Or so Lith thought for a couple of seconds, before the creature started moving around obediently like it was supposed to.
Something is wrong.
I\'m not using tendrils of mana to fuel it since it\'s an experiment, but I can feel it getting stronger.
It\'s the eye! Or better, the eyes! Even as undead, they can gather world energy.
The black one, in particular, has formed a mana pool with a strength on par with a red core already and it keeps getting stronger.
Ma-master. Trouble stuttered, giving Lith the creeps.
Shut it down! Solus said.
I\'m trying! Both his attempts to retrieve the undead energies and to possess the Balor\'s body to crush the pseudo core from within had failed.
Lith didn\'t care if the thing called him master, lord, or hubby.
He didn\'t trust anything he couldn\'t control.
I have no master! The creature roared.
By receiving a constant supply of darkness element from the black eye, the pseudo core was becoming more stable, independent from Lith\'s energy flow.
The red eye lit up, emitting a tiny jet of fire like it was a gaslighter.
He has retained his skills! Solus and Lith said in unison, although the former with worry and the latter with joy.
There\'s nothing to be happy about! Given time, he will gather enough mana to use his real powers, and if we destroy the body you\'ll end up in trouble with the army. Solus said as she activated her defensive arrays.
A force field trapped the Balor, forcing him to his knees.
You worry too much. Lith walked toward the undead, his right hand extended toward the location of the pseudo core.
The closer he got, the stronger his hold over his own mana became.
Trouble crawled back until he hit the force field, then he lashed out, emitting a black pillar against Lith, who took it in head-on.
The darkness magic passed through him like it was just colored light.
Even the tower\'s walls came out unscathed.
Whatever is happening, while this thing runs on my mana, it can only hurt me physically.
I\'m not stupid enough to use a perfect pseudo blood core for an experiment.
I gave it barely enough strength to walk. Lith explained to the surprised Solus.
Trouble snarled one last time, before collapsing on the ground.
Now what Lith asked.
The undead was back to being a corpse.
It had no life force nor mana flow anymore.
He used all the energy he had, even his pseudo core. Solus said.
This is great! If we can understand what happened, I can build a small army of elite soldiers with powerful abilities.
Soldiers that will revolt against you. Solus sneered.
That thing had a will of its own, his life force was growing on top of yours.
It would explain the purple light. Lith pondered.
Red is for the natural state, blue when an external will flows into an undead.
The question is: what was the source of the external will
The eye After all, they are the core of a Balor\'s power.
Maybe the black eye amplified your spell to the point of turning it into greater necromancy. Solus said.
Lith surgically removed and stored it inside his pocket dimension before making a second attempt.
This time, despite all of his efforts and mastery, the pseudo core was unable to take root.
The corpse straight rejected it.
Let me guess, since Balors cannot process mana without their eyes I can\'t resurrect it after removing the black eye. Lith said.
It makes sense. Solus\'s wisp nodded.
Yozmogh had six eyes, while Trouble only had three.
According to the bestiary, the remaining three are fused with Trouble\'s body.
To test this theory, we need a Balor without the black eye.
If we can raise it normally, then we are one step closer to fulfilling your crazy plan of making an undead army.
Otherwise, back to square one.
Yeah, tomorrow I\'ll buy a Balor at the market and we\'ll test your theory. Lith said while putting the eye back into the empty socket.
Even his sarcasm couldn\'t hide that the idea of losing Trouble\'s body pained him.
Even if everything failed and Balors turned out to be impossible to reanimate as undead, it would still give him more insight into necromancy.
After discarding vampires and liches as possible ways to escape from his resurrection cycle, Lith needed something new.
Guess we\'ll never know. Solus sighed.
They were both aware that conducting a series of experiments to uncover an unknown phenomenon required time and effort.
Unfortunately, they only had a few hours before they had to be at Zantia, and Lith was tired.
Solus put Trouble\'s corpse inside her pocket dimension, making sure that no trace of life nor undeath remained.
Trouble was the first enemy they had fought inside her tower from and she had no desire for a second round.
The following day, Lith\'s mood was even worse.
He had remembered how according to Zolgrish, a Balor\'s eyes were powerful magical amplifiers.
Failing an experiment was irrelevant to him.
Back on Earth, his science professors always stressed how many trials and errors were needed before making a breakthrough.
Losing his specimen and three amplifiers at once, though, was a loss from which it was hard to recover from.
To add insult to injury, when he had called Kamila, hoping she could cheer him up with one of her smiles, she was in an awful mood too.
Lith asked her many times if there was something wrong to no avail.
When he reached Zantia\'s walls, Lith was itching for a fight.
It was a medium sized city, famous for being surrounded by a luscious forest where it was possible to find several rare mystical plants.
Many magical beasts resided there, keeping bandits and monsters alike at bay.
Zantia was one of the few cities in the north to have not faced a monster wave in decades.
Unfortunately, the forest was both a blessing and a curse.
As long as they weren\'t provoked, magical beasts were peaceful but the same couldn\'t be said for some aggressive species of plants that kept growing no matter how many times they were burnt, cut, or destroyed with magic.
Even magical beasts were forced to avoid specific areas of the forest.
Merchants had a hard time reaching and leaving Zantia in one piece which created a vicious circle.
As long as Zantia was cut out of the main trading routes, it would never get a Warp Gate.
At the same time, without a Warp Gate the city would never be added to the main trading routes.
None of it was a problem for someone like Lith who was capable of flight.
When the guards at the main gate stopped him, he could already smell trouble.
The man and the woman who donned the uniform of the local militia were clearly afraid, and not of him
Let me pass. Lith said showing them his golden badge.
I\'m Ranger Lith Verhen and I\'ve been called by the city lord, Count Cestor to oversee a matter of public security.
We\'re very sorry to have wasted your time, Ranger Verhen. Said the male guard, a man in his early thirties with blond hair and grey eyes.
You are free to go.
The Count has waived your protection since everything has already been resolved. The man handed him a piece of paper with the Count\'s seal.
Lith\'s surprise only grew when his army amulet confirmed both the document\'s and the seals\' authenticity.