The Queen landed with a calamitous thud, several unfortunate monsters were crushed beneath her bulk or stabbed through by her legs as she fell. Her legs strained to the breaking point, but she absorbed the shock and ran forward, bulldozing her way toward the place her wayward child fell.
She reached deep into her healing mana gland and dragged the dense fog of energy out and into her antennae where it was amplified. More and more of her children were pouring off the wall and down into the crowded space. The melee was quickly becoming out of control.
Conflicting emotions battled in the Queen's thorax. She feared for her family, she was terrified that they would suffer due to her actions. At the same time, she exulted. This was what she had been born to do, and her instincts were afire with joy. She turned her body and scythed through a raging bear with a single chomp of her razor sharp mandibles.
System notifications rang within her mind but she paid them no attention. Her focus was on the healing energy building to a peak in her antennae. When she could contain it no more, the energy exploded outwards in a rolling nova of light that washed over the battlefield in an expanding ring.
Only the ants were affected by this mana, and then felt its invigorating properties wash away their fatigue and ease their pain in an instant. Already filled with the burning rage and desperate anxiety that seeing their mother fighting on the frontlines caused, colony members of all castes were driven to a frenzy and threw themselves upon the enemy in groups, tearing their foes apart with their vicious jaws.
After stomping her way another ten metres forward, the Queen stood over the healing body of the soldier who had leapt so energetically from her head. The ant in question was quite wounded, even in the short time she'd been submerged in the churning soup of monsters.
"Did… Did I win the battle?" she croaked.
The Queen stood over the smaller ant and defended her space with savage chomps of her mandibles.
"No child," the Queen responded, puzzled, "you must get up and fight"
At that time, hundreds of dark shadow monsters erupted from out of the pitfalls. In a nightmarish scene, the creatures reached out of the holes in the ground with their dark, shadowy arms and dragged struggling monsters down into the pit with them. It didn't take long for the creatures to push their way out of the pits and begin to engage the monsters all around them.
Then the Garralosh spawn arrived.
Flames belching from their open mouths, the giant crocodile monsters bounded forward to tear into the shadow pets and smaller battles broke out everywhere.
"My Queen! Be careful!" Sloan had arrived next to her mother and couldn't resist trying to caution her.
"Don't be ridiculous, Sloan!" Victor scoffed, "it's a battle! Start worrying about yourself!"
The Queen quite agreed with Victor at this point and turned her attention to the approaching crocodiles. These were the monsters who were responsible for bringing this battle to her family and she would delight in returning the pain to them.
The Queen snapped her mandibles shut with tremendous force. The sound cut through the noise of the battle with ease, a whip crack that punctured through the din. In front of her a wall of Crocodile flesh rose up and she began to step toward them. As she did, her carapace began to glow bright with energy that unfolded and encompassed her entire body.
As she gathered speed, the light built in intensity, the pure blue light of mana built to a brightness than almost pained the eye of the monsters forced to gaze upon her. She had no eyes for any of the smaller creatures that she crushed beneath her feet, she hungered to unleash her strength on those that had caused the conflict that had harmed so many of her children.
Maybe if she were to destroy enough Garralosh spawn, then their mother would feel the pain.
The crocodiles reared up before her and unleashed their flaming breath. The energy that had accrued in her carapace flared brighter, warding off the damage and the Queen continued her assault.
The moment the first was in range she lunged forward with her mandibles and crunched down on them. Her savage, barbed jaws crushed the creature and without pause the Queen swung her body to fling the Biomass away and free herself for another bite.
[You have slain level 8 Garralosh Bellator.]
[You have gained experience.]
The system notifications rang in her mind but the Queen paid no attention. At last she had the chance to seek retribution and she would seize it!
"The Queen has gone in deep!" Sloan worried to Victor, her scent barely able to cut through the chaos of the battlefield.
The Queen was barely visible to them now. She'd pushed forward beyond what any of the ants who were in position to support her could reach, beyond even the positions of the core shapers and their pets! If it weren't for her glowing carapace that seemed to ward off damage somehow, they might not have been able to see her at all.
"We have a task force for this," Victor reminded her sibling, frustrated. Did she really have to put up with Sloan's anxiety here and now?! They were in a battlefield for the Eldest's sake!
Victor ducked back from a claw that swiped in her direction and retaliated with a careful bite, aimed low to hamstring her hound-like opponent. Her jaws found purchase and she twisted her body to allow the mandibles to inflict maximum damage before she released her grip and leapt back, creating space for other ants to make use of the opening.
"I don't see them though?!" Sloan whined.
"You want to go looking for Vibrant? Go then. The rest of us will just stay here and… you know… fight this battle."
Not for the first time Victor was grateful that she didn't need to use her mouth to talk like humans did. Ridiculous notion.
"HI-Hi! Did someone call me!?"
The scent arrived at just the same time as Vibrant did. A large bulky soldier who could move with incredible speed, the two generals hadn't seen her coming in the slightest until she was on top of them.
"At last! You need to go protect the Queen!" Sloan shouted.
Vibrant lifted her herself up to take a look.
"Uhh. She looks like she's doing pretty fine to me? And she glows! That's so nice! Wow! What a bite!" Vibrant cheered her parent on with enthusiasm.
A moment later, Vibrant's personal followers had arrived. The twenty had been unable to explain why, but some ants felt compelled to follow the energetic leader, as if the colony were calling them to assist and aid her. The council weren't going to complain about it, Vibrant and her group did more work for the colony in the field than almost any others. They were a mixed team by now, soldiers and scouts mostly, but the odd ant mage and a healer mixed in for good measure.
"Could you at least fight your way forward, so that she has a path of retreat?" Sloan begged.
"Sure-sure! Sounds fun!"
With that, Vibrant took off once more and her squad followed closely on her heels, wreaking havoc amongst the enemy as she raced forward.