Supreme Magus Chapter 217 Valor
Learning from true magic was both harder and easier compared to fake magic. Lith hadn’t to memorize any magical word, accent, or hand sign, but he needed a deep understanding of the how and why the mana had to flow in a certain way rather than another.
Kalla knew that she couldn’t possibly teach him in a day what she had learned in months during her travels or thanks to Scarlett mentoring her. So she imparted him the most solid foundations she could about her work, hoping he could achieve the same results through study and effort.
Meanwhile, inside the headquarters, Scarlett was teaching Protector how to use his newfound powers. Unlike Kalla, he lacked an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. After evolving, he had been content enjoying his life with Selia, studying magic only during his free time.
– “Damn, this country bumpkin of a Skoll is like the proverbial frog in the well.” Scarlett inwardly cursed. “If after discovering the outside world the frog decided to not give a damn about it, of course. He is by far the weakest of us three, I need to bring him up to speed and fast!”-
Scarlett was dissecting one of Balkor’s thralls they had captured, using her enchanted pince-nez to better understand the structure of the spells that kept the undead together along with its abnormal blood core. She would pass it to Protector from time to time, showing him how to recognize a spell’s keystones.
“I knew there was something wrong with Balkor the moment Linjos described to me his creations.” Scarlett explained.
“Lesser undead that requires flesh and blood to work, able to regenerate and ignore arrays. None of it made sense. Necromancy doesn’t work like that. Do you see that?” Scarlett pointed to a black piece of flesh right besides were the blood core was.
“Yes.” Protector replied while wearing the pince-nez. “It smells like an Abomination.”
“Because it is one, or at last a fragment of it. This madman must have found an Abomination naturally resistant to magic, captured it, and integrated its abilities with his thralls.
“Abominations constantly need life force to survive while undead bear the spark of their maker as a mark. He used his own life force to keep together the blood core and the Abomination’s unique abilities. This is the secret behind their powers and limited life span.
“As soon as Balkor’s life force runs out, the Abomination fragment goes wild, destroying the undead and making impossible a full examination like the one we are performing right now. Whoever he is, this guy is insane.”
“Don’t you mean a genius?” Protector was barely understanding half of what Scarlett was saying. “Also, why is this thing still intact? Shouldn’t have already self-destructed?”
“He is definitely insane. He didn’t use light magic, but his own life force. It means that with each undead he makes, his life gets shorter. As for your second question, it should, but Kalla’s array slowed down the decay process enough for us to collect all the data we need.
“The good news is that Balkor isn’t the one I’m looking for. He isn’t looking for immortality, rather he seeks the death of his enemies even if it costs him his own life. The bad news is that now I must add him to my ‘to do’ list.” Scarlett sighed.
Blood Desert, Balkor’s secret lab
Despite what Scarlett thought, Balkor didn’t consider integrating undead and Abominations as his masterpiece. Finding the array resistant creature had just been a fluke. He viewed it as a sign that the heavens sought justice as much as he did.
What he considered his magnum opus, the only thing that he deeply regretted not being able to share with the rest of the world, was turning magic crystals into memory crystals.
They allowed his creations to act as one, learn from each other’s experiences, and pass that knowledge to others. With each wave he sent there would be a few undead embedded with a memory crystal, the Controllers, that would keep themselves away from the fight while collecting and sharing the data.
Without the memory crystals, he would have never managed to give his thralls a hive mind, nor to be so successful in his endeavor. The first wave had been composed of Crawlers, whose purpose was testing the defenders’ reaction speed and teamwork.
He had never expected the Crystal and Earth Griffon’s Headmasters to be so stupid to hole themselves up in a confined space, making the number advantage overwhelming and letting themselves get butchered right off the bat.
The Tox Spitters of the second wave were supposed to do the heavy lifting, weakening the defence forces during the two following nights and making them reveal their aces in the hole.
Alas, the remaining four academies had foiled his plans by allying themselves with the beasts.
It was still the second act, yet Balkor was already forced to employ his strongest soldiers, the Valors. The silver lining was that after the fall of the two academies, he had a lot of Tox Spitters left that had almost half of their life span left.
He placed the memory crystals in the center of the array, awakening the sleeping warriors from their stasis and infusing them with all the techniques and spells learned during the first two waves plus a little something of his own.
All Valors had human appearance. They had been crafted to resemble Balkor, were animated by his very life force and now shared with him all of his hatred for the Griffon Kingdom.
The undead knelt to their master, eager to carry out his revenge.
“Let the Spitters be your meat shield. Do not risk your lives. Tonight is just a rehearsal for tomorrow’s grand finale.” Balkor instructed them while handing them the best equipment money could buy.
“Your goal is to force our enemies to reveal their hand and get rid of that annoying bear Wraith.” His voice was feeble. Empowering them had added another grey streak to his hair. He had no idea how much life was left in him, but it couldn’t be much.
“If the task proves to be too dangerous, do not hesitate to retreat. There is just ten of you for each academy and I’m at the end of my rope. If you fail, there will be no second chance. Now go.”
The Valors nodded in unison, walking in the Warp arrays ready to inflict to others the pain that was ravaging their hearts.
“I’m sorry, Scourge. We have to end the lesson here. We’ll continue it tomorrow, if both of us are still alive.” Kalla tapped her paw, making the shadows swirl into a portal.
“Wait, why you didn’t teach me how to do that?” Lith had been so engrossed by his first lesson of true magic to almost forget about the shadow gates.
“Teach you what, exactly?” Kalla was confused by his words.
