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Chrysalis

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
1261 Chs

Chapter 1095 - A Tour of Ash and Fire pt 2

Before we departed our strange conveyance, Emilia handed each of us a small bracelet and urged us to put it on.

My escorts eyed the metal rather suspiciously, it was clearly enchanted, I could see the core set in the ornament with my own eyes. I couldn't help but look upon their reluctance with a slight amount of exasperation, dear readers. Only a slight amount! The two gentlemen, Arryn and Potamus, had done their job wonderfully well over the trip, but I had begun to wonder if being surrounded by monsters all the time was starting to send their danger-sense a little haywire.

If the ants wanted to harm us, they could do it anytime! We were surrounded by millions of them, constantly.

With a warm smile, I accepted my bracelet with grace and decorum, as one always should! Slipping it around my wrist, I felt the enchantment take effect the instant the clasp snapped shut.

"Oh, that is wonderful!"

"The Colony offers these free to visitors. I collected them from the rack on the wall just through the door."

"Well isn't that wondrous? Stop being rude, you two, put them on immediately!"

Arryn and Potamus eyed the slip of metal one more time before they shrugged and both placed them around their wrists.

"The third stratum isn't known to be comfortable for visitors, so the Colony created a number of these to help take the edge off. It won't keep you cool completely, but it will significantly impact the heat, as well as help purify the air you breathe."

Now, it's no secret that I like my creature comforts, reader, don't we all? I've worn several items with similar enchantments before, they are positively necessary to survival in some parts of the Dungeon, so I have seen such as these many times before.

What I haven't seen, is such expensive materials given away for free! It's complex enchanting and smithing to make things like this. I paid more than a pretty penny for my items!

"Of course, they aren't being given to you," Emilia seemed to notice my complicated feelings, "they are simply a loan. You can return them when you leave the third at a collection station on the way back up or down."

How lovely!

Exiting the docking station, we found ourselves looking down across the incredible vista that is the third stratum when viewed from on high.

I'd seen it all before, but I made sure to make appropriate noises of awe and appreciation. Never be a rude guest, readers, stand by this rule above all others!

Emilia led us down a walkway from which we were guided to another platform, this one formed of pure energy, which we used to descend further.

"Below, you can see the demon city of Roklu, the very first conquered by the Colony when they came to this stratum. You can see over there," she gestured with one hand, "the statue built to commemorate the victory of the Eldest over the demon lord who ruled here."

Well… Of course I could see it. It must have been a kilometre tall! A gigantic, majestic ant was carved on the pillar itself, posed above the city, looking down on all below with a superior gleam in its eye.

"How on Pangera did they manage to carve that into the pillar?" I asked, shocked.

"They didn't. The bulk of the stone is created magically, though I'm told it is somehow anchored to the pillar beneath."

An impressive feat nonetheless.

"Does the Eldest, the Great One, actually look like that? Would you say this is a fair depiction?"

There was just something about the way the enormous sculpture appeared. A certain debonair, a certain suave that exuded from every carved line. The pose, the curve of the carapace. Every inch screamed confidence and triumph. It was a magnificent example of the sculptor's art, doubtless another example of Michaelangelant's work.

For once, Emilia seemed to hesitate before replying.

"I would say it is a fair example of how the Colony views the Eldest."

An interesting answer! And one that held a secret nugget of information.

"Have you actually seen the Eldest yourself then, Emilia?" I asked, as casually as I could manage.

The young lady blushed at having been caught out.

"Once, when I was very young," she said. "At that time, it was still possible for the Eldest to move high in the Dungeon. Sadly, that is no longer possible. It is extremely difficult to gain access to them now."

I've no doubt about it, but that doesn't mean I was going to give up my exclusive! I'm as tenacious as an Evergreen Bulldogdragon when I want to be!

We descended down past Roklu, without stopping. The Demon City was gigantic, fully covering six wide plates that extended out from the central rock formation, each teeming with monstrous life.

"We will visit the City in time," Emilia assured us, much to the dismay of my escorts, "but first we need to present ourselves at the nest."

"There's a nest nearby? I don't see it anywhere."

"You'll be able to see it in a moment," Emilia smiled that little smile which I now recognised as hinting that I was about to witness something ridiculous.

I was on my guard, dear reader, don't think that I wasn't! Even so, these damnable ants managed to take my breath away once again!

When we cleared the last plate of Roklu, it became clear what Emilia had been talking about. The 'nest' that the Colony had built extended from the plains below, wrapped around the pillar, all the way up to the bottom of the city itself! We'd been too close to the plates to see it, but now it was revealed in all its glory.

It was enormous, first of all. Kilometres high, it towered taller than the greatest parapets of the Golden City itself. Thin at the top, it grew wider and wider as we descended, an upside down funnel of comical proportions.

Yet the sheer scale of the nest wasn't the most astounding thing, it was the majesty and grace of the construction. It was an architectural marvel. They could have left the form of the traditional anthill alone, nobody would have expected them to do otherwise, but the slopes were anything but smooth. Broad, intimidating walls with ornately carved gates. Towers as thin as spun glass. Roads, markets, houses, there was an entire city built onto the surface of the nest, each and every construction part of a grander, more harmonious whole.

It took me a moment to realise that the area I was looking at formed a pattern, then a moment longer to realise it was a leaf. Once that fell into focus, I could see it all, the vines, the leaves, the trunks and bushes and grasses that covered the entire surface!

The sheer scale of the planning! The unbelievable amount of effort!

"This must have taken a decade at least to complete," I breathed.

"Not quite as long as that," Emilia demurred. "The Colony is not afraid of hard work."