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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 1280 - Anthony On Tour pt 21

Once again, the strange ant, Anthony, had demonstrated insight beyond what one would expect of a monster. Eran Thouris, the lead negotiator of the Island Conglomerate, was delighted at how effective the monster had been, as well as being curious, if not apprehensive, about the source of his wisdom.

As the fights continue, the giant ant revealed himself to be fast, strong, adept in a variety of mana types, as well as wielding that strange purple energy to devastating effect. Those enormous mandibles, each as large as a person, unleashed frighteningly powerful bites, filled with a dark energy that rocked the arena every time the Skill was activated.

And he was so quick. Whenever a desperate situation arose, the enormous creature moved like a dancer, with the reflexes of a spider, speeding, sliding, six legs moved in a blur to push his enormous bulk away from danger. In key moments, when a burst of speed was required, he almost appeared to vanish, disappearing from one point and reappearing in another, throwing down his opponents, or catching them up in his deadly jaws.

The Folk were entranced. Despite limiting the fights to only eighth and ninth swords, the line was dozens long. Such a rare opportunity to polish their abilities against a growing powerhouse of the Dungeon. They could not resist it.

Nor could the merchants with whom she dealt.

"It is astonishing that this… Colony… was able to produce a monster of such immense strength in such a short time," Whiskers, the feline-looking folk praised as Anthony bested yet another challenger. "If you had not shown me, I would never have believed an ant could be so strong."

"The Colony produces many things, not only powerful individuals," Eran smiled with the exact, correct amount of warmth. "They are fierce, and intelligent. Proud, and industrious. Their forges produce thousands of tons of ingots every day, harvested from across all of their territories. They even cracked the methods of forging Fire Iron by themselves."

"Really," the old man stroked the long whiskers that emerged from his cheeks, eyes narrowing. "I don't suppose you have a sample?"

Without turning, Eran reached a hand over her shoulder and felt a heavy weight placed into it within seconds. She offered the metal to her fellow trader to inspect.

"This was forged less than a month ago outside the demon city of Orpule," she said. "You can see the date and mark are stamped on it."

It was a good thing the ants had decided to mark their products visually and not just with scent. Apparently they continued to use their pheromone glands for this purpose, but realised not everyone who lived and worked within their nests had their same sense of smell. 

Whiskers turned the ingot this way and that, reading the markings, which included the date, a special mark which indicated the forge at which it was produced, and the ant who had acted as forgemaster when the ingot was cast. In this case, Smithant herself.

"It's better than I expected," Whiskers pronounced, tapping the metal with one finger. "I can tell they haven't perfected the process, but they've done enough that we can reforge the metal here to refine it further. I'd be interested in buying this, and I don't mind telling you I wouldn't be the only one. Of course, the need for further firing drives the price down, I'm sure you understand as much."

Eran's smile deepened.

"Why don't we discuss that in detail?" she purred.

~~~

"I wonder how many ants have reached such a level of evolution, there surely can't be many."

The trader who referred to herself, rather unfortunately, as Bilious, was a large bear of a woman, whose appetite more than matched her frame.

"As far as I'm aware, there is only one other," Eran replied smoothly, leaning away slightly to give herself a little space. "Though there are many who have reached tier six."

"The difference between six and seven is as vast as the ocean," Bilious said, a little condescendingly, "as I'm sure you're aware."

"Yes," Eran replied, no crack to be found in her pleasant exterior. "It seems your swordsmen are finding quite the challenge in Anthony."

The big ant was at ten wins in a row and didn't appear to be flagging in the slightest, despite the numerous hits he'd taken. The last fighter had managed to encase him entirely in ice, yet he'd burned his way out, seemingly unharmed.

"The Flowing Water School has fought, as have the Jade Dancers, the Steel Avalanche, the Advancing Rhino and Lotus Bloom," Bilious noted, "but none of the top ten schools have yet made an appearance. I'm sure one of them can put this ant in its place."

"You really believe a ninth sword will be able to defeat him?" Eran asked with genuine surprise. It didn't seem to matter what techniques Anthony went up against, he broke them all the same. No individual brathian would ever claim they could beat a tier seven mythic monster single-handed, not a sane one anyway. Perhaps a blademaster might, but they were the finest duelists on the face of Pangera.

The large woman harrumphed.

"I don't think an ant monster is capable of surprising me," she said with open disdain. "Not in the arena, nor in the marketplace."

Eran nodded politely.

"Then I suppose you wouldn't object to a cup of tea. I have a freshly brewed cup right here. Of course, the Colony has not come across the varieties the Folk prefer, but I know you yourself are partial to a good, dark tea."

Bilious openly scoffed as Eran accepted an exquisite porcelain cup from an assistant.

"This should be interesting," she said. "To think a monster could even approach something like an adequate understanding of the art of tea."

Nevertheless, unwilling to be too rude to one of her largest trading partners, she accepted the cup and took a deep sniff.

Eran was looking for it, and was gratified to see Bilious' eyes widen as the rich aroma penetrated her snout. With careful movements, she brought the cup to her lips, and took a sip.

There was silence for a long… long moment.

"Do you still believe an ant can't surprise you?" Eran asked, the picture of innocence.

Bilious swallowed. Then frowned.