Chapter 2129 Close but Far (Part 1)
Cyntra and the other elders had been chosen by Night as her teachers because of their power and skill so they considered themselves more than dignified baggage for the Hushed King\'s group.
Yet their pride gave way to humility the moment Kigan rushed at the enemy lines.
The Cursed element made the temperature in the room drop by dozens of degrees yet it was nothing compared to what happened to anything that came in contact with it.
The bodies of the undead were frozen to the bone, their bodily fluid increasing in volume and making their flesh and bones shatter from the sheer pressure.
In less than one second, anyone grazed by the living Zero turned into a pile of red crystals and then into ashes.
Enchanted protections failed, enchanted metal became as brittle as glass, and even the solid stone of the golems melted into ice shards when Phoenix\'s Cursed body clawed at them.
Such a bloodline ability would have killed its user in a handful of seconds if it wasn\'t for Kigan\'s Balor half.
Balors had no mana core due to the elemental energy being evenly spread throughout their bodies and mixed with their life force.
It gave them uncanny physical prowess and resistance to magic.
On the other hand, however, it made it impossible for them to Awaken and conjure spells.
The power of their eyes to control the elemental energies partly compensated for that, but in their Fallen state, they could only have up to three eyes whereas even fake mages could use all six elements.
Vastor had fused Kigan with a Balor hoping that the lack of a core would have solved the duality that affected the other hybrids.
He had expected that the mana spread throughout the Balor half would be sucked by the black core like anything else and become one with it.
What had actually happened was that the elemental energies had resisted the pull, forming an insulating layer around the black core.
The black eye constantly absorbed the darkness element, making it resistant to the Chaos.
Also, the light element that the Balor half produced kept the Chaos from spreading by reverting the Cursed element into darkness that the black eye could control.
Kigan was the hybrid with its body closest to perfect balance and the core farthest from it.
While the other Abominations had their cores at least partially overlapping, his own were still apart.
By studying the phenomenon, Kigan had learned how to replace the Chaos coursing through his being with another Cursed element, but just like a Balor, his abilities were limited by his eyes.
The Chosen recognized the threat at hand thanks to Orpal\'s precise instructions.
The Dead King had learned how to deal with all kinds of Cursed elements during his fight with Tezka and had trained his soldiers accordingly.
The undead unleashed waves of fire magic meant to turn the Zero into regular water and then freeze it.
Turning into a mass of Cursed ice bestowed upon Kigan their destructive power but also burdened him with their weakness.
Once his physical form was gone so would his life.
The yellow eye shone in response to the attack while the red one drained the fire element in the Dark Phoenix\'s surroundings, returning him into his natural state.
The Zero turned into flesh and blood and then into Choke, smothering the spells that were supposed to kill him.
The air around him became filled with ozone from the bursts of lightning while the fires disappeared due to the sudden lack of oxygen.
The Choke ran from the tip of the spells close to the hybrid back to its caster, enveloping them in supercharged clouds of acid.
A simple touch from the Toxic Essence rearranged the composition of the air to form a magical corrosive mix that carried the bolts of lightning straight into the bodies of the undead.
The acid liquefied the flesh and turned it into an excellent conductor.
It carried the electricity deeper into the undead until it found their weak point and killed them on the spot.
Toxic and Molten Essence were two of the Dark Phoenix\'s hybrid abilities that were made possible by his Balor eyes and body.
Once either ability was activated, the elemental energies in the body protected his life force and black core, allowing Kigan to retain his mind and consciousness.
At the same time, the elemental eyes of the Balor conjured their opposite Cursed element while also absorbing from the world energy the power necessary to keep it under control.
By taking away the fire element from his own body, Kigan could turn it into Zero while by constantly feeding off the external fire element he could keep the Cursed element from reaching his core.
The Dark Phoenix could not only wield the power of Zero and Choke now, but the phenomenon had also proved that living creatures of Cursed elements other than Chaos were possible.
The downside of Kigan\'s new bloodline abilities was that he couldn\'t apply either Zero or Choke to his Origin Flames, only to his body.
On top of that, while in the Cursed Essence form, he couldn\'t cast spells, and his Balor eyes were needed to keep his body from self-destructing.
The Cursed elements were too strong to be controlled by sheer will and the moment they moved even one inch away from the Dark Phoenix they would go out of control and damage even his allies.
Xenagrosh and Dusk survived only by keeping their distance and thanks to their equipment.
Between the Shadow Dragon\'s Decay magic and the Dark Phoenix\'s Cursed Essence, the battle ended less than a minute after its start.
Orpal had protected the Palace with arrays designed to neutralize Awakened and Abominations, but they were helpless against the hybrids\' new abilities.
After the Pleasure Palace fell, Dusk left the rescued undead with Xenagrosh and Kigan to be interrogated while he Warped to the Treasure Palace.
Conquering it was even faster and easier since the Red Sun wasn\'t looking for someone but something.
The moment he spotted a guard with Life Vision, the hybrids would kill them from a distance with Chaos Magic.
After that, it was the Wisdom Palace\'s turn.
Dusk had kept it for last because knowledge demanded a gentle hand and losing a single page of a book might cripple its usefulness.
He attacked the Wisdom Palace with the help of all six hybrids while the mages of the Empire took care of collecting the artifacts and interrogating the few lucky undead who had survived the onslaught on the Treasure Palace.
By the time the Undead Courts discovered what had happened, the Palaces had been cleared of anything useful and Orpal\'s minions had been either killed or imprisoned.
The Organization demanded to take part in examining the loot and made copies of everything related to Arthan and the Golden Griffon before handing the originals to the Council.
As for the undead that Dusk had rescued, only a few of them accepted to serve under the Empress while the rest moved to the Eclipsed Lands to escape the conflict.
Wake up, old lizard, you have work to do. Milea said while slamming several tomes on Leegaain\'s desk along with maps and blueprints.
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