WebNovel Chrysalis Chapter 876 – Leisure Time

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Chrysalis is a Webnovel completed by Rinoz. This lightnovel is right now Ongoing.

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Chapter 876 – Leisure Time

The origins of the mother tree are difficult to determine, even for us. Her children have been consulted on many occasions but not even the most talkative Grove Keeper was willing to spill even an iota of their parent’s secret history. What we can say with certainty is that she was sp.a.w.ned somewhere between the third and fifth strata, most likely several hundred years after the Rending. As the interests of the Colony moved alongside her own, the tree and her people became something of an ally to the family, but even so there has always been a certain standoffishness to the mother tree that is not present in her children.

Despite the best attempts of the Diplomants, there has been little to no success in drawing closer to the tree herself, she seems content to exist in almost total isolation with only her children allowed anywhere near her actual body.

After she aided the Colony during the initial Legion War, more to spite her enemies than out of any genuine affection for ants, we have always been predisposed to her people and have had many favourable engagements with them over the years. The Eldest in particular seems fond of the Bruan’chii and famously makes a point of visiting every grove they come across, something the diplomatic wing of the Colony greatly dreads. The Eldest has caused many an incident with our enemies, and allies, with their casual ‘visits’, but curiously, never once with the Bruan’chii.

Despite the mystery that still surrounds their progenitor and matriarch, the folk of the mother tree continue to be a source of wealth and friendship to the Colony. We can only a.s.sume that this is in line with their parent’s goals.

· Excerpt from ‘Notes on Dealings with the Bruan’chii’ by Historiant.

“Are you sure you aren’t being lazy, Eldest?”

“Positive. I’m conserving my energy, storing it all up like water filling a tank. Nothing is being wasted here, I a.s.sure you.”

“Stop slacking, Eldest!:”

“Oi! I resent that! I’m actually doing something right now!”

“Slacking!”

“Dammit! Don’t you have things to be doing rather than throwing your scent-jibes my way?”

“We are working!”

“Ah. That’s true…”

An unfortunate side effect of being ants I suppose, they can be working with their mandibles and have their claws full of materials but none of that stops them communicating through scent! Despite objectively being very busy, the team of ants working on construction in front of me are still quite capable of flinging their banter at me without missing a beat. Curse this extra layer of convenience!

Ah well, it’s not really all that distracting in the end. With my plethora of mind constructs I’m perfectly capable of holding a dozen lines of thought all at once, so exchanging words with my siblings occupies merely a smidgeon of my vast mental capacity! It feels good to have such a powerful brain.

As I absentmindedly continue my conversation I focus much more of my attention inwards, towards the Vestibule. With thousands of ants within the city and more working above, in the second stratum, and below scouring the plains, the organ is awash with energy, the collective Will of the Colony feeding into my being after being magnified through the Nave. The thoughts and feelings, the desires and drives of all those thousands of ants fluttering within, a constant stream of them.

It’s not something I often do, in fact it’s something I usually avoid doing in a very deliberate way, but I can reach into the stream and take hold of a single drop, one specific sliver of thought, and experience that little wrapped up parcel of Will like a vignette. I’ve gotten much better at doing this lately, since I have been almost exclusively using this method to track Brilliant through the thoughts she unknowingly supplies me. Now that I have a little time on my mandibles, I’ve decided that it might be a good idea to actually experiment and play around with this ability.

So here I am, plonked down in the centre of Orpule as several teams of workers build and modify the city around me, poking and prodding away at the vast sums of energy pouring through me at any given moment. Guided by divine providence I reach within the flow with my mind and take hold of a drop of Will.

The Eldest really is slacking, but I suppose it’s fine. It’s the Eldest after all!

“HEY! Yes you, the soldier over there! I’m NOT slacking off! I’m testing some things over here! Alright?! Being the Eldest doesn’t make it okay to slack!”

The ant in question jerks with surprise at suddenly being yelled at, almost dropping the chunk of stone she had in her mandibles. As I settle down and relax once more, the surrounding ants all scratch their heads in confusion, turning to look at the poor soldier and then back to me. For her part, the soldier shrugs it off admirably and gets back to work, not thinking too deeply about what I’d had to say.

I know that because I checked on her through the Vestibule again.

Something odd occurred to me though. It was almost as if my siblings nearby reacted to me a moment before I’d jump up and start throwing pheromones at them. This isn’t the first time either. The more attention I pay to the thoughts and feelings of the Colony, the more I start to realise that the Nave may have done more than simply amplify the energy I receive through the Vestibule.

It’s almost as if the connection were leaking back the other way.

Which isn’t a comfortable thought, I don’t really want the Colony exposed to my thoughts and feelings, they’re so much less productive than what they provide to me! The last thing we need is to have all of the ants struck by indecision, a lack of care to detail and an allergy to proper planning! It would be a disaster! I’ll have to experiment more with this.

Pushing that worrisome thought to the side, I continue to practice monitoring the flow of energy, dipping into it to draw out a single ‘piece’ of it and letting that wash through me.

A mage ant who specialises in Earth Magic, her mind bent to shaping the stone in front of her, determined to shape a st.u.r.dy home for her people.

A scout running messages, her legs sore and aching from constant movement but a burning desire to help her family keeps her moving forward.

A general coordinating teams, ensuring she positions herself correctly in the grid to apply her aura buffs to as wide a radius as possible. So long as there are others working, she will remain in place to a.s.sist as best she can.

Vibrant is running! Fast, fast, fast, fast, fastfastfastFASTFASTFAST! If she moves fast enough, she might even catch up!

A core shaper looks across at her pets, who she carefully crafted when they were cores and then raised from the moment they were reconst.i.tuted. They are like her own grubs, but she will sacrifice them for the Colony should the need arise. Nothing is more important than her siblings.

Brilliant is thinking, scheming, her mind racing at a hundred kilometres an hour, like it always does. A rare opportunity where the Eldest has let her off the hook and she needs to explore! To learn! To seek out the truth! Constantly in the back of her mind the mana is spinning as she absent mindedly trains her Skills. She’s on the verge of a breakthrough, she can feel it!

The ease at which she can handle mana is just unfair. Even here in a game world, talent is a real thing.

I keep reaching into the pool, taking out parcels of Will one by one, letting the experiences of the Colony flow through me.

———-

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