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A note from Buller

Okay... you guys can now read 25+ chapters ahead on the patreon. Spent a lot of time making that possible. Count will likely grow to 50ish within a month or two.

Enjoy!

What were Giant Ants? Breaking it down into the two words attached to the creature, the first was of course a description of its size. It was quite large, after all, bordering on massive when compared to the Core. And when sat next to other Ants, the entity doubted that it would be much different, the sizes of the creatures so large that it was hard to truly fathom without anything to compare it to.

 

But there was, of course, also the other part of their name. the ‘Ant’ part. What was an ant to begin with? It was an insect, of course. That much had been obvious from the start. But… what was the most important aspect of these creatures? What set them apart from all the others? To answer such a question, the Core needed to look at their stats.

 

Character Screen

Name:

-

Gender:

Male

Level:

1

Class:

-

Race:

Giant-Ant

Title:

Dungeon-Born

Health:

105/130

H-Regen:

0.12/sec

Mana:

-/-

M-Regen:

0/sec

Stamina:

160/160

S-Regen:

0.15/sec

Cost:

90 MP

Basic Stats

Strength:

18

Wisdom:

5

Vitality:

12

Intelligence:

5

Dex:

15

Willpower:

5

 

The one that had been scanned had been previously damaged, but that wasn't important to the current questions. What was important were the basic stats that could be seen on the lower part of the character screen. It took no genius to figure out the common element between it all. One side of the stats was much higher than the other part.

 

Every mental stat was only five, half of what the Core had originally started out with. While it might still have allowed the creature to move around and react, it certainly did not allow for much creative and analytical thought. It responded to stimuli sent its way and not much else.

 

That reaction to stimuli was the part that needed to be focused on. It was strong, fast, and could take several hits before going on, but it was never smart enough to fully utilise these strengths itself. It was never clever enough to know what to do by itself. That’s where the reactions came in. It was made to take orders, to be a part of a larger group.

 

The Core had wondered why there was so little trouble for ordering the creatures around. The answer was obvious now, the ants having been prepared for the act since the moment the species were created as a whole. They were expendable, meant to take orders from one and act them out. It was precisely what the Core was doing to them.

 

And it was also what had been done to the creature that had been killed previously. It had been ordered around, not by the influence of Mana that could control it fully but by the antenna on the top of their heads. It was an unusual organ that the entity had wondered about when creating the ants from the ground up. Why was such a thing needed when the only thing it seemed to do was move around randomly? It didn't help them move faster and nor did it improve much in the mental department.

 

It was only when it was looked at with the perspective of the ant already being a slave of a whole that it made sense. The antenna might not have been the greatest for enhancing the physical abilities or the mental capacities of the creature but it more than just allowed for the communication through pheromones. While it was lacklustre what it could do, the ability to take in and deduct orders from other scents was incredible. If the Core hadn't thought it was still impossible to do, it might just have thought that the species had been made outright to take orders as perfectly as possible.

 

Now, this also led to there being another type of ant in the middle of things. One could not counterbalance [Strength] without having something filled with [Wisdom]. Somewhere close, there lay a creature that was smart, able to command the group of ants with no trouble at all.

 

Because there was a group of ants. A large group of ants. It was the only possibility, the set-up witnessed from the bodies being wholly impractical with only a few ants. They were meant to be spent and sacrificed should the need call for it. To survive during such a time, one needed to be ready with a hundred other ants to take the original place.

 

A hundred ants… so many that it was hard to fathom. The Core could hardly have a single Ant roaming around where it could see it, and now it needed to accept that it could have to witness a hundred doing the same? And of those hundred, there were likely many that would be attracted to the scent of Mana, able to ignore the falling of rocks, and able to go in for the kill, crunching down on the Core with the bite that was powerful enough to destroy it in one fell swoop. It almost made the Core happy that it had invested so much more into [Vitality], the stat helping it feel a small bit safer.

 

But there were still many things to worry about. These ants. They had to be close, after all. One ant had strayed into where the Core had been, inside the empty space it resided inside, newly created for all near to see for themselves. Maybe the shaking of the rocks had drawn them near. The Core had no way to know. It just knew that it needed to worry more than it already had.

