Lith was right about the wargs learning enough earth magic to create a den wherever they liked, but he was wrong about everything else.
The voice in their heads was getting stronger with each new member added to their pack and pushed them to practice first magic relentlessly.
It left them enough time to hunt but none to care about their security.
This pack bore pieces of Tezka, one of the Master\'s chosen.
He had been a powerful Awakened when he was still a Xogh (Fox-type magical beast).
Even though he had yet to regain any sense of self, his habits were so deeply engrained in his personality that they influenced his hosts.
All of their new knowledge, feelings, and tactics came from him.
In a way, their relationship was a twisted version of that between Solus and Lith.
\'At least mana sense and Life Vision make it almost impossible to take me by surprise.\' He thought as he floated along the ample stone corridors.
Even his array detecting spell hadn\'t picked up anything, which reassured him about his enemies\' abilities.
Inactive arrays were among the few things that their mystical senses were unable to perceive and one of the reasons Lith never underestimated Warden magic.
The tunnels had been created with a defensible layout.
There were several turns at uneven intervals.
After each one of them, the tunnels would change in width, height, or direction so that a group of rushing invaders would get stuck, slam their heads against the ceiling or run into a wall.
Lith was once again surprised when he realized that whoever had planned the den knew exactly how deep it had to be to escape Life Vision\'s detection.
\'How can an Awakened one be so crazy as to mentor a tribe of monsters\' Solus couldn\'t find any other explanation for what they were witnessing.
\'We\'ll ask them before we kill them.\' Lith was simply joking.
There was no way he would waste time talking if another Awakened was really involved.
The tunnel led them to a huge cave.
It was a wide circular space with a diameter of about 100 meters (328 feet).
Lith counted at least fifty pack members, most of whom were adults or close to maturity.
Aside from the mothers with small cubs, the others were divided into groups of six and were practicing Silverwing\'s Hexagram in a way that would\'ve impossible for a loner like Lith.
\'What the heck Each warg is in charge of a single element, so that by keeping the array active they can not only train the element they are least proficient with, but also every other element at once simply by feeling and harmonizing with the mana flow.
\'If I ever have one or more disciples, this can be a great teaching method.\'
Lith studied them for a while as he planned his next move.
He noticed that Silverwing\'s Hexagram allowed the wargs to switch the element under their control at will, further improving their training.
He cursed whoever created that method and took action.
The cave was an open space which offered him no cover while he moved, yet Lith still had an opportunity for a surprise attack.
Those working on the arrays were too focused and while he studied their technique, the mothers had fallen asleep.
Lith used Invigoration to get back to his peak condition.
Then, he prepared a new set of spells based on the most likely situation he expected to face.
A Hush spell appeared around the nearest group, enveloping them in a shroud of silence.
The wargs were so focused that they didn\'t even notice Lith\'s tier three Full Moon spell create a circular spinning air blade which decapitated them all at once.
The air dome surrounding them prevented any noise, blood, or even its smell from escaping Hush\'s boundaries.
\'Okay, so they are not invulnerable nor do they have any magical protection.
Otherwise Full Moon wouldn\'t be enough.\' Lith inwardly nodded in satisfaction.
Hard kills worked.
Whatever the wargs\' sharing ability had evolved into, they still had vital organs.
He was about to Hush the next group when the pack suddenly turned toward their fallen brothers and sisters in unison.
Their howls filled with pain and grief gripped Solus\'s heart.
Before he learned tier four light magic, Lith had lost many patients over the years.
The sounds the wargs made were too similar to the wails of the mourning relatives of the people they had failed to save.
\'Plan B it is!\' Lith unleashed the tier five War Mage spell Raging Sun right in the middle of the cave, quickly followed by another one he had received from the Crown, Stormnado.
His own spells couldn\'t hurt him and he had ready another spell to survive the cave in.
He quickly moved inside the Hushed zone, collecting the six corpses and their heads.
The alpha and the voice in their heads shouted as one.
Tezka had sired many puppies, his parental instincts created a bond between the wargs and their younglings which wouldn\'t have otherwise existed due to their offspring\'s fast development.
The wargs\' reaction speed and technique surprised Lith.
Despite the fact that they seemed to only be able to employ tier three spells, by acting as a single being thanks to their mind link, they were able to perfectly stack the effects of their protections and keep Lith\'s spells at bay.
The wargs used air and water magic to hold the magical monstrosity at bay while the others ran away through several hidden corridors leading outside.
Tier five magic wasn\'t so simple, though, and Lith had chosen those two spells because they synergized.
Raging Sun was a mixture of fire and earth which generated a powerful explosion and flames so hot that they could melt stone.
Its effects were akin to a volcanic eruption.
Stormnado was a mix of air and darkness, which conjured a thunderstorm of poisonous gas.
The resulting effect was a toxic tornado with a temperature in the hundreds of degrees that carried rocks as dangerous as small meteors.
Lith could feel his spells\' every fluctuation and identify where the enemy formation was weaker.
By focusing on those points, he penetrated the enemy barrier and destroyed it, like a flood bursting through a cracked damn.
Even though they were wielding the collective magical prowess of the whole pack, the area around the wargs covering the retreat turned so hot that it burned their lungs.
Lightning bolts coursed through their bodies, bringing many of their comrades near death just to allow them to keep the barrier in place.
\'You can\'t do it alone.\' Tezka begged the alpha as his black tendrils were working at top gear to keep its body in one piece.
\'Let me in.
I can save them all.
We can save them all.
Together!\' Along with the magic of most of the pack, the alpha was also wielding enough of the Eldritch\'s consciousness to turn it from just a voice to a person.
The alpha was unwilling to lose its identity, but its resolve was shaken when it noticed that the Ranger was exploiting their struggle to strike at the fleeing wargs and kill all those who were still inside the cave.
The alpha howled in pain as the Eldritch\'s energy replaced his blood and devoured its mana core like a hungry beast.
The Tezka-alpha hybrid let go of the barrier, devouring all the light in the cave to turn darkness into Chaos magic.