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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
1239 Chs

Chapter 1135 - Against the Tide

"How are the demon traps holding?"

"Barely!"

"Then reinforce them, dammit!"

"I can't just poke them with an antenna and then they become stronger. I need time to design, materials to build with, ants to do the building. Those are huge construction projects, we can't just 'reinforce' them!"

"Right, sorry."

Sloan rubbed her antennae against her carapace, trying to calm herself down. The carver, Carpentant, also soothed herself as they took the temperature out of the argument.

Which wasn't easy inside the third right now. With the mana thickening by the hour, the air only grew hotter and hotter, to the point it had grown oppressive. Ants didn't mind a bit of heat, not at all, but they weren't amazing at regulating their temperatures. If things got much worse, they'd need to distribute enchanted equipment to every member of the Colony in the stratum.

"Are the farms at least producing cores and Biomass? They're working?"

"Oh, they're working. Too well! There's so many demons crammed inside that we're getting double the amount of cores we expected. The workers in charge of maintaining and operating the farms are overwhelmed, but there aren't enough of us to help them. We need more ants!"

"If you get the numbers you need, will that stop the farms from breaking?"

Carpentant thought for a long moment. It wasn't a simple question, but the wrong answer could have grave implications. It was already a difficult proposition to contain the mess that the plains had become. If the monsters within the farms broke out….

"If you give me what I'm asking for, plus another ten percent, we'll have enough to properly run the farms and look to reinforce the structure."

Sloan almost collapsed as pain shot through her head.

"That's thousands of ants," she managed to squeeze out. "Everyone is desperately short staffed right now."

Carpentant shrugged.

"That's how many it's going to take. You're the one who has to distribute resources, not me. If you tell me no, I'll go back and make the best of it, but I think we both know what will happen."

The farms would fail, causing greater chaos on the plains and costing the ants an enormous haul of cores and Biomass, resources they desperately needed.

"I'll get you the ants you need," she promised, "but they're likely to be fresh graduates. Is that alright?"

"It'll have to do," Carpentant grumbled. "Feel sorry for them being thrown into a mess like this."

"It's not what I would have wanted for them either, but I'll provide extra security as well to make sure you all stay safe."

The irritated carver froze before she nodded with respect.

"That's appreciated."

When Carpentant rushed out of the chamber, Sloan sighed and went back to her planning documents, scratching out a few lines of scent and replacing them. The next wave of reinforcements from above had been allocated already, but now had to be changed. Again.

It was frustrating, but despite the over the top allowances the Colony had made when planning to resist the wave in the third stratum, the Dungeon had surprised them yet again.

After scribbling away using the new 'scent pen', she completed her new distribution plan and put it down with a sigh.

"Better go check on the fortress," she muttered as she rose up from her chair.

Ant chairs were becoming more and more common among the various nests, despite the need for varying sizes. They didn't really need a chair, they were perfectly content to work while standing, but it felt nice to rest the legs every now and again.

Even Smithant had created a custom built, swivelling chair that could rise up and down and wheel around her smithy. She claimed it freed up more legs to work with, which was another aspect to the rate of chair uptake.

Outside of her office, Sloan was immediately enveloped by the flood of messengers. A constant stream ran in both directions, toward the wall and deeper into the nest, requesting medical treatment, or supplies, or any number of things. She was kept updated, of course, but having a description was never quite the same as seeing the situation for herself.

She slipped into line and began to race along the paths, keeping pace with the ants on her lane.

A new innovation had been to divide the wider passages within the Colony into 'lanes', each with its own designated speed. This particular passage was six lanes wide, three in either direction, with another six on the roof, split the same way, and she was barely able to keep up in the middle one. To her right, scouts flashed past her as if she were standing still, whereas on her left, soldiers rumbled along at a much slower pace, slowed down by their bulk.

All for efficiency.

When she emerged from the nest, she found herself only a kilometre from the outer wall. The area at this exit was a staging ground and ants bustled all over the surface of the nest. Within the grand fortress, there were well over a hundred thousand of her siblings at present, every one of them dedicated to the preservation of the nest.

A general rushed up as soon as she saw Sloan heading to the wall.

"General! What brings you to the front?" she asked, snapping a one antenna salute.

"I wanted to take a look for myself," Sloan said, saluting back. "The situation is difficult to grasp from the reports."

"I can imagine. I don't believe what I'm writing half the time. Come and have a look."

The two chatted back and forth in the brusque manner of war-focused ants as they drew closer to the wall. The fighting was deafeningly loud this close, explosions, fire, ice, stone and whatever else the Colony could muster was thrown into the face of the neverending demon wave. With little effort, Sloan hauled herself up the wall and gazed out into the mouth of madness.

"In the name of the Eldest…." she trailed off.

"It sure is something," the general agreed.

The wall was enormous, fifty metres tall and twenty thick, covered in ant defenders who battled hard to prevent the demons from finding purchase on the fortification.

What Sloan saw beyond the wall… was an ocean. An ocean of monsters that heaved and thrashed as if gripped by a storm. Waves rose and clashed into each other, one devouring the other and rolling on through the mass until it was overcome by an even larger current.

Every now and again, one such wave would crash into the wall, sending demons flying and scurrying up the side and into the waiting jaws of the Colony.

It was absurd, insane even. And it had only just begun.

"Oh, speaking of the Eldest."

Sloan turned a little to focus on the dark purple patch of light that was starting to move away from the wall. Inside, she could barely make out the gigantic ant effortlessly carving a path through the roiling mass. She thought an antenna popped up and waved, then there came a flash of purple light.

In an instant, every monster within a hundred metres of the wall was flattened, crushed into nothing. The defenders had a few seconds to wonder what could possibly have happened, then the ocean surged again, and they were back to fighting.

Sloan couldn't believe it.