Kalla\'s arrival was loud like thunder and fast like lightning.
Rise my legions! A command from her voice and two taps on the ground was all that it took for the undead army buried under the mining town to awake and fight for their master.
The bulk of her force was made up of Skeletal Knights, a class of undead that was not only physically superior to normal skeletons, but also could be imparted skills and techniques their maker was capable of executing.
Their strongest point was the ability to wield and use equipment properly.
The academy had provided a huge number of enchanted weapons and armors, making them a force to be reckoned with.
Kalla\'s elite forces were the Wights, black hooded figures molded out of darkness magic and hatred.
They would either fly or float mid air.
Aside from their hands and heads, they had no body.
Whatever they touched, it would wither and die.
Because of the unforgiving nature of the arrays, Kalla\'s thralls were weakened as well while under the mystical dome.
Both armies were fearless and unrelenting, but only one was backed by its own master.
While Balkor\'s troops grew weaker with every passing second, Kalla\'s army was constantly fueled with new energy thanks to her constant use of Invigoration.
Every time one of her soldiers fell, she would simply raise it again after fixing the damage it had sustained.
Her mastery of Necromancy also allowed her to possess the bodies of her undead, making them use darkness magic like she was among them.
Balkor\'s minions were designed to fight humans, hence they were ineffective against other undead who weren\'t affected by their aura of fear, the toxic spit, or the venom in their claws.
The battle ended as quickly as it had begun, with a one sided slaughter.
Scarlett\'s plan had been a complete success.
There had been no casualties.
Only a few among the beasts and the soldiers had been injured, but they were promptly cured and brought back to their peak condition.
Kalla threw Lith a very meaningful glance, freezing him on the spot.
- What a dirty son of a gun! Lith thought, realizing the blunder he had almost made.
Not only his creatures share a hive mind, learning about all of our tactics and security measures each time they force us to employ a new one, but they all also act as Balkor\'s eyes and ears! -
Blood Desert, Balkor\'s secret lab
What in the Great Mother\'s name has just happened Ilyum Balkor couldn\'t believe his own eyes.
That bear-thing seems to be a Necromancer too, but none of its work makes sense.
Only greater undead can use magic, yet its creatures defied such basic principle time and time again.
Also, how could it possibly raise so many corpses at once
It takes me a whole year to prepare this many troops, not to mention I need to put them into stasis to prevent them from burning out of energy.
Things couldn\'t get any worse!
Balkor Warped out of the lab, inwardly listing all the setbacks he had met so far.
First, there were those arrays that limited the strength of his troops, but that was a secondary issue.
He had long learned how to adjust his thralls\' defenses to ignore most of those annoying Warden formations.
Second, he had never taken into account that magical beasts could meddle in human squabbles.
There was only a limited number of modifications he could apply to his creatures between each attack.
Now he was forced to split his focus into three.
Anti human undead were easy prey for a magical beast and sitting ducks against other undead.
Last, but not least, the battle had ended before he could collect any data about his opponents\' real capabilities.
They had won relying on basic military strategies and on the hidden undead army, not letting him catch even a glimpse of the White Griffon\'s Archmages\' strongest spells.
The secret of Balkor\'s success had always been his meticulous preparation and data collection, but this time he had come back empty handed.
Walking back to his home in the Forgotten Plume tribe, he couldn\'t help but smile seeing his kids running towards him with their little arms spread in the air.
Dad, dad! Where have you been Cyrl wanted his father to hold him and Balkor was happy to comply.
I was paying my respects to your grandparents, but now I\'m all yours.
Let\'s see what mom has prepared for dinner. He walked inside his tent, holding the child in his arms.
Ilyum Balkor had many things to be happy about.
After the first raid, the students of the Crystal and Earth Griffon had fled, leaving the academies empty.
Balkor had an easy time butchering the remaining defense forces and destroying the power cores with minimal losses.
Two out of the six great academies were now just a bunch of stones, unable to nurture mages anymore.
The remaining academies were proving to be a tough cookie, but he still had two days to complete his life\'s work.
Capturing and studying Abominations had been a mammoth task.
Fusing part of them with his undead had proved to be even more difficult.
Balkor wasn\'t new to pain and was more than willing to make some personal sacrifices.
Controlling all those undead at once, spying on his enemies\' every move, using so many Warping arrays to move his troops, was too much for a single man.
Each attack took away years of Balkor\'s life span, but he didn\'t care.
His job was almost done.
After that, he would forget about the accursed Griffon Kingdom and spend the time he had left watching his children grow.
After the end of the battle, all the students rejoiced together, chanting Kalla\'s name like it was a good luck charm.
At that moment, no one cared about her being a Wraith-like monster, nor about her army being quite similar to the enemy one.
For a few hours, nobles and commoners alike loved her like a hero, setting aside differences concerning social status, humans, or beasts.
The only thing that mattered was being alive and well.
The students returned to their apartments, discovering that while some houses had been heavily damaged, they were already self repairing at a speed visible to the naked eye.
