Chapter 282: Unnatural (Part 1)
Saying that the attic was furnished would have been an understatement.
Tapestry, carpets, even the chair the man was sitting on were embedded with precious gemstones the size of a nut.
Piles of coins and jewels were laying in random spots of the room as if a creature composed of living gold had a tour of the place while having a bad case of diarrhea.
A magic eight pointed star inscribed in a circle made of pure white energy encompassed the whole room.
At each extremity of the star, there was a small altar made of white marble.
The surface of the altars was covered with runes that Red and Lith both would easily recognize as the same light magic runes that were empowering the array below their feet, if only they managed to take a single glance at them.
If they did, they would have also noticed that on some of the altars there were dried up bodies, while the others had their pristine white surface tainted by an ashen powder.
All the corpses were dried up like they had been dead for quite some time.
Not even the fact that the body on the altar right in front of them was rapidly collapsing on itself, like it was a closed paper cup being sucked with a straw could make any member of the unit take their eyes off their unwanted host.
The man literally sitting in the middle of that mess was on paper the embodiment of perfection.
1.9 meters (6'3") high, with black hair of such a light shade to almost seem blue.
His clear blue eyes were rested on a face that seemed to have been carved out by an artist in love with their own creation.
His muscular body almost bulged out of his tacky clothes, like he could tear them up simply by taking a deep breath.
Yet no man of the unit felt the tiniest tinge of envy nor any woman thought about anything outside pointing their weapons at him and fire them at will.
He was too perfect to be natural.
Each piece composing his body was flawless, but more than a person, he seemed like a patchwork of different humans assembled together.
There was no harmony in his features.
'That guy looks like the handsome brother of Frankenstein's monster.' Lith thought.
After a split second of stupor due to the teleportation array, Captain Yerna pointed her wand at the man, quickly followed by all the members of the unit.
They didn't give orders or made demands, they simply shoot a barrage of fire, ice, and lightning bolts until the man was turned into an half charred half frozen corpse and the chair into a bunch of golden splinters.
'I have bad news and I have worse news.' Now that they were inside the array, its mystical energies didn't impede Solus's senses anymore.
With everyone busy and Red scared out of his wits, Lith was free to use his skills to get a grasp of the current situation.
'I think I know what this array does.' Solus explained while Lith used Invigoration on the array and Life Vision on the man.
'It's filled to the brim with powerful energies, yet none of them belong to the unnatural man.
My mana and life sense perceive at least nine different signatures currently coursing through the array.
I think they belonged to the people on the altars.'
The unnatural man was lying on the floor, but no one managed to relax.
Despite its owner death, the light dome was still on.
Seargent Khran tried to open the door, but the array also worked as a barrier, pushing him back with a jolt of light.
Khran yelped in pain, the contact had badly burned his hands.
"Who the heck was that guy How do we get out of here" He cursed.
"Is, not was." Lith pointed at the body on the floor.
"He is still alive and well." He could see how even after so many attacks, the body's life force was as strong as before.
'Exactly.' Solus continued. 'The array keeps slowly injecting those energies inside him.
I don't know why, though.
The transfer's not fast enough to be some sort of healing device.'
"Are you kidding me" Khran scoffed while Hren helped him to drink a healing potion for his injured hands.
"That guy is as dead as a doornail."
"Am I" Said a silvery voice coming from the corpse as it tried to get up.
A second barrage of spells stuck it before the sentence was completed, sending it sprawling on the floor.
'Let me guess, that was just the bad news.
What about the worse news' Lith was putting together all the pieces of the puzzle.
The picture taking shape in front of his eyes wasn't good.
' The worse news is that the unnatural man seems to be a human Abomination hybrid.'
Her words left Lith speechless.
'Is he… like me'
'Not at all.
I can see two cores inside of him, a bright cyan one and a smaller black one.
I believe that just like Kalla's, his second core is artificial.'
The corpse got on its back for a second time, getting blasted once again.
This time no one stopped shooting until there was no charge left in their wands.
"We need to get out of here!" Captain Yerna wasn't scared.
She and her people had gone through worse situations in the past, keeping her cool had always turned out to be the winning move.
"White, Warp us away from this sh*thole."
Lith didn't make her repeat herself, but the dimensional door shattered as soon as it was formed.
A second attempt bore the same result.
"What's happening Why it doesn't work" Khran was starting to freak out, his voice rose of an octave.
"I have no clue." Instead of despairing, Lith placed both of his hands on the array.
He was certain it was the root of all their problems.
"It's actually quite simple." The corpse of the unnatural man stood up from a pile of half molten jewels.
Wands were once again aimed at him, but no spell was fired.
"Dimensional magic requires a perfect balance between al the six elements." The unnatural man explained while his skin and hair regrew at an astounding speed.
"This room is so filled with light magic that it makes impossible for a lowly human mage to find the balance necessary to tear up space.
Don't blame the kid for his incompetence." He said with an amused look.
"Even if he managed to do it, it would take me a simple wave of the hand to disrupt his focus.
As I said earlier, no one is leaving until I get compensation for all the losses you have inflicted me.
The unnatural man apparent kindness turned into a mask of fury.
At his command, a new array overlaid with the already existing one.
It increased the gravity of all those present by several folds, forcing them to fall on their knees.
Only two people weren't affected by the new array.
Lith, who was already hands on the ground studying the room, and the unnatural man, who kept standing as if nothing happened.