-long, but thin vines.
At the same time, another participant in the battle, just specializing in the use of vines, was temporarily lost the ability to attack. With his maneuver, the overgrown beetle not only neutralized the toothy colleague but also threw off the vines that had not managed to get a good foothold. Now, right in front of the giant beetle, the vine monster decided to wrap its vines around the beetle, clearly heading for the latter's neck. But before my plant colleague could carry out his plan, the giant beetle grabbed with his remaining hand of the opponent's limbs. Then, limping on his left legs, which had clearly suffered from bites, he stepped back. Coming almost at point-blank range to my hiding place, the jock beetle was finally able to carry out his plan - to tear out the main body of his opponent from the ground. Without wasting any time, he immediately abruptly pulled the vines towards him, pulling the vulnerable plant body into the area of his attack.
But no sooner had the overgrown beetle swung at the vegetable monster that had lost control of the situation, than another portion of burning acid flew into its back.
Apparently, roaring with rage, the giant beetle only cut the vines that approached the neck and, leaving the injured enemy alone, furiously headed towards the acid sniper.
The acid sniper himself looked pretty pathetic at this time. Having completely used up his ammunition, he looked like an empty sack. His hoses, having lost their "cartridges”, tried to somehow cover the vulnerable main body. With virtually no defensive measures, he was as weak as possible in close combat. However, this is not surprising…
[Disguise increased to Level 2]
Oh, thank you, system! I was so focused on this fight that I almost forgot that I was actually a participant myself! But now is the most favorable moment to attack!
I don't believe that after receiving so much damage, this bug has a lot of HP left. Surely, it is only necessary to press a little, and it will end its existence.
Press? Exactly! My roots are too thin and long to deal any particularly strong damage with a piercing or crushing attack, even though I have the theoretical ability to do so. But the Compression skill is perfect in this situation!
Fortunately, I don't have to crawl up to the beetle. Now that he's so close that it's amazing how I manage to be unnoticed until now, the length of my limbs doesn't matter. Keep ignoring me, infuriated!
The six "front" roots located underground suddenly rose up, coiling around the beetle's legs! Fortunately, he was standing on my right side now. Even though there were no vulnerabilities on the chitinous armor, the main thing was that my main weapon was more or less in safety.
Surprisingly, I managed to pull off such an attack from the first time and even without a single miss! It seems that this body is predisposed to use such methods of combat, so I got the necessary skills to use them “from birth". Or maybe it's the impact of the compression skill... However, it doesn't matter!
The beetle, sensing the sudden attack, tried to cut my roots without even turning around. However, as I assumed, the earlier injury to his arm did not allow him to do this! I certainly felt the impact, but... Without your creepy claws, don't even think you can do anything to me! Is he so stupid that he has already forgotten about his injury, or does he just underestimate me so much?.. But, there is no time to gloat, if I don't hurry, I can repeat the fate of a toothy colleague!
The shell of the giant beetle immediately begins to crack under pressure, which is undoubtedly pleasing. At the same time, I try my best not to let him turn around. But we are in completely different weight categories! I try to pull the captured limbs together as much as possible, while at the same time fixing yourself in the ground with free roots with all your strength! And even with all my strength, I don't think I can hold out for long...
Having almost lost the ability to move his right legs, my opponent tries to turn around using his left legs. At the same time, using his good hand, he attacks the two roots that he could reach. Without sparing its own limb, the overgrown beetle swings its claws right into the leg, partially freeing itself from the shackles.
And this is quite painful! Even, I would say, very painful! And I was hoping that at least in this body I would not feel pain. But, now I can not be distracted, I need to finish what I started as soon as possible!
The remaining four roots, two for each limb, were finally able to break through the giant beetle's tough shell. The root spikes penetrated through the cracks in the armor, digging deep into the vulnerable flesh. But at the same time, holding this muscular carcass has become much more difficult...
Finally, it's time to use my main skill! According to the description, I'll have to do the maximum damage right now! I don't want to feel like a vampire, but unlike some, I don't have a mouth! So, there are not so many options!
Hm... before that, I somehow wondered why my main body is so shaped if, unlike the acid sniper, I have nothing to store inside. After all, my guess was correct! Immediately after activating the Suction, I felt a feeling filling my stomach. But the giant beetle clearly didn't like it!
Finally, turning around enough and noticing my main body behind the dense vegetation, he clearly decided to immediately eliminate the " root” of the problem. Immediately launching an attack with the remaining left hand, the giant beetle clearly did not consider that I was not so defenseless! By tilting the main body to follow its movements, I take all possible defensive measures!
With incredible dexterity, I wrapped my free roots around his arm and managed to make the beetle miss slightly at the last moment. The sharp claws only pierced the upper part of my main body... sensations... absolutely indescribable! Although, the pain is still probably somewhat weaker than if I were a human... This, of course, veryyy painful, but still, not fatal! I have almost no vulnerable organs! Haa...
