Chapter 876 The First Horseman Part 2
The light spread from the crystal on his chest throughout his body, lighting his vein with the rhythmical pulse of a beating heart.
The white glow invaded his eyes, twisting his features into a more controlled expression while his voice became chipper and calm, no longer sounding like a tantrumming child.
Gods, if I love humans.
So pure, so honest with themselves, so stupid.
I should have given up on greater undead centuries ago.
They are so annoying with their pondering each and every step before even taking it.
Their long lives make them too cautious, whereas humans are like butterflies.
Their existence is so short and they are so eager to get everything they want that taking over is almost too easy.
Almost. The thing wearing Acala said.
Controlling vampires is hard.
They keep resisting me even after this long.
Their thralls, instead, are just sweet little lambs. The undead speaking was the same one Acala had been hitting until a second ago.
She looked like a middle-aged woman in her fifties who while alive had clearly enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh too much, to the point that undeath had yet to get rid of all the lines on her face and the fat from her body.
Yet the voice coming out of her mouth was identical to Acala\'s.
Talking to myself is pleasant, but inefficient.
Let\'s start the Reunion. The thing wearing Acala said.
The perfect prism in the Ranger\'s chest collected the thoughts and experiences from its lesser versions and then charged them back to their full power, making them shine as bright as the original.
\'This Verhen guy is more annoying than I thought.
He easily disposed of six of my spawns.
Sure, half of them were vampires still resisting my control and all of them were at half the charge due to building that damn machine, but still.
\'The good news is that I\'ve got an idea of what he\'s capable of.
I can use such knowledge to outnumber and outmatch him.
It\'s the perfect option to get away with it and achieve the kind of wealth I need.
\'The bad news is that the machine is an utter fiasco.
The moment my spawns died I lost all of their memories and abilities.
I still have a long way to go before becoming perfect.\'
The cursed object known as Bright Day, the Horseman of Dawn, started to plan ahead how to exploit Lith\'s presence to receive a huge reward without arousing any suspicion.
To accomplish her true goal, she needed an enormous amount of gold.
She had already tried to obtain it by theft, but that kind of riches was heavily protected, making them very hard to procure and impossible to spend without getting caught.
While plotting her next move, she lulled what remained of Acala\'s broken personality with promises of wealth, power, and respect.
He was her inferior half and the answer to all of her prayers.
By making him a hero, the Griffon Kingdom would give Bright Day everything she wanted on a silver platter and thank her for that.
Rising and controlling undead was her specialty after all, and the undead invasion was the perfect opportunity to make her puppy known as the Courts\' Bane.
\'If only those undead fools from the Dawn Court knew that they took their name from me.
Now I\'m going to take everything from them.\' She giggled.
After escaping certain death, the hybrid creature who had attacked Lith fell asleep the moment he allowed himself to relax.
Light magic had completely restored his body and his two cores recovered fast thanks to their synergy.
He shapeshifted in his human form, to relieve his body from the burden of the transformation and further improve his recovery speed.
\'I was a fool falling for Dawn\'s trickery.
It must have tainted the other Ranger with its stench to throw me off its trail.\' The hybrid thought, unaware that he couldn\'t have been more wrong.
In his fury, he had simply mistaken Solus\'s scent for Dawn\'s because Acala\'s musk had stuck on Lith during the time they had walked together.
Unlike Lith who bathed regularly in his tower, the other Ranger had forgotten about personal hygiene after being alone in the wilds for so long.
\'Right now I have no chance against the artifact.
The only silver lining is that it doesn\'t know I\'m here yet.\' He sat cross-legged on a mountaintop, calling the world energy to himself.
The breathing technique was no Invigoration, but it allowed the twin cores to breathe in what the other breathed out.
This way, no world energy was wasted, generating a slow but constant flow that would give the hybrid his lost mana back in just a few hours.
Meanwhile, hundreds of meters underground, Lith didn\'t like his situation one bit.
\'This place isn\'t like Kulah at all.
Kulah was a still active military base, whereas these are ancient ruins.\' Lith thought.
\'The defensive arrays are long dead, the magical stuff I recovered had their pseudo cores depleted, and the books I found were so moldy that not even Soluspedia can read their content.
\'Yet someone went to the trouble of reactivating the dimensional blocking array, deleting dozen of road signs, and ransacking what\'s left of the labs to build that machine.
\'At first, I thought that the vampires were after the device Acala described.
It was the only thing that could explain their extraordinary abilities and why they bothered to stay here for so long instead of running away.
\'Yet if the machine was so important, they wouldn\'t leave it unguarded.\'
\'Not only that.\' Solus said while checking her own memories.
Without the possibility to move the Odi tomes inside Soluspedia, it had taken her a while to compare the mould Lith had taken with the machine they had found in Kulah.
\'That thing is no body-swapping device nor is it in any way related to the light element.
From what I understand, it doesn\'t affect the mind of the subject, only the body.\'
\'How exactly\' Lith asked.
\'I\'m really starting to think that I spoiled you too much.
I don\'t have all the answers after just a few looks.
We need some reference material or experiment with the machine ourselves.\' Solus was both proud and annoyed by how much faith Lith had in her.
\'Any idea about what the prism does\' Lith had examined it with Invigoration, but being the prism an inanimate object he had discovered nothing from it.
\'I think it\'s related to the crystal-like substance the thralls turned into after you killed them, but the how and why are beyond me.\' She telepathically shrugged.
They spent the rest of the hour exploring the complex and discussing the unknown hybrid\'s physiology.
Lith was certain to have never met the guy before, yet his abilities were too similar to the odd undead he had faced for it to be just a coincidence.
\'The way he mixed light and fire to create heat rays, the hard-light constructs.
Everything matches but their modus operandi.
He used true magic and ranted a lot, whereas the undead used mostly arrays and kept their mouths shut.\' Lith thought.
All those unanswered questions coupled with the stale air were giving him a royal headache.
It\'s a longshot, but if I had to take an educated guess, I\'d say that they had the same teacher.\' Solus replied.
Lith went back to the starting cave, finding a tense Acala waiting for him.
The Ranger was no longer dejected and an unwavering will shone inside his green eyes.
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