The damage sustained hadn\'t compromised the structural integrity of the houses nor of the dimensional magic, allowing everyone to go back to the safety of their rooms.
The night was still very young, only an hour had passed since the start of the attack.
Lith\'s group had tried more than once to question him about what he was going to yell earlier, but he refused to speak until they arrived at their destination.
- Solus, it\'s impossible for Balkor to hear us while we are in here, right Lith asked.
Based on what we know about dimensional magic, I\'d say yes.
Even if you are right and every undead thrall is a recording device, we are alone now.
This room is enveloped in the dimensional and the protective enchantments.
It\'s like being in a parallel dimension.
My thought exactly. –
Lith chanted the Hush spell anyway, just to be safe.
He and Solus could still be wrong, but even if that wasn\'t the case, he didn\'t trust anyone outside the room.
Not after how Kalla had looked at him.
Lith sighed, taking away his shoes and lying on his bed while trying to put together all the pieces of the puzzle.
He was searching for the right words to make the others understand his intuition without freaking out.
At least not too much.
He was still thinking about it, drumming with his fingers on the nearby wall, when Phloria coddled up to him, drawing the gazes of all those present.
What are you staring at She rebuked them.
You already saw that I was sleeping beside him, there\'s no reason to wait for the lights to be turned off again.
I want to spend all the time that I can with my boyfriend, whether you like it or not.
- I guess I am not going to study my shotel anytime soon.– Lith sighed again, while his hand moved like it had a life of its own, caressing Phloria\'s back and hair.
She snuggled even tighter to him, emitting a purring sound of delight.
So, what\'s all this secrecy about Yurial was having a hard time taking the edge off of his voice.
He had never felt so envious and alone in his whole life.
Lith explained to them how he was certain that Balkor\'s so called \'lesser undead\' weren\'t mindless creatures.
Each of them was part of a hive mind that had collected data about all the spells and techniques used during both assaults.
I also noticed that this time the array was less effective.
The creatures were still very nimble and strong despite being so close to the town square.
My hypothesis is that during the third attack, the array will be mostly useless and that when Balkor will use his real ace in the hole, his undead will have the collective memories of all the previous attacks, making most of our strategies obsolete.
Good gods! How did you notice that Not even such a frightening piece of news managed to stop Friya from staring at Phloria in envy.
Not because of Lith.
Unlike the others, she still had a hard time accepting his switch-like personality.
One second he was a caring friend, the next one he turned into a murdering machine.
The jury was still out on which one was his real face.
The reason for her envy was that she had never been that close to anyone.
After so many near death experiences, she was starting to long for someone she could blindly trust, just like Phloria did.
Because I suck as a swordsman and I completely fell for Balkor\'s \'mindless creatures\' charade. Lith explained.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Even during my first clash with the undead, I noticed that hitting them became harder with each one I killed.
I didn\'t think much of it until tonight when they started to dodge my ice shards simply because I was too conceited to bother changing their pattern.
So Quylla soldiered up without averting her gaze, despite being reduced to a lump of envy and hindsight about her lack of decisiveness.
So, while people like Phloria, Friya, or Phillard are so good with their weapons that the skill gap between them and the lesser undead is insurmountable, I suck so bad at it that I could notice it closing every time I used one of the few forms I know.
Where does that leave us Phloria mumbled with a sleepy voice that was in heavy contrast with the mood of the room.
During the last attack, she had truly feared of she might lose Lith for good, so she was determined to make her move once the others went to sleep.
Yet everyone could soon hear a soft snoring coming from her.
In a very rough patch. Lith replied to the sleeping Phloria, casting Hush on her ears to prevent her from waking up because of the conversation.
We have only two options: one, Linjos and Scarlett have a very good plan that will save us all with a minimum contribution on our side.
Two, we run away as soon as option one turns out to be wishful thinking.
There are very few things I\'m not confident to be able to kill, but sadly a whole army of lesser undead or a few greater ones crafted by a mad genius are among them.
The room\'s occupants sighed in unison.
They had hoped for another one of Lith\'s miracles, but it seemed he was out of stock.
They decided to go back to bed to catch some sleep before the next attack.
The following morning, despite being the only one that had slept like a log until the breakfast call, Phloria was in a bad mood.
- I can\'t believe I missed my chance like that.
Now I have to wait until after the next attack to get him in the right mood.
I can\'t jump on Lith in the middle of the day like any Yurial would.– She thought.
Suddenly, the communication amulets lit up in unison, projecting Linjos\'s image.
Good morning, dear students.
Today\'s activities will take place just like yesterday, with only one difference.
We cannot risk another surprise attack, so I instruct you to go back to your housing after the afternoon call, while the sun is still high.
Please, do not go out of town as your fallen companions did.
I already lost enough students.
After the Headmaster\'s hologram disappeared, the dining room resounded with: Morons!.
The students were growing closer to each other and now had a hard time believing that the day before, so many had thrown away their lives just to spite Linjos\'s orders.
Lith, Phloria, and Friya were going back to the mine when Kalla approached them.
I\'m sorry Scourge, but there is little time left.
We need to talk.