Chrysalis - Chapter 591

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Chapter 591: Free from webs
[Damn spider! Get down here and face me!]

The house-sized arachnid, safe in her hole in the wall ringed with poisonous strands of webbing as thick as a car waggled her fangs at me in derision and pointed one leg at the hundreds of ants standing next to me.

[Oh? You'll come out if they go away? Somehow I doubt that you eight-legged coward!]

The spider clacked her fangs and by waving her front four legs managed to convey the message that I was an invading, leg-deficient fool who couldn't be trusted and I may as well scuttle away with my stupid pets and fellow ants because she wasn't coming out to fight. I think she also insulted my mother.


I was so mad I was hopping on the coating of stone and dirt we'd covered the webbing in, causing trickles of the material to fall into the cavernous space below.

"Eldest, why are you so upset?" Emilia asks.

"She insulted our mother!" I roar back.

The smaller generals aura turns dangerous as she stares up at the giant spider.

"Oh did she…."

The ants within smellshot pass the message along and within moments all of the ants are flinging scented insults up at the spider who gleefully waggles her legs back at us. The rage is rising to a fever pitch when another mind cuts through my emotions.

[Isssss bait. Thissss creature wantsssss death. Not for itssssself, but for you. Denyyy it.]

Invidia's eye glowed with insight as it stared up at the looming mother spider. I brought myself back under control and told the ants to stand down. It wasn't like us to lose control of our emotions. Actually, it was totally like me. It wasn't like my siblings to lose control of their emotions. This dastardly spider might be more clever than I've been giving it credit for.

[Fine, you stay up there you bloated sack of schemes. Just keep this in mind, there's going to be an army of ants marching through here at some point, and if you're still around, I'll personally feed you to my mother. Clear?]

I aggressively snap my mandibles at the spider matriarch before turning around and leading our strike force away. The ants are reluctant to leave, unwilling to leave the insult unaddressed, but when I firmly turn and walk away, they follow along as I head back to base camp, my pets trundling along in my wake.

It takes a long time to traverse the vast web back down to the ground. It's taken a full week of campaigning to get to this point, but the expanse has been basically conquered. Obviously, we did discover the presence of a powerful spider who was laying eggs in here, but it took a long time before we were able to pin down the location of her lair. It was also quite a project to neutralise the blasted webs. Once we worked out that we could treat the webs much the same as I treated that damn slug's goo all that time ago, it was a lot of work to haul the dirt and soil necessary to create our superhighway through the ridiculous net of mega-webs that cover this expanse top to bottom.

Once we did though, it was all over for the arachnids. Turns out that the spider brood wasn't nearly as cooperative as the ants. Such an inferior species! Gweheheheh. With hundreds of cooperative ants working together with our advanced tactics, the hidden super squad and my pets and I, they never had a chance. Even so, there were so many of the darn things in this huge expanse that they took a whole week to wipe out! I've been biting so much, my mandibles hurt!

The haul in experience and Biomass has been worth it, not really for me, but for Vibrant and her squad, it's been super valuable.

"Hey-hey! Welcome back! How'd you go with the big one?! Was it big? Was it tasty?! I bet it was!"

Speaking of whom, the hyper energetic soldier comes bouncing along the web from a separate corner of the expanse.

"Find anything on your side?" I ask her.

"Nope-nope! It's all been cleared out! We left the spawn points alone though, just like you said. It's so empty here now, it's almost weird!"

I nod. Leaving the spawn points alone will let this place regenerate into a nice hunting ground for the Colony. Unless I miss my guess, the fat spider will move out and into a different territory. We've wiped out her army and cornered her once, if we come back with more ants, I don't care what sort of traps she has tucked away up that cave of hers, it won't be enough. A monster doesn't get to tier six or seven without developing enough of a brain to work out when they're outmatched.

"I suppose we better continue our recon mission then. Gather everyone up and we'll head out into the tunnels. We've got a lot of ground to cover and we spent a lot of time in here."

"We got a lot of levels though! My friends have never been so big before! Soo many evolutions!"

Wait a sec…

"Did you just say friends?" I ask her.

Vibrant tilts her antennae in confusion.

"I suppose so? Is that bad?"

"Ah, not really? I think? I mean, do you even know what friends are?"

"Yup-yup! Just like Crinis and me! Buds for ever!"

A tentacle extends from my back and reaches out to Vibrant to give the inky tendril of darkness a quick 'slap!' in the air with an antenna. I guess that's a high five?

[You two did hang out a lot when you were little, didn't you, Crinis?]

[We did. And Vibrant helped me a lot when you went missing. We even ate humans together.]

[I see. Well that's good then.]

Hang on, WHAT?!

Ah, forget it. Do I even want to know? Not like they were eating ants. Nope, the Colony has a strange respect for the dead, at least, the same respect that a normal ant Colony has for its dead. They take them out of the nest and watch them, much like normal ants remove bodies and place them a distance away so they don't invite fungus or disease into their home. In this world, it goes a little farther. They don't eat the Biomass, nor do they harvest the cores from the deceased ants. In what might seem like a tremendous loss of efficiency, they let them return to the dungeon, dissolving into pure mana before they vanish. I've seen a few such… I hesitate to call them ceremonies, but they do feel quite impactful, in their own way, since I've arrived. I'd rather not see any more.

The real haul for me personally has been the ongoing development of my Skills. Nothing helps pump up those levels like combat experience, even against weaker foes. Thanks to having a decent group of ants around me, my brains have been able to churn out battle magic non-stop. The day of elemental fusion is drawing ever closer! MUAHAHAHA!

I'm so close to the avatar state I can almost feel the arrow on my forehead. Watch out Dungeon! I'm coming for you!

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