Chapter 872 – Landing Is The Best Part
Watching Brixin and her two chumps being bathed in the combined firepower of my siblings is certainly entertaining, almost entertaining enough to make me forget that I'm about to land in a world of hurt, but luckily I come back to myself quickly enough to roll over and look down at my waiting pets. To my joy and somewhat to my surprise, Tiny is looking up at me, arms out and face creased with concentration as he repositions himself to attempt the catch.
Please don't stuff this up, big guy, I do not want to end my second life scattered across the rock like an ant that got stepped on. I'm too young and certainly too shiny to go out like that!
Luckily Invidia is on the ball. The brainy demon spins together a series of shields, each one layered atop the other with a metre between. I can even appreciate that he's managed to adjust the strength of each shield so that I'll hit the weaker ones first before smacking into something stronger, thus bleeding off a little more speed each time. The ability of that eyeball to do this at the speed he did it… absolutely astonishing. Just another reminder that the distance between me and a truly dedicated spell slinging monster is rather wide.
Thanks to my efforts with gravity mana, I don't weigh half as much as I normally would, and I have far less force. Even so I crash through the first of Invidia's shields without even feeling them, but the following ones begin to get harder and harder, drawing out a wince of pain as I smack into them. To minimise potential injury, I roll onto my uninjured side and allow the carapace there to take the force, the inner-carapace plating doing a lot of work to disperse the impact. Despite all that, my HP still takes a hit, much like my insides, as I effectively run into wall after wall.
After a dozen of these the ground looms large in my sight and so too does the hairy chest of Tiny which I crash land into, sending the two of us tumbling over the stone. When we finally come to a halt, I've rolled out of the big ape's grip and come to a stop a few metres away. Tiny has a wide grin on his face and gives me a bold thumbs up, looking so pleased that it takes me a moment to realise his other arm is hanging uselessly by his side.
Why are you looking so happy when your arm is broken?!
With a sigh I spin together some more healing mana and apply it to the big ape. It'll be enough to get him through the short term and kick start the healing process. I'm not nearly as good a medic as someone more dedicated to the art.
[Thanks Tiny. And thank you Invidia. You both did great. Looks like we were successful.]
Above our heads the air is still packed full of explosions, acid, fire, ice, bursts of steam and all sorts of things as the irate Colony continues to unleash their wrath without holding back. To be honest, I don't think Brixin is even there anymore. She probably managed to lift herself above it all a little while back but being exposed to that barrage for even a second or two is going to strip the hide off even a tier seven.
In other words, I doubt she's dead, but wherever she is up there, she's not doing so hot.
Which is fine by me, I need a little time to recover. Becoming Anthony's flying circus not once but twice in a day was quite an unexpected event and I'm in no rush to repeat the experience. Around me the ants are beginning to move on from their unending assault on the air above their heads to conquering the city more generally. As the moments tick by, more and more of my siblings stop slinging their anger and ordinance upwards and begin to file into Orpule.
"Move in your teams! Follow the trails! Move quickly to secure your checkpoints! And somebody tell Vibrant to slow down!" a blast of pheromones billows out from nearby, stinging my antennae with their sharpness.
A few moments later the source becomes apparent as Advant walks towards me, her antennae still swinging wildly as she blasts out orders to the surrounding ants.
"I thought Victor was in charge here?" I say.
"She's further back. We didn't want to risk exposing our top generals to attack when we arrived on the plate. She should be up here before too long, so long as nothing else goes wrong. I take it that was you I saw soaring through the air?"
"I think you're imagining things."
"Right… just another story to add to the legend of the Eldest, eh?"
"Nothing. Are you going to be in any state to move anytime soon?"
I flex my legs a little.
"Give it a few minutes and I'll be able to move about. Won't be all that fast, but I'll be mobile."
"That might have to do. We haven't finished dealing with Brixin yet. I believe she's been weakened, along with the two tier seven demons who are supporting her, but they aren't dead, not by a long shot."
Focusing upwards, I can see that the Colony is still hurling spells into the air, but visibility is slowly returning and so far I can't see the ruler of Orpule anywhere. Former ruler at this point I suppose. The Colony has flooded into the city by now and Vibrant has been running rampant in there, along with Sarah, for some time. If there's much resistance left in the city, it'll be in the plate beneath us which we haven't invaded yet. If Brixin wants to take this place back, she's going to have to nuke the thing from orbit, there's no getting rid of us now.
"Do you still think our plan has a chance to work?"
The steady soldier flicks her antennae.
"To be honest, I think the chance of it succeeding has improved rather than gone down. If anyone can pull it off, it's going to be you."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence," I respond dryly. "All I have to do is face down three tier seven demons. Nothing at all."
"It's not like you'll do it alone. There are thousands of us here, compared to that, what do they have?"