Chapter 629: Sudden Death (Part 1)
Korgh, the Eldritch Abomination whose fragments had been implanted inside the goblin tribe, still believed to have drawn the short end of the stick by being bonded to such useless and ugly creatures.
On the contrary, she had been quite lucky.
The goblin's only strong point was their reproductive ability, so she had an easy time manipulating them at first and then overpowering their feeble minds once she had grown stronger.
Assaulting the crystal mine had given her plenty of time and energy to refine a body similar to the original Eldritch she had been spawned from.
Unlike the other hybrids, she didn't give chase to her 'mother' due to her vessel's weakness.
She had preferred to remain hidden inside the mines all along to build her strength and regain her knowledge.
Korgh had no trouble avoiding the miners.
There were too many unused corridors she could use as havens and as long as she didn't suck the crystals dry, they would always recover their energy.
She was one of the few hybrids still alive in the entire Garlen continent.
Most of the others had been killed by humans or Emperor Beasts before reaching their maturity or assimilated by their originals after challenging them.
The noise that Lith had heard and Morok pretended to, was her slowly digging out a particularly juicy mana crystal to feed upon without being noticed.
She had no idea how the humans had found her.
Her light manipulation abilities rendered Korgh almost invisible and with all the noise echoing through the tunnels she was as silent as a mouse.
Korgh wasn't worried, though.
Those guys weren't miners, their disappearance was likely to go unnoticed for days if not ever.
Lith cursed his bad luck as several darts from a tier one Chaos spell threatened his life.
There wasn't enough space to dodge them and he knew from experience that most barriers would be useless against Chaos magic.
Lith and Morok Blinked in opposite directions in the nick of time.
Holes several centimeters deep opened in the wall behind where their vitals had been just a second ago.
Korgh couldn't use powerful spells without risking to trigger a chain reaction that would make the mine collapse, killing both herself and the humans in the process.
Luckily, the Rangers had the same problem plus they had to take care of the dead weight.
Many Professors were caught by surprise and remained severely injured.
The same happened to their Assistants and the soldiers tasked to protect them.
The only silver lining was that their enchanted armors had prevented any deadly wound and that Korgh was focused on the Rangers.
'How bad it is' Lith asked while taking the Gatekeeper out of his pocket dimension and shrinking it to the size of a short sword.
'She's magically stronger than you, but her physical strength sucks.
Half of her body is still that of a goblin.' Solus replied.
Korgh's appearance was that of a humanoid creature, about 1.6 meters (5'3") tall, with thin limbs and a head too big for her body.
Half of her skin was a yellow so pale to almost be translucent, allowing to see what little of her organs still remained.
The other half was a pitch black gelatinous substance that seemed to constantly move and change its shape like it was a flowing liquid.
One second it resembled the slimy skin of a toad, the next one it was full of hair like that of a beast.
'Let me guess, the black half is a tough client.' Lith thought.
Solus telepathically nodded while turning into her glove form.
The last hybrid they had fought was capable of accessing to strong equipment.
In presence of so many witnesses, Lith needed a decent excuse for his Awakened skills.
Her glove form with its two mana crystals shining on the back of the hand fit the bill.
She had even changed its design, to give it a more complex look that resembled the artifacts they had seen in the past.
Korgh sneered when she saw Lith charging forward.
The two Rangers were the only one unscathed from her sneak attack, so she had been afraid that they might Blink away and call for help.
Yet at least one of them was saving her the time of a boring chase.
She welcomed Lith's arrival with another volley of Chaos arrows.
The distance was now too short even for Blinking and the magic missiles were so fast to be almost invisible.
Lith had gambled on his enhanced speed further boosted by air fusion, hoping it would allow him to reach his opponent before she could cast even more powerful spells and lost the bet.
Korgh had started to weave her spells from the moment the two Rangers had stared in her direction.
Also, she held numerous advantages.
By being near a wall filled with protruding crystals, she prevented her enemies from using magic against her, since the slightest mistake would make the mines collapse and kill hundreds.
Plus, her position blocked Blink, leaving physical attacks as the only mean to harm her.
Korgh expected to see Lith fall, his body riddled with more holes than swiss cheese, so she was quite shocked when the impact didn't even slow him down.
Instead of open wounds, his chest was filled with what looked like a molten silvery liquid deformed from the impact that was quickly fixing the damage it had received.
Another one of the unexpected abilities derived from using Orichalcum to Forgemaster a Skinwalker armor was that, by injecting it with mana, it was possible to amplify both its hardness and its repulsive energy field.
Before charging, Lith had covered himself with mana from head to toes, just in case.
The mana expenditure to withstand Chaos magic had been enormous, but it still beat instant death.
Lith performed an upward diagonal slash from right to left, forcing Korgh to move from her safe spot to not be cut in half.
She ducked while sidestepping on Lith's left, her eyes fixated on the blade infused with darkness magic that passed millimeters away from her face and cut off the extremity of her pointed ears.
She had yet to perceive the pain from the injury when Lith's left fist struck her side, one of the parts her body which still belonged to the goblins, with enough strength to lift her from the ground and made her spit out a mouthful of blood.
She ignored the pain, grabbing his wrist to cut it open with her claws, only to discover his whole arm was covered by the silvery liquid, turning it into an Orichalcum living hammer.
'Cunning bastard! The sword was just a distraction to hit my weak spot.
If he thinks an armor can protect him from my touch, he's in for a surprise.' She thought as her grip turned into a vise, sucking his vitality through the enchanted protection.
Unfortunately for Korgh, she wasn't Lith's first Abomination.
Under the silver, there wasn't the pink, frail skin of a human, but the black scaly body of a hybrid.
Both of them had the ability to prey on the vitality of their opponent and even if Korgh was more skilled, Lith's counter flow made hers a hollow victory.
The stolen vitality was so scarce that it was barely noticeable.
Lith was unable to free his left hand, so he lunged with the Gatekeeper at Korgh's shoulder which was still made of goblin flesh.