They kept following the trail left by Corona Discharge\'s stream of lightning until it suddenly stopped.
The floor went from dripping wet to humid as if an invisible barrier had halted the spell\'s advance.
It seems you were right, the only possible explanation for this phenomenon is a Warp Steps. Phloria said.
Quite the contrary, it doesn\'t make sense. Lith shook his head.
According to what I saw with Life Vision, the Teks appeared close to our camp, this place is too far to have any significance.
He even tried using Invigoration on the nearby wall despite the fact that none of his magical senses perceived anything, but to no avail.
Rocks were just rocks.
There was nothing magical in the area.
While Phloria was racking her brain to find an explanation to that riddle, her army amulet drew her attention.
The interference prevented her from communicating with the outside, but it still worked just fine at close range.
I have good news. Professor Neshal\'s hologram was fuzzy, but her voice was clear.
Most of the characters you found are just well-hidden road signs, but some of them are powerful rune words.
Never heard of them. Lith replied, noticing that Phloria seemed distressed.
\'That\'s her I\'m hiding something from you face.\' Lith thought.
\'Damn, we really did spend too much time together.
If she\'s able to do the same to me, then all my lies are for nothing.\'
I read your file, you\'ve actually met them before. Neshal said.
Do you remember that ancient Warp Gate you discovered in Othre The one the Dawn Court used Well, it was made of rune words.
This is classified information, so I can tell you only the bare minimum to understand our situation.
In ancient times, when Forgemastering had yet to be created, mages used runes to empower their creations.
Runes are power words that represent an aspect of magic and that can imprint it in an object.
They were awfully expensive and unreliable.
You needed to carve them and then fill them with magic crystal\'s dust to keep them active.
\'Like those cables!\' Lith thought.
They were expensive because once pulverized, a magic crystal loses a lot of power and recharges slowly, so you could only use purple crystals and obtain mediocre effects.
Unreliable because if anything happens to a single rune, the whole spell is broken.
Imagine a sword that can stop working after a bad clash, or an armor that offers no protection if it takes a hit.
That kind of bad.
In ancient battles, runes became the first target because they were easy to spot.
That\'s the reason modern magic uses only mana runes to create arrays and artifacts.
They are conjured by the spells, giving them their effects, but being made of energy, they can\'t be damaged.
\'So runes were the first way fake mages had found to emulate true magic.\' Lith thought.
\'Fake Forgemasters need to draw magic circles, whereas I don\'t need them because I can freely manipulate my mana.\'
\'Yes, but Neshal is feeding you only old news.\' Solus pointed out.
\'I bet that Runesmithing has evolved with time.
Both the sword in our possession and Phloria\'s hairpin are the proof of that.
\'Huryole\'s sword must be some kind of middle link between ancient and modern Runesmithing.
I\'m sure of it because its runes are all made of energy, not carved, but unlike Phloria\'s hairpin, they are visible.
\'If you think about it, visible runes have several downsides.
The most obvious are that they made it impossible for you to hide since they shine like a torch and that just by watching at your blade your opponent can predict its enchantments.\'
\'If even after receiving Silverwing\'s legacy fake mages didn\'t stop using runes, then they must be useful.\' Lith thought.
What did those runes do Phloria asked, snapping Lith out of his inner debate with Solus.
Each one of them represents a set of coordinates for some kind of Warping device.
My guess is that the Odi used them to Warp troops at the right intersections to surround invaders. Neshal said.
Can you point them out to us
Following Phloria\'s request, a set of characters appeared on her communication amulet.
Then, the Professor broke each character down into words and runes.
After ending the call, Phloria said:
I think I know what happened to the Teks, but to be sure I need to get to this rune.
Do you remember where is this placed She was showing him a character comprised of an unknown power rune and the word Meat Shields.
Lith had no clue, but Solus did.
He opened a Warp Steps that lead them straight to their destination and then pointed the hidden character to Phloria.
She took her silvery wand out of her dimensional amulet and touched the character with it.
A strand of silver light filled the markings on the stone and then more.
Corona Discharge had scraped the surface of the wall, making part of the character unreadable.
The markings only had a physical nature, not a magical one, so Lith could only see them with Fire Vision.
Phloria\'s wand, instead, was able to imbue the markings with magic, forcing the rune to activate.
The faint traces of mana left from its latest activation outlined the original shape of the rune, allowing Phloria to repair it with earth magic.
Once she was done, she used what looked like purple crystal dust on the restored rune until it glowed for a second.
Old runes are really annoying.
Giving them the correct shape is not enough to repair them, you also have to restore their mana flow with crystals. She explained.
I guess Orion has taught you about runes.
Did he do it in case your hairpin gets damaged Lith asked.
So you knew. She said with a smile.
No, modern runes can\'t get damaged.
Dad taught me about runes in case I decide to become a Royal Forgemaster as well.
By the way, it\'s not just your sight being special, but your touch as well.
Otherwise you would have noticed that my weapon and part of my equipment have been Runesmithed as well.
Unlike Lith, Phloria didn\'t even attempt to lie and shared with him everything she could.
What are you doing exactly Lith asked.
One of the many downsides of ancient runes is that they couldn\'t be imprinted.
As long as they have power, anyone can use them.
Lith nodded at her words.
The Dawn\'s Court Warp Gate worked the same way.
Which means that if I can properly restore the dimensional rune the Odi used to ambush us, we can get behind the enemy lines by using their own secret pathway.
How do modern runes work, exactly
I\'m sorry, but I can\'t teach you about them.
First, I know only the basics, so it wouldn\'t be much of use for you.
Second, if I did, I would put more than just my life on the line, I would put Dad\'s as well.
Even speaking about them is an act of treason.
My father trusted me and I\'m trusting you, but I cannot involve him in my decisions.
\'Fuck me sideways.\' Lith thought.
\'The Kingdom takes Runesmithing very seriously.
Being a Royal Forgemaster must be quite a big deal if no one ever talked me about it before.\'
How did you discover about runes Not from Othre, otherwise you would have already made the connection between the vampires\' Warp Gate and the Odi\'s. Phloria asked, proving Lith once again that she had not to be underestimated.
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