 

If it truly had been very close, and if there truly were so many ants, there would have been over one that found the place the Core hid away. It was more likely that, while close enough to be wary, the entity still had time before a larger group would create a trail for others to follow.

 

In that time, it needed to figure a few things out. First off was the assessment of damages. With the previous experiment already having shown off that the creatures under the Core held allegiance when moved away from the influence of the entity, there was another question to ask. One that would take some time to answer.

 

How would it become safe from the ants so close by? It needed to become able to survive over one ant attacking, but there wasn't much it could do for now. Honestly, it was working against a superior force where only a hundredth of it could be able to kill it with ease. There wasn't many things it could do without it being superficial.

 

If the Core was found, it faced certain doom. That was a fact that couldn't be changed at the current moment. There was nothing it could do. Nothing that would bolster its life, nothing that would make the ants that it already had at its disposal more powerful.

 

 

But what if it had more of them? What if the Core just tried to fight a horde with a horde of its own? Would that work? The [Giant-Ant] that had come back had clearly fought another one yet had successfully returned back inside. It must have meant something that the Core had created the creature, right?

 

Wrong. Very wrong. The entity had simply not given out sufficient time for the event to proceed as it was meant to. After the first couple of steps into the sight of the Core, another pair of legs emerged from behind. And then two more followed as well. Another [Giant-Ant] had followed, and it was clearly ready to attack again, the mandibles on it being opened up and ready to crunch through whatever was in front of it.

 

That wasn't good. That was not good at all. ‘Go help him!’ the Core instantly ordered the other ant that had stood by the entity's side the entire time, not wanting to trust in a one versus one duel when the creature meant to win had already been damaged.

 

How had the [Dungeon-Born] not damaged the wild ant back? The entity wondered at such in the brief moments before the blunt realisation came in. It had personally ordered the creature to return back no matter what. It had been forced to ignore all damage in favour of simply completing the task set for it. A weakness in the order system had been found. One that needed to be mended quick.

 

But not in the current movement. Too much was already on the Core’s place, as it desperately tried to form stone above the wild ants head. But, with the constant moving around, it grew near impossible to aim it right, the actions doing nothing but creating larger amounts of noise while also depleting the Core’s own Mana. It grew to the point where it could only sit and watch.

 

The damaged [Dungeon-Born] wasn't fast by any means, but the running start it had gotten from the start was allowing it to have some distance from the wild ant desperately chasing it down. Yet with a damaged leg and an unbalanced body, it grew harder and harder to keep pace, no matter how much orders forced the ant to keep moving. At some point, the wild insect came close enough to take the other back leg, effectively stopping any movement at all. It couldn't run, it could barely crawl, and it was just about as frail as a creature could be. Other than mandibles that weren't in the right position, nothing could be done about the wild ant that instantly started to chow down on the ant's flesh from behind, ignoring the harder plating that served as the last defence. The strength was too high for the defence in place. A weakness was found when the fellow brethren decided to attack. Or perhaps that was intentional to make sure the individual was kept in line by the group around it.

 

Whatever the reason was, the damaged [Dungeon-Born] tried to fight back at that point, the Core allowing it to do so. With its four remaining legs, it kicked around as much as it could, trying to turn around and bite. But while the movement stopped the attacks at some level, it wasn't close to allowing for a counter-attack.

 

At least not by the damaged ant, the second defender of the Core having finally arrived. And with it came the damage that was so sorely needed. The wild ant had the problem of extreme focus, never truly realising that the other ant who was born in a dungeon had gotten its mandibles around its throat. And, with one of the hardest forces shown off with the Core in the vicinity, the throat was crunched, head falling to a stop a meter or two away.

 

The wild [Giant-Ant] fell to the floor, dead on the spot. It seemed even the stronger creatures in the world couldn't survive without a mind to think with. The Core could understand that, weirdly. Thought was the sign of sentience. Without it, they were as important as the stone that hung above.

