I've started to come around to the general idea that I'm stupid. I mean, I'd considered that perhaps I was a little impulsive, Gandalf knows my decision making 'process' could, when written down, fit on the back of stamp with enough room left over for a drawing of Tiny poking himself in the eyes.
But I'd never considered myself to be a complete moron. I mean, there was that time I waltzed up to some human guards to say hello whilst I inhabited the body of a monstrous ant, but I still feel I can chalk that one up to stress and shock.
This time, I don't believe that I have the capacity to draw on excuses such as those. This goes beyond the impulsive, beyond a habitual lack of foresight or pattern of lackadaisical thinking.
This was just downright stupid.
As mana leaked out of my core, drained away into the air around me, how did I attack the monster horde in front of me? When my blood was up and the excitement of the fight was upon me, without thinking I decided that the best way to clear the chaff around the warehouse was using the empowered water cannon, pouring out my mana with unrestrained zeal to cut the monsters apart.
I need that stuff! It is the lifeblood of my monstrous body and I literally need it to live! I was just under half empty when we made it to Midum, half of my life energy gone into the air, and what do I do? I take what is left of the mana in my core, pulled it out in huge amounts, made a water mana transformation construct, then created compressed water mana in order to hose down the enemy with wild abandon.
YOU IDIOT, ANTHONY!
My core gasped for breath as the final ten percent of mana in my core, the last wisp of energy I had left, stirred and sputtered about. I've probably got until the end of the day until my core has run out of gas, then the pain will come on fast. This is not good.
As keen as I am to run for the nearest Dungeon entrance as fast as possible, I want to make sure things are under control here. Not to mention I need to talk to Morrelia to find out the location of a close Dungeon entrance anyway.
Which means I need to use my mana to craft a mind bridge. Ugh. Using my mana as sparingly as possible, I weave together the mind bridge. I committed all of my will and energy to ensure that not a single iota of MP was lost without cause. It's amazing what a little scarcity can do for your outlook.
[Don't have long Morrelia, running out of mana. Everything good? You done going berserk?]
The tough as nails mercenary is stood close to the warehouse, conversing with a grizzled looking fellow in his twenties, a spear held lightly in one hand. As she heard my message Morrelia turned toward me and nodded.
[Hold on] she sent, [I'm talking to the leader of these survivors. It seems the people in the warehouse are the last ones left from Midum. He says the aristocracy fled on ships into the bay at the first sign of trouble.]
[Hold on a second.]
She spoke to the fellow for a few moments longer and I could've sworn he was leaning in a little closer than one would expect. Wait, now he's put his spear across his shoulders in just such a way that his biceps are featured prominently.
Is this guy putting the moves on Morrelia?! That is a brave man right there. Even as they speak she is covered head to toe in monster blood. Her berserker style doesn't exactly lead to much subtlety when it comes to fighting up close and personal.
[Is this guy cracking onto you Morrelia?] I chortled.
I could see her shoulders slump from where I stood a dozen metres behind her.
[I think so] she grumbled, [he seems pretty impressed with my efforts here.]
[Well you did fight hard. He doesn't have any credit for us monsters here?]
[Well] her voice turned sly at this point, [he thinks that I'm some rich wandering expert and you three are my pets.]
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
[You know what, that's probably better for him to believe than the truth. Tell him to get his people together and send them to the village, just make sure to warn them not to fight any ants that they find.]
She turned and nodded to me before she faced her would be suitor once again. If anything he'd managed to puff himself up even further. He looked so ridiculous that it's taken all of my attention. I feel like I've forgotten something…
Oh right! I'm dying.
[Any chance you could tell me where the nearest Dungeon entrance is? I'm almost out of mana and I'm gonna die soon.]
[I did say so already]
[You didn't say you were dying!]
[Well… I'll be dying soon.]
[That's the same thing?!]
She gave us directions to the closest entrance, a small one in the wilderness halfway to the next closest town. As soon as she was done talking I told her I'd wait there for her at the entrance and my pets and I started to stuff our faces quickly with as much Biomass as we can fit in as short a time as possible.
It can't have been nice to watch since the flexing guard took one look, blanched and then ran inside the warehouse as if he were about to hurl. It was probably Crinis eating that did it, I eat in quite a dignified manner, tearing with my mandibles and then shoving my face into the food so I can reach it with my mouth which is positioned on the underside of my head, below the jaws.
So much freakin' centipede. I swear I've eaten a thousand of the horrible crawly scum. They taste awful, tear away with their horrible claws and look disgusting to boot. Ever since I was born on this world I've had an instinctive hatred of these damn things. I don't feel any real need to explain it, I just hate 'em. Am I an insect racist? Maybe. Centipedes are gross, on this I will not be persuaded.
[One Biomass gained]
[Master profile of the Claw Centipede unlocked]
By the rigid white staff of Gandalf! I was starting to think the full profile didn't exist! A thing of myth, of legend, hidden behind deep mists and beyond impenetrable mountains! I wonder what the heck it says?
[Unguibus Scolopendra : Claw centipede, has strong claws and a venomous spike in its tail.
The Unguibus variety of the Centipede Genus has thus far proven to be an adequate survivor at the highest levels of the Dungeon, about to compete for food and territory against most of the solitary threats there. It has been determined that this species is worth further investigation and is currently among the more favoured varieties of the Insecta class. Further spawnings, evolution options and pathways have been developed. The species will next be assessed in two years.]
Uhh. Wut? The system, that is to say, Gandalf, is assessing the monsters in some fashion? He likes the centipedes?
He has dropped at least four pegs in my estimations. Now, let's go get to this Dungeon before I drop dead.