I need to focus! Now that the enemy's main weapon is literally in my hands, victory is almost guaranteed!
Shuddering with convulsions, the giant beetle tries to free it is last more or less intact limb from my grasping hands! Of course, I can't let him do that, so I keep those formidable claws right in my body. I'd rather have one wound than two! So, in turn, I again achieve the appearance of cracks in the enemy's armor, and immediately activate the Suction!
[One Biomass was obtained]
[A new source of Biomass has been consumed: The Hatchling Beetle Bully]
[Unlocked Base profile: The Hatchling Beetle Bully]
[Compression increased to level 2]
Wow! Great! That's the reward for... risk! And it doesn't matter that I just collect all the cream for myself! As they say, he who works, eats! Moreover, I certainly made a considerable contribution to the victory! Certainly not less...
...Why did my roots suddenly stretch out? And why did my angle of view suddenly shift significantly?.. Really?! No-no-no, wait!!!
From the crushing impact on the rather hard floor of the cave, I almost stopped my attacks. It feels like the four posterior roots are almost out of action! How tenacious is this bastard?! How could he be so strong in this condition?!
Bracing myself with difficulty and clenching my nonexistent teeth, I tighten my grip, hoping to break my opponent's still very dangerous arm! I certainly can't survive another concussion like this!
I could feel myself being lifted off the ground again, but fortunately, I was immediately brought back. Really?..
[You have slain a Hatchling Beetle Bully, Level 4]
[You have gained experience]
[You have reached level 2. Gained one skill point]
Finally! Really? Really?! And this creature is also a cub?.. The five of us barely managed it! What kind of injustice?! Yes, we are clearly one of those creatures that mainly hunt in a "team", but our personal strong should not be so low!
...I feel so bad. Two of the roots were cut in half, and four more were almost crushed... There's a through-hole in the main body... I was almost about to be split open like a watermelon!
Aah! I'll have time to whine later!
Without wasting time, I pull out the claws of the defeated opponent. I must say, this is not so easy! And it really hurts! I even lost another HP in the process!
But, there is no time for complaints, I need to have time to drink the hard-won blood. I already know, thanks to my Sense of Vibration, that the "gulls" are starting to come here from all over the neighborhood! "Give it to me! Give it to me!" "Main! Mine!"
[One Biomass was obtained]
Oh… I'm almost full. I have to admit, I was lucky that the through punch didn't go through my stomach... It would be as stupid as possible to not be able to eat what I deserve!
Come on! Just a little more! Yes, it feels like it is clearly too much, but wood is a quite elastic material. Stretch, stomach! I hope that the place of the "split" will not crack from this...
[One Biomass was obtained]
Phew… I'm crawling away, guys, it's yours. I still can't handle this carcass alone.
If you look at it that way, we got off pretty easy. Even those plant monsters that were almost on the verge of destruction are already devouring the remains of the giant beetle with might and main.
"Toothless”, with a really sad look, plunged several vines into the beetle's carcass. It seems that his auxiliary weapons also have Suction, in case of "emergencies". Heh-heh. Don't worry, my friend, it will grow back! Probably…
The bush electric jigsaw, having barely managed to crawl to our prey, begins to chop the leg of the Beetle Bully. Then, sticking short vines in the places of the cuts, he proceeds to his meal. We really are all of us... vampires.
The vine specialized plant monster also devoured the beetle through Suction. Although, given the number of his limbs, he can handle it at least as well as I can! And this is even though he lost at least half of it in the battle... I even felt a little sorry for "toothless", with its "budget" option.
The Acid Sniper, moving using small, stubby roots, slowly joined the feast. Even a little curious, where is this guy's stomach? And again, like everyone else, he drinks the remains of the enemy... Its upper part is thoroughly inflated, almost exceeding the size of the tank with acid. Interesting location… Although should I say that?..
Phew, after all, we all deserve a rest! After finishing the meal, my colleagues dispersed to their seats. Still, I wonder how intelligent they are? For creatures that probably don't even have a brain, they behave more than adequately. It doesn't matter, though. I'll have time to think about it later. Now I have something to do without these philosophical reflections!
Biomass! And not even one, but three! That's what I understand, an achievement! A mental thank you to all the participants of the battle! Although most likely, I absorbed most of the loot, but these are small things…
So, what is the description of the use of Biomass?
[The biomass can be used to acquire mutations aimed at improving and then modifying parts of your physical form]
It makes sense. And what are the options?
[Body improvements available to purchase:
Bark +1: Strengthen the bark to increase resistance to physical damage.
Roots +1: Strengthen, lengthen, and thicken the roots.
Root Spikes +1: Strengthen and sharpen root spikes to increase their strength, penetration, and suction efficiency.
Thermal Radars +1: improved vision]
Hmm, not enough… I expected more. However, perhaps this is even better. As the saying goes, it is not the one who has learned a thousand different strikes that is strong, but the one who has practiced one strike a thousand times!
