Lith\'s hybrid form had no blood nor tears, only flames and shadows dwelled in his body.
Yet the opening of the third eye produced a small droplet of water that closely resembled a tear.
The blue eye quickly turned yellow like the other two, before closing again.
What the ** was that\' Lith thought as soon as Solus recovered from her shock enough to share with him her memories of what had just happened.
\'Maybe water magic is linked with souls\' Solus blurted out before remembering how dire their situation was.
She performed a thorough analysis of Lith\'s body, life force, and mana before concluding that nothing had changed.
Or at least, nothing she was able to detect.
\'Never mind eye number three and focus on the potential Golem number three.
My Air Blocking array will not last long without mana crystals.\' She pointed out while deactivating the magical formation to preserve its always dwindling energy reserves.
Lith didn\'t like the sudden turn of events one bit.
He had no idea what the energy mass that had just left the underground facility was, but one thing he knew for sure.
When he had witnessed the same phenomenon in the past, back in Kaduria against the Black Star and in Maekosh against Tezka, the warg-Abomination hybrid, both times living beings had been enslaved.
Their flesh had been twisted and their minds trapped into an endless nightmare until Lith had broken their chains.
That revelation gave the name Mana Reactor a new meaning.
\'According to legends, mana is the element of life, not the world energy.\' Solus pondered.
\'Quylla was wrong, the Mana reactor can\'t be something that converts mana into life force, but the other way around.
To what end though, I don\'t know.\'
\'Great thinking, Solus.\' Lith kept waiting for another Golem to appear, yet nothing happened.
The minutes passed, until Solus was back to her full strength and could cast another Air Blocking array, but to no avail.
\'Yondra is right, there\'s clearly the Odi\'s hand behind the attack.
After losing two Flesh Golems, they must be worried.\' Lith\'s reasoning was spot on.
Flesh Golems were supposed to be perfect killing machines.
Two of them dying so fast had made the Odi reconsider their plan and listen to their soldiers\' reports to better plan against the unknown enemy.
They were baffled learning that the major threat appeared to be the young woman.
The others were just brutes and old farts.
They had managed to kill four constructs only because the female mage had somehow crippled them.
Also, that was when the humans were still at their full force.
After such a heavy fight, with the female mage down, they were supposed to be easy prey, yet they seemed to have gotten even stronger.
I call dibs on the female mage! Veiga repeated.
If one of your rust buckets damages her body, I will kill you Guuna.
She\'s clearly the most powerful of the group.
Her body would be wasted on a vain wench like you, Veiga.
I could put her to good use. Guuna replied.
Before they could start bickering, with the serious risk of killing each other and compromise the entire group\'s survival, Jiira stepped in.
Enough, you two.
As everyone has agreed before, the bids on the bodies will start once we have an exact number.
Dibs are for children.
Now, if we want to get those bodies, we need a strategy.
I\'ve sent the Golem back to their charge pods, so when they resume the attack they will be at full strength.
Now I want answers.
How did they kill two Flesh Golems so fast and how can we prevent it from happening again
The Odi stopped thinking about the bodies and focused on the matter at hand.
They could Forgemaster new Flesh Golems from their meat factories, but even though magical beasts could understand their orders, the Odi couldn\'t understand beast speech.
Also, using beasts as a material meant that the resulting Golem would be too big to be able of moving easily in confined spaces.
Those were the reasons why human Golems were considered elite troops.
Yet breeding humans took years, and the Odi had barely the resources to keep themselves alive, let alone care for enough test subjects until they reached maturity.
Only fourteen Flesh Golems were left, so their next attack had also to be the last one.
After waiting for more than half an hour, Lith decided to go back to the elevator.
The mana geyser had replenished part of his strength, but there was nothing like sleep.
By the time he was back at the camp, only Quylla, Phloria, and Yondra were still awake.
Yondra had used her meditation technique to achieve a deep trance that allowed her to rest almost as well as she had slept, replenishing her mana and relaxing her body.
The other Professors and Morok had all ingested a tonic to hasten their recovery before exhaustion got the better of them.
How did it go, young spirit Yondra asked.
Two Golems less. Lith replied, almost breaking her trance.
I tricked them one at a time inside Neshal\'s array plus one of my own.
With earth and air blocked, it wasn\'t hard killing them.
None of those present missed the use of the word kill instead of destroy.
I don\'t know how long will pass until they return.
Quylla, what about the answer to my question Lith asked.
I\'ve bad news.
If we consider this place a weapon facility instead of a medical facility, the nature of a Mana Reactor is almost obvious. She replied, expecting that her words were self-explanatory.
No, it\'s not. Everyone said in unison, Solus included.
Mana Reactor! The name says it all.
What makes a difference between a mediocre mage and a good one Why do we need tiers of magic It\'s all a matter not only of the talent one possesses, but also of the amount of mana available.
With unlimited mana and enough training, anyone could cast all tier of spells, at least in theory.
The problem is that mana is something that can\'t be borrowed or stolen without incurring into mana poisoning. She looked at Lith\'s eyes, wondering how could he violate such fundamental law of magic.
So, a Mana Reactor is clearly something that provides to its user an endless supply of mana, making them invincible.
No, that\'s impossible. Lith replied, expressing Solus\'s objections.
This place, like most lost cities, is fueled by world energy, but that\'s not mana.
World energy can condense into crystals and be used to fuel an enchantment, but it can\'t empower a mage.
\'At least not without being filtered through the mana core, as you do with Invigoration.\' Solus explained.
\'If the Odi knew about cores, they would have all been Awakened, which they clearly weren\'t.
\'Without that piece of knowledge, just injecting world energy into a living being would just have deadly effects.
Static mana cores can\'t handle it without being destroyed.
It\'s like forcing more air inside a balloon already full to the brim, it can only burst.\'
I\'m not talking about world energy Lith. Quylla sighed.
\'Sometimes I wonder if I talk too fast or the rest of the world is just slow.
Oh gods! I\'m starting to sound like Manohar.\' She thought.
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