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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
1256 Chs

Hot on the Trail (928)

[Run, run, run!] I holler at the others as we continue to sprint through the mould covered forest.

It really is obnoxious to run through this mess. There's mould beneath us, beside us and crawling up the trees to cover the canopy above us. It's like being in a suffocating winter wonderland except far more horrifying. Especially now that some of it is on fire.

[I don't think more fire will be a good idea, Master!] Crinis suggests as we race through the terrain.

[We might need another distraction soon. Starting a small fire will get the termites off our trail.]

[Won't it just bring more of them?] Sarah demands.

[I mean, yes. But also, yes…]

They be distracted though…

Perhaps that's still not good enough.

[No more fires,] Sarah tells me firmly, [we can think of something else.]

[Hmph. You're just worried about the fungus spores getting inside you,] I mutter.

[I hadn't even thought of that! Anthony!]

[Breathe it in deep. That's the sweet smell of fungus country.]

[I should never have come here. I hate this place!]

[Look on the bright side. When the termites are defeated we can remove the mould from this area and return it to wonderful forest, filled with aphids.]

[That's alright, the aphids are cute!]

Just another aspect of ant superiority. Even if we started fungus farming, we wouldn't let it run wild and out of control like this. It just isn't civilised.

[Do you still have the trail?] Sarah asks, sounding a little panicked as we continue to blast through the termite's feeding grounds.

[I have it,] I confirm, [it's getting stronger even. Wherever they are, we're catching up.]

I get a strong sense of relief from the giant bear as she heaves for air. She may be a somewhat delicate flower internally, but externally she is all beef. Her legs are thicker than a person and positively bulging with muscle underneath all of that fur, much like her shoulders. In fact, the shoulders are even larger. For all of her strength, she isn't much of a long distance runner.

[You've got to work on your stamina somehow,] I tell her, [how do you even last in a fight?]

[I berserk,] she snaps, [that usually takes care of it.]

Oh, right.

[Well no need for that here and now,] I hastily assure her. My antennae waggle furiously as I follow the trail. [The trail is starting to curve, follow me!]

I shift my weight and drive myself to the right, taking a chance to look behind as I do. There are definitely termites on our trail, but I can't really tell how many. Tiny bounds along in my wake, suffering much like Sarah is in this long distance sprint, Invidia perched on his back like a nightmarish bat, green eye blazing with energy as he surveys the land. We rush through a cluster of trees, blasting away the mould that had grown up to fill the space between them and showering ourselves in the horrible stuff before we pull up abruptly.

Up to this point we had been running further inland, heading up the slope of the side of the mountain which had been increasing the further we'd gone and I'd expected that to continue, but it seems as if our opponents had a different concept for this landscape. In front of us a vast yawning chasm has been carved into the rock, the trees cleared for hundreds of metres in all directions. Like a passageway into the pit of doom, the wide tunnel is completely black on the inside, with no light source to be discerned from this distance. More terrifying still, is the view of the mountain I get from here. There are holes, all over the place, fortified with dirt and each angled differently. It's clear to see that they aren't natural features of the terrain, and judging by the weathering of those areas, they are likely to be recent.

This is the termite nest. The whole damn mountain is the nest!

I kind of expected it, but to see it for myself… it's just ridiculous! You could fit the main nest of the Colony into this thing ten times over with room to spare!

The other shocking development is the appearance of our quarry. In the mouth of the tunnel a tight gathering of ants can be seen, the large form of Vibrant zipping here and there amongst them. It's too bad they aren't alone. Not only are they swarmed by a host of termites, which is bad enough, but watching from above are five kaarmodo with their attendants in tow. In a flash I take in the full scene, drawing knowledge from the Vestibule as I allow the will of Vibrant and her coterie to fill me.

The kaarmodo are pinning them here, using shields and spells to lock Vibrant and her group into a fight so that the termites can harvest them for experience.

Not. Acceptable.

[Get in there!] I roar to Tiny who is only too happy to comply.

The giant ape rears back onto his legs and thumps his chest with his enormous palms, bellowing his rage in an ear shattering roar that shakes the trees around us. Then he's off, bounding across the mould covered stone, his fists cracking the ground with every step, gathering momentum as he goes.

[Invidia, keep him alive and blow up everything I don't like!]

[Even the lizardsssss?]

[Especially them.]

I can almost feel his eye flash with delight.

[I will takesss everything from themssss!] He gloats as his prodigious mind begins to weave the ambient mana into bundles of explosive doom.

[What should I do, Master?] Crinis asks, ready to leap into action.

[Deal with the termites. You're the best of us at holding off large numbers.]

[I'll sweep away the trash in an instant!]

She begins to slide off my carapace and into the blooming shadow beneath me when I interrupt her.

[Just one thing Crinis…]

[Yes?]

[I want them to fear.]

In her current shape, a formless blob of darkness, she wriggles with glee.

[They will,] she promises.

Damn lizards. You really think you can trap my siblings and feed them to your captive bugs? You must be outside of your mind! I spin up the omni-elemental construct and begin to pump out mana, but at the same time I dedicate a small group of minds to drawing deep from my gravitational mana gland.

Time to show these fools what they're dealing with!