Chapter 1314 - Hidden Threat (Part 2)
Iskha had just the time to slip the inconspicuous golden ring off of his finger and hide it in his palm before the guards started to search him.
Then, his body shapeshifted into something much bigger and deadlier.
The metal chains binding Iskha\'s limbs shattered from the sheer pressure that his growing limbs exerted as if they were made of plastic.
His legs became covered in thick grey scales as they grew to the size of a stone pillar.
His c.h.e.s.t enlarged, bursting out of the linen shirt while golden fur grew on his arms and face.
In the blink of an eye, the savage man was gone, replaced by an Emperor Beast with a height at the withers of 5 meters (16.4 feet) tall and 8.8 meters (29 feet) long.
It had the front body of a golden lion while its back belonged to something with hooves that seemed to be made of stone.
It had feathered wings on its back and a long tail covered in jagged scales that furiously whipped around, leaving deep marks in the ground.
\'Watch out! The big guy has actually a blue core and a vitality even greater than yours.
On top of that, he\'s an Awakened.\' The moment Iskha had removed the cloaking ring and started to shapeshift, Solus warned Lith.
\'What the heck is that\' He asked while weaving his best spells.
There was no trace of such a creature in the bestiaries stored inside Soluspedia.
It was a Vagrash, a Chimera like Scorpicores and Nues.
Their innate elements were light and water, giving them access to shapeshifting from birth.
They disguised themselves as humans most of the time and used their real appearance only to interact with other Beasts.
A human discovering their true nature and surviving to tell the tale was an event so rare that Vagrash were considered to be just a myth.
\'It should be this guy.\' Solus shared her memory with Lith, showing him a picture from one of the storybooks they read to the children.
\'A character from a fairy tale None of that bull** can be trusted, we are on our own.\' Lith was flabbergasted.
Iskha only needed to shake his massive body to send the guards surrounding him to crash against the nearby buildings as he swallowed the cloaking ring to not lose it.
Give me everything you have or the child dies! The Vagrash extended his left foreleg, releasing several invisible tendrils of spirit magic against Aran.
\'First, I take the hostage, then the Archmage\'s life.
Once he\'s dead, his imprint will disappear and all of his equipment will be mine for the taking.
I won\'t need to steal anymore to buy the crafting resources I need!\'
Spirit Magic was invisible to the n.a.k.e.d eye and Life Vision revealed to Iskha that while Lith\'s equipment had a monstrous aura, its wielder was pathetically weak.
As often happens with weapons, their greatest weakness was their user.
Or so he thought, until tendrils of Spirit Magic coming from Lith\'s body intercepted Iskha\'s, making them crumble as they made their way to the Vagrash\'s neck.
Lith slipped both Solus\'s and the barrier ring off his fingers as he Blinked Aran to safety.
\'Take Aran away and keep him safe.\' That was all he managed to say before Iskha was upon him.
Lith knew that the Emperor Beast wouldn\'t hesitate to attack the child to distract his opponent.
Even worse, the Vagrash might resort to area of effect attacks that would reach Aran to keep Lith from dodging and to force him to suffer heavy damage just to protect his brother.
Iskha slashed with his claws, hitting the Archmage from above while he was still focused on protecting the child.
The Vagrash\'s enhanced body weighed a few tons and was now infused with all elements, bringing its already outstanding physical prowess to the next level.
The impact was so strong that the ground under Lith\'s feet turned into a crater and the claws moved so fast that they generated air blades with their movement, opening meters long deep cuts in the nearby buildings.
Lith\'s mental health had improved by leaps and bounds since his arrival on Mogar, but he was far from healed.
Seeing any kind of massive body running against any young man still triggered his original trauma.
If that young man happened to be his real brother and not just a stranger, it made matters even worse.
On the entirety of Mogar, Aran was one of Lith\'s greatest weak points and the only one that compromised his focus.
Images of the morgue where the broken body of Carl lay flashed in front of his eyes, making him falter.
Iskha attacked non-stop with his clawed forelegs, making the crater grow deeper and generating a storm of wind blades that cut the buildings open and forced the city guards to run away.
The only reason why no one died was that Iskha wasn\'t aiming for them.
Many soldiers got injured, but even though the low-grade enchanted armor had been damaged beyond repair, it had at least saved their life.
Solus moved Aran upwind so that Iskha couldn\'t find him, but she didn\'t have the heart to abandon Lith.
She chose a place too far for the kid\'s eye to see anything but close enough for her mystical senses to follow the battle.
The Vagrash continued the onslaught until his right paw remained stuck into something, quickly followed by the left.
A sudden pang of pain forced Iskha to jump back as blood spurted out of his now free limbs.
Five shining eyes stared at him in hatred while what looked like a Wyrmling made of metal stood unscathed while holding one of the Vagrash\'s claws in each hand.
You blocked my attacks and even managed to rip off my claws Iskha couldn\'t believe his own eyes, not because he believed himself invincible so much as because what he saw didn\'t make sense.
According to Life Vision, Lith was supposed to have a core between green and cyan while his life force was that of a fit human.
Yet the blue aura from Full Guard was now mixed with his own and violet bursts of light appeared from time to time.
\'How can someone who has a deep cyan core at best have a violet aura\' That was all the Vagrash managed to think before Lith pulverized the captured claws with sheer strength and charged at the enemy.
Cloaking rings weren\'t something one could buy or that such a young runt could craft.
Iskha had gotten his own as a reward for helping a powerful Awakened, he couldn\'t believe that Lith might wear a cloaking ring as well.
Thanks to fusion magic, the Vagrash managed to follow Lith\'s movements and intercepted the metal Wyrmling with the tier five spell he had prepared while the guards cuffed him, Cruel Winter.
It was a mix of water and air magic that would drain the heat from everything around its caster with water magic while air s.u.c.k.e.d away the humidity.
It would cause a dehydration process that enhanced the cold, turning the area in a frozen wasteland.
Lith opened his mouth as if he was about to speak, but a raging river of blue-violet flames came out instead of words.
The Origin Flames ate at the spell so quickly that it didn\'t have the time to fully form, destroying Cruel Winter easily before moving on to Iskha.
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