The Origin Flames burst out of the Black Dragon\'s scales, neutralizing the mages\' barrage of spells and Lith\'s Primordial Roar.
There was no point in winning if people stopped believing that he was a god and his Harbinger a hero.
Winning wasn\'t enough anymore, he needed to inflict the Kingdom a crushing defeat to restore the loyalty of his followers.
Realizing that the battle was on the precipice of disaster, he took the kids\' gloves off and resorted to his contingency plan.
While the Origin Flames shielded him from any kind of attack, Syrook activated one of his bloodline abilities, Nether Gate.
A thick layer of darkness magic covered the city of Zeska, making every corpse inside its walls raise as a lesser undead.
The Black Dragon\'s power granted them part of his magical and combat skills, boosting their combat prowess close to that of sentient undead.
Also, it allowed them to make use of the equipment that he had provided them with.
Syrook knew that, until Thrud made her move, he would be alone and that he needed to be able to stand on his own.
Part of the weapons that he had collected from the Nestrar region had been used the equip the undead forces spread in the various cities.
You have an army, but so do I. He said.
Yet while the strength of yours dwindles, mine will never falter or die.
The dead will always outnumber the living just like mortals will always bow down to gods!
The undead emerged from their graves, from the city morgue, and even from the butcher shops.
They swarmed the streets, climbing the walls with ease and shielding the wounded Ranger with their bodies.
What can I say. The Tiamat shrugged.
I couldn\'t agree more!
Lith has used that time to conjure his Demons of the Darkness and to fill with mana the corpses that his soldiers had buried overnight so that the quickest souls to answer his call would possess them and become Demons of the Fallen.
The Black Dragon was amused, but not impressed.
He could see with Life Vision that the Demons of Darkness were weaker than those of the Fallen and that none of them could compare with the strength that proper equipment granted to his own undead.
What piqued his curiosity the most was the fact that every Demon had different features.
They still retained part of the appearance they had back when they were alive yet the Demons also bore the scales, the upside-down wings, and the multiple eyes of their master.
Show me what you can do, hatchling! Syrook flapped his wings, charging at Lith while hurling a jet-stream of violet Origin Flames.
The Tiamat conjured a wall of earth to block the flames and another to intercept the Black Dragon, but neither succeeded.
Syrook noticed the mana with Life Vision and took to the sky while his bloodline ability, Dreadwing, turned the Origin Flames into a mass of darkness magic that passed through the earth wall before reverting them back.
Lith was caught by surprise and took the full hit before he could understand what had happened.
The switch between world and elemental energy had been too fast for his Domination to follow.
Syrook didn\'t miss the opening and dived down from the sky to rain more fire against his helpless enemy.
The Tiamat worked through the pain, taking a deep breath and releasing the Origin Flames from his whole body.
He used the explosion caused by the conflicting Flames as a cover to Blink to safety.
\'I didn\'t want to do this, but I have no choice.\' Lith thought, seeing that his army of mages and Demons were about to be overpowered by the undead.
On top of that, Quaron was using the reinforcements as meat shields to cover his advance and would soon reach Solus.
His black eye became violet as Lith shared its power with the Demons of Darkness.
Their shadow bodies suddenly became ethereal and seeped inside the enchanted protections of their skeletal opponents.
Then, the Demons used Domination to overpower the blood core of their respective prey, replacing Syrook\'s energy signature with Lith\'s.
Thanks to the black eye, the Demons claimed the mana of the Black Dragon and the corpses as their own.
The new Demons of the Fallen had not only doubled their original strength, but also gained free equipment.
What have you done to my army! Syrook screamed in outrage.
Lith ignored him, taking flight with his wings while the Dragon gave chase and threw at him tier five elemental spells non-stop, forcing Lith to Blink forward from time to time to dodge them.
They were too far away for Syrook to exploit the exit points, forcing him to Blink as well just to not fall behind.
\'What\'s the point of this game of tag\' The Black Dragon wondered.
\'If he wanted to escape, he would have opened a Steps.
Sure, he can use Invigoration to restore his energy but so can I, making this a zero-sum game.\'
The Tiamat flew higher and higher until he reached the eye of the thundercloud from which the Dragon had appeared, dissipating it to let the sun shine over the valley.
\'That\'s it\' Syrook was flabbergasted by Lith seemingly wasting so much time and effort for little gain.
\'Even a beginner Necromancer knows that lesser undead are unhindered by sunlight.
\'Sure, direct exposure makes their blood cores last less but this battle is going to end way before that might matter.\'
What he didn\'t know was that Lith\'s Demons were more similar to Abominations than to undead.
Just like him, they would feed upon sunlight and warmth.
Just like the shadows they were born from, the stronger the light, the darker they would get.
Without the thundercloud, the undead would grow weaker by the second whereas the Demons would grow stronger, turning the tide of the battle once again.
Down on the ground, the mages were forced to retreat.
They had been sent to deal with a medium-sized city of regular citizens and were ill-prepared to fight an undead squadron.
The Skeletal Knights Syrook had animated were capable of employing several combat techniques that he had passed unto them and to use the first three tiers of darkness magic like true mages.
They were still mindless creatures following a script, but between their equipment and the complexity of the instructions they had received, the Knights were a force to be reckoned with.
The mages, instead, had already used their best spells against the Dragon and the traitorous Ranger.
They needed to protect their injured, those who had already exhausted their mana, and needed time to cast new spells.
Only the Captains and a few Demons of the Fallen stood by Solus\'s side while she dealt with the waves of Knights and with Quaron at the same time.
\'By my Mom, there\'s nothing of this in the script Lith left me.\' To save mana, Solus fought using mostly hard-light constructs.
She could reshape them at will based on the circumstances and keeping a single tier five spell required much less energy than casting new ones.
Her shields kept the enemy at bay while letting in only one of them at a time.
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