459 Attack on Rylleh pt 7

I swear I sensed something for a moment, those damn flickers that pop up in my Vestibule for a few seconds before they vanish once again. My suspicions are starting to firm on that front, and I'm not happy. There'll be words with the council when this mess is done, but I can't be distracted by these… watchers right now. The Queen and I have been making quite the show of ourselves, mother has knocked down a few more buildings (I didn't imagine she had such a destructive side), but so far nothing has come forward to challenge us as we move deeper into the city. At the pace we're going, the people have managed to stay well ahead of us as they retreat to the walled square in the distance, but I'd expected that someone would come out here and have a crack at us!

WHACK!

Oh! There they are!

From the buildings around us emerge an insultingly small band of warriors and mages, firing arrows that glitter with the light of Skills, waves of sword light and a smattering of elemental spells. All of which peter out against my powerful and attractive diamond carapace.

"Mother! Looks like someone decided to come out and play!"

"This is not a game, child," she huffs, "let eliminate this threat and move on. The sooner we are done with this task, the safer the Colony will be."

"Hard to argue with that."

With my preternatural senses tuned in and my nerves firing, these piffling little blows are nothing to me. I ran along the sides of the buildings and turn my best angles to receive the strikes as I close the distance with a dash. As I loom over my first target, a brawny looking human with a standard looking sword and shield, I almost feel pity for the guy. Still, it's better that he falls by my mandibles than by the Queen's. I've rushed ahead of her but even from here I can hear her jaws gnashing as she charges forward, ready to rend these poor people into more harmless forms. Better that I deal with them before she gets the chance!

My victim-to-be looks up at me with a sneer and brandishes his shield in my face. It explodes with bright light, blinding me completely! With a roar of triumph, another leaps from a nearby roof, mighty hammer aglow with power as he prepares to bring it down on my head. But I… step backwards, causing the powerful blow to land with tremendous force on the cobbled street beneath our feet. Blinding me was a clever move, pitiful humans! But my senses are greater than just my sight! In point of fact, my mana sense and my heat detecting antennae both were able to inform me of the incoming danger in this instance.

I will reward your cleverness by allowing you to sample the finest produce in the entire strata, straight from the source!

POW! POW! POW! POW! POW!

A rapid fire rain of merchandise and justice falls amongst the swarming fighters, causing them to cry out in shock or run for cover. The acid itself burns at their armour and gums up their limbs, restricting their movements even as it burns away at the mage's shields. Gweheheheh. Such a multi-purpose, good for all situations thing my acid is! With my eyes still blinded, I can't work too precisely, so resort to wide sweeps of my mandibles to send my adversaries stumbling as my sub-brains reach out and twist apart the threads of magic that fly my way. Surprisingly, the spells are better crafted than I expected, clearly a few of these chaps and chapettes have worked on their Skills, but after I get my minds on them, what remains of their fireballs, ice spears and wind blades doesn't amount to much.

I should be able to wind this up with minimal injuries if everything keeps going this way!

[HOW DARE YOU ATTACK MY MASTER?!]

Ah.

I'd neglected to take Crinis' feelings into account. Actually, come to think of it, where is Tiny?

"HUUUAAAARRRR!"

BOOM!

There he is. Just as dozens of tentacles explode from my back as Crinis makes her terrifying presence known once more, Tiny and Invidia enter the fray in an explosion of fists and spells. Confronted with such a concentration of high tier monsters, the opponents arrayed before us begin to waver. It's all a little confusing to me, they saw us come in! Didn't they have a plan? Perhaps those flickers have something to do with this situation. At any rate, they don't seem to know what to do in this moment as the four of us run amok amongst them. With Invidia in the fray, his magical prowess almost completely suppresses the local mages and his shields protect Tiny and myself from the worst of the attacks that come our way.

By the time the Queen arrives, we managed to suppress or incapacitate almost all of them. I try to turn my gaze from the fate that awaited those unfortunate saps. The Queen does not appear to be in the mood to delay the conclusion of the day's events. It's pretty ugly. The members of the Colony are almost upon us now and they take it upon themselves to clean up after us, keeping watch on the defeated and ensuring they can't get up to any more mischief.

"Looks like it might be a clear run down to the square, mother," I observe.

"Then perhaps we'll be able to finish this quickly," she replies and begins to crawl forwards with purpose.

"Hold up a second! Don't forget the speakers, we'll need to wait a second."

"Oh, fine."

She's definitely feeling impatient. This was the plan though. Backed into a corner, terrified and desperate, the people of this city are right where we want them, but at the same time, on the edge and dangerous. If we provoke them, who knows what damage they'd do to themselves, to us, to whatever they can get their hands on? We figured it would be wiser to try and send in our human communication specialists to try and open dialogue and bring this campaign to a swift conclusion. Indeed, we only have to wait a minute before a few of the brown robes arrive, joined by my most devoted, one-armed priest.

[Please don't shout at me,] I sigh as I reach out to connect a bridge to the people.

[We are blessed to be in your presence, Great One,] Beyn replies.

His mind is so incredibly focused on containing the 'volume' of his thoughts that the mental contact trembles with suppressed energy. It's almost as distracting as just getting shouted at. Almost being the key word.

[This is going to be a dangerous moment for you lot. Be careful but don't let them stall us. We need to find and shut down any magical gates in here and we need it done yesterday.]

[Fear not, Great One. We will serve with all our hearts, the danger is nothing to us.]

Looking at the fanatical zeal in their eyes, I actually believe it.

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