With my dagger gone, [Last Resort] activates and I receive a substantial boost in attack. What was once a brutal struggle against the wolves has become rather blaśe to me, and I move deeper into the forest as a result.
Large deer and wolves appearing in far bigger packs are my most obvious threats here. Inside this pristine forest however I soon learn that appearences can be deceiving.
Slowly I creep up on a huge buck. It’s antlers make it an easy six feet tall, and close to 400 lbs of fury incarnate if provoked. Those antlers are wickedly sharp, and could easily kill me if they find unprotected skin. While hiding behind a small pine tree for the wind to shift again I notice a large stemmed mushroom coming out of the ground in front of me and freeze. I know from prior experience that this was an ant lion nest’s lure. Before I have a chance to run 7 antlions emerge from the ground, and surround me. Ant lions are fierce alone, but with this many… it was a disastrous situation, even for me. Taking deep breaths I calm myself down as the waist high monsters tighten their circle, hissing as they clack their mandibles and clamor for my blood. I have one chance to escape this, and I take it, charging the southern portion of the formation. My spear leaps toward the enemy there, striking it dead center. It does shave a little of his hp off, but it fails to do much but piss the antlion off, much to my expectation. I re-ready my spear and vanish from their sights as the ants close in on my space, the one I’m engaged with misses as it goes in for a bite.
I appear behind the antlion I had been fighting and land a few cheap shots to the back, severely injuring it in the process.
My spear carves a path straight through his chitin with those blows however, allowing me to reach a vulnerable chemical pouch, filled with acid. I push the ant back with my foot as I rush past it and to the other antlions. My mana nearly spent, i go berserk, shouting as I meet their charge.
I hear the low trickle and sizzle sounds from the exposed acid pouch behind me, so I shouldn’t have to worry about it recovering.
Using my spear as a measuring stick i strike anyone who comes within range. Slowly but surely however I get pushed back from the constasnt onslaught, exposing myself to harm along the way due to a lack of real skill or practice.
I take numerous small cuts and bruises but overall Im still capable enough, keeping my composure and clashing with the lions again .
This time i’m not so lucky. In the midst of battle there is at least one individual who notices my pattern, and moves to intercept me. It manages to clamp itself to my left arm. As it grips my arm the limb shatters and I howl in agony, throwing myself against a tree and teleporting as far away as I can.
I head back to the campsite to heal. The ants that follow me for a time give up chase shortly before crossing the river, something i take mental note of. I then begin to plot revenge on the Antlions. I will overcome this for my pride.
Author’s note: [Sorry for the short chapter, I edited the second half together with the next chapter for a real doozy, that way the action wouldn’t end up getting stopped in the middle of the next fight.]