In desperation, I turn the final stages of forming the gravity bomb over to my main mind, the only brain I have that specialises in handling gravity mana. I can immediately feel the difference, but I still need the support of the sub-minds to keep things flowing as I continue to piece together the biggest bomb I've ever made. When I let this go, it's going to get messy around here…
"Back off a little more!" I warn the Colony, "make sure you get a solid grip on something!"
After a moment I add.
"That goes double for you, Protectant! Create some space and hold on tight!"
I've no doubt that my defenders have been hovering closer than they should be against a foe like Grokus, and the odds are that they've taken a good chunk of damage from his aura effect just trying to stay near to me. Claws crossed they take my warning seriously, it'd be a massive waste of the Colony's resources.
[Unleash your spell!] the city lord taunts me as he rumbles forward, each step causing the very rock beneath our feet to crumble. [I almost hunger for it! I hunger for your despair!]
Enough of this guy's freaking mouth already! Sharp pain stabs through my insides as I skitter out of the way of his grasping hands, prompting me to activate my healing gland once again. The soothing liquid regenerates my missing health in short order but the rate of decrease is continuing to ramp up. Eventually I'll run out of juice and be eaten up from the inside out. This is one heck of a nasty power!
But I won't have to worry about that… I hope. My gravity bomb is ready.
A nervous feeling wells up within me as I behold the condensed ball of mana that I've created. It practically pulses with dark light, the only thing in the stratum with a larger appetite than the tier seven demon in front of me. Let's hope he enjoys it! My brains strain to contain the unstable construction as I suddenly Dash backwards, triggering three separate dashes with each pair of feet to create maximum distance.
[If you're that hungry, chew on this!] I yell as the spell is unleashed.
The moment I release it, the world fades to black and I hunch my body low to the ground, clinging to the rock with my claws as hard as I can. Even so, I feel my weight lift for a horrifying second as the spell travels away from me, trying to draw me after it. A second later the terrifying noise of it reaches my ears.
The air rushes towards the ball as it flies through the air toward Grokus' waiting maw, creating a gale that shrieks from every direction. The light itself dims to almost nothing as the gravity bomb passes near, suċkɨnġ away everything it can. Bounding forward to close the gap when I launched the spell, the city lord grins wide as he sees my spell unleashed. Sensing the sheer volume of mana packed into it, he folds himself up in a defensive curl, wrapping his arms around his head to put as much meat between the sphere and his body as he can.
I had a feeling he might do this, he wants to take the spell head on and come out standing on the other side, relying on whatever strange resistance and regeneration he has to pull through anything I can throw at him. Somehow I get the feeling he isn't quite expecting this…
The moment the bomb hits, time seems to slow down. The ball shrinks into a pinpoint of darkness before it expands into a raging sphere of destruction almost twenty metres in diameter. The pull is horrendous, dragging stone, ash, fire and anything not nailed down toward the centre of the bomb where it will be crushed completely. I can't even see how Grokus is handling it, the sphere itself blocking out all light at the point of impact.
Far worse than before, reality itself seems to scream as the ground shakes, the air shrieks and light fades away. All I can do is bury my head and grip with my claws for dear life as I resist being dragged into the mass and destroyed.
Come on. Give me the notification. Give me the experience notification! There's no way he survives this! I don't care how much of a chonk lord he is with a resistance to magical effects, there's no way you can eat a gravity bomb this size and be standing on the other side of it. I can't even imagine what it would be like in there for him, and frankly I don't want to know.
Time drags on as the spell rages. What seems like long minutes is most likely just several drawn out seconds, but eventually the spell fades and the world returns to normal once more. I spring back onto my legs, ready for anything.
I don't know how or why, but I know that my opponent isn't dead. Without the notification from Gandalf, he must have survived and I need to be ready for anything.
What greets my eyes is not a particularly pretty picture. Grokus is alive, but he probably would rather not be. What remains of the city lord is a twitching mess with a rather large hole chewed out of the middle. I find it shocking that he's actually still living in that condition. A few chomps ought to put an end to him. I approach cautiously, but without much concern, he doesn't even have a mouth anymore, what sort of harm can he really do?
That's when I see something truly bizarre. It happens so fast I almost can't believe my eyes. Starting at the base, but shifting rapidly up the body, the entire form of the city lord begins to regrow, flesh and bone and sinew appearing out of thin air and stitching together faster than I can see.
[Pour it on!] I yell at my two pets. [Hit him with everything! He'll be back to normal in a few seconds!]
Taking my own advice, I run forward, locking my mandibles into position and unleashing my most powerful bite.
Locking and unleashing in rapid succession my entire face aches as my stamina rapidly depletes toward nothing. From my left comes Tiny, the big ape leaping forward and smashing his fists out with blinding speed, the powerful concussive blasts rippling through the demon's body every time his fists land. Crinis goes all out, unleashing all of her limbs at once and wrapping them around the entirety of the city lord's body, sawing and rending as fast as she can, trying to overcome this truly monstrous level of regeneration.
[That was more than I expected from you… I see that I did underestimate you in the end,] the taunting voice of Grokus rings out in my mind once again.
Looking up, I can see that the demon is almost whole once more. His arms are still regenerating but his mouth has returned, along with the human torso that sits atop his bulk. A sharp pang in my gut brings back the realisation that the aura effect hasn't gone away. The ravenous hunger that has been chewing me out from the inside is still there, worse than ever! I trigger another wave of regeneration fluid but the relief is very temporary. The moment my HP tops off, it once again starts to fall.
[Back away from him!] I order my pets and they are forced to obey, unable to go against my direct command.
[You are weak!] the once again whole demon laughs at me, his entire body shaking with the force of his mirth. [I must admit that you gave it your best, but the time has come for you and your kind to submit to the superior monster.]
His mouth opens wide and his tongue lolls out, as if inviting me to obediently walk into his belly.
As if that's going to happen! There's no way he can infinitely revive himself… There's always a cost to any ability in the Dungeon, I know that much, the trick is, what is the secret to his? Then I notice his arm… one of his claws… is it… still damaged?