Hold your breath and follow me. Protector dived in the lake, swimming toward the bottom of the lake where the underground spring was.
Then, he used the first password to stop the water flow and go through the long tunnel the river came from without having to fight the current.
It was a simple but effective measure against fake mages.
The arrays were too deep to be detected and once in the water, fake mages would be incapable of using magic.
Once inside, the second password opened a secret passage in the rock that led to a dry space where water couldn\'t enter due to an array.
The others followed him closely, drying their hair and clothes as soon as he told them they wouldn\'t swim anymore.
\'We\'ll cover the rest on foot.\' Protector said via a mind link.
\'No talking and no lights.\'
\'Man, I wish I could have followed Master Ajatar instead of coming with you guys.
Fights between Regional Lords are awesome.\' Morok said as everybody\'s eyes lit with Fire Vision.
The spell granted them an improved version of thermal goggles, allowing them to see in the dark in a scale of colors according to the temperature of their surroundings.
Usually Awakened preferred to use Life Vision, but while in a mana geyser using it would have been akin to staring into the sun.
\'Isn\'t it just a debate that the Council oversees\' Friya asked.
\'No, it\'s a no-holds-barred battle where the Council is both the arbiter and the bookmaker.
I made more money with the bets than in my entire career as a Ranger.\' He replied.
\'Remember always to put your money on the big guy.
\'So you always bet on Ajatar\' Protector asked.
\'Only if he\'s the big guy.\' Morok said.
\'I love that Drake more than my own father, but money is money.\'
At those words, everyone stared at Lith who for once agreed with the Tyrannical Eye.
They indeed had something in common.
Protector cast a flight spell and signaled the others to do the same.
Even though they moved at a quick pace, the descent took them more than an hour.
Lith could see with Fire Vision that the cave was artificial.
The surface of the walls, floor, and ceiling was too smooth to be natural and too cold to be surrounded by nothing but water.
\'The entire underground area is flooded and this is the only known passage created by the Council to reach the mine.\' Protector said.
\'In theory, it should be impossible to reach the mine for those who don\'t know about its existence.\'
He pointed at the earth blocking array fueled by the geyser that made the passage impervious even to those that like Nalrond were capable of moving through stone as if it was water.
\'The combined effect of the arrays and the mine creates a perfect protection.\' Lith thought.
\'The arrays seal the access to the only access way while the mana crystals make it impossible to use even Spirit Dimensional Magic.
\'Even if someone knew the dimensional coordinates of the mine, it would blow in their face.
\'Entering this passage with Spirit Dimensional Magic is feasible, but without taking the correct route and inputting the passwords in the proper order, the defensive array system would make mincemeat of even someone as big as I am.\'
The magical formations in the stone tunnel were linked to each other so that triggering one would not only alert Faluel, but also cause a chain reaction that would activate them all at once.
\'Yeah, even with everything we know, the tower, and your bloodline abilities, not even I can think of a way of getting in here.\' Solus replied.
\'By the way, have you considered telling Morok about my existence
\'Because, otherwise, as long as he is with us, I can\'t show myself.\'
Do you trust him\' Lith replied.
\'He seems a good guy, but I don\'t know him enough to be sure of it.\'
\'Neither do I.\' The corridor ended and so did the discussion.
Protector brought his forefinger to the end of his muzzle, signaling everyone to make silence.
He Hushed the wall in front of them before using the last password.
The stone became mud that rolled to the sides like dough, opening the passage to the mine and reactivating the protections of the tunnel.
\'Until this moment our steps didn\'t produce any sound or vibration due to the arrays but past this point there are none.
Cancel your smell, smother your heat signature, and float above the ground.\' He said via the mind link.
The others followed his instructions before resuming their advance at a walking pace.
Lith could see with Life Vision that the flow of world energy around them was even stronger than the one that Salaark had given him for the tower in the Desert and that its intensity kept growing as they moved through the lower levels.
Once he switched back to Fire Vision, it took him a few seconds for his sight to return.
\'Why did you do that You know that looking at a geyser from the inside blinds you.
You had no chance of spotting the intruders.\' Solus asked while guiding his movements.
\'Faluel said that this is one of her best mines.
I wanted to know if there\'s a difference between the mines of the Council and those of the Kingdom.
Also, this way I know what a really powerful geyser looks like.\' Lith replied.
\'What are your conclusion\'
\'This place makes the Feymar mines and those that led to Kulah look like a candlelight.\' Lith said.
The tunnel they walked into had a rough and uneven surface, showing clear signs of having been opened without the help of magic.
Arcs of stone or wood were placed at every intersection and in the proximity of exhausted mining areas.
The moment Protector spotted the first crystal on the wall, he signaled the group to stop.
\'Go back to regular sight and let\'s give our eyes the time to adapt.\' Mana crystals emitted a cold light that Fire Vision wouldn\'t detect and that would expose the presence of the investigation team despite all of their precautions.
A violet light came from the tunnel in front of them, bright enough to see but still leaving enough shadows where to hide.
Ryman moved like a ghost, avoiding the illuminated areas and moving his head so to keep the crystal\'s light from reflecting in his eyes.
The deeper they went, the more abundant the violet crystals and the brighter their light became.
A faint echo in the distance alerted the group that they were close to their destination.
They slowed their advance, giving Friya the time to use her Scope spell to peek around every corner before moving to a new area.
Short range dimensional magic like Blink was safe to use and Scope was barely tier one.
The weak mana flow Scope required allowed the spell to create a small dimensional fissure that extended forward for hundreds of meters at a time without disrupting the unstable crystal fields.
Friya used Scope to scout the path ahead and to explore the branching corridors until they reached a dead end without the need to move.
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