Ch. 179 Five Red Ants
I scout around the perimeter of the red ants’ nest to look for any ants. As usual, I’m having Adofu and the ball rabbit wait on standby in the distance.
The plan won’t start until we grab the centipede dumplings and bring them towards the nest.
The problem is that simply carrying the dumplings to the nest by hand is impossible. It’s just too much to carry, but taking them near the nest would be too suspicious.
I could try catching a red ant and forcing it to take a dumpling back to the nest. I can only pray that I can get my hands on a red ant like that though, so that plan won’t really work.
Honestly, there’s a high chance that they’ll just spit out the centipede dumplings like the ianians did and just leave them alone. Rather, since they’re poisoned, the possibility of that happening is much higher. If I were a red ant, I definitely would not carry something as disgusting as this back to the queen. It would be considered as lèse-majesté and I’d be beheaded on the spot. The nest would be filled with the stench of the centipede.
Back in my original world though, I have seen ants carrying even grasshoppers back into their nest quite a few times. I can eat dark worms, but I still can’t stomach grasshoppers. I think that even one ant carrying back a single dumpling might inflict some damage upon the colony. So long as it actually takes it to the colony. At this point in time, I can’t just dispose of this pile of centipede dumplings. It’s too late to turn back now.
That centipede was truly strong. Even in death it still manages to inflict damage upon my very soul. It seems that I’ll be tasting centipede no matter what I eat for a while. No, it’s my fault for eating after all. I know that.
While I was scouting around, I saw a scorpion that is about three meters long being surrounded by some red ants. I quickly duck behind some rocks and observe.
The scorpion was gray with two front claws, which are characteristic of a scorpion.
As for the red ants, I saw five. Included among the five is a red ant that I had previously wrestled with in their nest. Moreover, the formation that they took against the scorpion tells me that the fight is now over. The scorpion is already surrounded, there’s no way for it to get out. Yeah, it’s as good as dead.
The two red ants standing in front of the scorpion take turns performing feints to direct the attention of the scorpion towards themselves. The other red ants take the opportunity to bite the tail and legs of the scorpion from its blind spots. As soon as the scorpion redirects its attention to resist the ants behind it, the remaining ones go after it.
It’s a dirty way to fight for sure, but it is quite effective. It keeps the damage to all members of the group to a minimum.
The scorpion was flipped onto its back instantly. The red ants surrounding the scorpion begin to quickly chew it into pieces, and it soon stops moving. It’s survival of the fittest out here, and there is strength in numbers.
Well, let’s take a look at its status.
Species: Big Scissor
They killed a C rank monster in an instant! Whoa now. Hey. Should I really be starting a fight with these guys? One wrong move and I’ll end up like that too. In their own way, they’re stronger than the centipede.
The five red ants pick up the scorpion and start carrying it off.
Five, hmm… with that many in a group, if I charge in without any strategy, I might have the table turned on me. I just saw how they instantly killed that C rank monster, before it even had a chance to make a move. Sorry, but I refuse to make the same mistake as Big Scissor-senpai.
But wait, isn’t it fine so long as I don’t get surrounded? Thanks to the level boost I got from defeating the large centipede, my speed should now exceed that of the red ants by a significant amount. If it comes down to it, I could also fly away or use [[Roll]] to make an escape. If I fight skillfully, I can avoid being surrounded and mobbed to death, like Big Scissor-senpai was.
[[Clay Gun]] is just about the only long-range skill that the red ants have. If I need to escape, it may be possible to use [[Wind Slash]] while getting away. It will be a prolonged fight due to the [[Automatic HP Regeneration]] skill the red ants have, but if I can focus on one ant at a time and take their numbers down to two or three, then I could take them all on at once. Alright, shall we begin?
I fly out in front of the red ants as they’re carrying the scorpion and fire off [[Wind Slash]]. It’s important for me to figure out how much of the ant’s HP I can shave off now, before I actually enter the battle. If possible, I would also like to take down one of them with this.
“Kucha!” “Kuchach!” “Kuchach!”
The red ants are panicking big-time. Of course there’s nothing else to expect.
I didn’t want to attack while they were carrying their food back to their nest, but this is nature and there is no entitlement to such conveniences here. It’s necessary to grab onto every chance I can get and to have nerves of steel so luck doesn’t just pass me by. Forgive me, red ants.
Four of the red ants simultaneously abandon the body of the scorpion, which then falls over onto the fifth one who failed to move in time.
While I don’t think that a single scorpion is something worth dying over, it’s great that one of the ants is no longer able to move. Targeting the closest of the four ants in front of me, I quickly release [[Wind Slash]] at it. Damn, they move better than I thought they would. They managed to avoid two of my attacks.
Yeah, don’t stop now, wings. Now to send out the next [[Wind Slash]]. With this I should be able to instantly close the distance.
The moment the two foremost ants bark at me, two red sand bullets come flying towards me. There it is, the skill [[Clay Gun]]. I fly backwards in an exaggerated manner and avoid them. It is much easier to move around out here in the open than back in the nest where I couldn’t move horizontally or vertically. Although, that’s true for their side as well…
When the two ants in front of me shoot, the other two ants behind them follow up with [[Clay Gun]] and fire at me as well. I fly further back, but they anticipate where I’m going to land and fire some projectiles there as well. Since it’s unavoidable, I guard myself with my wings.
Yeah, it seems that I’m at a little bit of a disadvantage in this shootout. However, the red ants don’t have much MP. This is tough, but I should be recovering well with [[Automatic HP Regeneration]]. If I can withstand this shootout, they’ll lose both their means of recovery and attack. Although it may be a dilemma, but it is also an opportunity. It’s better to let them continue using [[Clay Gun]] than widening the distance between us.
I focus on avoiding their [[Clay Gun]], and reduce my usage of [[Wind Slash]]. But, I’m unable to do that.
One of them makes a mad dash towards me. Well, that’s just great.
With a roar, I launch three [[Wind Slash]]s at the red ant. It manages to avoid the first one, but the second one shatters the ground beneath its legs, hindering its movement. The third one hits the ant head-on, and it collapses head-first. Yes! just as planned!
In the mere moments my attention was focused on the ant that I just killed, the other three have spread themselves out wide. These guys, are they planning to attack me from all sides? When I try to close a gap in my defenses, they create another. It’s a vicious cycle. They really are an unpleasant opponent to fight.