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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
1243 Chs

Chapter 1236 - Unique Problems, Unique Solutions

Solant watched the battle unfold from amongst the very thick of it. Close enough to the front that her own mandibles had seen their fair share of action, she looked into the jaws of the enemy and directed the fighting from amongst the thick of it. 

"Burn and slide," she ordered.

"BURN AND SLIDE!" roared the troops around her.

Instantly, powerful blue flames erupted, igniting the air in front of the line. Monsters cried out in the heat, but the flames continued; they had learned not to underestimate these creatures.

For a further ten seconds, the mages continued to burn the tunnel as the soldiers and scouts massed behind them with generals for support.

At the same instant, every mage cut off their burst to reveal the tunnel ahead had become a searing wasteland, the rocks still smouldering as they glowed cherry red.

For a single second, the ant force assessed the field ahead of them, then launched their slide manoeuvre. Soldiers dashed, forcing their bodies forward, building speed until the front rank lifted their legs completely off the ground, held aloft by the momentum of the ants locked behind them. The moment they cleared the searing stone, their feet touched the ground again and the soldiers behind lifted their feet. Across the walls and ceiling, the scouts and generals surged, mandibles gnashing.

Solant had found that fire, while not sufficient to burn through the sturdy defences these monsters coated themselves with, did slow them down. Burning away the outer layer of sludge and clearing the rock allowed the ants room to approach and attack with their natural weapons.

An advancing wall of chitin and burning ant willpower, the leading soldiers dove forward, slamming into the slug monster and gripping tight with their jaws. Acid hissed and steam filled the air, but the soldiers endured. From the flanks, the ants came, latching on and cutting deep with their jaws.

The slug pulsed, preparing to release an explosion of acid and slime, but it was too late, Solant was already in control. In one smooth motion, the soldiers, scouts and generals rotated around the tunnel like the hands of a human clock, flipping the monster onto its back. Far from the devastating barrage of goop, the creature unleashed the acid directly onto the stone floor of the cavern. With its belly exposed, the remaining ants dove on its weakness, jaws scissoring and tearing through the burning protective flesh until they found the true creature within.

"Ice and Fire, two kilometres," Solant ordered, "retreat and triage. I want it completed in five minutes this time."

The ants didn't salute, Solant considered it a waste of precious seconds, instead they simply leapt to their task. The mages, accompanied by their dedicated support troops, rushed to the front and began to work their elemental magic to push back the corrupted mana. Freezing followed by burning had proven to be far more effective than pure flame when purging the sludge the monsters of the fifth left behind, but such rapid cooling and heating of the rock was dangerous. Since it wasn't in the Colony's best interest to destabilise the tunnels, they had to use this technique judiciously.

After all, if they collapsed and closed off the nest, that would stop all the experience, cores and Biomass from wandering up to them!

Thousands of ants rushed in many directions, yet there was no chaos, it was almost a dance, as ants filed into neat lines with perfect synchronisation, flowing between each other with effortless timing. The more time she spent with them and the more time they drilled, the smoother each and every movement became. Solant felt true joy spark in her carapace as she watched the flawless execution of their drills.

Truly, it was on the training ground that wars were won.

Using their mandibles to dissect and defeat the slug foes had proven to be the fastest and most effective method, yet it wasn't without cost. Stoic and determined, the soldiers and scouts who had closed with the beast marched back to safety, despite the heavy burn wounds they suffered. As they passed, each was blasted with water magic to cleanse them of the offending slime and doused in healing fluid to kick-start the mending process.

With proper treatment, they would be back on the frontlines in only a few hours, but having to rotate so many members of the army was putting a great deal of extra strain on Solant's troops.

A more permanent solution was needed. She needed a tactic, method, or tool that more specifically countered these sludge monsters, something more efficient and targeted.

Fortunately, the Eldest, in their wisdom, had the foresight to ensure the Colony would always have a method to conjure solutions at a time like this. Solant had spent a great deal of time working with the core shapers lately. There were many things they could be used for in specific niche roles, something the ants weren't always suited to do. Now here was a monster that was difficult for them to defeat, but that didn't mean they couldn't create something that worked.

When she rotated off the frontline at the end of her shift, Solant bid her troops to continue their drills under the guidance of her broodmates before she set off to speak with the experts.

Ellie and Bella were present in the fortress, having arrived through the gate not that long ago. Solant felt it was time to take her concerns to the two of them directly. Surprisingly, she found the two Council members resting, without anyone demanding their time. When she entered, the two of them sprang up, delighted to have a general enter their chambers.

"Come in! How nice to see you!" Ellie greeted her.

"Please, try some tea!" Bella encouraged as she guided Solant to a seat.

"That is… very kind," the little general said as she accepted their hospitality.

It took a little time, but eventually she was able to convince the two she didn't want cake, or biscuits, and get down to business.

"I believe that the core shapers are the key to solving our current crisis, and will be of critical importance if the Colony is to make any headway moving into the fifth stratum," Solant said. "The monsters we currently face are difficult for us to fight directly, and we are yet to see the true might of the fifth, so it will only get worse. We need solutions that only you can provide, dedicated pets that will counter these monsters directly."

The two Council members looked at her soberly for a long time before they collapsed into each other, sobbing as they used their forelegs and antennae to embrace.

"At last! Our time has come, sister!"

"The core shapers will rise, at last!"