The lightning bolts conjured by the frenzied merchant were tier one spells, but their power was on par with those produced by a tier three one.
Lith was far enough from the caster to not have problems dodging the attack, whereas Jirni wasn\'t so lucky.
Her Royal Constable uniform was able to tank a lot of damage before she would get seriously injured, yet she couldn\'t afford to get hit.
It was because of her orders that no one had stopped the woman from laying waste to the building.
If the target died before they captured her, it would have been all for naught.
To make things worse, Jirni hadn\'t missed that the woman had been casting spells non stop since their arrival.
\'If she gets me once, she\'ll keep attacking until I\'m dead.\' Jirni thought.
She extended forward her right hand, with which she was holding in between her fingers the three needles she had planned to use to paralyze her target.
They reacted to the incoming spell by turning into lightning rods that diverted and trapped the energy making it harmless.
Jirni exploited the surprise effect to get close enough to incapacitate her enemy, but the merchant reacted so fast that her movements were almost a blur.
She dodged Jirni\'s needles and kicked her at the same time.
The woman was no fighter.
Her attack was sloppy and telegraphed, allowing Jirni to jump back to significantly reduce the impact.
The kick was still too fast to avoid and so violent that it squeezed the air out of her lungs.
Lith too was in a pinch, but of a completely different kind.
After extinguishing the fire, he had no idea what to do.
He had countless ways of stopping the crazy merchant, but they all required him to use magic.
\'I don\'t even know if I can get close without killing her.\' He thought.
\'Life Vision shows me that she is sucking even more world energy than the last psycho I fought.
She might be able to feed on the mana I naturally emit as an Awakened one and die of mana poisoning because of it.
\'Violence is not an option.\' Solus pointed out.
\'If ten centimeters long blazing splinters piercing her body don\'t cause her any discomfort, I doubt even fractures could hinder her.
\'I can block your mana flow, but that would mean no spirit nor fusion magic.
You would be left with only your enhanced body as an asset.\'
Lith inwardly nodded and joined the fray.
Jirni was one of the few persons he really liked, maybe too much.
They were so similar that it almost scared him.
Mostly because he was afraid to end up like her, with a family of his own.
Yet he didn\'t want to lose her, nor he wanted her relatives to experience what he had went through with Carl.
They were all his friends, even Orion.
The merchant saw Lith\'s approaching and reacted accordingly.
Or at least she tried.
The gap in height, training, and physique was overwhelming.
Even without fusion magic, she was moving in slow motion in Lith\'s eyes.
His right fist struck the tip of her chin with pinpoint precision to induce a concussion that would make her faint.
The hit dislocated the jaw with a snap, but the woman kept standing.
Lith followed through with a liver shot with his left that would have incapacitated a man triple her size.
The jaw fixed itself with another snap as the woman flexed her muscles turning the splinters stuck in her body into deadly projectiles.
Not a single drop of blood came from the open wounds, which instantly healed.
Light magic too This wasn\'t in any report! Jirni grunted while stopping the improvised bullets with her bare hands.
They were no threat to any enchanted armor, but a single stray shot was enough to kill a civilian.
\'More like a full elemental fusion.\' Solus explained.
\'No sense of pain, rapid healing, an endless supply of world energy.
I don\'t think we can take her alive.\'
\'You are right, we can\'t.
At least by ourselves.\'
Lith cursed at his bad luck and unleashed a barrage of attacks.
He adjusted their speed to make them slow enough for the merchant to see them but too fast to be dodged.
Once she was focused on the defense, Jirni closed in as silent as a ghost.
She stabbed the merchant at the base of her neck with two needles, severing her spinal cord and making her fall limp like a puppet the strings of which had been cut.
I can feel her body regenerating so fast it\'s rejecting my needles.
I can\'t let go of them or we\'ll be back to square one.
Whatever you have to do, do it now! Jirni said.
Solus released Lith\'s mana flow allowing him to use Invigoration after pretending to chant a short spell.
Just as he had feared during his previous encounter with another \'made mage\', whatever was force feeding the woman with world energy attempted to suck his mana too.
This time Lith was prepared and true magic was all about willpower.
The vortex located in the woman\'s mana core and Lith fought a tug of war for his mana.
He had to scan the merchant\'s body for anomalies while preventing his energies from reaching her core.
Even with all his years of practice and the new powers his blue core granted him, it was one of the hardest things Lith had ever done.
Keeping the mana from Invigoration in one place long enough for it to detect something required his utmost focus.
Whenever even a small sliver of mana slipped out of his control, he was forced to reclaim it and start everything from scratch.
Seconds turned into minutes as the constant strain on Lith\'s mind and body wore him out.
In normal circumstances, Invigoration would constantly restore his energies.
Because of the vortex, however, the world energy would get stuck between him and the merchant, unable to replenish his core.
In such a situation Lith was no different from a fake mage using a tier five spell.
I can\'t do it anymore.
Professor, you can give it a shot. Lith wheezed at every word, his face was pale and sweaty from the effort.
Only use tier five spells, otherwise you\'ll kill her. He warned Manohar.
You make no sense, kid.
Why would one use lesser spells The Professor made it sound like tier four and below were just cantrips.
The moment his hands finished performing the necessary hand signs, his expression changed.
Manohar felt that something was trying to steal his mana and reacted accordingly.
It wasn\'t his first rodeo, but he had never encountered such a fierce opponent before.
Suddenly Manohar didn\'t look arrogant, bored, or excited.
For the first time in his life, the god of healing couldn\'t even afford to have a stray thought.
What usually came natural to him to the point of being trivial was now a demanding task.
How long do you need I\'m getting tired. Jirni\'s muscles were sore from the constant strain.
Tista would have liked to give her some life force, but she knew her spell would be disrupted before it could do any good.
Don\'t worry, I\'m done. Manohar said while pulling away from the woman.
Jirni\'s needles blocked her body, but her face could still move.
It turned into a mask of horror and pain as the Professor pulled out a yellow sphere from her abdomen killing her on the spot.