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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
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1239 Chs

Chapter 1159 - Shaking Things Up

[What do you think of the season so far, Peter?]

The farmer smiled as he scratched idly at his chin. He still wasn't used to talking so much, especially in public, but on the subject of Tunnel Ball, he could wax lyrical for hours.

He leaned forward a little to make sure he was speaking into the small, enchanted gem on the table in front of him.

"Well, Commentant, I could talk about the tactical advances in the game, the general shift from running plays to a Soldier/Mage grind-it-out setup, the once mighty teams who've fallen into the relegation zone, including the Pink Blitz, one of my personal favourites, but that's all to the side of the real story."

[And what would that be?] Commentant asked, as if she didn't know.

"The Endless," Peter said simply. "We've never seen a team this coordinated, this determined, and with such an unorthodox approach to the game. When other teams want to play low to the ground, they go high. If the opposition wants to fight up close, they're elusive like ghosts, if the opposition wants to run, the Endless bog them down with impeccable timing. The strategic way they approach the game is so far ahead of the competition that it's like they aren't even playing the same sport."

He shook his head, bewildered, as memories of recent matches flickered through his mind.

"I think we are seeing a revolution in what is possible on the pitch."

[Not an evolution? That's a term many of our listeners are more familiar with.]

"No, no," Peter said firmly. "A revolution. Orthodox ways of moving the ball from one end of the pitch to the other are being challenged every time the Endless step onto the field. They're playing games with the other team's mind. The Bulwarks last week…."

He shook his shaggy head.

"By the time the match was done, they didn't know up from down anymore."

[I have to agree. Watching that match, I felt as if the Endless were reading their thoughts. Of course, the officials checked the cores of everyone on the team and we are assured that no mind magic was employed.]

"Well that's both a relief, and somewhat scary."

[Indeed.]

"All that tells us is that they don't even need mind magic to know what you're going to do."

The small crowd gathered in front of the table the two sat at laughed appreciatively. Not many came out for the live recordings of 'Weekly Tunnel Ball Roundup", but would listen to the 'playback' being created even as he and Commentant spoke.

The wonders of ant technology, and the speed of change, never ceased to amaze him. Nor the hunger and appetite for Tunnel Ball news. Many on the surface were clamouring to get down here, to the second stratum, where the Stadium had been constructed. This was now the home of the sport, and there were teams on the pitch every other day, as well as matches happening at smaller venues all over the nest.

[Truly, the growth of the game has been incredible,] Commentant seemed to sense his mood, possibly over the mind bridge connecting them. [I would never have imagined my sisters would be quite so hungry for… entertainment? We are in our first year of the five division league, and passions are running so high we won't be stopping for anything, not even a Wave, apparently!]

"Although, it has made scheduling a little difficult. With so many of your siblings required on the front lines, we are having teams rotated out of the schedule constantly."

[That is a concern but there's nothing that can be done. We must be accommodating of the situation.]

"Are you heading out there anytime soon, Commentant?"

[The Colony has decided I am best serving the family by continuing my activities here,] the mage said simply.

"Well… it's good to know you'll be safe at least," Peter mumbled.

He'd grown fond of his ant-coworker.

[That's very nice of you, Peter. Well, folks, it's almost time for us to wrap up the conversation and get this episode off to the people! We have just a few minutes left over for audience questions. You know how this works if you've been here before. Come stand here at the front, make sure you speak, scent, or project your thoughts directly into the recording device so the audience can hear your lovely voice. Come, come, who's first?]

A small ant scuttled to the front quickly, beating the others out for the first question.

[Uh, yes. Hello. First time here at a live recording, thank you for having me.]

"Thank you for coming," Peter said sincerely.

[Yes. Uh. I was wanting to get Commentant's thoughts on the recent discussion as to whether Tunnel Ball practices and matches should count as 'work'?]

Commentant shifted a little uneasily.

[I don't like to comment on questions like that. I'm sure the Council, or possibly the Eldest, will be able to decide. I'm just a simple fan of the game and I'd like to see us come to a resolution that best suits all parties.]

Surprisingly, a human was the next up at the spot, a young woman with "PINK BLITZ" stitched onto her coat.

"This question is for both of you," she said loudly, "what are your thoughts on the Blitz so far this season?"

Peter jumped right in.

"It's been a difficult past couple of weeks for the Blitz, and they've gone 3-8 in that time. Teams are doing such a good job shutting down runners on the flanks, using big bodies or mages to block the lanes, and hard-running, agile teams like the Blitz have been slow to adapt. How do you see it, Commentant?"

[I basically agree with your assessment, Peter. The Blitz are a good and strong team, we know that from last season, but they need to find a way to make their gameplan work or change it up over the next few weeks. I would hate to lose them to relegation.]

Next was a general.

[There's been a lot of talk about the Endless and their current win streak, which sits at 31-0. Do you think they will lose at all this season?]

Someone rushed up behind Commentant, distracting the mage as she engaged what looked to be a scout in a vigorous bout of antennae slapping, so Peter stepped in to fill the gap.

"It's hard to believe they've won so many games in a row, but the way they've done it is even more shocking. Comfortable victories, demoralised opponents, utter domination. I won't ever say they can't lose, no team can be perfect all the time, but they sure do look impressive every time they hop into the pit."

[O-on that note, I've just gotten word of an upcoming showmatch,] Commentant interjected. [The Endless will be playing against a special entry team who has decided to put them to the test!]

There was a murmur amongst the crowd as this surprising news was digested. Peter blinked.

"Well, that is interesting. Do we know who is on the challenging team? Any notable ants we may have heard of?"

[Oh, you've heard of them,] Commentant drawled, but she was still clearly shaken by the news.

"Who is it?"

[I would like to invite all our listeners to pay very close attention, because I am only going to say this once. The strongest team in the history of Tunnel Ball will be challenged in just two days from the time of recording. You don't want to miss this match, so make sure you get your tickets early.]

She paused for dramatic effect.

[A one-ant team has come to test the mettle of the Endless. That's right, one versus ten on the pitch, but I don't think it's going to be enough. In two days, get yourselves to the Stadium for a once in a lifetime showdown! The Endless, versus the Eldest!]

Stunned silence.

A pause.

Absolute pandemonium.

"That's all the time we've got time for!" Peter croaked into the recorder. "See you next time at this time!"