Chrysalis Chapter 541


Chapter 541: War commences

Well nards. I mean, even with a sword sticking in me and an angry Golgari in a fancy suit of armour staring hatefully into my eyes, all I can think of is the unwinding consequences of this action. How many ants, how many creatures, will suffer as a result? All so unnecessary! These freakin' morons!

Luckily for me, my fellow colony members are not quite as upset at the prospect of the oncoming conflict. The moment the armoured stone giant strikes me, the hundreds of ants, not to mention my pets, leap into action. Acid and spells, held at the ready during the standoff, are now let fly. The air is suddenly full of sizzling liquid, fireballs and pheromones as the ants scream their war cries and rush headfirst into the conflict. Before I can even attempt to dislodge the blade from my carapace, Crinis has lashed the powerful Golgari warrior with a dozen limbs. A horrific grinding sound begins as she unsheathes her barbs and they begin to tear into his armour.

Tiny wastes no time and leaps into the thick of the fray, leading the ant charge, Invidia tagging along behind as every surface of the tunnel becomes a crawling mass of insect as they surge toward the enemy.

"FOR THE COLONY!"

"DESTROY THEM!"

"DEFEND THE ELDEST!"

The ants cry out relentlessly as they stream forward to battle, biting and chomping everything they can, utilising the group tactics that were drilled into them at the academy. The Golgari don't wait for death but instead spring forward like the trained professional warriors that they are. Against the swarming ants they deploy wide sweeping blades of sword light, trying to cut down as many of the onrushing monsters as they can. The result is probably not as impressive as they'd hoped. Big bodied tier four soldiers in the front lines perform their duty and throw themselves in harm's way to protect their more vulnerable kin. Their thick carapace' absorb the strikes, large rents appearing in their bodies, but they don't stop pushing forward.

The armoured Golgari and I remain locked in our own little world, each hardly moving. I can tell Crinis isn't having much luck breaking through that powerful armour, and I don't expect she will. The gear this guy is wearing puts him on another level and I don't think she'll be able to cut through to him at his current tier. I wonder what sort of ore someone this strong was able to secure for their skin? Something fancy no doubt, but surely not as strong as his armour. for visiting.

[You killed a lot of your own people today,] I tell him.

[You're very confident for a bug,] he tells me. [Do you think we can't squash you as we please?]

[You've never seen anything like us before, rock-head. When you crawl back to your home, make sure you remember that this didn't have to happen!]

[CRINIS!]

At my mental shout, Crinis releases her grip on him and my mandibles crunch down on him, heedless of how his blade twists in my carapace. With the energy of the colony flooding out of the Vestibule and diffusing throughout my body, I truly feel as if my lifeforce is boundless!

OMEN CHOMP! OMEN CHOMP! OMEN CHOMP!

Not holding back anymore, the dark mandibles manifest and slam down, rapid fire onto the glittering armour worn by the figure. Sensing my intent, he reacts to defend himself and the runes engraved in the metal flare to life, drawing on the mana in the air for the first time. As my jaws clamp down, I can feel them being repulsed by a force emanating outward from the armour. It's not really a problem though, since my jaws are far from the only weapons I have available.

I let the mind bridge dissolve and the mind mana construct with it. I don't see the point in talking to this guy any longer and I highly doubt someone as strong as he is will be vulnerable to my mental tricks. Instead, I draw on the fire-mana construct I prepared during our chat and give him a face full of blue flames. Rocks can melt, sucka! How do you like them toasty apples?

The heat from the flickering tongues of blue flame is intense, I can feel the moisture evaporating from my eyeballs even though I'm the one casting it! I can't imagine it's a whole lot of fun for the enemy. Indeed, after only a second of being wreathed in flame he moves once again. With that eerie, impossible speed, he withdraws the blade from my side and this time, rather than stab me, he batters the blade into my side with raw strength, diverting the flame away. I switch off the magic before I can roast my own siblings with it and allow the strike to turn my body around.

POW! POW! POW! POW!

I know the acid isn't going to do much to him, but it doesn't hurt to let him have a second serving! This also has the added benefit of shifting my core away from that damn sword and presenting him with the least vital section of my body. Which turns out to be a good thing since he stabs me there before I can turn around again. I grit my mandibles against the pain and trigger my healing gland again. I can only thank my bulk that his one handed sword isn't able to penetrate far enough to pierce my core from back there.

Determined, I swing myself back around to face him directly, my antennae blazing with laser focus to try and detect his moves before he can make them. When we come face to face once more, his sword is already in position to pierce my brain, but I don't respond, opening my jaws wide to unleash more fire. The blade flickers forwards, only to be slapped in mid-air by a Crinis tentacle. The figure's strength is still immense and she isn't able to divert the blade completely, but it's enough to turn the strike from my head.

He growls in frustration as his blade sinks into my thorax once again and the flames roar against his armour. I don't care how damn tough you are, this level of fire has got to hurt. I can feel a welling frustration building within him as well. I'm sure he wants to finish me off quickly and go help the rest of the Golgari, but I'm continuing to prove difficult to kill. Every second that passes the Colony gets closer to victory over the others. There's just no way that fourteen stone people are going to be able to hold off hundreds of tier three and four monsters who can work together. I can only hope that Granin and his triad are able to make it out alive. It would be rough if the only reward they received for helping me was an untimely end at the mandibles of my siblings.

Heh. You've got no chance of finishing me off fast enough to save them, punk. What are you gonna do about it? Isn't it time we took the gloves off?