- Do you see that, mister negative The flower didn\'t wither after all. Solus remarked cheerfully.
You are right! It can still blow up in our faces! Yay! Lith replied mimicking her tone.
Being too paranoid to touch the red lotus with his bare hands, he lifted it with spirit magic before unsuccessfully attempting to store it in the pocket dimension.
What the heck Examining it up close with Life Vision, Lith could notice that along a massive mana flow, the red lotus also had a tiny speck of life force.
Neither him or Solus had any idea how it could have survived after such long exposure to an Abomination.
- This is great.
We can\'t hide it, only carry it around in a normal pouch, with the risk of it being destroyed or even worse, discovered when we go back.
If this flower is some kind of priceless treasure, it could cause us a lot of troubles. -
Lith sighed, the idea of being forced to drop his first loot was quite depressing.
- Let me guess, we are above a mana vein, right
Exactly. Solus replied.
My hypothesis is the Abomination managed to stabilise itself thanks to the combined effect of the abundant world energy and that odd flower.
The only questions that remain are the following.
Did it kill everything because it needed to feed or was just a way to control the surrounding environment And last, but not least, do plant monsters really exist
Only the Abomination could answer the first question, and none of us would believe its words anyway. Solus mind-shrugged.
As for the second one, my guess is yes.
Plants are living being too.
Seeing how much mana has that small flower, I don\'t see why they shouldn\'t be able to evolve too.
As long this thing doesn\'t turn to be an Abomination baby and eats my face, that\'s fine by me.– He replied, keeping the red lotus floating and away from him.
Lith was tempted to make Solus turn to his proto tower form.
Thanks to Invigoration his body was in top shape, but he felt mentally tired.
Life and death struggles were more than just about stamina.
Managing so many spells at once, keeping his cool while constantly fighting the fear of death, made a single real fight hundred times more vexing than cramming all night long.
But he didn\'t know how much time he had left, until someone from the academy noticed the bald spot in the forest and sent a scouting team.
Lith placed his free hand on the ground, using earth magic to search for the remains of the Abomination\'s victims.
A few meters below he found a boneyard, where numerous skeletons were packed together.
Lith took only those belonging to magical beasts, ignoring human and animal remains.
- According to Professor Wanemyre, they can be used to forge weapons and armours of superior durability, that can also be infused with enchantments much stronger than normal.
With all this stuff I could equip a battalion.
How the heck does one forge something out of bones It makes no sense. Solus objected.
I get that they can be hard, but they should always be carbon based.
Beats me. Lith shrugged.
Cut me some slack, I\'m still at the first year of specialization. –
After storing everything in the pocked dimension, his eyes fell on his battered equipment.
The hunting suit was riddled with holes as big as a thumb, while his metal bracers were damaged to the point of being useless.
Luckily, he had a spare suit.
Sadly, it was also the last one.
After quickly changing clothes, Lith flew away several kilometres before stopping to decide what to do with the red lotus.
He couldn\'t put it in the storage space, nor could bring it on himself, for two good reasons.
The first was that he didn\'t trust something alive to be so close to his vital organs.
The second was that even if it really was harmless, the red lotus wouldn\'t survive in case he had to release again the dark aura or any kind of magic from himself.
No matter how precious it could be, nothing was more important than his own life.
As it was, the red lotus was an even worse burden than any companion he ever had.
The only landmark he knew was the academy, so he decided to bury it near the entrance, hoping that at his return he would have devised a way to smuggle it inside unnoticed.
Yet the plan had a huge flaw.
Putting a flower near fertile earth was potentially a recipe for disaster.
What if the Abomination was still alive, and ready to respawn as soon as it had enough nutrients
Lith weaved all the darkness spells he could use at once, before letting the red lotus enter the small hole he had dug.
Even before the red lotus could touch the ground, it started to grow roots that plunged down, while the earth itself moved upwards, oddly reminding Lith the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo.
As soon as they touched, the roots became thicker, quickly turning into vines that wrapped around the lotus, assembling what it seemed a humanoid body.
Lith activated the spells, conjuring enough dark energy to turn the whole patch of land into a wasteland, yet didn\'t fire them.
The Abomination never had a humanoid body, also instead of dying, the near vegetation thrived.
Countless flower buds blossomed at once, yellow leaves turned green once again.
Lith strengthened the spells and waved new ones, uncaring of the beauty around him.
When the thing stopped growing, Lith found himself looking at the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen.
Her big red eyes sparkled in the morning light like masterfully cut rubies.
Everything in her visage was perfect, from the delicate features to her full lips.
She had thick unkempt hair, red like maple leaves during autumn, that gave her a wild and unrestrained allure.
Also, the fact that she was stark naked, leaving nothing to the imagination about her soft and full curves didn\'t hurt.
The only thing that betrayed her non-human nature was the light green skin.
Just give me one good reason. Lith\'s fists had now became black due to the massive amount of dark energy they barely contained.
The air around her was so full of deadly magic that the creature in her debilitate state could barely breath.
I\'m a dryad. She said like it explained it all, with a voice as clear as a mountain spring.
I don\'t care. Lith made the dark energy move forward, not leaving her a way out.
I\'m one of the protectors of this forest.
The monster you have killed stole and corrupted my powers to prolong his existence. She was starting to get scared, that wasn\'t the usual reaction she usually evoked in human males.
Still not a reason.
I can reward you. She bit her lower lip playing her last card.
And in what pocket exactly would you keep something of value in your birthday suit The dark mass only needed one last push to obliterate her.
In the Great Mother\'s name, what kind of man treats this way a maiden he just saved Her saviour seemed impossible to please, and completely immune to her charm.
Unfortunately for the dryad, Lith\'s core had stabilized enough to outgrow even his crush for Nalear.
In that moment, his heart was cold as ice.
One that doesn\'t think with the head below, and doesn\'t trust someone he just met only because she has a pretty face.
Now give me one good reason.
I won\'t ask thrice.
Because we can help you. Said a third voice.
Another dryad was slowly emerging from a nearby oak tree, her hands high in sign of surrender.
Before dropping the red lotus, Lith had activated Life Vision, in case another body swapping creature appeared from the flower.
Hence, he hadn\'t missed the second dryad arrival, allowing him to target her with the spells stored in his hands.
The new dryad had wheat-blond straight hair, wearing what seemed a light cotton white dress, leaving only her delicate shoulders and arms exposed.
Her figure was slenderer than the other dryad\'s but not less attractive.
If anything happens to me, the read head goes winter. Lith\'s will was the only thing blocking the barrage of dark energy, like a dead man switch.
The blond dryad took several natural treasures out of the tree.
Some Lith had seen in the books, others were completely new.
But every single one of them, no matter if fruit, flower or root was brimming with magical energy.
Seeing that he was still not moving, the blond dryad brought her left hand to her chest.
A small yellow lotus came out, and through Life Vision he could see that she had just lost a huge part of her magical power.
This is part of my heart. She handed it to him.
As long as you have it, my life is in your hands.
- It\'s true. Solus confirmed.
There is a clear connection between them.
It\'s like she handed you her mana core.
Lith captured the yellow lotus with spirit magic, sending his will through it.
Obeying his silent order, the blond dryad kneeled.
The feeling he got was empowering and repulsive at the same time.
Having that degree of control over another sentient being was plainly wrong.
How can you help me He felt only truth in her words.
We can find a way to mend your soul.