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 1353 - The Next Steps

With my precious friends back by my side, I feel complete again. They fill in a hollow deep inside that not even the Vestibule can reach. With Tiny, Invidia and Crinis with me again, I can feel the confidence that was shattered by my confrontation with Rammon start to return. It was something I didn't even realise I'd lost until it started to reform itself, deep inside, in the presence of these three.

[I can't tell you how nice it is to see you all again,] I tell them, clacking my mandibles happily.

With our reunion done, and the unit reforged once again, the question that quickly bubbles in my mind, is what next?

This is the Colony! There's always a million things to do, and getting those finished only creates another million jobs that follow along. Things to build, territory to secure, grubs to tickle, threats to quell and prosperity to ensure. There's dangerous people out there, dangerous monsters, and they won't be able to resist a juicy little apple like my family forever, so the imperative to get stronger is always there.

Not to mention, the deeper drive that sits uncomfortably in my guts. The hook placed there by the Ancients continues to twist and grind, a pain that won't ever go away, no matter how I try. If I even think about going up to the third stratum, maybe to meet with my mother, it twists sharply in my guts. Only when I release the thought does it unwind.

It makes me furious. More than that, it makes me resentful. I hate that they have this control over me, this method to manipulate my thoughts. It's like a drum beating inside my body.

Go deeper. Go deeper. Go deeper. Go deeper.

When I think about travelling down to the fifth, and deeper, that blade starts to loosen, just a little, giving me a tiny hint of release. It's insidious, and I can fully appreciate just what they are doing to me.

The problem is, there's nothing I can do about it! I don't know how to get the damn thing out of me, and apparently nobody else does either. All I can do is get down there and chomp the Ancients right in the face when I see them.

Stupid, old, monsters.

For now, there's a few things I can do without having to go too far. The Colony is still fighting in the tunnels beneath the fortress, I can help with that. We're still preparing to invade the fifth, and I for sure want to help with that.

Then there's the threat from the Church of the Path. I won't ever forgive or forget what they've done, and I won't ever allow them to realise their desire. For now, there's not much I'm willing to do on that front. Brilliant is on the job, fact-finding and gathering information, and she'll pull in all the other groups within the Colony that she needs to in order to learn what we need to know. Once we understand this foe, there'll be more we can do.

For now, I need to touch base with the Council and see what's going on amongst the family.

Naturally, it isn't that hard to find Victor. She's been here coordinating the Colony's forces in the fourth tirelessly, and she's still right here, in the middle of the chamber, in the command post.

Messengers are still running everywhere, but there isn't the same frantic, desperate energy there was during the wave, which is nice to see. Fighting to progress and make the family safer is so much more enjoyable than fighting to survive.

"Hey, Victor! How are you doing? It's been a while!"

"Eldest? You're finally back?"

"Well, yeah. I got back a little bit ago. How are things around here? How are you?"

"Busy. I'm busy."

She's poring over one of those three dimensional maps she loves so much. This one shows the fortress and the absolute web of tunnels beneath us. Seeing it really drives home just how deep it goes down there. The fourth stratum is absolutely massive. The mountains tower high into the air, holding the roof of the stratum so far above our heads, then the lakes plunge deep, seriously deep. Beneath all of that, there are the tunnels. A vast network of passages that touch every mountain on this entire layer of the Dungeon. 

It's enormous, putting it mildly.

"I can see that you're busy. We're all busy."

"Are we?" She gives me a sharp look. "I've got about a dozen jobs that you could take care of for me, but are you doing any of them?"

"Like, right now? I just got here! I'm here saying hello to you! How the heck am I supposed to know what you want me to do?"

"You ask! You've been talking to me for almost a minute now!"

"Yeesh! Alright, I'll get to your missions in a bit, just chill out a little now. Can you get the Council together for me? I want to catch up with everyone and see how things are going."

"Of course, of course. I'm sure they'll want to talk with you as well. Now go away and get something done."

"Fine, FINE! Alright. Get a wax and massage or something, you're way too tense. Had some torpor any time recently?"

The general freezes on the spot, seized by her trauma.

"I slept yesterday!"

"Eight hours?"

"O-o-o-o-of course…."

"Oh-ohhhhhh. Someone's in trouble. See you later, Victor. After your nap."

Chuckling evilly to myself, I slip away and leave Victor to stew in her own juices. Gweheheheheh. 

For now, there's another general I want to catch up with. I'm very keen to see what sort of growth she's been able to manifest. I'm expecting a lot, but I have a feeling that she's going to blow those expectations out of the water.

Just how well are Solant and her army getting on?