Looking through my currently available mutations, there is, of course, the ones from before, Spiked Tail, Sharp Horns, and Strong Venom. But I now have the choice of three more, Extreme Stomach, Colossal Size, and Growth. Of all my choices, four of them tread the path towards the Ouroboros, from what I can tell at least.
Colossal Size is simply the next step up from my current Massive Size. Similarly, Extreme stomach is the next one up from my recently acquired Enhanced Stomach. Strong Venom is also rather straight forward as it simply increases the potency of my venom and acid. But Growth seems rather complicated, moreover, it's one of the required mutations for the Ouroboros. For every 1,000kg of total biomatter consumed, I grow proportionally by 1 metre and gain additional bonus stats to my strength, vitality, stamina, and health, but my dexterity also decreases.
Colossal Size will grant a larger stat increase immediately on top of it being an increase to my base stats rather than bonus stats. Growth on the other hand, despite being additional bonus stats, I would have a steady flat stat boost over time even without a level up. Looking into the actual numbers, Colossal Size will provide +500 HP, +250 SP, +50 STR, +60 VIT, and -25 DEX. Meanwhile, the stats for Growth's bonuses are +15 HP, +10 SP, +5 STR, +10 VIT, and -5 DEX.
If I want an immediate boost in power Colossal Size will provide a large boost, or I could go with Strong Venom. However, in the long run, Growth exceeds all the other options in terms of scaling. On the other hand, if I'm no worried about my strength in combat Extreme Stomach will allow me to digest food faster and it will even convert 1% of the inorganic material I eat into biomatter.
The fastest way to grow is to take down monsters that are stronger than me from the systems point of view, so higher tier adult monsters. But this comes with one major problem, finding monsters stronger than me right now is dangerous. If that Bullet Mantis Shrimp had just one more level, I would have most likely died. I had severely overestimated how durable I am. As it stands I have no problem with actually damaging stronger monsters, but my survival is limited. Thus I can rule out Strong Venom for now and as Colossal Size will remedy the immediate survivability problem.
I think for now I can rule out Growth as well since it will take far too long right now to be effective. But I do think Extreme Stomach can be considered here. The conversion of inorganic matter to biomatter is incredibly useful even if it is only a 1% conversion. With the sheer amount of inorganic matter I consume to keep my hunger sated, I should be able to make back the cost within a month or two. From there it's just an increase in the rate I obtain more mutations.
Now that I've brought my options down to two choices, it's just a matter of choosing. With a bit of deliberation, I choose Colossal Size. I'd rather not take any chances with my luck. If I go for Extreme Stomach, chances are high that something big will just happen to swim near me.
"This action will consume 6,000kg of biomatter. Are you sure you want to continue?"
As usual, the moment I confirm my choice, my entire body heats up. Due to my incredibly large body, I already produced quite a bit of heat, but now it's so hot the water around me is starting to boil... isn't that kinda bad?
The Mutation process only took around ten minutes, but I was rendered helpless for closer to thirty as I needed both my body and the surrounding water to cool down. With the heat finally subsiding, I check out how much larger I've gotten and found that I'm actually quite close to the Trench Dragon in size now, but I'm still a few hundred metres short of it. Unforutanly, the water began to heat back up as I was checking my new smoking hot body. I think I see why the large Dragons were sedentary now and only moved when they absolutely had too. They probably suffered from this heat more than I am. During the mutation process, I was losing health due to the extreme heat, and now I'm still losing health from it just because I tried to check myself out.
"Resistance acquired, Weak Heat Resist."
That's nice and all but it's not enough. I can still feel the water temperature rising, even if my health decay has slowed it will just increase again once the temperature rises enough. Sure, if I sit still I can avoid this, but I need to eat. To both not die of hunger and keep my health up.
With this in mind, I ignore the pain and the increasing temperature and start ploughing away at the seafloor. Eating everything I possibly can, small seafloor dwelling crustaceans, rocks, sand, anything just to keep my health up. But of course, in trying to keep my health up I need to keep moving around, which increases my body heat, which in turn forces me to keep eating... I should have taken Extreme Stomach instead.
Eventually, after almost five hours of gruelling pain and suffering from the overheating, I gained Medium Heat Resist, but it wasn't enough. It definitely decreased the amount of pain I felt from the heat and I no longer felt as if I was being cooked alive, my health was still going down. It took another ten hours before I finally got Strong Heat Resist, that all the pain disappeared and my health stopped decaying.
Now that I finally have a chance to rest without passively dying, I should check out what I got from the Colossal Size stat increases. I even levelled up again while I was rampaging, I guess with how close I was to levelling up the small guys that I unintentionally killed and ate gave enough despite the penalty for the low tiers.
HP: 3238/3238 (+150) MP: 1156/1156 (+150) SP: 2428/2428 (+150)
STR: 1318 (+150)
VIT: 1353 (+150)
DEX: 867 (+150)
INT: 1029 (+145)
WIS: 971 (+150)
MND: 959 (+150)
Quite a large increase compared to before, although since I levelled up, I can't tell if it's just the absurd power scaling or if it's Colossal Size that is causing my stats to jump so high. But if I'm certain of anything, I'm not taking a size increase mutation until I find some way to get Heat Immunity. I never want to go through that again.