Chapter 1223 - Light and Decay (Part 1)
The coldness of Lith\'s heart turned into blazing fury when some merfolk hybrids tried to snatch his prey.
His water spells turned them into swiss cheese, yet such ghastly wounds barely slowed them down.
\'What the heck Blood Cutter was supposed to shred them, but they healed so fast that the spell barely showed half of its prowess.
Rem was right, the only way to kill Kolgans is to behead them.\' Lith thought while rushing back past the barrier.
Well, well, well.
Look who we have here.
Even slugs have their moment of glory. A male voice full of contempt said while Lith still struggled to get back to his feet.
Lith had seen enough uniforms to recognize one when he saw it.
The man was about 1.75 meters (5\'9) tall, with the lean and muscular build of a soldier.
His bright pink hair was cut very short and barely visible under the army beret that identified him as a Captain.
He stood in front of five soldiers, each one of them had a full set of equipment made of magic metals and mana crystals.
The Captain of the guards misunderstood his ragged breath for lack of exercise.
He was unaware that Lith couldn\'t breathe underwater and that the effort of fighting underwater with such a short body had drained him.
One of the soldiers took the still paralyzed and weeping merfolk, studying Khalia without bothering to conceal his l.u.s.t.
This one is a female, Captain.
Well done, Thross.
Here\'s your permit to have one offspring. The Captain\'s voice and words didn\'t match.
Lith could only hear envy and spite coming from the Captain as he handed him a golden ticket.
That\'s it Lith was honestly flabbergasted.
They had bet everything on the reward being glory and access to the innermost layers of Kolga, not some family planning.
Since you caught her, I\'ll let you be the first one to i.m.p.r.e.g.n.a.t.e her. The Captain said with laughter, soon joined by the rest of his soldiers.
You should thank me for my generosity.
All you have to do is to settle for a half-blood and your precious bloodline will live on. He threw a silver ticket at Lith\'s feet like spare change to a homeless man.
How dare you I\'m Professor Jogu Thross of the Fire Pit! I\'d never- Lith attempted to jump at the neck of the Captain like his alias would have likely done if he was still alive, but the gap in height and build was overwhelming.
The Captain shook him off like an insect, kicking Lith while he was down.
You\'ll just thank me and shut up.
You failed to join the army because your body is trash, just like you failed to be accepted into the Light Torch because your mind is trash.
A half-blood is too good for someone like you. The Captain turned around and left.
Unlike citizens, soldiers were allowed to fly freely through the city without the arrays shooting them down.
\'What do we do now\' Phloria asked via the mind link as the other sentinels went back to their homes, hoping to spot another crack in the barrier.
\'We need a flying car.\' Lith replied.
\'I didn\'t throw a fit because the mission failed.
I did it to get the opportunity to put Solus inside the pockets of that gentleman.
Khalia can\'t live long without the ritual hence they have to bring her to a magical facility as soon as they can.
\'Solus can study and observe the process better than anyone else, but we need to rescue her once she\'s done.
Our mind link has a limited range and the further she gets, the harder finding her will be.\'
\'It sickens me calling it good news, but they are moving in a straight line.
Unless they move Khalia to an underground lab, everything should be fine.\' Tista said.
The soldiers brought Khalia to the innermost of the five rings, where the magical academy of Kolga was located.
Even though the merfolk was still stunned by Lith\'s spell, she writhed in agony as the Forbidden Sun poisoned her body.
\'I can\'t do anything for her without blowing my cover.
I can only hope that the procedure is quick and painless.\' Solus thought while noticing the words Light Torch written on a huge banner hung over the entrance of one of the buildings.
The Captain stepped inside the department in a hurry, showing his identification and prisoner.
Don\'t worry, Captain N\'Morr.
The operating room has been prepared the moment you sounded the alarm.
It\'s just a routine procedure, but I\'m going to be extra careful to not ruin your catch of the day. A woman wearing a mage robe said while Khalia was moved onto a stretcher.
Everyone was so busy yelling orders and staring at the merfolk that Solus had no problems moving to the mage\'s pockets unseen.
The woman took flight, reaching a room filled with beds and arrays that reminded Solus of the White Griffon\'s light department.
\'She didn\'t Warp, yet there is no elemental blocking array.
Maybe they never developed dimensional magic.\' Solus thought while studying her surroundings.
The operating room had one table placed in the middle of both the room and the arrays, while four stretchers were lined up against the right side of the room on four more on the left.
Each stretcher was placed exactly above one of the array\'s focal points, increasing the magical formation\'s efficiency to absorb the essence of its victims that would be infused in the operating table with minimal losses.
The female mage chanted one incantation after another, revealing that not only the floor, but also the ceiling and the walls of the operating theatre were covered in arrays.
Solus didn\'t recognize any of them, she could only assess that aside from the formation on the floor, the others had been kept inactive to save energy.
A powerful stream of energy from the mana geyser coursed through the room, creating an almost perfect magical insulation.
\'It can\'t take nine victims to perform the ritual, otherwise it would be too expensive.\' Solus thought.
\'What are those other stretchers for\'
The team showed perfect coordination, moving Khalia on the operating table a second after the female mage was done with her preparations.
Contrary to Solus\'s expectations, they left the room in a hurry right after constraining the merfolk\'s arms, legs, and neck.
The moment they closed the double doors behind them, another array appeared on their surface.
The power of the six combined arrays sealed the room from all external influences to the point that Solus couldn\'t feel her bond with Lith anymore.
Fear of being stranded behind enemy lines made Solus freeze as the memories of Nalear breaking their bond opened an old wound that she believed closed for good.
Unaware of her feelings as well as of the presence of a guest, the female mage started chanting again.
A stream of world energy struck at Khalia\'s life force and mana core until they couldn\'t resist the pressure any longer.
In a way, the procedure reminded Solus of what Lith had done to himself to save Protector.
Yet while Lith had worked with surgical precision, burning only enough of his own life force to restore the broken core, what the female mage did could barely pass for butchering.
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