Chapter 872 Old Enemies Part 2
The condensed water dripping from the ceiling had yet to form pools and the rock\'s surface was too smooth to be natural.
Lith didn\'t need light thanks to Fire Vision and Acala thanks to an amulet he possessed that made his eyes turn green.
The cave led into a much older tunnel that was part of a network of passages that extended downwards.
They kept moving forward for hours, stopping only to check for the presence of enemies and traps by using detecting arrays.
Acala was able to find the way thanks to the mana imbued marks he had left during his first visit, while Lith\'s brain worked at full gear to make sense of the many contradicting details.
Solus scanned their surroundings with mana sense from time to time, finding nothing but bugs and moss.
\'It\'s too bad that Ruin is still a complete mystery to us.\' She thought once she got bored of revising the known facts over and over.
\'The rune pattern is too complex to discern the different sets that comprise it and there are too many unknown runes to make any sense of a single line.\'
\'It\'s worse than that.\' Lith replied.
\'Even if we were able to read all the runes, we know nothing about the ingredients needed to both cast the enchantments and synch them with the runes.
Without that, any attempt to replicate the blade would end up in failure.
\'Besides, Ruin is just a prototype, which means that Orion is still tinkering with the project.
It\'s better to work on the perfect version rather than waste our limited resources on what might as well be a partial failure.\'
The Gatekeeper, Lith\'s previous weapon, was of a much simpler design.
His mastery over Forgemastering allowed him to guess what kind of ingredients were needed to craft a pseudo core based on the enchantments it carried, but only as long runes weren\'t involved.
Normal Forgemastery was akin to fake magic, giving an object a spell that could only be turned on and off.
Runesmithing, instead, made the enchantments work like true magic, giving their master the ability to activate, shape, and amplify the imbued spells at will.
The runes also allowed the wielder of the artifact to alternate between consuming their own mana, that of the pseudo core, or both, whereas regular artifacts could only feed off a fixed power source.
Attempting to replicate a complex piece like Ruin with Lith\'s current knowledge about runes would have been like a butcher leading a liver transplant surgery.
Meanwhile, near the rock pile, a humanoid figure half-covered in fur sniffed the air, following the scent of their prey.
It took them a while to find the wall behind which lied the cave, but once they did, the stone became as soft as a fluid.
It allowed them to just walk through it without making any sound nor letting a single ray of light enter the cave.
In the enclosed space of the tunnel, the scent became clearer, yet the creature had no intention to rush things.
They placed their claw-ending hand on the pavement, releasing small bursts of earth magic that spread through the ground for kilometers, providing them with a complete layout of the tunnels as well as their prey\'s location.
\'You can hide behind a human form, but I know your real face.
You\'ll pay for slaughtering my tribe, women and children alike, just because you considered us nothing but monsters.
Your scales and fire will not protect you from me.
\'It took me months to track you down, but now that you\'re in my element, there\'s no way out for you.\'
The creature smelled the presence of undead, so it performed several checks in search of arrays before diving into the floor and swimming toward their enemy.
The two Rangers had to walk along the corridors, following their twists and turns.
The creature moved in a straight line, quickly reducing the distance that separated them from the humans.
After conjuring a Hush spell to prevent smells and sounds from propagating through the tunnels, Lith and Acala stopped for lunch.
Are you sure this is the right place We\'ve been walking for hours and I\'ve yet to see a single trace of our enemies. Lith said.
I really don\'t know what to say. Acala\'s mood kept swinging from rage to depression.
He was aware that unless they found the vampires soon, he would become a laughingstock.
\'If the mission turns into an utter failure, the Commander will either believe that I made up the threat to look good, or that Lith is so strong that he scared them **less and forced them to flee.
No matter if they peg me as a liar or an incompetent, I\'m screwed.\' He thought.
How far is the cave where you witnessed the ritual Lith asked, avoiding to point out that so far escaping from the tunnels wasn\'t something that would have taken more than a few minutes to a competent mage.
He needed Acala\'s help.
That damn machine has to be there.
I\'ve not made things up, I swear.
This place was filled with guards, arrays, and stuff.
I counted at least 30 between leeches and thralls!
I believe you. Lith nodded in reply.
\'But only because Solus says so.\' He thought.
\'There is still a lot of residual energy in the air as if lots of arrays had been kept active until just a while ago or some major spell has been cast.
To make things more interesting, the dimensional blocking array is still working.\' Solus pondered.
\'Its design is very old and its workings match the Odi magic that we found in Kulah, so at least part of Acala\'s story is true.
Another interesting thing is that the array has been recently repaired by a genius Warden.
\'Time and lack of maintenance have eroded some of the old runes and someone has replaced them with modern runes.
The two kinds of magic work differently, yet they have been arranged so that they wouldn\'t interfere with each other.
\'Vampires are ageless creatures, so they are capable of such feat.
Also, restoring a pre-existing magical formation is much easier than building a new one from scratch.
It fits the profile of a group of powerful runaways in search of a new home.\'
I am good with math, but I minus you is still an equation I\'m unable to solve.\' Lith thought in awe.
Even without Soluspedia, the knowledge she possessed dwarfed most libraries he had consulted on Mogar.
Lith didn\'t know if it was due to Solus being a genius or somehow related to her tower half.
He was too happy of having her by his side to care about small things.
\'Me neither.\' Solus replied, rejoicing for his sweet words.
\'But I still can\'t relax.
There\'s something off with this place.
I can\'t put my finger on it yet, but whatever it is, it gives me the creeps.\'
The two Rangers resumed their walk, following the mana marks Acala had left on the walls during his stay and finding a few protective arrays they had no problem disabling.
When they reached the cave, it was exactly as Acala had described it.
It was a circular room, with a stone table at its center and a complex yet ancient machinery right above it.
The air was stale, allowing Lith to smell the remnants of the blood, piss, and tears that had been shed in there.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc..
), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.
Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.