Chapter 1581 - Curse Of Darkness (Part 1)
The Emperor Beasts and the mercenaries alike stared at the short man that needed to drag his feet to step forward.
Zogar Vastor was a short man in his mid-sixties barely over 1.55 meters (5'1) tall.
Black hair has started to grow again on the top of his bald head while the snow-white hair he had left on the sides had regained part of its color and so did his waxed handlebar mustaches.
After becoming interim Headmaster and then turning himself into an Abomination-Hybrid, he had slimmed down quite a bit, but he still looked more like a loving grandpa than a fierce warrior.
Yet despite his meek appearance, he was a Highmaster and the unsung god of the battlefield of the Griffon Kingdom.
Uncle Vastor! The kids escaped from Lifebringer's grasp, hugging the man that they considered as a part of their family while bawling their eyes out.
Please, you must save Filia and Frey.
The bad guys tried to kill us all.
Are they still alive He asked while using his breathing technique, Radiant Storm, to stop panting like a bellows and regain his strength.
Completing his mission and Warping his way from Derios' army base had consumed most of his mana.
Using a powerful tier five Chaos spell like Reverse Flow and controlling it with such accuracy that it had affected solely the enemy side had taken everything he had left.
We weren't their main goal, quite the contrary.
They mostly toyed with us the whole time. The Kirin resembled a gigantic white horse partially covered in scales with antlers coming out from the sides of his head and a huge horn at its center.
Emerald flames came out of his hooves, antlers, and chin.
The latter formed what looked like a long blazing beard.
The main forces focused on the Yehval household while the rest of them focused on keeping the magical beasts and the Queen's Corps busy.
Someone must have warned them about Lith's relationship with Salaark because they never tried to actually kill the kids.
They just made sure that we couldn't leave the safety of Lith's arrays nor contact him.
Then let's screw their plans for good. Vastor said while placing his hand on the ground to perceive the network of overlapping elemental blocking arrays that surrounded the area around and above Lith's house.
It was because of them that the army couldn't send more reinforcements through the Warp Gate in the barn, forcing them to waste precious mana just to reach Lutia.
Those who had managed to arrive before him had ended up outnumbered and isolated from the forces already on the battlefield.
Without a strategic plan and due to the many traps and arrays that the mercenaries had laid before starting their ambush, the moment the mages stepped out of their respective Warp Steps they had been quickly cornered and killed.
'Whoever staged the attack is really good.
They have chosen a moment when Lith is away and Faluel is with her family.
This is all my fault.
'I would have never thought that the Balkor copycat would have lasted more than a couple of seconds against someone like Tezka, nor that they would have brought along a whole army!'
Vastor always carried the Future card that he had found under Zinya's door in his pocket and now his guilt made it a burden so heavy that even his hybrid body could barely stand it.
'Filthy bastard! If only I could reveal all of my powers, if only I could summon the entire Organization here through a Gate instead of wasting time with Chaos Steps, they would already be here and this battle would be over in a second!'
The Master used the tier five Highmaster spell, Clean Field, to flood the magical formation below him with his mana.
Usually, Vastor would use cantrips to destroy the focal points of an array in order to destroy it, but he had no time to deal with so many of them.
Overlapping arrays allowed mages to combine their attacks and to affect a greater area, but it also exposed them to several risks.
Vastor's spell not only did allow him to alter the position of the runes of a magical formation, making it crumble, but it also altered the balance of the neighboring arrays.
Guided by his willpower, the runes of the starting air sealing array spread like a disease, disrupting the precise sequence of commands that governed the magical formations and triggering a chain reaction that cleansed the area around Lith's house.
Clean Field required the Highmaster to analyze and neutralize multiple non-permanent arrays in one fell swoop, but doing that would take a huge toll on both their mind and body.
After using it, a fake mage needed either help from his allies to finish the job or time to rest whereas Vastor only needed a few breaths to regain his strength.
Kids, go through the Gate in the barn and tell everyone what's happening.
I'll hold out as long as I can. The Master waited for Aran and Leria to disappear inside the Gate before flying straight where he could feel the presence of Tezka's tail.
The enemy mages cursed seeing the arrays that they had worked hard to conjure and coordinate collapse like a house of cards and trembled at the sight of the newcomer, fearing that Manohar, or maybe even Verhen had arrived.
All of the mercenary units had accepted that job only after being reassured that they wouldn't have to deal with Lith.
Killing a few elite members of any army or a few filthy beasts was just a regular day job.
Lith, however, was someone well-known for having decimated the Talons when he was twelve, to have killed a Wyvern at thirteen, and to have destroyed Lost Cities that were supposed to be immortal receptacles of Forbidden Magic.
Rumors said that he wasn't just a mage trained to kill like regular members of the army, but someone born and bred for the job.
Other rumors claimed that he controlled a seven-eyed demon who in turn could summon legendary creatures that would lay waste upon anyone who dared to challenge him.
The moment a single man came from the direction of the Verhen Household, everyone shivered in fear.
At least until they recognized Vastor.
Then, the mercenaries regained their confidence and a huge grin appeared on their faces.
Every mage within and beyond the borders of the Kingdom knew the Eternal Loser, the Wannabe Magus, the god of nothing, the spare wheel.
With his short stature and well-fed appearance, Vastor could inspire respect in any academic, but to a seasoned warrior he looked more of a joke than any of his slander titles could express.
Whoever you are, don't move from behind my back. The Master said, pretending not to know the small Eldritch.
Arrays or not, Tezka's Spirit Tail didn't have the magical prowess to open a Warp Steps that could lead Zinya and the kids to safety.
Also, the spells imbued within Endless Night were meant to fight, not to run away.
I'll deal with these guys.
You just worry about stopping anything that gets past me. Vastor turned around for a second, just enough to make sure that everyone was alright..
Zinya, whatever you hear, please keep your eyes closed.