The village chief was a man in his late thirties, about 1.76 meters (5\'9) tall.
Despite the scorching sun of the Desert, the Feather was quite pale and from his features Lith could tell that he was from the northern part of the Griffon Kingdom, if not from the Gorgon Empire.
Unlike the other men of the desert, he had no beard and his robe was black and silver, the same colors as the Black Griffon.
I came here to further our pet project.
As I told you, we need the help of a true Awakened to understand the phenomenon so I brought one.
Lith, this is Ilyum Balkor.
Balkor, this is Lith Verhen. Manohar said.
What Both men said in unison, assuming a combat stance.
\'Awakened bright violet core, a body on par with Raagu, but his life force is terribly weak, almost like Nana\'s when you first met her.\' She replied.
\'You have no chance taking him head-on, you must avoid direct confrontation and tire him out.\'
Lith studied the opponent better, noticing that Balkor had light blonde hair streaked both in black and white.
The former was proof of his affinity for the darkness element whereas the latter was the consequence of him spending most of his life force to create an army of greater undead every year for eleven years straight.
Balkor recognized in the man in front of him the kid who had contributed to his last and only failed attack on the Kingdom.
Lith could finally put a face to the man who had put him through a two days long nightmare that had almost cost him and Protector their life.
Uncle Krishna! A boy about eleven years old ran out of the tent to greet Manohar.
Who is your friend
The kid resembled Balkor, but his darker skin showed that his wife belonged to the Desert.
If you think that you can hide behind a kid after what you\'ve done you are sorely mistak- Lith choked on his words when Manohar shut his mouth with a hard-light construct.
Erak, this is Lith Verhen.
Lith, this is Erak. He said with a jovial tone.
Ilyum, I told you that I want that man out of our house.
What is he doing here Eos came out of the tent, quickly followed by a girl, about thirteen years old who wore the deep orange robe of the Desert\'s Mage apprentices.
It was the equivalent of the second year of academy.
How can you say that Manohar was deeply hurt by those words.
According to his standards, he had always been a perfect guest to her.
\'Calm down.\' Solus said the moment she recovered from the surprise.
\'He\'s one of Salaark\'s Feathers which means Balkor is under her protection.
We can\'t afford to anger her and you have nothing to gain from this fight.\'
\'This is the bastard who almost killed Protector and cost me a big chunk of my life force!\' Lith replied in outrage.
\'He also caused the death of countless people, but I guess you don\'t care about that part.\' She sighed.
\'Yet Manohar brought us to him and revealed your nature as Awakened.
Aren\'t you curious about how he knows the term and what are the two of them working on\'
Only then did the fact that Balkor was a fake Awakened and that Manohar knew about Lith\'s secret sink in.
His fury faded, replaced by the need to know how the Mad Professor had found out and who else knew it.
\'I swear that if it wasn\'t for that madman and Grandma, I would-\'
\'Fight a violet-cored Awakened in front of his wife and children To what end, exactly They are innocents and even if we managed to win, your life force and Protector\'s would still be cracked.\' Solus forced him to reason.
Manohar was still holding Lith\'s arm and logic told him that beating both of them was impossible.
Eos, Eylen, this is Lith Verhen, the rudest Archmage of the Kingdom.
Nice to meet you. Both didn\'t miss the hostility in his eyes and treaded carefully.
Eos had the kids get back inside the tent before activating a powerful set of arrays that sealed the deal for Lith.
There was no chance of victory so he relaxed his body and stopped casting spells.
Are you done with your staring contest We don\'t have all day. Manohar pouted.
I\'m not letting him near my family.
Follow me. Balkor dropped his spells as well and led them to the nearby tent that housed his magical lab.
Lith had Solus turn the Eyes into contact lenses and scan the area.
The place was filled with marvels of magic that they had never seen before and others that resembled their own prototypes.
A wave of Balkor\'s hand cleared a table from the papers and the flasks filled with magical ingredients that covered it, making three uncomfortable wooden chairs appear.
The god of death clearly wanted the meeting to be as short as possible.
You know that he isn\'t human, correct Balkor gestured them to sit down.
I don\'t see the relevance of your question but yes, I know. Manohar shrugged.
You do Lith was so shocked that he lost control of Gravity Fusion, smashing the chair under his weight.
When and how
From the time you got back from Huryole and were quarantined. Manohar replied.
Back then I had already collected enough data to make sense of the Awakening phenomenon so discovering your hybrid nature and the source of your powers was easy.
Bull**! Balkor said.
I told you about it during our mission against Night.
You had no clue about Awakening.
That\'s how you defeated one of the Horsemen. Lith said in amazement.
You had Balkor\'s help.
That\'s a crude and inaccurate reconstruction of the events. Manohar said with an indignant tone.
Balkor just explained to me a couple of things I had missed and he played a minor role in the battle.
I did most of the job.
That\'s not how I remember it.
I seem to recall you hiding behind her throne most of the time while your clone and I fought. The god of death said.
I don\'t give a damn about that! Lith couldn\'t stand them bickering like an old married couple.
How did you find out about my secrets and who have you revealed them to aside from Balkor
Lith Manohar the fourth Verhen, how dare you think that after fighting so hard to keep my own privacy I would disregard yours I\'ve never told anyone, Balkor here already knew. Manohar said in genuine outrage, for once.
As for the how, I examined you for weeks during your imprisonment.
If I didn\'t discover your second life force along with your abnormal mana flow during all that time, I might as well retire due to senile mediocrity.
He is saying the truth. Balkor nodded.
I learned about your status as Awakened and Divine Beast only recently.
When you came to the Desert to visit Overlord Salaark, she informed her Feathers that you descend from her bloodline.
She also ordered us to treat you as royalty and forbade us from asking you anything about Awakening.
I see. Lith sighed in relief.
That\'s why he isn\'t going to ask you any question.
I am.. Manohar said with a jovial tone.
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