“How to merge with the shadows and use them to move across space.” Kalla laughed out loud, almost scaring Lith to death. It was the first time that he had ever seen her expressing any emotion.
“That’s just a Warp Steps. I just mix it with light and darkness magic to make impossible to predict my exit point with Life Vision (*). Only a non Awakened one can afford not to. Otherwise, it would mean to throw yourself in the opponent’s maws.”
Lith lowered his eyes in embarrassment. He had only recently mastered Warp Steps and Blink. He had yet to find the time to convert them into true magic. Also, he had never even considered the possibility of covering his tracks while using dimensional magic.
“Damn. I forgot that, unlike me, you had no mentor.” Kalla sighed. “I’ll teach you dimensional magic first thing tomorrow morning. Now go, I have much work to do before dusk.”
After Lith left, Kalla started modifying her Deathbane array. She was certain that Balkor expected her tricks to not work anymore on his thralls, but he was in for a surprise.
Kalla’s Warp Step brought Lith back in the middle of the group, making them flinch.
– “Kalla is right, it’s dumb to always open a Warp Step vertically. I should have thought about it by myself, but I always have too much on my plate. I’ll think about it as soon the crisis is over.” Lith thought.
“By my maker!” Solus was brimming with joy. “Finally you are accepting your limits instead of whining for not being perfect. Today is a red-letter day for you.”- She wasn’t even being sarcastic, which made her remark even more annoying.
“Where the heck have you been all day?” Yurial grabbed Lith by the shoulders, shaking him like a maraca.
“Yurial, have you lost it or what?” Lith angrily pushed him away.
“After your disappearance, Phloria almost drove us all insane with her nagging!”
“I don’t nag!” Phloria’s embarrassed look made her retort sound fake like a three dollar bill.
“Yes, you do.” Friya sneered. “We resisted the temptation to knock you out only because none of us is strong enough to carry you around in case the enemy attacked while you were still unconscious.”
The group started quarreling, giving Lith the time to think of an excuse for his sudden leave.
“I’m sorry to have made you worry, but Kalla and I had some unfinished business.” Lith lied through his teeth.
“She confirmed my hypothesis.” He winked to them, referring to the undead’s hive mind, hoping it wasn’t all in his head.
“Also, she told me that Balkor is likely to target her from now on, so she asked me to take care of her children in case something happens to her.”Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
“Why you, of all people?” Quylla asked.
“She is afraid that because of her evolved form, other beasts could ostracize them and I’m the only human she trusts.” Once again, he chose to mix together truth and lies to make his story easy to remember and play their feelings like a fiddle.
The always lingering fear of death and the sobbing story Lith made up about the cruel fate that would await Nok without his help, prevented them from asking questions he wouldn’t know how to answer.
The mood turned gloomy, but even Solus agreed it was a small price to pay for lessons about true magic.
They had barely finished eating, when the alarm resounded, prompting the students to go back to the town plaza.
Soon the array was visible again, making them realize that Balkor’s undead had already entered its perimeter. Lith trusted Kalla’s judgment about Scarlett’s strategy, but he reminded everyone about their contingency plan, just in case.
“I don’t know what the master plan is and honestly, I don’t care.” Lith said.
“If anything happens to Kalla, that’s our cue. It’s better to run away to live and fight another day than dying an idiot’s death.” Everyone nodded, agreeing with the plan.
The seconds turned into minutes, but nothing happened. This time, instead of simply swarming the place, the Tox Spitters slowly marched into the town under the Valors’ supervision.
Back in his lab, Balkor was amazed discovering that despite the modifications he had applied to his creatures, the array was back to full force. Yet it was within his calculations. The Valors had the Spitters positioning themselves in the key points of the array, before forcing them to self-detonate.
Kalla’s Deathbane array crumbled, plunging the town into darkness. Back at full strength, the undead attacked with unparalleled vigor, easily cutting through the enemy lines.
Without support from the array, beasts and Professors quickly found themselves on the back foot. A single Spitter was nothing compared to their strength, but they were outnumbered over ten to one and every wound they suffered required specialized medical attention.
“Rise my legions!” Kalla roared, calling forth his undead army once again.
Two Valors approached her, moving so fast that none of the lesser undead at her command could react quickly enough to even slow them down.
“Filthy beast, your time has come.” Said the first Valor.
“Filthy beast, your time is now.” They both unsheathed their swords, moving in unison. The Valors attacked her at the same time from opposite directions, leaving Kalla no chance to defend herself.
Two deep wounds opened on Kalla’s front shoulder and her back.
Kalla laughed bitterly, admitting her defeat. If she stayed, she would definitely die. Even if created with fake magic, those creatures were greater undead. Kalla had only recently become an Awakened one, she was still too weak to fight them and control her army at the same time.
If she left, her army would crumble, leaving her allies without any hope of victory.
Whatever choice she made, without her guidance, the lesser undead she had reanimated would attack indiscriminately friend or foes.
“Well, played creatures.” Kalla’s tone was sad, but devoid of despair.
“You have destroyed my array and turned my carefully prepared army into a liability in one fell swoop. It seems I have underestimated Balkor’s ingenuity, but alas, he made my same mistake.
“Your master should have known that a cornered beast is the most dangerous one. I’m really curious to see if his plan can survive losing two of you right off the bat!”
Having her army become useless, Kalla recalled all the darkness magic she had infused into it back to her body, causing her mana core to overload. It resulted in a silent but massive explosion that engulfed all the nearby undead and briefly managed to cover the sky.
The collective death throes of the fallen threw both armies into chaos.