 

But… something came along. Something that the Core hadn't expected.

 

Congratulations!

You have leveled up and reached level [2] You have been granted [1] attribute point.

 

The Core, for the first time in its life, had reached another level. It wasn't entirely sure what this meant or what it did, yet was happy regardless. The attribute point would not be wasted this time around, even if the [Vitality] it had been spent on earlier on had been worth it in some ways.

 

Looking back onto the sight of the combat, the entity saw the [Dungeon-Born] [Giant-Ant] lying on the ground, trying to stand up with only the front four legs. With the body being too unbalanced, it wasn't possible at the current moment to do. How much health did it have left at this point? The Core was thinking about just killing it and taking the Mana spent on it back at that point.

 

Character Screen

Name:

-

Gender:

Male

Level:

1

Class:

-

Race:

Giant-Ant

Title:

Dungeon-Born

Health:

45/130

H-Regen:

0.12/sec

Mana:

-/-

M-Regen:

0/sec

Stamina:

160/160

S-Regen:

0.15/sec

Cost:

90 MP

Basic Stats

Strength:

18

Wisdom:

5

Vitality:

12

Intelligence:

5

Dex:

15

Willpower:

5

 

Yes… the health was rather low, and the Core wasn't enjoying the act of it flailing around on the ground. The entity nearly did just mercy-kill the creature until it realised that the health was improving. The forty-five went to forty-six right in front of its eyes. While it made no sense, entire limbs having been cut off, the insect was apparently healing itself.

 

To what end was this regeneration? How much could the creature recuperate by just lying down on the ground without anything else going on? Could it by sheer instinct create the mass needed for the new limbs in the old places? The act itself seemed peculiar at the best and downright illogical at the worst. For all intents and purposes, it shouldn't have been possible.

 

Yet each minute that passed seemed to show just a bit more growth in the lower end of the insect. It was to a point where it was noticeable through sight alone. How astonishing it was to see. The Core, previously filled with the desire to simply get the death over with, decided to leave it alive to see how well it could recover from the blow.

 

Going away from the seemingly not-dying ant, the Core looked back over to the one who had insured the entity’s survival. The other [Dungeon-Born] and the first that had been created, to begin with. It stood proud and tall, just as it always did, yet such traits shined through more than they usually did.

 

Suspiciously more than they usually did. The Ant seemed to stand a bit grander than it was supposed to. Had it… had it gained weight since last time the Core had checked? Not that it had ever checked before, to begin with, yet the mass distribution wasn't exactly the same as what it had been before. There was no chance that mass had been consumed, so there were only a few parts that had a chance of being the cause. And the Core was going to check the first one that very instead, throwing an [Appraisal] its way without a second thought.

 

Character Screen

Name:

-

Gender:

Male

Level:

2

Class:

-

Race:

Giant-Ant

Title:

Dungeon-Born

Health:

140/140

H-Regen:

0.12/sec

Mana:

-/-

M-Regen:

0/sec

Stamina:

160/160

S-Regen:

0.15/sec

Cost:

90 MP

Basic Stats

Strength:

18

Wisdom:

5

Vitality:

13

Intelligence:

5

Dex:

15

Willpower:

5

 

It had also gained a level?

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A note from Buller

Hope you enjoyed it!

This spoiler is brought to you by that one guy who reminded that me that I forgot to make one.

 


Support "The Ancient Core: A Progression Fantasy"

About the author

Buller

Bio: Is the prominent holder of duck-pictures. Also a Gallophobe

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Comments(20)
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Daoist Enigma ago

This is the fastest updating slow novel I've ever read.

Monus ago

Edit suggestions:

12

For the second to last screen thingy. Shouldn't the level be 2 there as well

Calavente ago

thanks !

the interesting question will then be :

is the experience shared between killer monster and DM... equally or not ?

Shadow of Marethyu ago

And thus the first level up!

Wonder if thatant was a different species or if it's all just giant ants....

Lunatic eyes ago

isn't it quite a leap of logic to instantly think there are hundereds of ants?

also thanks for the chapter

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