WebNovel Chrysalis Chapter 863 – Assault On Orpule 5

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Chrysalis is a web novel made by Rinoz. This lightnovel is currently Ongoing.

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Chapter 863 – a.s.sault On Orpule 5

The defensive strategy of the Colony is a brutal one. Though they shy away from attrition warfare in principle, they have been known to engage in it when the grim calculus of war is sufficiently in their favour. If you are losing ten soldiers for every ant you kill, then that isn’t a fight that will go well for you. However, committing meat to the grinder is often the only avenue that the d.a.m.ned insects will leave open for you. The records are filled with example after example of the superiority of their defensive construction. The generals have a saying: “Leave three ants on a rock for two days and you’ll find an impregnable fortress when you get back.” The folly of rushing to engage the fortifications of the ants has been proven time and time again.

Their mages are well trained and strong, adaptable and with excellent coordination. The spell barrages that would-be attackers are forced to endure are harrowing. If you manage to neutralise the mages with your own, no easy task, then you still have the literal rain of acid to deal with. Their artillery ants are capable of firing the stuff a kilometre, spraying wide areas with a mist that will strip flesh from bones if given the chance. Suppose you manage to overcome that obstacle, you advance into their fortifications, likely an anthill since that’s their favoured configuration, then what?

A b.l.o.o.d.y grind of a battle where you are forced to a.s.sault layer after layer of walls, traps and pitfalls, that’s what. The ground will open up behind you to vomit out hundreds of ravenous monsters, rivers of acid will explode out of nowhere, bursting from concealed storage chambers and flowing down the hill, literally taking the feet out from under you. It’s a nightmare, but it’s not impossible. With sufficient numbers, grit and clever tactics, you can overcome this hurdle. But what have you won? The answer is nothing. You have conquered the outside of the anthill, which is nothing. All the things they want to defend are INSIDE the hill, which means the true test is yet to come.

Fighting the ants within the tunnels of their own fortress-hills is some of the most brutal fighting I’ve ever seen in my forty-year career. I’ve witnessed veteran soldiers come out of those tunnels as shivering wrecks, completely broken from the experience. It’s dark, it’s cramped, and at any time, from any direction, a veritable horde of terrifying monsters could burst out through the walls. Fighting the ants outside is hard enough, within the narrow confines of their nests? They turn into another beast entirely.

My official recommendation for a.s.saulting ant fortifications is this: don’t.

Establish ranged superiority and throw stuff at it until it crumbles into dust, then burn the dust until nothing remains but a puddle of molten rock. It takes a long time, requires a ma.s.sive concentration of valuable a.s.sets, but it’s the only way that works.

· Excerpt from ‘Report and Theory on a.s.saulting Ant strongholds’ by Robert Stronghand.

When I snap out of torpor, I find that the rest of my group has already abandoned me, leaving me inside the small resting chamber all on my lonesome. It’s fine though, my feelings aren’t hurt. I’m tougher than this! Dammit… I need a diamond covering for my heart. I head out of the chamber to find the Colony has been anything but lazy whilst I was… taking a tactical nap. Construction on the ramp has continued at a vicious pace and already the mighty edifice rises high into the burning air of the third stratum.

Seriously, there must be tens of thousands of tons of stone used to make this thing, if not more. It’s bonkers. Still, the Colony is doing it! A constant stream of construction materials flows into the site but not as many as before. As I take a look around, I can see that a large concentration of ants has been a.s.sembled toward the tip of the ramp and that some form of conflict is taking place there. It’s already started?! I need to get moving! Flexing my legs a little I quickly dash forward, scanning around me to find the mana signatures of my crew.

[Sarah? Tiny? Crinis? Invidia? Where are you guys?]

At first I can’t spot them but as I run up the base of the ramp and head towards the emerging end of the ma.s.sive thing I quickly recognise them up ahead. They’re already at work!

[Guys! Why didn’t you wait for me?!]

[Oh! Hi Anthony!] Sarah greets me. [We thought it would be best to let you sleep. You’ve been up for a long time after all.]

[But don’t let the fighting start without me! I need to be here to help out!]

[It’s fine. There isn’t all that much going on just yet. If things were getting too crazy we would have definitely made sure you were around.]

She’s right. When I eventually make it to the end to find all of my pets, Sarah and Al gathered there, I realise that what I was seeing was only the initial salvos of what is sure to become a hectic battle. Right now, the distance between the edge of the plate and the ramp is still hundreds of metres, too far for most monsters to harm each other, except of course, the spell slingers. Already a fiery exchange is taking place as the demons throw literal fire and a host of ant mages, along with Invidia and Al, fire back whilst protecting the horde of workers continuing to complete the ramp.

From Sarah’s point of view not much is happening since she can’t do anything to contribute, but there’s plenty that I can do!

[Time to put my incredible shielding skills to good use!]

I’ve been training for this moment! Full of confidence I rush to the front and begin to weave together some defensive barriers, putting all of my mental constructs to the purpose. Thanks to the upgraded coordination cortex, each of my brains has received an additional boost to their individual working capacity, along with their ability to cooperate, giving each construct that extra bit of oomph! Yes! Come to life my shields! Defend the Colony as they work to bring us to the peak!

Except that my shields are shattered almost immediately…

Dammit! I still haven’t grinded enough on the defensive magic! My priority has been on force magic over the last week, I haven’t had enough time to rank it up that far! From his position hovering just over my right shoulder Invidia continues to pump out enormous barriers with almost contemptuous ease. His silent judgement burns me like a hot needle.

[You’ve been practicing this for ages! Give me a break!]

His eye looks down on me.

[Your Skillssss. I do notsss need themsss.]

OOF.

[I’m still helping anyway!]

So my barriers aren’t that great, but I can keep spinning them and throw some ordinance up at the demons firing on us at the same time. Keeping the opponents on the back foot will reduce the heat on our workers and helpfully I’ll have enough time to rank up my barrier magic!

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