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
1265 Chs

The Great Stuff (1022)

[Mythic Evolution: Formless One. You have invited your kind in, and given back to them in turn. Now it is time to make the union complete. All stats removed. All body parts and mutations will be refunded. Every member of your chosen species will be granted a formless core and you will exist as pure energy dispersed across the network formed between them.

You may make upgrades to the formless core through mutation within each individual who contains one.

Together with your kind, rise as one.]

Uhhhhhhhh… what?

[That's… unexpected,] Granin says.

His face looks fairly impassive, but judging by the gobsmacked expressions on Torrina and Corun's faces, he's only just holding it together.

[Granin, what the hell is this? I wouldn't even have a body?!]

[Mythic evolutions can be extremely unusual,] he says after a brief pause. [A larger, more fundamental change to your existence. You've seen evolutions that make broad, fundamental changes before, am I right?]

[Well, sort of. I would have turned into a giant brain, not a literal ghost!]

[Not a ghost,] he corrects me, [you wouldn't have a body, but you would still exist as a living creature formed of energy. You'd effectively be unkillable. I'm no expert on this stuff, it's too high level, but as I understand it, the only way for you to die would be for every member of the Colony to be destroyed.]

[But what would I even do? Float around just… existing?]

[Don't underestimate creatures of energy. You could influence the world more than you think. And the more ants with the core in them, the stronger you would become.]

Both of us know that the population of the Colony will explode if we aren't defeated soon. This evolution would completely destroy my retirement plans! How am I supposed to tickle the grubs as a formless ghost?! Unacceptable!

[I'm not interested in becoming some bodiless spectre,] I say firmly. [I'd rather take a rare evolution than this one.]

[Well, I suppose it's a good thing you have more mythic options then,] Granin replies. [I'm just shocked you are getting choices like this at tier seven. It's unheard of.]

And also undesired. I just can't comprehend what that sort of existence would be like. And how would my siblings feel if I just… moved in? I'd literally be adding something they didn't ask for into their bodies. The whole thing gives me the creeps.

[Mythic Evolution: Larval Deity. +400 Might. +400 Toughness. Cunning reduced to 20.

The strength of your people flows through you and they sit within your power. To ascend higher, you must be reforged. You will return to being a larva. All body parts and mutations refunded.

Your form will be coated in Golden-Diamond Silk and your body replaced with World Essence Infused Flesh.]

What the hell is this, Gandalf?! These options are just bizarre! I hesitate for a long moment before I give the details of this one to Granin. As I explain the evolution, even his stoic expression cracks.

[Anthony… what on Pangera have you been keeping from us? What have you evolved into?]

[Uh… not much. Just… stuff.]

He doesn't seem convinced by my dissembling.

[These evolutions are not normal,] he stresses, [and there is no doubt they are a result of whatever it is you've been keeping from us. A Larval Deity? World Essence?! It… I-I mean… I need a second.]

And he does. The big guy folds his legs on the spot and takes a seat. Corun and Torrina sit down next to him, the three of them taking a moment to get their heads around things.

[So…] I say after a minute. [Can someone explain this one to me?]

It takes a moment, but Granin raises his head, his eyes looking a little feverish.

[Well, from what I can tell, you would transform into a larva, but not like you were before. Think of a gigantic, golden larva, with incredible strength, and almost unkillable.]

[Except I'd be blind and largely helpless.]

He nods.

[With your Cunning reset, you'd lose your magic and wouldn't be nearly as intelligent. I feel like this evolution intends for the Colony to effectively feed you experience and Biomass until you reached max level and evolved to tier eight. At that point, you'd be able to evolve into…]

[A Colony Deity? I'd be a god?]

That's a little unsettling….

[Not in a literal sense,] he assures me, [just an incredibly powerful monster. I can't even imagine how strong you'd be, but it would be… very. Very, very.]

He seems to have lost his words.

[So, essentially, I would need to sacrifice all of tier seven and have the Colony babysit me until I reached tier eight? I'm not really feeling it.]

[Please choose this one,] Granin raises a hand weakly. [Think about it carefully. Words like "deity" are not thrown out by the System for no reason. If you survived to tier eight, your path to ascend as an Ancient would be almost assured.]

[I don't care about that,] I remind him. [And I get the feeling you're not telling me something.]

He hesitates.

[Golden-Diamond Silk and anything World-Infused are valuable. Beyond valuable.]

[Literally priceless,] Torrina breathes over the mind link. [Impossible to buy because nobody is selling. Empires have burned to the ground for such monster parts.]

[Oh hell no!]

[We could protect you,] Granin assures me desperately. [We can cooperate with the Colony. I can contact the cult. ALL of the cults. I can gather an army from across the planet to defend you. We could accelerate you to tier eight in six months!]

Six months of having the Colony feed me resources and devoting their entire existence to trying to push me to the next tier? No thanks.

[Give it up, Granin, it's not happening,] I tell him ruthlessly. [I refuse to go back to being a grub and force the Colony to protect me. That's the opposite of what I want.]

I mean… I can't even imagine it. Flopping about in some chamber while the Colony fights and dies to bring me food? Sure, I could turn around and protect them once I reached tier eight. IF I reached tier eight.

No chance.

[Luckily for all of us, there's one choice left.]

[Mythic Evolution: Perfect Paragon. +80 to Cunning, +80 to Willpower, +150 to Might, +150 to Toughness. The pinnacle of all the Colony seeks to be. You have created for your people a home, invited them in and bade them sit. Now you must give them hope. Become the goal that they strive to be. The Communal Spirit Nave will be reforged into Soul Crystal (warning, this will reset all mutations) and a Soul Crystal Altar will be awarded for free (you must choose the purpose of the Altar). You may reforge body parts at half cost.]

Oh, thank my precious, precious commercial empire. Something normal (ish).

The stat gains are amazing, I'll complete the chain of evolution, and although I didn't get any fancy resets, I get to buy at half price. Heck yeah!

That'll take care of my carapace, plating and mandibles.

And I don't have to lose my body or turn into a giant grub! So much winning!

[I can already tell you like this one,] Granin says before I say a word about it. [I'm going to assume it completes your current chain?]

[Yep. And I get to keep my body. That really shouldn't be such a plus, but that's how things have turned out.]

The shaper sighs and straightens his posture.

[Anything you're prepared to share about it?]

I'm happy to give him the stats and talk about the discounted resets, which raises his brows.

[You can save a huge amount of energy with that. Enough that you can either dip for better, more expensive choices or reset twice as many organs.]

[Any advice on that?]

[Not really. It depends entirely on your priorities. If you want the best possible carapace, plating and mandible mutations, then spend big on those; if you want a more balanced approach, get cheaper upgrades, but improve more things.]

[That's not going to be an easy choice, is it?]

[Absolutely not.]