Chrysalis Chapter 703 - The core of the matter

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Chapter 703 - The core of the matter

When the itch finally fades away I find myself on my back, my legs splayed in all directions and pinned down by the barbed tentacles of Crinis.

[Crinis? What happened?]

[You were flailing too much, Master. I thought it better to hold you down than have you slip out of my containment.]

That would be a disaster that would increase my risk of being seen by at least three hundred percent! That cannot be allowed!

[You did the right thing Crinis. Well done. Any chance you can let me up now?]

[Oh! Yes!]

Somewhat reluctantly, the limbs retract back into the orb of shadow flesh that still conceals me and I roll onto my feet. It was bad this time, real bad. Doing so many high level mutations at the same time? It's always bad, but a few of the organs made it worse. The sub-neural network is brutal every time, the eyes are a particular sore point for me, and doing three separate organs inside the business district just made that whole scenario back there into a nightmare. It's done now though, Anthony, just forget about it and move onto the next job. Getting close to evolution time!

[Alright then everyone, job's done. Let's get moving to the next one.]

My pets file in behind me as I stumble out of the chamber and back out into the tunnels where I find Granin and the others waiting. My body feels a little awkward, as it always does after a heavy dose of mutation. I think the neural changes are affecting me the most.

[All done?] Granin asks.

[Fully mutated,] I confirm, [time to sort out the core.]

His eyes brighten at the mention of the core.

[I heard you had an interesting specimen you'd reserved around here somewhere. I'd love to take a look at it.]

[As long as you're quick,] I grumble, [I need to absorb that thing and I don't particularly feel like building up the suspense.]

As a group we file along the tunnels, with a few Colony members tagging along to keep track of me for the Council. Seems like they want to know where I'm up to with the process of evolving in real-time. I guess it's a big deal not only for me, but for the family as a whole. Not to worry, Colony! I won't let you down. After a quick journey we arrive in a chamber not far from the Core Shaper's work area and after a quick discussion with a nearby ant we settle in. A few minutes later, Bella and Ellie arrive with a selection of cores, including one enormous sample gripped in Bella's mandibles.

"Here you go eldest! This should be enough to max you out, and here's Garralosh's core, just as you asked!"

"You haven't fiddled with it, have you?" I ask.

The two of them look shocked.

"Of course not! We've studied it extensively, but we followed your instructions and made no alterations to the core itself! Even though we really wanted to!"

"Shut up, Bella!"


"As long as you didn't tamper with it, it's fine. Make sure you check with Crinis, she has some new cores for you to play with."

It wouldn't actually matter if they did. As far as absorbing a core goes, you can mess with it as much as you want before absorbing, the energy contained within the core is the same, but for whatever reason I didn't want them playing with Garralosh's core. It just didn't feel right.

"Is this it?" Granin brightens up when he sees the chunky core enter the room. "Can I take a look?"

He waits for me to give him permission before stepping over and gently lifting the core out of Bella's grip. What follows is a brief but vigorous discussion between the three golgari as they take turns a.n.a.lysing the core and giving their thoughts. Corun and Torrina have already had a look at it before, but it's clear how much they value Granin's insight by how attentively they listen when he speaks. The guy is an authority on monsters, after all.

[Are you guys done?] I break in. [I've got evolving to do over here.]

[Oh! Right.] Granin starts at my words then turns and places the core on the ground in front of me before stepping back. [It's not often I get to see the core of a monster one of our sister cults deemed worthy of mentors.h.i.+p. She was a powerful beast, although with a lot of wasted potential. I still find it staggering she was able to move on the surface at this level of strength, the effort involved for the Kaarmodo must have been exhausting.]

[I don't have that much sympathy, to be honest,] I tell him dryly as I look down on all that remains of the reincarnated human. You were one crazy monster, Garralosh, sorry you had to end this way.

I start off with the normal cores, reinforcing my own until I hit the limit. Last time I took in a special core as well as a rare core beyond this point, something I don't care to repeat. Gandalf himself told me that such a thing normally results in death and I'm not one to tempt fate twice.

"Okay then, here we go."

[Compatible Rare core detected. Would you like to reinforce your core, or reconst.i.tute the monster?]

Reinforce me.

Just as every time before, the core begins to dissolve into pure energy that twists through the air and into my body, suffusing the hard gem in the centre of my being and growing it. The pain is terrible as always, the enlarged core pus.h.i.+ng up against my insides in ways it was never meant to. Garralosh's core is huge, much larger than the rare core I absorbed last time. If I had to hazard a guess, if it were even a tiny bit larger it would no longer qualify as a rare core, instead being pushed to whatever stage came after that.

It takes several minutes for the process to complete and by the end I am feeling as if I had eaten another meal the size of the last one. I feel bloated, stuffed,, and twinges of pain fire through my body every time I try to move. Ugh. I hate this.

Crinis wraps herself around my carapace and pats me on the back with one tentacle, which does help somewhat. Tiny just points and laughs at me. d.a.m.n ape, you'll get yours when you evolve again, just you wait.

With my core as large as it's going to get at my current evolution, my max MP now sits at a rather impressive 530. This is a heck of a lot more evolutionary energy than I've ever had to work with before. A nervous energy starts to bubble within as I get ready to take the final step.

[Alright then. Time to evolve.]

Granin smiles wide.

[What?] I ask him.

[Me? I just love this stuff,] he shrugs, [powerful monsters and evolution have literally been my life's work. Give me a break if I get excited.]

[Doesn't hurt that I'm also a candidate for an ancient that you identified either, does it?]

His smile widens.

[I have to admit that it does add a certain zest,] he agrees. [Where are you going to do this? Here?]

[No,] I sigh, [they want me back in the other chamber where monsters won't sp.a.w.n.]

Which means I have to walk back. Yay.

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Chrysalis Chapter 703 - The core of the matter summary

You're reading Chrysalis. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Rinoz. Already has 484 views.

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