After almost dying by the hands of Balkor\'s Valor, I understood I needed to study magic more seriously.
Whenever I\'m not providing for my family or raising my children, I study under a powerful Emperor Beast, Faluel the Hydra.
I never forgot about my debt of gratitude towards you, so I asked Faluel to inform me if she ever heard something about you.
That\'s how I learned about your predicament.
Fighting three A- amazing mages alone it\'s difficult to even for someone as experienced as you are.
I still regret not learning about Nalear until it was too late.
I couldn\'t be there for you then, but I\'m not leaving you alone this time. Protector said.
You know a Hydra Friya had already reached the point where no amount of alcohol could calm her down anymore.
Yes, she is my mentor.
I\'m sure she would gladly help you too, Lith.
Except during winter.
She hates the cold.
Wait, how does she know about Zantia\'s situation Lith asked.
The Lord of the Kellar region somehow spectated your fight.
Emperor Beasts don\'t care about humans but look after their own.
He knew I was looking out for you and he alerted Faluel.
You know the rest.
Gods, I can\'t believe it! Magical beasts sent reinforcements to help you whereas the army is still sitting on its thumbs. Friya had no idea that Lith had reported about the existence of only two Awakened ones to protect his cover.
Magical beasts care only for themselves, whereas the army has to protect the entire country. Lith said while winking at Protector to make him shut up.
Lith told Protector everything he knew about the Church of the Six, the group of Awakened one he had fought, and showed him the arrays they had planted inside the city.
Do you really know even about arrays Protector was flabbergasted.
Does this Kamila really exist or is she made up He can\'t possibly take care of her, his job, their cubs, and be so good at magic!
No cubs. Lith\'s voice was stone cold, while Friya giggled due to being tipsy and because of Lith\'s embarrassment.
But you are together for…
No cubs and not planning on making them! Lith\'s army amulet blinked signaling an incoming call and giving him an excuse to change the topic.
Contrary to his expectations, it wasn\'t Kamila\'s hologram which materialized in the middle of the room, but General Vorgh\'s.
He was a short old man, barely 1.5 meters (5\') tall wearing the light blue uniform of the army.
Judging by the several wrinkles on his face and the spots on his skin, he had to be at least seventy years old.
Yet his sky blue eyes had the wild vibe of a predator on the chase.
His short white hair and finely trimmed beard shone like silver fur under the sun, reinforcing everyone\'s impression of being staring at a beast of the north.
The man\'s sleeves bore a silver star.
It identified him with the rank of Brigadier General.
His right hand was wilding a staff made of white oak with six violet magic crystals engraved on it in a straight line.
Six more floated above its top, forming a perfect circle that orbited around the staff and followed its every movement.
Lith had already seen it in action.
It allowed Vorgh to use impossible arrays as if he was an Awakened.
The six engraved magic crystals were likely to be its power source, whereas the floating ones were responsible for creating the true arrays and harmonizing the world energy with Vorgh\'s mana.
Spellbreaker Verhen, I\'m afraid you are facing madmen. The title Vorgh addressed Lith with made those present aware of the gravity of the situation.
Before we speak, you should send away these people.
Civilians can\'t be involved in a military operation. He said while pointing at Friya and Ryman.
General Vorgh, allow me to introduce you Lady Friya Ernas and Ryman Fastarrow.
I conscripted them to help me.
They have all the right to know since they are putting their lives on the line along with mine. Lith said.
So be it.
I agree with your assessment of the two arrays you identified, but you have failed to grasp how they interact with the third one.
To be honest, I\'m not sure either.
Mine are just speculations, but it\'s all I have to offer you for now.
Lith nodded Vorgh to continue as Solus griped due to mana sense not working on holograms.
She would have really liked to take a closer look at the staff\'s pseudo core.
The array between the grounding and the containment ones was called Third Eye by its creator and Fool\'s Gold by everyone else.
It channels the world energy inside a mage\'s body, making it possible for them to awaken their hidden talents.
No one uses it, though, because not only are its effects just temporary, but also using it greatly shortens its user\'s lifespan.
Horan Palanor became one of Mogar\'s most powerful mages for almost two days before dying for its side effects.
No one uses Fool\'s Gold because it doesn\'t really give you any power, it simply condenses your life force, so you can achieve for a few months the power you would get in two years of practice by losing ten years in the process.
The news stunned both Lith and Protector.
Even Awakened ones had to take care of their life force because it couldn\'t be replenished.
Accumulation and Invigoration slowed down its consumption, but they didn\'t affect the amount of life force one was born with.
Lith\'s Death Vision was a consequence of his attempt to saving Protector\'s life at the expense of his own.
The worst thing is that whoever modified Palanor\'s array turned it into forbidden magic. Vorgh said making Lith even more confused.
If a mage can get more power by simply sacrificing lives, I would expect it to be one of the most popular crimes.
Why have I never heard of it before He asked.
Because it doesn\'t work that way.
Your talent requires your life force, your memory, your experiences. Vorgh explained.
The upper containment array is used to store and amplify the world energy, Fool\'s Gold will temporarily enhance the talent of its user, and the grounding array will discharge the excess energy using the people affected by the Griever as a medium.
It\'s not an illness.
Those two mages injected their own mana inside others to both form the arrays and use them as catalysts.
That way, the whole city will take part in the process and all its inhabitants will lose a decade or two of life!
What could they possibly gain from that Lith asked.
My hypothesis is that they plan to lessen Fool\'s Gold\'s side effects by using the least necessary amount of world energy and discharging the rest on the population.
This way, instead of losing twenty years they could reduce it to eighteen. Vorgh replied.
It\'s a negligible amount, that\'s why I say they are madmen.
The use of forbidden magic is a game changer.
We are sending you Spellbreakers as soon as possible.
Normally it would take them a couple of hours to get there between preparations and traveling, but the snowstorm will slow things down.
The only other piece of good news I can give you is where you can find those responsible.
To benefit from Fool\'s Gold\'s effects, the mage must be exactly in the middle of it.
When they activate the array, it will become visible.
Good luck, Spellbreaker Verhen. Vorgh ended the call.