Chrysalis Chapter 542


Chapter 542: Battle concludes

Like air in a bellows, I can feel the strength within this armored figure rise and fall as he tries to control it. I think he knows as well as I do, that he doesn't have any choice but to unleash it. What will it matter if some of his people become collateral damage, if none of them are going to survive anyway? The same proposition is looming before my multifaceted eyes as well. If I don't force this guy to retreat, he'll kill every ant here, or come very close to it. I'm going to have to pull out the big guns to get him out of here, and there's little chance I'll be able to prevent the rest of the colony from getting caught up in the crossfire. It's not a choice I like, but I'm just going to have to deal with it!

Come on then, block-head. Show me what you've got!

Power is surging through me as the Vestibule channels the will of every ant in range, thousands of individuals, into me as energy. Harnessing that, I push my body and minds further than I ever have before. One of my sub-brains weaves together a new elemental construct as I focus my energy on my jaws and lunge forward for another vicious chomp. I fight against the pain of the blade in my side as I fight to hold him still as he gets roasted by the intense heat of the blue flame that pours from my mouth. I feel the surge building before it comes, but rather than retreat, I step forward, bringing the Golgari even closer, so that I might shield my family from as much harm as possible.

Light blazes from the armour in front of me as an irresistible wave of force expands outwards from my foe, blasting everything away. I try to absorb the power of it and hold him down, but my legs give out, unable to hold on in the face of such strength. My mandibles are forced open and the sword is torn out of me as my huge body is blown backwards five metres as the very rock around us shakes from the force of the impact. When my vision clears I can see that the walls have been caved in around the figure, with many ants crushed against the stone from the Skill that was unleashed.

HRRRRR. Damn this moron! If he's so desperate for a war that'll kill thousands, then at the very least he should be one the first to fall!

My minds work in flawless harmony as I weave together two different elements to form an entirely new form of spell. Roaring heat from the fire mana construct held in my left brain melds with firm earth mana from my right to form a new mana, thick and bursting with raw power, my central sub-brain takes hold of this new energy and crafts a spell out of it, all in the blink of an eye.

The ability to form new types of mana is just one of the startling advances my spellcraft has made over the last few weeks! My capacity to manipulate mana has grown by leaps and bounds, not to mention that never ending, repetitive practice has driven these new patterns into my subconscious. I've been having dreams about them for Gandalf's sake. It all shows in the incredible ease I pull together this new magic.

EAT LAVA, SUCKA!

Five metres in front of me, the armoured Golgari is ablaze with energy. Mana floods into his armour and blade as he draws back to unleash a mighty blow toward me. Luckily, I can strike before he gets the chance. Before my face, a sizzling ball of molten rock takes shape before it launches through the air and slams into the figure's chest. The physical force of it is enough to disrupt his balance, but far from enough to knock him down. That's what the next three are for! Lava bolt after lava bolt rockets toward him as he fights to hold his feet. As I hurl the magic, I also advance, step by step, never letting my focus waver. If I allow him a moment of respite he'll be able to unleash his Skill and who knows the devastation that he'll be able to cause with that? I can't give him the chance!

The battle continues to happen around me as ants rush into battle, pheromones flying through the air to rattle off my antennae. Cries of victory, calls for healers, requests for backup wash over me and slide past my consciousness. Sunk deep into meditation, my focus is absolute. I won't be distracted. Step. Step. My mandibles flex and open wide, charging with power as the dark mandibles bloom to life around them.

Omen Chomp!

With a shout of rage, the Golgari tightens his grip on the hilt of his sword and brings it down in a massive overhead strike. The moment it begins to move, the pressure it unleashes is absurd, nearly crushing me to the floor. With my very slight glimpse into the future, my senses scream at me that this blade means death. Even the sight of it is horrifying. His stamina has flooded the blade until it's bursting with light which extends from the tip of the blade through the ceiling of the tunnel. The runes along the blade are lit with pure mana and the energy in the air howls through the air form a vortex around the blade itself.

To be struck by the attack would kill me, I'm certain of that. Diamond carapace or no, this is still an ability above my grade. But I refuse to dodge! Acting against every instinct in my body, I don't roll to the side, or leap backwards. In that split second, hovering on the border of life and death, I dash forward.

The arm descends as my mandibles close.

SNAP!

BOOOOOM!

My mandibles crunch down on his arm, arresting its descent, but with a roar of rage, he forces the skill to fall. Using only his wrist, he directs the howling storm down through the blade and onto my back. In that last moment, I hear a resounding SNAP from his arm, and a final blast of lava sprays from my mouth across the figure's face, then the sword falls.

At first, I don't feel anything and I'm filled with relief. Then I realise that I don't feel anything. Before I can work out what the problem is, I still need to deal with this idiot in front of my face. He roars in pain as the molten stone slips through the gaps in his helmet to bubble against his true skin. Despite his grip remaining firm around his sword hilt, his wrist hangs loose, unable to exert strength. If I'm going to get a chance to finish off this chump, this is it!

I attack in a frenzy, my jaws pump furiously as I blast him with lava. At this point blank range, the bolts splash and almost as much of the stuff lands on me as slips through his armour. The molten stone hisses furiously as it superheats my carapace, but I pay it no mind, I can't afford to. I trigger my healing gland again and keep on biting. Desperate to fight me off, the Golgari uses his good hand to hammer at my head with his ferocious strength, trying to force my head away. My strength fading, I can't resist for long and he eventually succeeds in smashing a fist down on my eye. Instantly blinded on that side, I reel in pain and my jaws slacken, allowing the Golgari loose.

He doesn't hesitate and explodes outwards with power, forcing me and every ant nearby back against the walls. With a final glance at the skittering horde of insects around him, he flickers and dashes away down the tunnel, smashing down any ant that gets in his way. As he fades from view, it's only then that I realise my abdomen is missing. As in, the whole thing.

DAMMIT! Closed for business?!

Then I pass out.