‘Did Meln really put all of you in his sick paintings Lith asked with his lips curled up in disgust, wishing he could puke and burn that place to the ground.
\'You wish. Friya replied, doing her best to repress a retching sound that would reveal their position.
‘I\'ve seen a statue of Kamila and Zinya doing something that I\'ll never forget.‘ Another one of my Mom with Orpal, and a painting of you that I\'d rather not talk about.‘
They spent the next few minutes preparing their battle plan to reach the throne room and waiting for the report of the other assault teams.
Once they were done, Lith discovered that the Hand of Fate corps had found themselves in a similar situation.
None of them was a dimensional mage and with Life Vision blinded and surrounded by enemies they had been forced to move more slowly than normal.
‘The situation is unfavorable, but we can still make it.‘ Zeraka the Redcap, one of the most experienced members of the squads said.
‘Our best course of action is to follow the guards and create a diversion right before you reach the throne room.‘
This way, the guards will be taken by surprise and fall easily while their upcoming reinforcements will have to spread their forces to deal with all of us at the same time.‘ Lith nodded and his squad started to move, following Friya‘s footsteps.
Her role was that of the Storm, to scout ahead as quiet as the wind yet ready to bring destruction to her enemy with hit and run tactics.
Right behind her followed Tista.
She wasn\'t skilled enough to be called a Highmaster, but she had practiced hard with arrays to cover for Lith\'s weaknesses.
She had learned how to cast with fake and true magic at the same time, halving the time needed to prepare an array.
It was still a long time compared to someone who could use body casting as well, but she had the lowest battle prowess of the group, and giving the role to anyone else would have been a waste of talent.
Phloria stood in front of her, a Shield ready to protect the Highmaster and Solus the moment she came out of her ring.
Lith was the Spear and closed the line, protecting their back and making sure that no one was following them.
He wasn\'t as quick as Friya with Scope but he was proﬁcient at using it.
They moved through the corridors, using Spirit Magic to both ﬂoat a centimeter above the ground and erase their smell.
Orpal had placed ﬁve elemental sealing arrays in place that could block everything but darkness, the undead‘s greatest weapon.
The magical formation turned on and off almost randomly, forcing the group to use Spirit Magic even for cantﬁps and spend a lot of mana.
To make matters worse, the guards had no such problem.
During her recon, Friya had noticed how they had a device that alerted them of which arrays were on or were about to be turned on at any moment.
lt was brilliant in its simplicity.
On the palm of the gloves that the guards wore, there were ﬁve concentric circles, each one of the color of their respective element.
When an array was active, its respective circle was visible.
Also, the circles blinked when the corresponding array was about to be turned off or on, giving the undead ﬁve seconds‘ notice.
Enough to ready their spells and prepare a strategy suitable to the situation at hand.
lt gave the undead a considerable advantage that coupled with their innate outstanding physical prowess put them on par with the Awakened.
‘Can\'t you shut these damned arrays down with Domination Phloria asked, not having a clue about how the ability worked.
\'There\'s three of you with seven streaks, it must be worth something.‘ She was covered in a cold sweat, incapable of taking her eyes off a painting depicting her that would haunt Phloria for years.
Stress and outrage made her eager to hang Orpal with his own entrails.
‘Maybe we could, but it would alert the enemy of our presence and drain our energy.
Friya\'s train of thought derailed when the guards dashed out of the same corridor that they had entered a few minutes ago.
They spotted the intruders, sounding a silent alarm before rushing to intercept them.
‘What the ** is going on I double—checked the patrol\'s route before retuming to our entry point and this has never happened. Friya said, feeling guilty for her blunder.
‘It\'s not your fault.‘ Zeraka\'s voice echoed inside their heads.
‘One of the patrols suddenly turned around and discovered one of our units.
The moment they sounded the alarm, the other guards did the same.‘ \'You are supposed to be professionals!‘ Lith said while unsheathing War.
‘We are, dammit! Zeraka and the Hand of Fate had done nothing wrong.
Orpal had his guards follow a precise pattern, but at a random time, a random unit would receive the order to retrace their own steps.
Even Friya would have failed to notice them until it was too late.
She had been too busy keeping an eye on their route and there were too many corridors to monitor them all at the same time with Scope.
‘If stealth isn\'t an option there\'s no point being silent.
Cover your ears!‘ Thundercrash slipped from Friya\'s back and into her hand as if it had a mind of its own.
The two guards ran towards the intruders while keeping a couple of meters of distance, giving each other the space that they needed to shapeshift.
As their forms burst out of their uniform, a black prism in the middle of their chest identiﬁed them as Night\'s Chosen.
‘That\'s why darkness is not sealed! Friya alerted the others.
‘They are immune to it.
Save your manal\' She carefully took her aim and shoot, yet the undead easily dodged the bullet.
One of them dashed against the wall, running on it on all four without losing speed while the other jumped on the ceiling and stayed there.
They were both Grendels, a rare type of undead that was very rare and dangerous.
They were nigh-invulnerable due to their iron skin and neither magic nor blades could harm them.
Their only weaknesses were darkness magic, blunt weapons, and their inability to use magic but the prism neutralized two out of three of them.
Grendels had nothing but their physical strength and resilience, but thanks to Night\'s blessing they now shared all the bloodline abilities of their fellow Chosen.
It was only by combining the reﬂex of the Grendels with the uncanny senses of a Banshee that they had managed to predict the trajectory of the bullet and dodge it before it was even ﬁred.
The creatures in front of Friya grew over 3 meters (10\') tall and had a round head, with eyes the size of a tennis ball.
Most of the red light of undeath of the pupil was covered by the darkness element the Grendel received from Night, making their eyes look like eclipsed suns.
Their bodies were entirely covered by a dirty brown thick fur that made them look like giant sewer rats capable of defying gravity as they ran on all four at impossible angles.
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