Lith stood in front of Yondra, unleashing all the spells contained in his rings to buy himself a moment of respite.
The living wall of Koas in front of him fell to a volley of wind blades while a sphere of darkness magic slowed the following waves of creatures, making them stumble.
On the other hand of the room, Morok wasn\'t faring much better.
Even with the physical strength of an Emperor Beast and the power of his eyes, he was slowly getting pushed back.
To make matters worse, the fallen Thorns were regrowing their bodies by feasting on the corpses of their fallen enemies.
Green tentacles imbued with darkness energy wrapped around his legs and sapped his strength.
He cut them down as fast as he could but they would release toxic spores laced with darkness magic that made it hard for him to breathe.
\'What a deadly combination.\' Morok thought.
\'Teks are like heavy infantry, Koas are fast and armored like cavalry units, while Thorns are almost immortal.
They just need to feed on fallen enemies or allies to rebuild themselves or even increase their numbers!
\'We\'re lucky that they are completely unable to cooperate or we would be already dead.\'
Just like Ranger Eari had assessed, the three combined magical beasts were a threat on par with the Flesh Golems.
Unfortunately, the Odi experiments had made them mad and incapable of understanding even the simplest order.
When they had tried to use slave items on them, they had no effects.
The mass-produced magical beasts would attack anything but their master, even their own kin.
Old man, don\'t you have an herbicide Something to kill them all in a fell swoop He asked to Ellkas while the spore density had become so high that both he and the Koas were suffocating.
I do, but it would kill you in the process.
Also, I\'ve no guarantee that it wouldn\'t reach the other end of the corridor and kill Yondra as well. The Professor replied.
To him, Lith and Morok were expandable, but without Yondra, he was screwed.
Among the other things, Morok was a Battle Mage, but between the nature of his opponents and of the location of the battle he had no way to put his specialization to use.
There was no earth, all the creatures were immune to lightning, darkness would strengthen the Thorns and offer him little protection, and fire might harm his allies.
Lith had the same problem and no solution as well.
I\'m done! Blink inside! Yondra yelled while opening the room.
Are you crazy Morok replied.
Aren\'t supposed to be arrays in there as well What stops our friends to just Warp there and follow us
Excellent point! Lith used spirit magic to grab a few Koas and throw them inside the next room before closing the door.
A series of booms and sizzles told them that the place was indeed protected.
Damn runts, you had one job. Yondra started to chant, while Lith tried all the spells he had at the ready, hoping to turn the tables.
A frozen wave got rid of the spores in the air, but no creature seemed to be affected.
A barrage of jets of fire almost made the air unbreathable and hurt the nearest Thorns, but they simply used the carpet of corpses on the ground to smother the flames and rejuvenate themselves.
He would have loved to use Origin Flames, but in such a confined space they would hurt him as well.
He erected a wall of wind, strengthening it with spirit magic to buy Yondra a few seconds, yet it lasted only one.
The pressure that the Koa exerted was too great.
The creatures were uncaring of their death or of that of their companions.
They were so many and their scales so hard that even wind blades would cut only one of them before losing their edge.
Yondra finished her chant, conjuring four walls made of ice that sealed the creatures away while a pillar of flames materialized in the middle of the room.
\'Fire and ice This doesn\'t make sense, unless…\'
Just as Lith had predicted, the ice walls couldn\'t stop water creatures like the Koas for long.
With their sheer strength and numbers, it took them a little more than a second to crack the half a meter (1.7 feet) thick walls.
In the following seconds, the cracks grew until they covered the entirety of Yondra\'s spell.
Then, just as fast as they had appeared, the fissures started to close.
The fire pillar was almost gone and so was the air inside the ice walls.
The mass of bodies blocked the Gates and even the little oxygen that managed to enter wasn\'t enough to sustain so many creatures.
Once Yondra was certain that her spell would hold, she turned around and started to take the arrays in the next room down with the help of the Rangers.
This took us way longer than I predicted. Yondra said while spreading in the air silvery strands of mana from her wand to look for dimensional runes.
Lith took down the cameras, but unless the Odi were incredibly stupid or they were against an automated defense, their goal was obvious.
Without waiting for Ellkas, she started to activate all the runes she managed to find.
Some, like the one Phloria had triggered, were too close to Kulah and lead to tunnels filled with poison.
When she finally found one leading to a safe area, she said:
Tell Ellkas and Rainer to join us.
We\'ll stay behind but they can leave.
Lith didn\'t like their situation at all.
He had hoped to not have to explore two rooms, nor to face a whole army of creatures.
\'Dammit, if I knew it would have been so difficult, I could have gotten a much better deal.
What really worries me, though, is that no more Gates have been opened.
Whoever our enemy is, they know our position and goal.
\'We\'re so weakened that another wave of frenzied beasts would be enough to kill us.\' Lith was using Invigoration, his paranoia told him that everything was going too smoothly to be true.
Lith left Yondra and Morok to their work.
The room was so full of arrays that it would take a while to neutralize them all and walk safely through the Gate.
He called for his companions, but no answer came.
He activated Life Vision, noticing that there was no energy signature.
Only the black wind of death was emanated by something in the proximity of the door, where Ellkas was supposed to be.
Lith turned around to check the room and the next.
Morok and Yondra were safe and the Odi\'s Gates had been closed.
Lith opened the door, to be sure about what to tell Yondra and found Ellkas\' corpse.
It had two holes the size of a golf ball, one in the middle of his eyes, and the other in his chest.
Whatever had killed him had also struck at the metal walls with such strength that it had left molten indentations as big as Lith\'s head.
There was no trace of Rainer.
The red mana crystal that Yondra had given him to activate the arrays was lying on the floor, still ready to be used.
Whoever was responsible for it, they had been as quick as silent, otherwise Lith or Morok would have sensed it coming.
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