Under the impact of Tiny's mighty fists the barrier flickers in and out of existence, on the verge of total collapse. The two mages recoil physically from the power of that strike, one of them is even driven to their knees. Still, their eyes are burning with determination and they keep their staves raised to the sky, apparently reinforcing the barrier with everything they have.
To resist that full bodied strike from Tiny the shield up there must be incredibly strong!
The shield down here near me however
Still desperately constructing the Gravity Spear within myself I start to charge my mandibles as well. The strain on my mind is so immense I would have blood flooding out of my nose if I had one! Straining with all of my spirit I desperately control the mana, directing it into my mandibles whilst leaving as much of the load as possible to the sub brain. It feel as if both of brains are on fire, cooking themselves with the strain.
As the traces of mana flow out of my core and into my mandibles they begin to emit light, a glow, that grows stronger every moment. My face is already pressed against the barrier, its invisible resistance pushing back against me. My mandibles are spread wide, digging in but not penetrating through the barrier. As the mana flow grows from a trickle to a stream and the light emitted grows more intense I begin to feel the tiniest bit of give.
Yes! With Tiny distracting their attention they have reinforced the barrier above but it has grown noticeably weaker below. This is my chance!
Straining with every muscle fibre of my face I push my mandibles to the limit!
Break through, dammit!
The barrier gives a little more under my assault, then a little more! Seemingly sensing something, the closest mage lowers his head to turn from Tiny to me, noticing my fiercely glowing mandibles he tries to redirect his attention to stop me from breaking through, raising his free hand at the last second.
Tearing through the barrier my mandibles close with a mighty snap! The invisible shield before me cracks and dissolves, the forward pressure I'd created with my legs sends me flying forward, tumbling inside the dome!
Snapping one section of the barrier has a visible impact on the mage closest to me and he wilts under the strain. I don't have much understanding of barrier spells to this point so I'm sure exactly how this recoil works but I sure as heck am going to take advantage of it!
Snapping to my feet I use all of my mental power to complete the Gravity Spear as quickly as possible. Cutting off the flow of mana to my mandibles relieves a lot of the pressure on my mind and the spell construction continues at a blistering pace!
Before the mage closest to me can recover, I dart forward, mandibles wide open.
With all of my strength I bring my jaws shut upon the mage, I don't even rely on the manifested mandibles but instead ensure I'm close enough that my mandibles crush him directly.
With a sickening noise the pulverizing force of my mandibles closes on the mage before he is able to recover. When I release him from my bite he collapses to the ground and doesn't get up.
[You have slain level 43 High Mage]
[You have gained experience]
[You have reached level 11, one skill point awarded]
[You have reached level 12, one skill point awarded]
The second mage turns in time to see her compatriot fall from my jaws and her face is filled with horror, but she hasn't time to act against me as Tiny has prepared another strike against the shield!
She is in a dilemma now, does withdraw her mind from maintaining the shield and attack me, letting Tiny smash it to pieces and robbing the warriors or its defence or does she leave herself vulnerable to my attack and try and maintain the shield.
I expected her to fight to maintain the shield but instead she decisively brings her staff around towards me, hands weaving patters in the air as she manipulates the mana around her.
Of course, this means Tiny gets a free swing.
From the corner of my eye I can see the massive ape rear back with his good hand, rotating his body so far that his back is to the barrier before he unwinds and unleashes his fist as if firing it from a cannon!
With a shattering sound like a thousand panes of glass breaking at once, the invisible dome collapses, diffused shards of mana fall like rain upon us even as they dissolve into nothing, no longer controlled or shaped by any mind.
The soldiers pause in their butchery out of shock, several turn to witness the situation behind them and become aware of my position for the first time.
I don't have much time to act, this mage is going to blast me right in the face in one second! How is this spear still not ready?!
Finally the spell hums into life as it finally finishes charging having being completed construction just a moment ago.
I hope I'm in time!
Without a thought for my own safety I decisively turn and fire the Gravity Spear towards the warriors on the front line, desperate to prevent their swords from killing any more of my siblings.
Before I even see my spell impact against the warriors the female mage has completed her spell, dozens of blades of ice have formed in the air hovering around her. With one wave of her hand each of the blades blasts towards me with supersonic speed!
I can't even dodge if they move at this speed! Before they impact all I can do is tuck my legs and antennae under my body and tilt my head down in order to protect my eyes, then receive the blow head on!
Just before they impact me something strange tickles my awareness. The ice blades are registering on my heat sense as immensely cold, the temperature of the air around the female mage has dropped precipitously. Now that those blades are screaming through the air towards me they leave vapour trails of cold behind that is detected by heat sense.
With all of this cold in the air What is that source of heat on my left? There isn't anything there?
Before I have time to properly think about it the ice blades strike home against me!
Slash! Slash! Slash! Slash! Slash! Slash!
Immediately intense pain erupts throughout my body as the magical blades slice into my diamond carapace, cutting my flanks, back and directly chopping off one leg plus an antennae!
Holy MASOIUGLKASNF Gandalf!
That stings like the dickens!
My whole body is screaming with pain! Those numerous blades have cut through me all over! My diamond carapace was specially chosen to defend against physical attacks, it is clearly not up to the task against something that is imbued with mana.
Activate the regeneration gland!
I try to slump forward as if on the verge of death even as the regeneration fluid rapidly spreads through my body, closing over the cuts and repairing my damaged muscles. Thankfully none of those blades was able to penetrate deep enough to damage my core!
I can only imagine that significant damage to a monsters core would be completely disastrous if not immediately fatal! Once it has been created the core is central to a monsters life force, the storage and nerve center of the monster as a magical being! Much like the brain operates as the center of thought, the core is the center of mana and I'm not confident a monster can live without it once they have adapted to it!
Certainly it isn't a theory I want to try out
My ruse seems to have worked, in the heat of the moment, with the barrier destroyed, there are other threats than me that these humans need to deal with! When the mage turns her staff away from me I push my healing legs underneath myself, ready for my next move!