Anthony has been reborn! Placed into the remarkable game-like world of Pangera. However, something seems a little off. What's with these skills? Bite? Dig? Wait.... I've been reborn as a WHAT?! Follow Anthony as he attempts to adjust to his new life, to survive and grow in his new Dungeon home!

RinoZ · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
1243 Chs

Chapter 1076 - Rock Law

[Well, that sounds about right,] Granin rumbles. [I'm not an expert on Arconidem by any means, but what your friend has to say tracks with what I know. If you want more detail from a cult perspective, you'd need to talk to your ka'armodo buddy.]

[I don't recall having a ka'armodo buddy.]

[You know what I mean. Effectively, Arconidem has some sort of influence across the demons who spawn on this stratum. I don't know how or why, but I do know that it's true. In fact, it's not even a secret really, any demon who's willing to talk will tell you as much.]

[I thought the Ancients were like, secret or something. Isn't it the case that a lot of people don't believe they even exist?]

[You think just because some Pride demon says they live in service of the Demon God Arconidem, everyone will believe them? They just dismiss it as delusional monster talk. The Ancients themselves haven't been seen by mortal eyes in thousands of years, and almost no records exist from that time. They're legends to most, myths to the rest.]

[Except for you cult types.]

[Well, every cult was founded by a person who, according to our history, actually conversed with one of the Ancients during the Rending. It's hardly surprising that we know more about them than anyone else.]

That would have been a heck of a conversation. I wonder what these super old monsters had to say for themselves after massacring almost everyone alive. Must have been persuasive since people like Granin are still working for them after all this time.

[Any chance you'd be willing to share what that chat was about? Your founder had words with Yarrum, right? What did the worm have to say for itself?]

Granin just grins at me.

[That's secret cult business,] he says, then he shrugs. [I'm willing to tell you more if you accept your place as a candidate for the twentieth Ancient. Regardless of what you want, you're caught up in it now. You've been Called. That means they have their eyes on you.]

[Not interested,] I tell him flatly. [If I can find a way to rid myself of this 'blessing' as you call it, I will, instantaneously.]

[I kind of doubt you'll manage it. The Ancients are gods on this world, as powerful as it is for a creature to be.]

I kind of doubt that. Gandalf gives me severe 'in-control' vibes, and he doesn't seem at all impressed with the Ancients. In fact, he seems downright dismissive.

[Enough about all that,] Corun breaks in, [tell us about your new form? Is it working as well as you wanted? Were the reset options what you were hoping for?]

[You're looking strong, Anthony,] Torrina says. [This diamond you're coated with doesn't have the same shine as what you had before, but it seems thicker. I'm sensing a strange energy resonating within.]

Granin's two triumvirate members have been circling around me while I talk to their boss, poking and prodding at me, both mentally and physically. I'm flattered, in a way, but also embarrassed, and frankly a little annoyed at their antics.

[Oi, could you stop scuffing up the diamond, please? It may not be as shiny as before, but I'll fix that with mutations if I have to. And yes, it is thicker, and a heck of a lot heavier.]

[The density must be off the scale,] she continues, stepping in front of me and running a hand along one of my mandibles. Seriously? I just asked you not to do that! [It's not like anything I've ever seen before.]

[Forgive them, Anthony,] Granin chuckles. [It's rare for us to see a tier seven monster this close up, certainly one that isn't trying to kill us. When you throw in the unique and interesting glands and materials you've chosen, you're basically an irresistible treasure trove of monster knowledge to folks like us.]

His words help mollify me a bit, but it's still weird. They're poking at me like I'm a science experiment.

[Any chance you could share what material your carapace is made of now?] Granin asks, a gleam of excitement in his eye.

Dammit, Granin, you too? I shoo Corun and Torrina away with my antennae as I reply.

[Look, get off of me. I'll tell you if you leave me alone? Alright? It's Gravity Compressed Diamond. Effectively, a super dense, super hardened diamond. It's much, much tougher than the diamond coating I had before, and much heavier. More than that, it responds to gravitational energy, amplifying the effect. I expect to see some sweet mutation options in that regard.]

[How does gravity compression work?] Torrina frowns. [Can you give me some examples that occur in nature?]

Uh, I don't really want to go into how stars and planets are made, let alone funky System level stuff. The kind of energy that would need to be applied to crunch diamond down to something even more dense… I don't even want to try and think about how it was done.

[Look, gravity squashes stuff. More gravity, more squash. Let's leave it at that.]

[What about the rest of your resets?] Corun asks. [And your evolution bonus? We'd love to know what you got. It would help us complete our records on ant evolution trees.]

[I'll share that with the Colony,] I tell them. [I don't think you guys need to know.]

The golgari's face falls when he realises I won't spill all the beans and I feel a little bad. I feel even worse when Granin chips in.

[I hope you know you can trust us, Anthony,] he says, face serious. [We've thrown our fate in with yours to the point we can't go home to our own people anymore. We can't advise you about things we have no knowledge of. I know enough about evolution to know that whatever you got for completing this evolution chain took a huge chunk of the evolution's potential. Your bonus stats should have been much, much higher, but all of that went into the new organ you got. You don't have to share more than you're comfortable with, but don't forget that we're on your side.]

That stings a bit, and for a second, I'm severely tempted to tell them, but something holds me back. Ultimately, the loyalty of Granin and his apprentices is to the cult, and to Yarrum. Whatever they're trying to do here is in service of the goals that the Ancient set. I do trust Granin, Corrun and Torrina, I trust them a lot. However, I find it very difficult to trust anything that the Ancients are involved in. I don't know what they want or why they want it.

Well, I know they want another Ancient, the twentieth, but other than that, no clue. Until I learn that secret, I'm just not sure I'm ready to share with Granin exactly what I can do. I'm even more sensitive because the Altar of Self doesn't just affect me but also the entire Colony.

[When I learn a few more of your secrets, Granin, I'll share a few more of mine. Fair?]

The old golgari looks sombre for a moment, but he nods slowly.

[That's fair.]