Chrysalis Chapter 54

Chapter 54: Back to work

I'm quite pleased with the display of Mana Force. With a blast like that I might be able to some serious damage! With a few more levels I might be able to reduce the amount of time required to prepare such an attack to the point it becomes usable in combat.

With my mental energy largely exhausted I decide to take one more nap before diving back into productive society. The shut-in lifestyle isn't for me and no self-respecting ant could possibly be happy living that way.

We are workers! We need to work, for the glory of the colony! And in order to level up so I can evolve!

Maybe my motives are not as pure as my fellow workers but my results will be miles better. Let us see how an ant colony can prosper with a human intellect helping them out.

Tiny is starting to look a little disgruntled. His tiny bat-like face is a bit sad around the edges and he keeps looking around for something, getting and more and more dejected when his search comes up empty.

Getting hungry are you little guy?

One more sleep and then we'll be go out hunting ok?

As I settle down to nap Tiny reluctantly joins me, settling against my back as we snooze.


I shake myself awake abruptly, causing Tiny to jump awake with a small shriek and look around wildly.

Nice energy little fella, we've got a big day in front of us now!

The cosy confines of our own room surround us, the bustle of the colony largely outside our awareness here, we can rest peacefully. The soft dirt walls show the scratch or bite mark from when the workers carved out this chamber. I'm still not entirely sure why it was dug at all, considering the fact that the workers very rarely come in here.

I'm not too fussed though, since it works out to my advantage.

Blinking his eyes sleepily, Tiny climbs up onto my carapace and I rocket out of the room and into the tunnel. Workers are frantically running here and there as always and when I visit the brood chamber I see a large squad of workers fussing over the new eggs, ensuring they are kept clean and at the optimal temperature at all times.

The colony is going to need a heck of lot of food pretty darn soon in order to raise up this massive generation and I intend to make it happen.

The larger and stronger the colony becomes, the safer and more secure I'll be in this world.

Of course, I'll secure my own fair share of experience and Biomass whilst I'm at it.

Time to get to it!

With Tiny holding on I charge up the tunnel, frequently bumping other workers out of my way. I'm coming through guys, pick up the pace, we aren't driving Ms Daisy!

The closer I get to the ant hill in the forest I start to notice a change in the walls of the tunnel. The glowing threads I recall from my time in the earlier tunnels are starting to appear, thin at first but thicker and brighter the close I get to the open space ahead.

Are these pulsing lines growing down the tunnel?

I'm positive they weren't hear just a few days ago!

I'm not sure why but I find it vaguely unsettling to think of these strange, branching vines of glowing light as a growing, living thing.

What are they?

I mentally shrug my shoulders, I don't have an answer now and I don't see how I can get one in the future. All I can think of is to keep an eye on the situation and see if I can learn anything as things develop over time.

Casting aside my concerns I focus once again on the mission for today. Securing food for the colony.

Emerging out of the tunnel and into the huge open space of the forest feels good. It's nice to be out and doing something again!

Holy Moly it is bright

Significantly brighter than before

Not to worry, we have business to attend to.

I can see a few workers here and there on the hill, keeping watch probably, or maybe waiting for a scout to return with news of food. Hold tight fellas, I have a feeling you'll be hearing about it soon.

Full of confidence I dash down the hill and under the cover of the trees and towering mushrooms, the multi coloured canopy shielding me from above.

The undergrowth seems to be more dense than a few days ago, as if feeding on the growing intensity of the illumination in the forest.

In fact, as I move between the tree roots and long white stalks I notice that the entire space seems to have to have come alive with activity, like a rainforest after a storm. The sounds of monsters surround me, growls, roars and the ripping, tearing percussion of battle.

The space has become packed with monsters.

When the monsters run into each other there is only one thing that will occur, a fight! Currently the area around me is filled with such combat, the strong consuming the weak, growing even more powerful from the experience and Biomass they harvested as a reward.

I don't know why this area has become so populated all of a sudden. Perhaps this is linked to the intensity of the light in the forest?

At any rate, this abundance of monsters is suitable for my purposes, if there is experience and Biomass to be gained then the colony and I will get our slice of the pie!

I climb a tree, hoping to spy an opportunity from the upper branches. Hauling myself towards the top I peer through the foliage at the area around me, making full use of my eyesight to scout around.

I can see a few a mounds or hills that are likely to contain nests but they aren't exactly what I was hoping to see.

Maybe over this side Aha!

A larger tree bursts out of the canopy, standing taller and prouder than those around it. The large branches extend in a wide diameter, providing a tremendous amount of space and shelter within the embrace of those leafy arms.

Even from this distance I can spy the small shapes darting here and there high up in the tree.

I memorise the location and then descend the tree, making my way back to the ant hill. There are still workers positioned defensively, darting here and there on high alert, ready to pounce on any perceived threat.

Good work lads, keep up the good work!

After thinking for a moment about how to perform this task I start to lay down the pheromone trail for food, heading away towards the large tree I'd spotted in the distance.

After getting a hundred metres from the hill I return and lay the trail once more, strengthening it. Then I do it again.

Laying the same trail multiple times makes it appear more relevant and interesting to the workers, increasing the likelihood they will choose to follow it.

Sure enough my effort is rewarded with a few workers emerging from the nest and after 'sniffing' around with their antennae they start to follow along my path.

Well done my fellow colony buddies, I promise you most likely won't regret this choice.

I hurry of towards the large tree I'd seen, remembering to continue to lay my trail as I go. I should give some thought to spending Biomass on my pheromones. Now that I'm actually using them to influence the workforce it strikes me how useful it would be able to send better, stronger signals which would cause the rest of the ants to respond to my actions more quickly.

Even now after laying the trail three times I've only managed to draw a few workers along, if I had upgraded to +3 or +4 then surely I would receive a much more enthusiastic response.

It's so hard to decide where to spend Biomass in this place! All of the options seem so useful!

I move quickly so that I'm able to arrive at my destination well before those following behind me and it isn't long before that large tree looms out of the woods around me. Just as I'd seen from my scouting position, this impressive specimen is fully occupied by a huge number of those small monkeys I'd seen before, the spark chimps.

When they see Tiny and I arrive at the base of their tree the chimps immediately start howling madly, pointing with their little fingers and screeching at the top of their lungs, causing an impressive cacophony of sound.

For his part, Tiny seems completely unimpressed with his ape cousins up the tree, his only response is a low growl in the back of his throat as he watches the tree with hooded eyes.

You can really talk the talk you little apes, pretty soon we are going to find out if you can walk the walk!