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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
1261 Chs

The Creed

Suffer not the termite to live.

Excerpt from 'Wisdom of the Eldest'

[No, we don't need to get settled or any such thing. We came to kill termites, lead us to the front, we are keen to begin the work,] I tell the Grove Keeper, who seems a little disconcerted.

[You should adapt to the mana level before fighting,] he warns me, his slow, deep tones ringing in my head. [You aren't used to what it's like on this level. It can affect this in strange ways.]

He's not wrong about the mana level, it feels as if it's so thick I could swim in it. My legs are on fire, sucking incredibly dense energy out of the ground, which isn't even the Dungeon, I'm just pulling it from the roots of the Mother Tree! What it feels like to actually step on the Dungeon floor where the veins are present… I can't begin to imagine.

[My people hunger to taste termite and even I may not be able to hold them back,] I confess to the large wooden figure, [it is best that you lead us to the enemy, otherwise we will run there on our own.]

He frowns down at me.

[I did not realise your kind were so bloodthirsty.]

[You've never seen an insect fight another insect? Best not get between them.]

Ever since we came beneath the surface and amongst the roots of the tree, I can sense a savage mentality rising amongst my siblings. And, if I'm honest, within myself also. The termite! They're so close now! The hated enemy, the war that has lasted on Earth for over a hundred million years. Only one social insect shall be allowed to prosper, the resources of the Dungeon belong to the unending swarm of the Colony! We will not allow these rivals to exist!

Somewhat disturbed, the Keeper leads us away from the settlement and the nervously peeking bruan'chii who watched a force of ten thousand mighty insects march passed their community, each one burning with the need to fight!

Deeper and deeper still we travelled, along winding paths of intertwined roots that seemed an endless maze that plunged into the heart of the world. The sheer size and scale of the mother tree seemed endless, but at last we came to something that spoke to me. Dirt. Precious dirt. As the lead ant, I set foot on the precious ground and immediately felt more at home.

[It is near here that they have been incurring against our Mother,] the Grove Keeper sounded grim as he pointed to a nearby tunnel, [the beasts have taken a toll on my people and now the Mother will not allow us to fight. She takes on the burden herself, but mighty as she is, she is not built to fight against this foe.]

[More like this enemy was specifically designed to fight her,] I point out, [and for some reason I feel like your mother isn't as good at fighting as she is at other things.]

The Keeper eyes me askance.

[She is mighty,] he assures me.

[I don't doubt that, but for whatever tier she is, she should be mightier. Exactly how much evolutionary energy did it take for her to be able to create children of her own soul? I'm guessing, a lot.]

The massive figure of the Grove Keeper does not reply, but I don't really notice, the termites are close and it is time to hunt.

"Be aware," I warn my family, "we are close now. When we meet the enemy, it will be a savage brawl like you've never seen before. Remember, there are only two things that you need to do: stay alive, kill termites. In that order. Am I clear?"

They do not reply, but I can feel ten thousand thrums of agreement through the Vestibule. There will be no energy wasted on scent when the enemy is so close at hand.

I move purposefully forward into the tunnel and note that the roots of the tree are still present, breaking through the dirt here and there, splitting and winding into smaller widths the further we travel. Soon I begin to notice segments of root that have been chewed on, clear evidence of the termite presence. The tree is regenerating the damage, but slowly, judging by the various wounds I see. It's possible the termites are using some kind of saliva or mandible mutation to slow her healing process. Just how far did the kaarmodo go to prepare this enemy? From the signs it seems as if they may have spared no effort or expense in their machinations.

Termites don't have to eat wood, contrary to popular belief. What they want, is cellulose, which wood just happens to have. All plants have it, though not to the same degree, it forms the cell wall that gives plants their hardy, non-spongy structures. Humans can't even digest the stuff, so weak is their tract.

Up ahead, I hear something, so I speed up and soon I encounter something that sets my antennae to twitching with disgust and rage. It's a pheromone trail, but not the familiar, warm message of my siblings, oh no. This one is strange, alien and utterly foul to me. My legs twitch and jerk as I try to run, battling the instinct to wipe my antennae clean. Just awful! It's terrible! What sort of evil could possibly produce this stuff?!

The reaction of the Colony behind me is just as severe when they come across the termite trail and the upswell of rage within the Vestibule reaches unseen heights, thrumming within my carapace like a wardrum.

Then we burst into a clearing, lush with life. Flowers, thick, luscious leaves and vines as thick as a human are everywhere and they writhe in constant motion against a monster we can only glimpse through the clearing. Enormous heads and mandibles supported on spindly legs, snapping and tearing at the plant life with wild abandon, ripping into the growth and I see them breaking it down and eating it on the spot. There are hundreds of them, here in front of us, each one of them alight with mana indicating at least tier four.

But these are thoughts, and there is no room for thoughts now.

"SUFFER NOT THE TERMITE TO LIVE!" I roar and my siblings take up my cry as we rush forward in a tidal wave of chitin and rage.

"FOR THE COLONY!"