Those words made Lith almost slap his own forehead, but luckily he remembered in time about the Orichalcum still covering his hands.
Those are water creatures, but there can\'t be a big enough water body around here to sustain such a big colony.
If that was the case, we should hear the underground water stream or at least smell a lot of humidity in the air.
Does any of you perceive any of that He asked.
The group started to sniff the air like a pack of hounds.
The air is drier than many places we crossed on our way here. Said Professor Gaakhu.
So where the heck did they come from Why we didn\'t hear them coming despite the ever-present echo
Those are good questions, but I can at least answer one of them. Professor Yondra said.
Teks manipulate earth.
They must have made the ground softer to avoid making noise.
That doesn\'t explain why they were so focused on us.
If they were starving, they would have eaten their fallen first.
Instead, they kept attacking like their lives were on the line even though we did nothing to provoke them. Lith looked at the tunnels.
They were empty again.
There was no trace of scouts or survivors fleeing from the scene.
\'It doesn\'t make sense.
My paranoia sense keeps tingling.\' He thought.
I think he is right. Professor Syndra said.
Either the Odi\'s longevity is a hard truth rather than a myth, or we must have activated some automated defense mechanism.
No matter the answer, both of them mean that we are in front of the discovery of a lifetime.
Half of us will…
With all due respect, I give the orders here, Professor. Phloria cut him short.
Before resuming our search, the Wardens must strengthen the barrier while my soldiers and the Rangers rest.
In the meantime, all those that didn\'t do anything will guard the tunnels.
Sir, yes, sir! Morok said spitting a bit of Tek meat from the arm he was chewing.
How certain are you that they didn\'t just come here following our noise She asked Lith with a whisper.
Remember this Lith tapped the side of his eyes, resuming to speak as soon as she nodded him to continue.
I\'m 100% sure that those corridors were empty.
Then there were ten Teks and after we started killing them others popped up.
I mean it.
I didn\'t see anyone walking.
Then please rest and help us to find a way to open that door.
This place is already giving me the creeps.
Lith used Accumulation while he looked around the cave.
He remembered that both the White Griffon academy and his tower had surveillance mirrors, so the idea that someone was actually looking at them from a distance was quite likely.
Life Vision scanned every centimeter of the cave, searching for the transmitting device.
Divination didn\'t exist, to spy on someone it was needed a transmitter that would capture the reflected light like a camera would and Warp the images to the mirror.
It could have been anything, but its magical aura was supposed to be visible.
\'Unless it\'s cloaked.\' Solus suggested.
\'It wouldn\'t make sense.
Only Awakened can sense mana and I doubt that those Odi creeps were Awakened.
Otherwise each body they occupied would have lasted centuries and they would have kept their magical talent.\' Lith replied.
\'Maybe they weren\'t Awakened, but they might have been aware of their existence.\' Solus suggested.
\'Solus, do you realize that you\'ve become a bigger pessimist than I am\' Those words put an end to their argument and made Solus wish they were both wrong.
Solus about the Odi and Lith about her.
Unlike Invigoration, Accumulation had no rejuvenating effects, it would simply absorb the surrounding world energy and feed it to Lith\'s mana core, making it stronger.
Since whatever Kulah was it was built on a mana geyser, Lith could draw much more nourishment than usual from the environment.
\'Even though hours of Accumulation don\'t amount to much of a power up, if I\'m right about someone operating Kulah\'s defenses, every bit can help.\' He thought as his enhanced body naturally recovered his mana and stamina.
While Morok slept to recover from the fatigue of the fight, Lith ate some food and searched for the activation mechanism of the door.
The entire stone wall had been enchanted and several arrays overlapped on its surface.
\'Whoever did this was indeed a Master Warden.\' Solus thought.
\'The runes comprising the various arrays never touch each other and have an even spacing between them, allowing the runes to work in perfect harmony.
\'On top of that, it makes really hard to understand which rune belongs to which array.
I\'m afraid that I was right about the Odi being aware of Awakened.\'
\'Maybe and maybe not.\' Lith replied.
\'There are things like Scarlett\'s pince-nez or General Vorgh\'s staff that can make them visible to the naked eye.
So far the only thing we know for certain is that they were crafty bastards.\'
Lith placed his hands on the stone wall, as if he was searching for crevices or a hidden switch, and activated Invigoration.
It was the only means he had to bypass any kind of cloaking device that could hide the truth from his eyes.
Invigoration required Lith to override someone\'s or something\'s mana flow with his own.
It was a skill he had developed as a kid and it was second nature to him.
Unfortunately, he had never used it on something that big.
There was only so much space he could cover without spreading his resources too thin, dulling his senses.
To make matters worse, the complexity of the arrays and the enchantment of the wall made it hard for him to properly examine their countless details.
On the bright side, Solus could now deactivate her mana sense and focus solely on deciphering the incantation by sharing Lith\'s senses.
Lith\'s antics drew more than one surprised look and several scoffs.
Ranger Verhen, this is a waste of your abilities.
If groping a wall was enough to bypass a protective array, then Wardens and Forgemasters wouldn\'t have spent so much time and effort developing their spells for tasks like the one at hand. Professor Syndra said.
There was no mockery in his voice, only sincere worry.
\'If that idiot of my Assistant was half as capable as Lith, instead of cackling at him like a child…\' He thought.
Thanks for your concern, Professor.
Yet we must consider that the Odi might have taken spells into account and resorted to some kind of mechanical trigger. Lith replied with the first believable explanation that came to his mind.
Excellent point! Did you hear that, Calil Take a lesson from Ranger Verhen and use your brain.
If by the end of the expedition your contributions amount to nothing, I\'ll have you fired.
Just like the other Assistants, Calil had been noting down his master\'s findings so that he could later revise and make sense of the bigger picture.
The rest of the time, the youths had been laughing behind the wall-groping Ranger\'s back.
Suddenly, there wasn\'t much to laugh about.
Instead of mindlessly writing, he started to rack his brain for a solution to the conundrum at hand.