Chrysalis Chapter 80

Chapter 80: Birth of the Mage.... Ant.

So which magical energy type to choose?

Death sounds awesome, an unstoppable tide of undead ants would be cool but my own family would need to be killed first! Plus there may be a chance I'll end up zombified like the death rabbit! No thanks!

Time? I mean, time would be amazing but how the heck would it work? Stopping time? Speeding up time? Travelling through time?!?! Maybe too complicated.

Entropy? Perhaps a bit too grim and macabre.

I want something I can use in a fight but also something that has some utility to it, something I can make use of outside of combat in a significant way.

I will always choose the all-around option!

No weak points is my motto!

Perhaps it is wasteful to think this way but I just don't like the idea of something that has only one purpose. I want options dammit!

Illusion? Too artsy. I was always terrible at mental imagery and drawing.

Space? Could be amazing but I'm not certain it'll be fighty enough.

Healing is tempting but won't help me out much when I'm on my own.

Chaos? Sounds a little. Unpredictable?

Mental would almost certain allow telepathy of some kind I'm not quite as starved for conversation now that I have the pheromone language though There is always a chance I'll be able to gain this ability another way without spending this precious selection on it. I'll pass on this for now.

Maybe. Maybe this one?


I feel like it has potential!

What does Gandalf have to say about it?

[Gravitational energy allows for the creation and exertion of push and pull forces beyond natural limits].

Soooooo. What would happen if I used my forceful mana ball and made it out of gravitational energy? Would I be able to push monsters away even more powerfully?

Could I lift them into the air and then drop them?

Could I make myself float?

Could I crush my enemies into the ground!?

Could I even squash them in on themselves, squishing them into a tiny little ball?! Compacting the Biomass into a super dense bite sized snack!?

I like it! I like it a lot Gandalf!

I'll pick this one!

Ok with that selection out of the way I need to decide what to do with the remainder of my evolutionary energy.

I've got cash to spend and I'm gonna make use of it!

The first thing is my +5 bonus to cunning for choosing Mind Ant. With my cunning already so high the cost of five cunning is extreme, much higher than spending on might. Just by my feeling I estimate that +5 cunning would cost as much energy as +20 might.

After all, the might stat is effectively just adding more muscle, bone and sinew whereas making changes to cunning involves creating and connecting millions of neurons to form new and better brain matter.

I've decided to use my bonus and some of my reserve to do what I didn't dare consider in my first evolution. I shall create a second brain!

Normally, creating new brain matter would be a rather complicated matter I don't doubt, but thankfully it is relatively simple for me. The evolution menu assists and guides my thoughts as I try to shape what I want. A small, additional brain to help bare the mental load of shifting and shaping mana. Practicing my mana skills been so mentally demanding that the rate of progress is too slow. In addition, practicing these skills leaves me so tired that I can't reasonably be levelling these skills and doing something else at the same time. To raise my skills all the way I'd have to become a recluse in the colony, letting the rest of the workers feed me and never leaving, I'm not about to become a sponge!

Hopefully with this second brain I'll be able to reduce the strain and be able to practice my magic skills whilst also being out hunting and levelling. Maximum efficiency!

In the end I use a significant amount of my energy finalising my new brain matter, resulting in an overall gain of +7 to my cunning. There isn't any point investing in this brain if it isn't able to perform its job properly so I gave a significant amount of extra kick in there to make sure it can take the load I'm going to demand of it.

There really isn't enough energy left to consider going into the body part menus, idly I take a quick look at the aura organs and their cost in energy is simply staggering! For a moment my heart twinges with regret but I push it to one side. The organs are in the menu so there is still a chance I'll be able to purchase one someday in a future evolution down the road.

The focus for this evolution is building the magical foundation!

I briefly consider putting more energy towards cunning but eventually dismiss the thought. The cost is simply too high and there is lower hanging fruit to pick. I turn my attention instead to the Will stat. This one is also costly but I feel that boosting the strength of my thoughts and my mental defences will only serve me well in my pursuit of magical excellence.

After weighing the gains against the costs I spend a good chunk of energy on my Will, raising it by +4.

About thirty percent of my evolutionary energy is left to spend and I apportion it evenly to might and toughness.

To get more bang for my buck I reluctantly decide to emphasise size over density, going for a 3 to 1 ratio. This will make me significantly larger than before but gives a higher raw stat boost. For toughness I make the split roughly the same, increasing my external defence over my internal by a 3 to 1 ratio.

Anthony is tanking up!

I was already able to fight reasonably well against most creatures in the forest and hopefully with these upgrades I'll be physically capable of holding my own against most monsters before my magical abilities can level up and show their true strength.

After every last drop of evolutionary energy has been spent I take a step back and have a look at my stats.

Name: Anthony

Level: 1 (core)

Might: 41

Toughness: 29

Cunning: 32

Will: 22

HP: 50/50

MP: 50/50

Skills: Excavation Level 4; Improved Acid Shot Level 5; Grip Level 4; Crushing Bite Level 7; Advanced Stealth Level 4; Piercing Chomp Level 4; Tunnel Map Level 1; Mana Shaping level 2; Forceful Mana Level 2; External Mana Manipulation Level 1; Mana Sensing Level 1; Core Mechanic Level 1; Exo-Skeleton Defence level 1

Mutations: Focused Eyes +5, Infrared Antennae +5, Restrictive Acid +5, Legs +2, Infused Mandibles +5, Diamond Carapace +5, Limb Regeneration Gland +5, Pheromone Language +5, Gravity Magic Gland;

Species: Mind Ant (Formica)

Skill points: 1

Biomass: 1

Ok. This seems satisfactory to me. By focusing more on size I've been able to gain a solid ten points of might but I'll be increasing my size significantly as the trade-off. I'll probably need to focus on increasing my muscle density in a future evolution so that I can regain my balance between size and strength.

With my increased external toughness and my diamond carapace I'm more confident than ever before in my defence. Despite the relatively smaller stat changes my gains in cunning and will are the big ticket items in this evolution. The numbers may be small but I'm sure the results will be impressive.

Checking over my body parts I'm still annoyed that I haven't managed to get all of them to +5. The long neglected legs will be next, followed by my new Gravity gland! I can't wait to advance both of them. It'll be harder though, since after this evolution my ability to take in Biomass will be penalized yet again. Even a Titan-Croc will provide half the Biomass it did before, since I'm now actually further evolved than it is!

Bwahahahaha! Feels good!

Ok. Confirm the evolution!

Once again my mind starts to spiral away, like water down a drain when the plug is removed and before long, everything has sunk into black.