Even so, it's pretty hard to tell what I need most at the moment. If so, it is worth going by the method of exclusion. The bark gets excluded immediatelysince one improvement will not play a big role for sure. My species is clearly not particularly strong. The hole in the hull is a clear confirmation of this... Root Spikes are a pretty good option, but I can't say that they urgently need improvement. So far, I am quite satisfied with their current sharpness and speed of absorption. With the roots, perhaps, the same situation. Moreover, the combat power can be increased thanks to skills, but the vision… At the moment, certainly not.
Hmm, now it's worth finding out how much Biomass one upgrade costs and whether the price will increase over time. Improve the Thermal Radars!
[Do you want to upgrade your Thermal Radars to Thermal Radars +1? Price of 1 Biomass]
Yes, I confirm it!
The number of Biomass in my status immediately changed to "2". And a few seconds later, I felt a strong numbness in the area of my "eyes". It's a very strange feeling… It was as if I had completely stopped feeling everything in that part of my body except the numbness. I wonder what the changes look like from the outside?
After a few minutes, the numbness stopped. But, my angle of view has expanded slightly! And its quality has improved. I must admit, getting improvements is very effective. Although normal human vision is still very far away, and it is unlikely that it will appear at all, but I am sure it is possible to make the perception comfortable.
Now it is still worth checking the local prices. Improve the Thermal Radars!
[Do you want to upgrade the Thermal Radars +1 to Thermal Radars +2? Price of 2 Biomass]
Hmm, it turns out that either each mutation has become one unit more expensive, or only more developed. Cancel. Improve Root Spikes!
[Do you want to upgrade your Root Spikes to Root Spikes +1? Price of 1 Biomass]
Great, the price increases only for the improved mutation. Now the good question is, for how many? Either by one unit, or twice as. Unfortunately, I won't be able to check it right now.
Hmm, perhaps I should still increase your combat power a little. If another Beetle Bully level creature arrives here, the increase in strength will not be superfluous. And since the price of mutations is gradually increasing, it will be logical to make improvements gradually.
Improve Root Spikes and Roots!
[Do you want to upgrade your Root Spikes and Roots to Root Spikes +1 and Roots +1? Price of 2 Biomass]
I confirm it!
The biomass meter immediately dropped to zero. And again the feeling of numbness! With eyes that are completely still, it was impossible to test this, but can I move while improving my limbs? Moving the roots, I was convinced that yes. Also, if you look closely, my roots are slowly but surely growing.
I don't feel much stronger, but the visual difference is still there, so I just have to wait for the fight. Which I hope will happen as late as possible. After all, I still haven't managed to recover even half of the HP. The difficulty is too high for the first "boss"! Although, if not for the help of the “allies", against this bulldozer I would have no chance at all… Well, at least, the health is gradually restored. If any special “healing spells " were needed to heal us, we would probably be extinct by now.
Hm... If you think about it, where did all this vegetation come from in this cave, not to mention predatory plants? And where did that huge bug come from? And is it really huge, or is it just us being small? How many questions somehow require an answer, but there are no special options to find out something. Either to the left or to the right…
Hmm, the bug came from the left. Perhaps there's a whole nest of such creatures out there somewhere? If so, we're in BIG trouble…
Now that I'm more or less comfortable with this body and have time to think about it, the situation is really... ambiguous. If you think about it, there are two options for further action. Either I stay put, surrounded by my allies, and gradually improve, or I go out to explore, expanding my capabilities.
Perhaps, to begin with, it is worth waiting for the restoration of health, and at least try to move normally on the roots. Still, having neither the cerebellum nor the vestibular apparatus, it is most likely very difficult to maintain balance… Moreover, due to the rather limited angle of view, it will be extremely inconvenient to monitor the situation when driving. So, I doubt that it will be possible to leave this place soon. And to go far away from the allies in such a dangerous situation would be too rash...
Ugh, I need to rest... Now that the state of pain shock and "battle rush" has passed, the pain is already noticeably making itself felt. What a busy first day... And why did I just go on the attack? Although, if it wasn't for my help, this giant beetle could have killed all the surrounding blood-sucking plants and ended up going after me anyway. Anyway, what's done is done. But from now on, I will need to control myself better! After all, the constant throbbing pain makes it clear that I have only one life... although the second one. Ha!
Oh, but the carcass of this Beetle Bully is very attention grabbing... Although it will be quite difficult, it is better to crawl away from this place. And at the same time, conduct a reconnaissance... And then I need to finally take a break and really think about what's going on here!
[Species: Small Root of Horror (Blood-sucking)
Skill Points: 1
Skills: Suction (3 level), Compression (2 level), Vibration Sense (2 level), Disguise (2 level)
Mutations: Roots +1, Root Spikes +1, Thermal Radars +1]