Whoever had built the lab wasn\'t one for furnishing it.
Every corridor was identical on every floor.
The ground and the walls were constructed with a honey hued mix of stone and soil while the importance of every door could be determined by their silver-wood ratio.
Silver was the best mana conductor, making it possible to store and amplify all the spells it was enchanted with.
The corridors were wide, but offered no cover to move stealthily.
Lith had to rely on Life Vision to spot his enemies from around the corners and kill them quickly after conjuring a silence zone.
All of them wore fine clothes with a faint magical aura, yet it wasn\'t enough to explain how they could be so spotless and in mint condition after being allegedly worn by prisoners for years.
\'Around the next corner there is a group of four orcs coming from the direction your wolves died.\' Solus warned Lith.
\'One of them has a bright green mana core and a powerful life force.
He must be the shaman.\'
\'What about the crystal\' Lith\'s Life vision confirmed Solus\'s reading but at the same time, it made him worry.
There was no trace of the mana crystal and the shaman appeared to have an incredibly strong mana and life flow for his green core.
\'I can\'t see it either.
He has no magical equipment.\' Solus couldn\'t explain how such a small group of orcs could have killed a whole pack of undead so fast.
Lith charged forward with the Gatekeeper bastard sword in his hand, using gravity magic to run on the ceiling rather than the ground.
Orcs were humanoid creatures, with an average height of 1.8 meters (5\'11).
They were gifted from birth with a physique similar to that of an Awakened.
They were stronger, faster, and sturdier than humans.
Their bodies were naturally resistant to most elements and they would rarely get sick.
It was uncommon for an orc to display a talent for magic, but when it happened, the creature would always be born Awakened.
They were all bald, with skin as brown as tree bark and almost as hard.
Orcs also had enhanced senses that made it difficult to take them by surprise and were able to display short bursts of fire or air fusion, but not both at once.
The creatures paid no attention to the noise of Lith\'s approach until it was too late.
A Hush zone prevented them from calling for help and the attack came from above while they were still searching for the source of the footsteps.
The echo of the corridors confused their enhanced hearing, making them look left and right.
Thanks to water fusion, Lith\'s arm was able to move like it had no bones.
The Gatekeeper avoided the orcs\' thick arms that were guarding their vitals and killed three of them with as many quick thrusts.
\'The **\' Lith thought as the alleged shaman deflected the tip of the blade with the back of his hand while taking a few steps back.
Lith\'s surprise turned into amazement when he noticed that the orc didn\'t look like an orc at all.
It had shoulder length snow white hair, a lean but muscular physique like that of a professional athlete, and long pointy ears.
There was no trace of the orcs\' characteristic bloodlust in the delicate, almost feminine, features of his face
Thanks to his brown skin it would have been easy for him to go unnoticed in the woods, but inside the stone corridor, he stood out like a sore thumb.
\'Why does this guy look like an elf\' Lith suddenly remembered how according to the lore orcs were a Fallen Race descending from the elves.
\'Beats me, but his life force is definitely that of an orc.\' Solus pointed out.
\'Do elves really exist Are they all so hot\'
Their enemy was indeed good looking, but Lith had other things to worry about.
The orc was infused with all the elements and had conjured a sword made of ice from the humidity in the air.
Both things were supposed to be impossible for members of a Fallen Race.
It was you who sent those undead! Your corpse will make a fine dish.
I\'m tired of eating goblins. A cruel hunger deformed the orc\'s face at the idea of tasting human flesh again after so much time.
Suddenly Solus didn\'t find him hot anymore.
You can speak! Lith replied enthusiastically as he unleashed a Plague Arrow with each thrust of his sword.
The orc nimbly deflected the blade, but the spells messed up his amateurish footwork by forcing him to dodge while he parried.
Their physical abilities were similar but the orc had no training in any kind of martial arts and was relying on his natural talents.
The first thrust of the Gatekeeper cracked the ice blade, the second and third injured the orc\'s legs.
Lith could have killed him easily, but dead men told no tales.
To make matters worse for the orc, he was not used to the abilities of his ancestral form.
He tried multiple times to conjure a spell just for Lith to tamper with it and make it blow up in the orc\'s face.
Soon the stone sword broke into pieces and the orc\'s body was bleeding from many deep cuts.
Lith struck his enemy with a fist containing a healing spell that mended all of the orc\'s wounds, sapping a great deal of his remaining stamina.
His knees buckled and Lith grabbed him by the throat, lifting the orc up as if he was just a stuffed animal.
Tell me who you are, what is happening here, and how you killed my minions so fast. Lith used Invigoration to find the nerve bundles Jirni had taught him about and pressed them with his free hand, causing the orc to writhe in agony.
I won\'t tell you anything. The monster managed to smile in defiance.
It\'s much better if I show you.
The creature used a breathing technique that closely resembled Invigoration, but instead of absorbing the surrounding world energy, it was accumulated on the orc\'s right hand.
You can cast tier four spells without consuming your mana Not bad, Hannibal Lectolas. Lith reacted before the spell was fully formed by clenching his hand around the orc\'s and crushing it along with the suicidal attack.
The orc screamed in pain for the first time as his hand imploded under Lith\'s grip and exploded due to his own spell gone wild.
Such a breathing technique is as powerful as it is flawed.
It saves the user the strain of handling the mana, so they can cast even spells above their level.
Yet because such spells are only made of world energy, they can still hurt their caster.\' Lith thought.
\'Why does he not fear death\' Solus pondered.
\'Even now, he is still smiling.\'
Lith had to squeeze the orcs\' throat to stop him from making a second attempt.
Lith crushed the creature\'s remaining limbs and knocked him unconscious before dropping him onto the ground.
\'Well, if he doesn\'t talk, let\'s see what I can find out on my own.\'
Scanner and Invigoration revealed that there was something odd with the reverted orc.
His life force was unnatural, squeezed in its actual form by a second life force wrapping the orc\'s like a shroud.