On the other hand, however, with each spell Gaaron used, he gave Lith more clues about spirit magic\'s real potential.
Spirit magic was one of the Awakened\'s hidden talents, so the academy had taught him nothing about it.
Solus didn\'t share one bit of his excitement and focused solely on analyzing the enemy.
While Lith\'s senses were aimed at his enemy\'s visible movements, her mystical senses scanned the invisible, collecting all the data she could get.
She was studying the pseudo cores of Gaaron\'s equipment to notice which one was being activated to warn Lith in time while also studying the mana flow of the enemy to predict the kind of spell he would employ and how dangerous it would be.
\'Earth from below.\' She thought as Gaaron adjusted his grip on the Frostbound blade and made the ground erupt in the form of a giant stone fist right under Lith\'s feet.
Lith had just the time to take flight and reduce the strength of the impact when a mass of yellow flames surrounded him.
\'Air and fire all around us for 15 meters (50 feet).\' Solus warned him.
It was Gaaron\'s War Mage tier five spell, Electrifired.
The flames were actually bright blue, the overbearing yellow derived from the streams of electricity flowing through them.
It was a sure-kill spell that would paralyze its victim while the flames burned them to a crisp.
Lith recalled his black wings, shaping them into a cocoon again to buy some time.
Gaaron laughed at his naivety.
\'Such a puny amount of darkness magic can only make his agony last longer.
I have to break you to not turn this mission into a failure.\' He thought.
Surrender now and… Gaaron was cut short by a mass of flesh and metal dropping on him at break-neck speed from above.
The impact made the Awakened fall face-first onto the ground and opened a few meters deep crater.
The cocoon had never been a defense, it was just a smokescreen to prevent Gaaron from seeing Lith Blink.
After shapeshifting Death Call, Lith had left it behind, making the dimensional gate invisible to Gaaron\'s Life Vision.
The third spell\'s energy was indistinguishable from that of the other two overlapping spells.
Lith had reappeared as high as he could, combining gravity magic, his best flight spell, and the mana boosted Orichalcum Skinwalker armor to turn himself into a living meteor.
He had achieved such a speed that, without a Full Guard to protect him, Gaaron\'s enhanced senses had perceived the threat only when it was too late.
To make matters worse, Lith had spun on himself and shapeshifted his lower body into his hybrid form.
The metal-coated talons on his feet drilled through Gaaron\'s protections and flesh while the amplified weight of Lith\'s body crushed his bones.
Gaaron coughed out a mouthful of blood as his focus and all the spells he had at the ready were lost.
Unluckily for Lith, Gaaron\'s equipment was nothing to scoff at.
\'Defensive amulet and detonating glove.\' Everything was happening so fast that even their mind link couldn\'t keep up.
Solus used as few words as she could, conjuring an image depicting her prediction of the events in Lith\'s mind to help him understand what she meant.
The moment they had made contact, the amulet at Gaaron\'s neck had enveloped its master into a barrier while activating a powerful healing spell.
Usually, it would have been pointless since mending such deep wounds would have left Gaaron exhausted.
Lith was too close, so using Invigoration was impossible, but the Gaaron\'s glove turned the tables.
A sudden explosion of emerald green energy enveloped Gaaron, destroying everything in his vicinity.
If not for his latest breakthrough and Solus\'s timely warning, Lith would have been caught by the energy field, remaining gravely injured in the process.
Lith unleashed a few spells, only to discover that the green dome was solid.
\'That\'s a spirit magic holding item!\' Solus thought.
\'It\'s an excellent means to force the enemy to back away and buy time to use Invigoration.
Together with the amulet, it forms a perfect combo.\'
\'Sounds more like a last-ditch trick to me.\' Lith replied.
\'I\'ve lost the effect of surprise, but if I\'m right, I still have the upper hand.\'
Athung was watching everything from a safe distance in envy.
Spirit magic, the seventh element, wasn\'t taught even to legacy heirs.
It was deemed too powerful for someone so young and only imparted before the master\'s death.
Gaaron had learned it only thanks to his centuries of loyal service to the Council and through relentless practice.
Yet he appeared to be losing.
And I thought to be a good fighter. She sighed.
Athung was able to notice the web of feints both mages were weaving along with their spells only because she was far away and relaxed.
That\'s why I told you it would have been a great learning opportunity.
A fighter is like metal.
It needs to be tempered in the fires of the battlefield over and over.
No one is a genius from the start and practice alone crumbles in front of the real deal. Raagu commented while watching through the communication amulet.
I must say, I\'m disappointed in this Lith Verhen. Raagu sighed.
If Gaaron\'s minions weren\'t cowards, they would get back and fight beside him, making this fight end in a matter of seconds.
They are not cowards. Athung replied.
I know them and I have personally worked with them.
Their knowledge is lacking due to not having ever had an Awakened master, but none of them is so stupid that they could miss this chance.
Where are they, then At this point, they should be back at full strength, yet they are nowhere to be seen. Raagu sneered.
Her disciple\'s naivety disappointed her as well.
It was only then that Athung did notice that the woods were too silent and that many things were off.
\'Lith could have Warped again when he noticed Horyu and the others, yet he chose to stay.
Nor did he seem to worry when they escaped.\' Athung used Life Vision to scan her surroundings, finding nothing.
The Trawn woods were supposed to be full of wildlife, yet aside from plants, she was alone.
The realization sent shivers down her spine.
\'Could all of this be a trap Lith didn\'t say a word the whole time, but he roared when Gaaron appeared.
Maybe Raagu is wrong and that wasn\'t bravado, but a signal, just like when he faced me.\'
Meanwhile, Lith too was using Invigoration and had cast Death Call again.
The wings were a means of defense, offense, and deception.
\'That guy has better equipment and a better mana core than me, but once he sees Death Call after falling for my last trick, he will start overthinking things.\' Lith thought while checking his surroundings with all of his senses.
Much to his surprise, when the green dome disappeared, Gaaron was still there.
Lith had expected that the enemy would use the spell\'s cover to move to a vantage position, yet he still seemed to want a direct approach.
The veteran Awakened was mostly hurt in his pride and was eager to get over with that embarrassment.
Not only had he been knocked down for the first time in centuries, but his disciples had also abandoned him like a dog.
His rage was beyond words, to the point that he didn\'t care about Raagu\'s orders anymore.
Gaaron activated the Frostbound blade enchantments and those of most of his equipment as well while unleashing the only spell he had the time to prepare before the effects of the spirit magic spell, Destructive Ward, disappeared.
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